(Milgrove, ON) – After getting rained out on both October 4th, and 5th, the 2014 Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series Presented by Meineke finally hit the track last Sunday for Flamboro’s annual Octoberfest. The event, broadcasted live on www.racetimeradio.com was also the final race of the Ontario wide tour, and defending champion Shawn McGlynn (#81) of Kitchener, was ready to try and finish off a championship run, while also looking for his fifth consecutive victory. Kevin Allen (#54) of Drumbo, entered the race sitting second in points, just nine markers back, while ‘Mr. Highside’ Brennan Didero (#24) of Brantford, and Dave ‘Hot Rod’ Connelly (#82) of Arnprior, also had outside chances at the title.
Qualifying for the Fuel for Kids 100 kicked off competition for the day, and Jeremy Coulter (#6) of Smith Falls set the early fast mark with a time of 16.849 seconds. That time would stand up until the final four drivers of the session hit the track. First it was McGlynn who rose to the top of the chart with a lap of 16.546 second, before his championship challenger Allen turned a lap of 16.827 seconds, good enough for second quickest. The final qualifier of the day was Didero, who ripped off a lap of 16.551 seconds to slot in second, and missed taking the fast time away from by a mere .005 seconds.
The final order after qualifying was McGlynn, Didero, Allen, Coulter, with Connelly fifth. Normally the series shuffles the order with the Lucas Oil Fast Five draw to determine the starting order, but on this day it was expanded to the ‘Elite Eight’, and after the drivers were each paired up with a youngster and drew their starting spot.
Coulter drew the pole with McGlynn second, and Connelly and Didero making up row two. Doug Cathcart (#48) of Ottawa, and Jason Meyer (#93) of Tillsonburg made up row three, with Allen and Josh Wood (#66) of London in row four.
Coulter took the initial lead, but after pacing the first two laps, McGlynn blasted to the front, while Didero worked his way through for second. The event was slowed by a lap 12 yellow flag, before the field started a green flag run that would last until lap 87. McGlynn stretched out his lead on Didero, while Connelly tried to hold off Allen for third. Just before the halfway point, Didero was able to move into third. The best battle on the speedway was a four way dance between Kevin Trevellin (#45) of Windsor, Meyer, Tim ‘The Intimidator’ Tolten (#3) of Guelph, and Cathcart.
The lap 87 yellow was brought out when Didero’s car caught fire, but he was able to get out of the car unscathed. This left Allen to battle McGlynn for the win.
In only his second year on tour, Allen was still looking for his first feature win, and Sunday was the day as he hung tough on the outside, finally taking the point after running side-by-side with McGlynn for a number of laps. Shawn was able to get close in the closing laps, but was unable to mount a charge, and finished second to Allen, but still picked up enough points to win his third consecutive series championship.
Allen spoke about his tremendous sophomore season, and his first feature win, “When that caution came out, I thought we might have something for him – that was what we needed. We got a bad draw and started seventh, but without many yellows it was tough to make up ground. Then we got the yellow, and we had been gaining on everyone in front of us. I thought I was going to have to fight to get into line behind Shawn, but we went into turn one even, and I knew that was my chance. It’s sunk in that we’ve won, and this is by far the biggest win of my career.”
As for finishing second in the championship battle, Kevin said, “Honestly, if you had told me at the start of the season we would be racing for a championship, I would’ve said you were nuts. I knew we came into the season prepared better, but to finish second in the championship and win a feature exceeded our expectations. All the pieces came together. Now we can go to work this winter and we will enter 2015 knowing that we can be a championship contender right front the start.”
With the silver medal, McGlynn locked up his third straight Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup, and talked about the problems that almost led to some nervous moments. “We found out after the race that we had broken a valve in the motor. How it didn’t trash a piston and the intake is beyond me. That happened about 60 laps in, but our car was handling so well that we didn’t lose much speed, and I started to take it easy on the throttle, and try to help it survive. The late caution came out, and that put Kevin on the outside of us for the green, and he ran well enough to get around me. I wanted to win our fifth in a row, but it was good to see him win. We drew a good starting spot, which helps, and our car was quick right off the trailer. Just a great afternoon.”
After not finishing in the season opener at Sauble Speedway, McGlynn started to gain some traction before ripping off four straight wins late in the season to storm back into the championship lead. He talked about the championship, “I didn’t think we had a chance after Sauble, because we were so far back in points. We ran well, and Connelly and Didero each had a couple of problems, and that put us right back in the picture. A lot of it came down to not getting involved in wrecks, which can put you behind. We also didn’t have anything break other than the tie rod during the first race. My Dad works so hard on the cars as well.”
As for 2015, McGlynn set two goals, “We’re going to come back and try to win number four, and we’re going to try to get Chad running right up front every week.”
Connelly held on for a podium finish, and wound up with the bronze medal in the championship. He spoke about his finish, and his return to the series in 2014, “At least we didn’t hit a wall,” he joked. “It was a good run for us, but we have some work to do for next year. We wrecked last time out, and we needed to test to make sure the car was right, but we missed just a bit, and McGlynn and Allen were on fire. There was a lot of lapped traffic today during that green flag run, and the end of the race was pretty exciting. I was third and had a great view of the finish. The top-three cars today were the top-three in points, and we had a pretty good return to the Lucas Oil Series. We won a race, and finished third in points, but had a little bit of bad luck, which was enough to take us out of the championship picture.”
Trevellin had his best run of the season, posting a solid fourth-place results, while Meyer posted his second consecutive top-five at Flamboro with a fifth-place finish.
After breaking a rear end gear in practice, Tolten’s team returned to the shop and grabbed another one, returning to start last on the grid before battling to a sixth-place finish. Cathcart wound up seventh, with Adam Martin (#8) of Hespler eighth. Bob Merrifield (#43) of Belle River, and ‘Over the Top’ Mike Nelson (#85) of Peterborough, rounded out the top-ten.
Jeremy Coulter had his best qualifying effort of the season with a fourth-place results, and after drawing the pole in the Lucas Oil ‘Elite Eight’ program, he finished 12th. With the result Coulter capture the Rookie-of-the-Year award.
Final Results – 1. Allen, 2. S. McGlynn, 3. Connelly, 4. Trevellin, 5. Meyer.
Other Race Award Winners
London Drive Systems voucher winner – # 82 Dave Connelly
Performance Fiberglass winners – Kevin Trevellin & Mark Patrick
McColl Racing Ent. voucher winner – # 3 Tim Tolton
Mid America Hard Luck award – # 18 Chad McGlynn
Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup presented by Meineke – Championship Points Standings (after 7 of 8 events) – 1. S. McGlynn (765 points), 2. Allen (758), 3. Connelly (736), 4. Didero (736), 5. Cathcart (727).
Qualifying points – 1. S. McGlynn (76 points), 2. Didero (57), 3. Allen (55), 4. Jake Ott (48), 5. Connelly (45).
For more information on the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series, Lucas Oil, Meineke, or Flamboro Speedway, please visit www.lucasoilsportsmancup.com,
www.lucasoil.ca, www.meineke.ca, or www.flamborospeedway.net, or contact Series Director Dave Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Release and Photos by Jamie and Jordan Maudsley and www.maudsleymotorsports.com.
Additional Photo by Stephanie Schwemler.