On Thursday night at Sunset Speedway, Andy Kamrath would lead flag-to-flag en route to scoring the victory in the Frequent Flyer 50 presented by SL Promotions at Sunset Speedway. It marks Karmath’s fourth big victory of the year after winning the Spring 35 at Sunset to start the year back in May, before sweeping the pair of Mini Stock National events at Kawartha Speedway.
With 53 cars on the property, the track would use the famous ‘alphabet soup’ format to qualify the cars for the a-main.
Here’s the breakdown:
- 4 Heats
- Top 4 drivers from each heat go directly to the A-Main (16 drivers)
- 5th thru 7th go to the B-Main (12 drivers)
- 8th on back go to the C-Main (25 drivers)
- Top 10 drivers move to the B-Main
- Top 12 drivers move to the A-Main as 12+16=28 cars
Now that you know the format, here is how qualifying broke down on Thursday night.
Hudson Nagy was set to join the field in qualifying, however would miss the chance to race as a result of blowing his motor during practice.
The first heat didn’t go as David Collins would’ve hoped in his first start behind the wheel in a long time as he would be forced down pit road with one lap to go. Kamrath picked up the victory in his No. 35 Jason Witty of Remax AllStars, Blue Mountain Honda of Collingwood, Imagewraps.Ca, JF Kitching & Son Ltd., CB Services, AM Roofing Solutions, London Recreational Honda Civic ahead of fellow Sunset regulars Brandon McFerran, Warren Paxton and Gerritt Tiemersma. Flamboro Speedway’s Blair Wickett was fifth, followed by Cory Young, Jake Watson, Nick Clarke, Shawn Gerrior, Lisa DeLeeuw, Candiss Everingham and Steve Belanger. Originally, it was announced following the heat that McFerran wouldn’t be able to run the feature due to engine issues; however, the team was able to figure them out to allow the 2015 Sunset Speedway Mini Stock Champion to start the main event.
The second heat didn’t go smoothly as it was halted by a caution at lap four for a spin by Pete Gettliffe. Willy Howells also didn’t have the night he wanted as he was forced down pit road on lap eight. 2014 Sauble Speedway Champion Billy Schwartzenburg picked up the win in his No. 86 Spira Fire Protection, Guelph Children’s Wish Fund Mustang ahead of Flamboro’s Chad Corcoran with Eric Yorke third ahead of fellow Sunset regulars Samantha Shaw and Miles Tyson. Barrie Speedway’s Mike Gettliffe was sixth, followed by Phil Givens, Pete Gettliffe, Treyten Lapcevich, Wendy Adams and the 69.
The trend of messy heat racing continued with the third heat as a caution flew on lap two for Dave Middel spinning in turn four. The restart didn’t go smoothly as desperation to try and qualify for the a-main set in with Lance Foster, Ben Melenhorst and Gehrig Halliday three-wide going into turn one. Contact was made, causing more contact throughout the field resulting in Billy Melenhorst and Nic Montanari both sliding sideways, followed by Brandon Crumbie and Russ Aicken getting serious damage. Crumbie would be done for the heat, forced to the c-main, while Aicken was able to continue. Sunset regular Ben Melenhorst took the victory in his No. 26 Collingwood Toyota and Toyota Nissan sponsored Nissan 240SX ahead of fellow regulars Jordan Howse, Lance Foster, Billy Melenhorst, Ken Townsend and Gehrig Halliday. Full Throttle Motor Speedway representative Tim Tolton finished seventh, followed by Kevin Strutt, Aicken, the 37x, Middel and Nic Montanari.
2014 Peterborough Speedway Champion Ryan Babin won the final heat in his No. 89 NASC Hockey Oshawa, M.R. Automotive, Link Greenhouses, Whos Farm, Attention to detail Farm Bro Racing ride ahead of fellow Peterborough driver Tyler Junkin. Sunset regulars Terry Woodley and Kendra Adams rounded out the top-four, with Barrie resident Ryan Toon fifth. Scott Schlueter finished sixth, followed by Chandler Bois, Jerry Noble, Eric Rainey, Chris Allard and Jon Lowenburg.
The c-main didn’t start off smoothly as desperation to qualify led to Bob Phinnemore spinning on lap one. That then followed by Brandon Crumbie spinning on lap with, with Nic Montanari around on lap 10 thanks to contact from behind, in the form of either Russ Aicken or Jerry Noble. The fourth caution flew on lap 13 when Montanari got into Treyton Lapcevich, sending Lapcevich around and collecting Dave Alexander, Wendy Adams and Steve Love; Alexander and the 69 would be done following that wreck. The fifth caution flew on the restart for Chris Allard spinning Pete Gettliffe, resulting in Allard being done for the event. Peterborough Speedway regular Kevin Strutt picked up the victory in his No. 34 Darrill’s Diecast Collectables ride ahead of Sunset’s Shawn Gerrior, Flamboro’s Russ Aicken, Full Throttle’s Nick Clarke and the 37x. Eric Rainey would also transfer from sixth, followed by Noble, Lisa DeLeeuw, Candiss Everingham and Phinnemore. Gettliffe would be the first car to miss the show, followed by Jon Lowenburg, Lapcevich, Adams, Montanari, Love and Steve Belanger.
The b-main didn’t start off much better with Cory Young spinning on the frontstretch off of turn four on lap two. The restart brought forth some crazy insane racing that resulted in Mike Gettliffe getting dead sideways, facing the inside frontstretch wall. Getliffe was able to straighten it and keep going. Behind him, contact would be made between Kevin Strutt and David Collins, resulting in Strutt climbing the frontstretch wall. The second restart brought forth a spin by Russ Aicken. From there on, the rest of the race was clean with Sunset regular Miles Tyson scoring the victory ahead of Flamboro’s Blair Wickett, Sunset’s Jake Watson and Gehrig Halliday. Barrie regular Ryan Toon finished fifth, followed by Tim Tolton, Strutt, Gerrior, Gettliffe, Clarke, Givens and Young. Ken Townsend would be the first driver to miss the show in 13th, followed by Eric Rainey, Noble, Aicken, Everingham, DeLeeuw and Phinnemore.
Come feature time, Billy Schwartzenburg would start pole ahead of Andy Kamrath, Ben Melenhorst, Ryan Babin, Brandon McFerran, Chad Corcoran, Jordan Howse, Miles Tyson, Warren Paxton, Tyler Junkin, Lance Foster, Terry Woodley, Gerrit Tiemersma, Eric Yorke, Billy Melenhorst, Kendra Adams, Miles Tyson, Blair Wickett, Jake Watson, Gehrig Halliday, Ryan Toon, Tim Tolton, Kevin Strutt, Shawn Gerrior, Mike Gettliffe, Nick Clarke, Scott Schlueter and Phil Givens.
Kamrath would grab the lead on the start while Babin and Schwartzenburg battled for second ahead of Ben Melenhorst. The first caution would fly on lap two for Yorke and Howse getting together in turn one. Ben Melenhorst would pit with a flat tire, getting out of his car to change it himself before returning to the race. With 48 laps to go, Kamrath led Schwartzenburg, Babin, Corcoran, McFerran, Junkin, Paxton, Woodley, Foster, Shaw, Tiemersma, Billy Melenhorst, Adams, Tyson, Watson, Wickett, Halliday, Toon, Tolton, Gerrior, Gettliffe, Strutt, Schlueter, Clarke, Yorke, Howse, and Ben Melenhorst.
The first attempt at a restart brought a caution with Adams spinning in turn two, courtesy of Watson. Both drivers would be put to the rear.The second attempt went smoothly with Kamrath holding serve ahead of Schwartzenburg as Babin and Corcoran battled for third. Babin would get the spot, bringing McFerran through with him. Junkin ran sixth, followed by Paxton, Shaw, Woodley, Billy Melenhorst, Foster and Tiemersma. Junkin would get alongside Corcoran for fifth, cracking the top five on lap 14 while McFerran passed Babin for third.
McFerran would then get alongside Schwartzenburg at lap 18, making the pass for second on lap 20 before the caution flew for Shaw around in turns three and four. Shaw would make a pit stop, changing both rear tires as they were flat. With 30 laps to go, Kamrath led McFerran, Schwartzenburg, Babin, Junkin, Paxton, Corcoran, Billy Melenhorst, Woodley, Foster, Gerritt Tiemersma, Tyson, Howse, Wickett, Gettliffe, Ben Melenhorst and Shaw. Gehrig Halliday led the lap down cars ahead of Toon, Yorke, Watson, Strutt, Tolton, Gerrior, Schlueter, Adams, Givens and Clarke.
The first attempt at a restart saw Shaw go for another spin turn four while Tyson brought his car down pit road, done for the race. The second attempt went smoother with Kamrath getting the advantage ahead of McFerran, Babin, Schwartzenburg, Junkin, Paxton, Billy Melenhorst and Corcoran as Clarke headed down pit road at the halfway lap. Woodley ran ninth while Howse and Foster battled for 10th. Howse would grab the spot ahead of Foster on lap 27 while Kendra Adams headed down pit road, done with mechanical issues. Corcoran would then bounce off the frontstretch wall at lap 28, though was able to keep going without issue.
With 20 laps to go, McFerran would slow down the frontstretch, exiting stage right off turn two to be done for the night as a result of a plug wire falling off. So with 19 laps to go, Kamrath continued to lead, now ahead of Babin, Schwartzenburg, Junkin, Paxton, Billy Melenhorst, Howse, Woodley, Foster, Gerritt Tiemersma and Corcoran. Corcoran would then hit pit road at lap 35 with a problem, allowing Gettliffe to move up into 11th. With five laps to go, both Billy Melenhorst and Howse were able to work their way around Paxton for position.
Though at the front, it was all Andy Kamrath as he scored the victory ahead of Ryan Babin, Billy Schwartzenburg, Tyler Junkin, Jordan Howse, Warren Paxton, Billy Melenhorst, Terry Woodley and Lance Foster. Gerrit Tiemersma finished 10th as the first car one lap down ahead of Gettliffe, Ben Melenhors and Wickett. Eric Yorke finished 14th as the first car two laps down ahead of Jake Watson, Scott Schlueter, Gehrig Halliday, Phil Givens, Samantha Shaw, Kevin Strutt, Ryan Toon and Tim Tolton. Shawn Gerrior finished 23rd as the first car three laps down.