Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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Sean Cronan leads flag-to-flag for feature victory at Sunset Speedway

After coming up short earlier this month, Sean Cronan would lead flag-to-flag on Saturday night to score his first Limited Late Model feature victory of the season.

Jason Witty would win the first heat ahead of Cronan, Nick Goetz, Mike Bentley, Gord Shepherd, Rick Walt, Mat Box, Ian Bourque and Brittney Gresel.

The start to the second heat didn’t go according to plan as Dave Bartlett went for the spin. The officials chose not to throw the caution, letting the drivers continue to race it out as Bartlett got back straight and kept going. Chris Morrow picked up the win ahead of Taylor Holdaway, Tom Walters, Travis Hallyburton, Dwayne Baker, Billy Zardo, Ernie Fumerton, Thayne Hallyburton and Mike Wilkinson.

Box won the b-main ahead of Fumerton, Thayne Hallyburton, Bourque, Gresel, Wikinson and Passer.

Morrow went for the daily double ahead of Witty, Cronan, Walters, Goetz, Bentley, Zardo, Baker, Walt and Holdaway.

Come feature time, Sean Cronan would start pole in his No. 84 The Lockeroom Sports Bar and Grill, McLaren Equipment, Craighurst Auto Pro, Spira Fire Protection, GreenSteelRoof.ca, Simcoe Heating and Air, and Fox’s Bakery and Deli Late Model as a result of a little luck in the “fan Frisbee redraw”. Mat Box would start second ahead of Thayne Hallyburton, Ernie Fumerton, Tom Walters, Mike Bentley, Travis Hallyburton, Taylor Holdaway, Dwayne Baker, Nick Goetz, Billy Zardo, Chris Morrow, Rick Walt, Jason Witty, Gord Shepherd, Ian Bourque, Brittney Gresel, Mike Wilkinson, Kyle Passer and Dave Bartlett.

Cronan would take the early lead on the drop of the green while Box and Thayne Hallyburton ran side-by-side for second. Box would get the spot, while Hallyburton battled Fumerton for third. Fumerton would get third on lap three ahead of Walters as Bentley battled Hallyburton for fifth. Bentley would get by a lap later, bringing Holdaway and Morrow through with him. Bentley would continue his climb, getting alongside Walters for fourth at lap six ahead of Holdaway, Morrow, Hallyburton and Witty. As the Walter-Bentley battle continued, Travis Hallybuton would get alongside Witty for ninth at lap seven, though was unable to complete the pass as Witty actually moved by Thayne Hallyburton to move into eighth.

There’d be a shake-up towards around the fourth spot with Morrow getting the advantage as he’d grab the spot at lap 10 as Witty and Bentley battled for fifth ahead of Walters. Their battle would result in a caution as Bentley would go around, courtesy of contact from Witty. With 39 laps to go, Cronan led Box, Fumerton, Morrow, Walters, Holdaway, Zardo, Thayne Hallyburton, Baker, Travis Hallyburton, Bourque, Goetz, Gresel, Wilkinson, Bentley, Passer, Witty, Bartlett, Walt and Shepherd.

Cronan would get a good restart to hold serve ahead of Box, leaving Box to battle with Morrow for second. The pair would continue to battle ahead of Fumerton and Holdaway’s battle for fourth while Walters and Zardo battled for sixth. Morrow would get second on lap 14 ahead of Box, Holdaway, Fumerton and Walters as Baker and Zardo battled for seventh ahead of the Hallyburton brothers. Bentley would see his night end early as he would head off stage exit right on lap 16.

Cronan would continue to lead at lap 17 ahead of Morrow, Box, Holdaway, Fumerton, Walters, Baker, Zardo, Thayne Hallyburton and Travis Hallyburton. Walters would get alongside Fumerton at lap 18 for fifth while Bourque held off Goetz for 11th ahead of Witty. Walters would get by Fumerton at lap 20, leaving Fumerton to battle with Baker for sixth. Their battle got cut short as the second caution flew at lap 21 for Wilkinson spinning. With 29 laps to go, Cronan led Morrow, Box, Holdaway, Walters, Baker, Fumerton, Zardo, Thayne Hallyburton, Travis Hallyburton, Bourque, Goetz, Witty, Gresel, Walt, Shepherd, Passer and Wilkinson.

Cronan would get another restart to hold serve ahead of Morrow as Box and Holdaway battled for third – but all was cut short as third caution flew for Passer spinning on the backstretch.

The second attempt at getting the race restarted worked successfully with Cronan clearing Morrow for the lead at lap 23 ahead of Box, Holdaway and Walters. Holdaway would get alongside Box for third at lap 24, completing the pass on lap 25 and bringing Walters, Baker and Fumerton through with him. Zardo would then get alongside Box for seventh while Walters got alongside Holdaway for third. Zardo would clear Box on lap 28, getting alongside Fumerton for sixth at lap 29. Holdaway would hold off Walters’ charge for third ahead of Baker, Zardo, Fumerton and Box, as of lap 31. Box then got alongside Fumerton for seventh at lap 32 while Baker got alongside Walters for fourth at lap 33. Baker would clear Walters for the spot while Bourque would head down pit road under green at lap 35.

The caution would then fly a lap later as a result of debris in turn one while Travis Hallyburton would receive the blackflag for mechanical issues. Under caution, Witty would stall the car, though made it to pit road; his crew made a quick fix, got the car restarted and he was back out on track. With 14 laps to go, Cronan led Morrow, Holdaway, Baker, Zardo, Fumerton, Box, Goetz, Shepherd, Thayne Hallyburton, Walt, Bartlett, Gresel, Wilkinson, Travis Hallyburton, Witty, Passer and Bourque.

Using the bottom of the track, Cronan would get a good restart to keep the lead ahead of Morrow, Holdaway, Baker and Walters as Box and Zardo battled for position. Their battle would get cut short, though, with the fifth caution for Bartlett spinning Walt in turn two. With 11 laps to go, Cronan led Morrow, Holdaway, Baker, Walters, Box, Zardo, Fumerton, Shepherd, Goetz, Gresel, Travis Hallyburton, Wilkinson, Witty, Walt, Bartlett, Thayne Hallyburton, Passer and Bourque.

Another good restart for Cronan brought forth the lead ahead of Morrow, Holdaway and Baker as Walters and Box battled for fifth. It also brought forth another caution as Fumerton suffered a broken tierod, stalling in turns one and two.

Cronan would get a good restart with nine laps to go ahead of Morrow and Holdaway as Box and Baker battled for fourth ahead of Walters. Zardo and Shepherd would battle for sixth with Zardo grabbing the advantage ahead of Shepherd.

As the laps ticked down, Cronan looked to have the victory locked up. However, the whole field would be in for a surprise when Morrow’s car would sputter heading into turn one, slowing down immediately. Hopeful to finish the race without caution, officials held back the yellow as Morrow coasted down the backstretch. Though when Morrow was crawling and almost stopped, with Wilkinson spinning in turn three, they were left no choice but to throw the yellow on the last lap. As a result, there’d be a green-white-checkered finish with Cronan and Holdaway on the front row ahead of Baker, Box, Walters, Zardo and Goetz.

Sean Cronan would continue his flawless performance, holding off Taylor Holdaway and grabbing the feature victory. Mat Box finished third, followed by Billy Zardo, Dwayne Baker, Tom Walters, Gord Shepherd, Nick Goetz, Jason Witty, Travis Hallyburton, Dave Bartlett, Britney Gresel, Thayne Hallyburton and Rick Walt.

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