After a great 125 lap feature on Thursday night, Sunset Speedway is in high gear with the second round of the Short Track Playoffs as 29 late models showed to try and make the 24-car field. Each qualifying race was filled with thrilling action that saw some fresh faces in victory lane, but also some drivers see their weekend come to an end before they would’ve hoped.
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series driver Jason Hathaway kicked off the action by winning the first heat ahead of Sunset Speedway regular Travis Hallyburton. Barrie Speedway drivers Marcus Keeler and Frank Davey finished third and fourth, with Sauble Speedway’s Josh Stade rounding out the top-five. Sauble’s Tom Gibbons finished sixth, followed by Scott Beatty, Billy Zardo and Ernie Fumerton.
The second heat didn’t go smoothly at all with the caution flying on the first lap for Ron Lawrence spinning in turn three virtue of contact from Mike Bentley. Then on lap five, Bentley would get into Paul Maltese off of turn two, before getting into him again on the backstretch resulting in Maltese getting into the backstretch wall. The third caution would then fly on lap six for Dave Bartlett going around in turn three after getting loose, with Lawrence getting into Bentley in the aftermath, bringing Bentley’s run to a hault. Under caution, Jason Witty would stall on the frontstretch with alternator problems, needing to be pushed off. Sunset Speedway regular Tom Walters took the win ahead fellow regulars Ian Bourque, Taylor Holdaway, Sean Grosman, Nick Goetz and Bartlett. Sauble’s Lawrence finished seventh, followed by Sunset’s Maltese.
The third heat didn’t go well, either, as Chris Morrow would pound the outside frontstretch wall after Scott Sled made contact with the right rear. However, all blame can’t be placed on Sled as Thayne Hallyburton made contact with Sled’s rear bumper as Hallyburton ran three-wide with Jason Parker and Kyle Passer. Needless to say, it was one of those unfortunate racing incidents. Thankfully, Morrow would get out of the car uninjured, however sees his Velocity 250 weekend end pre-maturely with heavy front end damage. 2014 Barrie Speedway Champion Gord Shepherd picked up the win ahead of Sunset’s Hallyburton, Barrie’s Jeff Walt, Sauble’s Shawn McGlynn and Sunset’s Dwayne Baker. Sauble’s Parker and Sled finished sixth and seventh, followed by Peterborough Speedway track owner J.P. Josiasse and Sunset’s Passer.
Sauble regular Marvin Freiburger would win the fourth heat ahead of Barrie’s Brown, followed by Sauble’s Stade and Gibbons. Sunset’s Zardo finished fifth, followed by Davey, Beatty, Travis Hallyburton, Hathaway, Fumerton and Keeler.
The fifth heat got a little messy with Grosman spinning Goetz on lap three, and Holdaway spinning in the aftermath. Holdaway would get his spot back due to spinning after the caution flag. Then on lap six, Grosman would tangle with Gresel. Needless to say, the Florida native may want to forget this race existed. Sunset Speedway competitor Jason Witty would edge fellow Sunset competitor Holdaway at the line for the victory. Sunset’s Bourque, Bentley, Walters, Goetz and Grosman followed, with Lawrence and Gresel rounding out the field.
Sauble’s Jason Parker would win the final heat ahead of Sunset’s Thayne Hallyburton and Baker. Barrie’s Walt and Shepherd rounded out the top-five, followed by Passer, McGlynn, Sled and Josiasse.
With qualifying in the books, here are how the front 16 looks heading into Sunday: Thayne Hallyburton, Ian Bourque, Taylor Holdaway, Marvin Freiburger, Scott Sled, Jeff Walt, Jason Parker, Dwayne Baker, Josh Stade, Jason Hathaway, Travis Hallyburton, Frank Davey, Gord Shepherd, Sean Grosman, Nick Goetz and Jason Witty.
All the racing action that includes the Late Models, Super Stocks, Mini Stocks, OSCAAR Hanover Holiday Modifieds and OSCAAR Super Late Models is set to start at 1pm EST. Deails can be found at http://www.sunsetspeedway.ca.