Throughout the course of a season, there are always a series of highlights that fans will remember for good reasons, and others for not so good reasons. With the OSCAAR banquet scheduled for next weekend, here are three good moments, and three not so good moments from the 2014 OSCAAR Super Late Model season.
MEMORABLE: The Battle at Barrie Speedway
Every fan loves a late race duel and that is exactly what Barrie Speedway had to offer this past season. The final 10 laps of the race featured an intense battle for the lead, with Kevin Cornelius and Andrew Gresel battling back and forth. In the end, it was Cornelius that would take home the victory for his first career OSCAAR Super Late Model feature victory.
“That’s it – Andrew Gresel, the kid right there can wheel a car,” Cornelius commented post-race. “That makes it easier when you’re racing a guy that you can respect like that and will give you the room to race cleanly. We did touch the odd time, but it was nothing serious and we both carried on. All the credit goes to him for that.”
NOT SO MEMORABLE: Derrick Tiemersma’s Wreck at Kawartha Speedway
After a solid season in 2013, Derrick Tiemersma came into the 2014 season looking to find more success. However, things wouldn’t go as planned for the previous series champion as his season would be over sooner than he would’ve hoped. At Kawartha Speedway in the second heat, contact with Ethan Cournyea would result in Tiemersma making heavy contact with the outside wall, resulting in his super late model going up in flames. Fortunately, Tiemersma wasn’t injured in the wreck.
Series fan are hopeful that the veteran will make his return to the series for the upcoming season.
MEMORABLE: John Owen Returns to Victory Lane
In one of the most emotional and fan-favourite victories of the season, John Owen would lead flag-to-flag at Peterborough Speedway in late August to score his first OSCAAR victory since 1999. The win was only made even more special by the fact that he did it at his home town track in style, holding off series front runners Glenn Watson and Jesse Kennedy.
NOT SO MEMORABLE: The Pile-Up at Autumn Colors
With the racing being so close throughout the field, sometimes it only take a small mistake or mechanical problem on one car to create a huge problem for the rest of the competitors. That was the story this past season at the Autumn Colors Classic when J.R. Fitzpatrick’s Super Late jumped out of gear.
Heading into turn one on lap 20, Fitzpatrick’s super late would jump out of gear, resulting in him slowly drastically. With some competitors not prepared for him slowing, contact would be made, with both Charlie Gallant and Donny Varco catching some air in the process. In total, seven cars would get catch damage – Dwayne Baker, Corey Jones, Varco, Gary Passer, Gallant and Brent McLean. Needless to say, not a pretty sight or good way to finish off the year.
MEMORABLE: Inaugural Bruce Gowland Memorial at Sunset Speedway
Sunset Speedway has produced some of the most memorable OSCAAR events throughout the years. Who remembers the famous finish with Rob Clarke and Glenn Watson? Or the feud between George Wilson and Jeff Hanley with the contact on the frontstretch? Needless to say, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see one of the races from this past year on the 1/3 mile show up on this list.
The Inaugural Bruce Gowland Memorial produced a great battle for the top three spots between Baker, Gresel and Cornelius over the course of the 50 lap feature. Though what made that battle that much more interesting was how the lap traffic played a part. With numerous cars going down a lap down over the course of the long green flag run, the leaders could not escape them and it made for some interesting racing in seeing how they could get around them. At one point, knowing that he had to make up time on Gresel, Baker took Cornelius and a lap car three-wide to grab the second spot. When it comes to hard racing for the front of the pack, this race was the definition of that.
In the end, Baker managed the traffic the best as he was able to take the victory ahead of Gresel and Cornelius.
NOT SO MEMORABLE: Shane Gowan’s Wreck at Kawartha Speedway
Kawartha Speedway produces some of the most fast speeds and racing of the whole season, but it also produces some of the worst wrecks in the process. Tiemersma wasn’t the only driver bit by Kawartha this year as Shane Gowan experienced a big wreck of his own in early June.
On the initial lap of the feature, Rudy Oppersma got sideways off turn two, resulting in the field bottling up. As a result, Dave Doucette would get sideways and get into Gowan, causing Gowan to make significant contact with the outside wall. The contact across the board would cause significant front end and rear end damage to Gowan’s ride, as he had to competely replace both clips before returning to OSCAAR competition at the end of June at Sunset Speedway.
With OSCAAR entering their 25th season of competition and the stars returning for another year, there are certain to be more moments added to the memory banks of fans.