Saturday, September 25, 2021

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ST: Samantha Shaw leads flag-to-flag en route to victory lane

For the first time since August 2012, Samantha Shaw would find herself in feature victory lane as she led flag-to-flag in the 35 lap feature. Meanwhile, Brandon McFerran would finish the year off with a solid third place finish to clinch his first career Championship.


The night started off with her Spira Racing teammate and 2014 Sauble Speedway Champion Billy Schwartzenburg scoring the victory in the first heat ahead of Jordan Howse, Eric Yorke, Gerrit Tiemersma, Terry Woodley, Kendra Adams, Ken Townsend, Stefan Woyslaw, Candiss Everingham and Wendy Adams.


Ben Melenhorst would win the second heat ahead of Eric Yorke, Billy Melenhorst, Jake Watson, Trevor Hemingway, Chandler Bois, Doug Wilman, Eric Rainey and Warren Paxton. Paxton would go for a spin on the first lap of his heat.


The third and final heat didn’t start off that well as Jerry Noble broke sideways while battling three-wide with Miles Tyson and Lance Foster for the lead on lap 1. Noble would go down in the grass, coming back up across the track before being hit by Dave Middel. Both drivers would be done the heat event. McFerran would win the heat ahead of Tyson, Danny Benedict, Lauren Halliday, Nic Montanari, Foster, Steve Belanger and Lisa DeLeeuw.


The b-main would feature a bit of drama with Belanger going for a spin on the white flag lap. Terry Woodley would pick up the win ahead of Montanari, Bois, Foster, Kendra Adams, Paxton, Woyslaw and Noble. Noble jumped behind the wheel of Wilman’s car and renumbered it with his own number to try and keep eighth in points. DeLeeuw would finish ninth, followed by Rainey, Townsend, Wendy Adams and Candiss Everingham.


McFerarn would go for the daily double in winning the Dash for Cash ahead of Schwartzenburg, Ben Melenhorst, Howse, Shaw, Yorke, Billy Melenhorst, Tyson, Tiemersma, Watson and Halliday.


Come feature time, Lance Foster would pole in his No. X FOREIGNSPEED, RB Graffix and Bourque Transmission Mini Stock ahead of Samantha Shaw, Jake Watson, Gerrit Tiemersma, Ben Melenhorst, Terry Woodley, Lauren Halliday, Nic Montanari, Danny Benedict, Billy Schwartzenburg, Eric Yorke, Miles Tyson, Billy Melenhorst, Kendra Adams, Chandler Bois, Brandon McFerran, Jordan Howse, Stefan Woyslaw, Jerry Noble, Lisa DeLeeuw, Ken Townsend, Eric Rainey, Wendy Adams, Candiss Everingham, Steve Belanger and Dave Middel.


Middel would pull off on lap one due to a mechanical blackflag for leaking fuel. His team was able to solve the problem while the first attempt to start the race was deemed a false start with Foster jumping.


The second attempt went smoothly with Samantha Shaw putting her No. 81 Lucas Oil Products and Spira Fire Protection Mustang out front ahead of Foster while Tiemersma, Watson and Ben Melenhorst battled three-wide for third. Melenhorst would grab the spot, then taking over second and bringing Tiemersma through with him while Belanger headed down pit road. Schwartzenburg would then get alongside Foster for fourth when the caution would fly for Watson going for a spin after getting loose. With 32 laps to go, Shaw led Ben Melenhorst, Tiemersma, Schwartzenburg, Foster, Yorke, Halliday, Woodley, Benedict, McFerran, Kendra Adams, Billy Melenhorst, Tyson, Howse, Montanari, Bois, Woyslaw, Townsend, Noble, DeLeeuw, Rainey, Everingham, Wendy Adams, Middel, Watson and Belanger (-2 laps).


Shaw would get a good restart to keep the lead as Schwartzenburg got alongside Ben Melenhorst for second while Tiemersma and Benedict battled for fourth. Schwartzenburg would grab second on lap six ahead of Melenhorst while Tiemersma and Yorke continued to battle. Meanwhile, McFerran would crack the top-six on lap seven after starting deep in the field, with Halliday running seventh while Billy Melenhorst battled Foster for eighth


The battle for fourth continued to and beyond lap nine while McFerran continued to run sixth, now followed by Foster, Halliday and Billy Melenhorst. Kendra Adams would head down pit road on lap 11 while Shaw continued to lead ahead of Schwartzenburg, Ben Melenhorst and Yorke as Tiemersma now battled with McFerran for fifth. McFerran would complete the pass on lap 13, before passing Yorke for fourth on lap 14. Tiemersma continued to hold down sixth now, ahead of Billy Melenhorst, Howse, Halliday and Tyson.


Everybody would settle down as the leaders threaded their way around the lap cars, trying to catch those who were ahead of them yet realizing that gaps had formed. McFerran would be able to run Ben Melenhorst, passing him on lap 24 to move up to third behind Spira Racing teammates Samantha Shaw and Billy Schwartzenburg. With 10 laps to go, Ken Townsend would head down pit road with his car dying.


Meanwhile, on track, things got hairy for everybody as the lap cars continued to battle two, sometimes three-wide despite the leaders being on their tail. Into the final five laps of the feature, Shaw would find herself going three, sometimes four-wide amongst the lap cars to keep her teammate behind her.


It’d work out for Samantha Shaw as she’d score the victory to claim her second career feature victory and her first at Sunset Speedway. Billy Schwartzenburg would finish second while Brandon McFerran would cross the line in third with a trail of smoke behind him as the motor blew up. Ben Melenhorst got fourth, followed by Eric Yorke, Billy Melenhorst, Jordan Howse, Gerrit Tiemersma, Miles Tyson, Jake Watson and Terry Woodley.


Nic Montanari would be the first non-lead lap car in 12th, followed by Danny Benedict and Lance Foster. Chandler Bois was the first car two laps down in 15th, followed by Stefan Woyslaw, Jerry Noble, Eric Rainey and Lisa DeLeeuw. Dave Middel would be the first car three laps down in 20th, followed by Candiss Everingham and Wendy Adams.

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