Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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Gary McLean goes back-to-back in Autumn Colours Classic OSCAAR Modified Feature

He won the Chase for the Colors to earn the pole for the Autumn Colours Classic. He won the Rick Woolner Memorial at Sunset Speedway on Velocity 250 weekend. He won his second straight OSCAAR Modified Championship. Gary McLean kept it rolling as he would lead all 50 laps on his way to winning the OSCAAR Modified Autumn Colours Classic feature.

As previously mentioned, he started pole with Shane Stickel beside him. The rookie survived the Chase for the Colors event to finish second back in August. Matt Barton would qualify third followed by Mike Westwood, Justin Jones, Darren Kearnan, Brent McLean, Rod Sauder, Dave Osbourne, Nick Kozak, Tim Burke, Brian McLean, Davey Terry, John Harper, Dean Scott, Justin Demelo, Tommy Robb, the 4, Bobby Tolton, Dustin Jackson, Ryan Dick and Andy Jankowiak.

The cautions started early as on lap three, Jankowiak would spin on the front stretch. Jankowiak was smoking a couple laps prior. It was sight nobody wanted to see after the Boston native drove six hours to be there for the Monday feature. With 47 laps to go, Gary McLean led Barton, Stickel, Kearnan, Brent McLean, Jones, Osbourne, Kozak, Burke, Demelo, Terry and Harper.

The restart wouldn’t go that way as Osbourne would end up in the grass. The second restart went well and Gary McLean escaped the field till the third caution at lap nine for Burke going into the grass. The fourth caution came six laps later for Scott spinning in turn four. With 35 laps to go, Gary McLean led Barton, Brent McLean, Stickel, Demelo, Kearnan, Jones, Harper, Kozak, Robb, Terry, Brian McLean, Sauder, Osboure, Burke, Jones, Dick, Tolton, the 4 and Scott.

The restart went wrong as Kozak spun, collecting Dick, Jones and Osbourne. The three of them would get stuck together and after a red flag delay, Dick and Osbourne continued while Jones was done. It marked the second start for 13-year-old Jones after winning the Factory Stock Championship at Laird International Raceway.

The second restart was no better as Kozak once again found trouble, hitting the outside wall. Jankowiak, Scott, the 4 and Harper used the caution as an opportunity to head down pit road. Still with 35 laps to go, Gary McLean led Barton, Brent McLean, Stickel, Demelo, Kearnan, Jones, Robb, Terry, Brian McLean, Westwood, Burke, Tolton, Osbourne, Dick, the 4, Scott and Jankowiak.

The third attempt at a restart produced the scariest incident of the night as going into turn one, Burke got into Terry. Terry would slide up, knocking the driver’s side of his modified off of the tractor tire, before flying off the edge of the hill at the turn one track opening and landing down below. Terry was okay and looking over the No. 14 Wasteco Modified, there wasn’t much damage sustained. Due to the race going over its scheduled time limit, caution laps were now being counted.

The restart would come with 28 laps to go and they’d make a pair of green flag laps before the seventh caution for Demelo spinning.

With 22 laps to go, the field saw green again and Gary McLean escaped the field and began opening up his lead ahead of Brent McLean, Matt Barton, Shane Stickel, Darren Kearnan, Tommy Robb, Justin Jones, Brian McLean, Bobby Tolton, Tim Burke, Mike Westwood, Dave Osbourne and Andy Dick. The top four remained the same over the next 11 laps with Robb making his way by Kearnan for fifth ahead of Jones and Brian McLean.

They wouldn’t make it to the end without another caution as on lap 43, the eighth caution flew for Jones spinning Kearnan.

The restart would come with five laps to go, though quickly found the ninth caution as Westwood spins, collecting Osbourne. With five laps to go, Gary McLean led Brent McLean, Barton, Stickel, Robb, Jones, Brian McLean, Tolton and Burke.

The second attempt at a restart brought forth another caution as Tolton spun Brian McLean.

The third attempt was success as Gary McLean led the five laps on the way to picking up the victory. Brent McLean finished second followed by Matt Barton, Shane Stickel and Tommy Robb. Justin Jones finished sixth followed by Tim Burke, Darren Kearnan, Brian McLean, Bobby Tolton and Ryan Dick.

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