Brandt Graham ‘Boss of the Beach’

July 19, 2016

(Sauble Beach, ON) – Following up the thrilling leg one of the ‘Boss of the Beach’ challenge at Sauble Speedway would require a tremendous show, and the drivers of the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup were up to the challenge on Saturday night at the 1/4-mile just off the shores of Lake Huron.

A bonus was announced earlier in the season, and any driver who won the first race, and took the challenge of racing to a win in the second leg from the back of the pack would claim a $1,000, and a prestigious Sauble Beach Speedway Surfboard trophy.

Bobby Tolton (#3) of Guelph, set the early fast time in qualifying, turning a lap of 15.441 seconds.  The time would last until just three drivers were left to turn their laps.  Josh Wood (#66) of London, was next up, and turned a time of 15.388 seconds to move to the top of the speed chart.  The very next driver, Chad McGlynn (#18) of Kitchener, would then one up Wood, as he ran a lap of 15.338 seconds, a mere 5/100’s of a second quicker than Wood, and less than 5/100’s of a second away from the year old track record of Dave Connelly.

Both Graham and McGlynn took the option to try and race from the back of the pack to the front during the 100-lap feature, and trying to capture the ‘Boss of the Beach’ title, leaving the ‘Lucas Oil Fast Five’ drivers as Wood, Tolton, Alvin ‘The Bandit’ McNicol (#77) of Exeter, Donnie Beattie (#40) of Beaverton, and ‘The Flying Farmer’ Kevin Gallant (#31) of Vanessa.

After those five drivers were paired with their lucky fans, and drew for starting positions, McNicol drew the pole position for the second straight Sauble race, with Wood alongside him.  Beattie and Tolton would make up row two.

Wood got the jump on the start and immediately pulled away, bringing Tolton with him.  Wood kept a comfortable lead through the early portion of the event, with Wood and McNicol staying in touch.  A number of car lengths behind the leaders, Beattie was making a charge before ignition issues caused his car to slow.  The former Ontario Modified champ had worked his way through a group that were still going at it for spots inside the top-five, including Bob Merrifield (#43) of Belle River, McGlynn, Kevin Allen (#54) of Drumbo, and Gallant.

The first half of the event went off without a yellow, and at lap 40 Graham was nowhere close to collecting the extra cash, running eighth, while the leaders were bearing down on him to put him a lap down.  At that point, the sophomore driver lit the wick, and started to move through the field, passing Allen, and a limping Beattie.

While Graham was making his charge, Tolton was starting to apply the heat to the leader, and after a short battle, Bobby was the new leader, shuffling Wood back to second.  Less than one lap later, the first yellow appeared, as Wood was spun by McNicol exiting turn two, sending both of them to the back of the pack.

This put Merrifield on the outside of the front row for the restart, and moved McGlynn and Graham – the two ‘Boss of the Beach’ candidates – to row two for the restart.  Tolton was able to maintain the lead, with Merrifield getting shuffled backwards on the outside.  McGlynn moved to second, and Graham to third before another quick caution on lap 62.

On the ensuing restart, Beattie spun in turn one, bringing out another yellow, while McGlynn moved to the back of the pack.  McGlynn’s car was in the midst of suffering through the rest of the event with a broken axle, ending his shot at being the ‘Boss of the Beach’.

Tolton got away when the green dropped again, but with 20 laps to go Graham started to run down the leader.  He caught Tolton, and was able to get side-by-side for the lead.  The pair duelled two-wide for a number of laps before Graham poked his nose out front for good on lap 86, and leading the remainder of the circuits to win his third career Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup feature, and second in a row.

The sophomore driver spoke about the second consecutive win, “This is awesome – winning one of these Sauble Speedway surfboards – it’s really a unique trophy, and when I think that guys like Dale Shaw and Andrew Gressel have one in their living room – now I have one, and that’s pretty cool.  I was taking it easy at the start, and then I saw the leader on the same straight and I had to get going.  Our car got better and better all night, and I was able to save the tires, because I knew I was going to need them at the end.  We got a few breaks along the way to the front, but when I got into the top-five and was clear of traffic we were able to run the same times as the leader.  It was great racing Bobby Tolton for the win.  When I was behind him we reeled him in, and then I just had to figure out where we were better and be patient.  This is a great way to end our two races at Sauble, with our second win.  It was unreal after the first race, and after that our race team dealt with a lot, but we came back up here tonight and proved we were the ‘Boss of the Beach’.”

Tolton posted a career high for both him, and the Black Magic Racing Team with a runner-up result, and was beaming when he emerged from his racer, “I think we were faster than Josh Wood when he was leading, but I was just trying to save my stuff.  At the end of the race I didn’t have enough left to hold off Brandt Graham.  We had two goals tonight, and those were to qualify in the ‘Fast Five’, and finish on the lead lap.  We did both of those, so now I guess we just have to set some higher goals.”

Wood brought his car home third, and was pleased with the finish.  He said, “Tonight was kind of typical of our season, just one minor thing goes wrong, and it keeps us out of victory lane.  We led some laps tonight, but then had to go to the back.  It was a little rough tonight, but we were able to come out of it with a solid third-place finish.

McNicol posted a fourth-place finish, while Gallant held off a spirited run by Merrifield at the end of the event to hang onto the final spot in the top-five.

The series will be back in action for race number five of the seven event championship campaign Saturday August 6th at Peterborough Speedway, as the field takes on ‘Canada’s Toughest 1/3rd-mile’.  With the win, Graham moved to the top of the title chase, but Wood, Allen, Gallant, and McGlynn are still within striking distance.

Final Results – 1. Graham 2. Tolton, 3. Wood, 4. McNicol, 5. Gallant.

Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup – Championship Points Standings (after 4 of 7 events) – 1. Brandt Graham (389 points), 2. Josh Wood (378), 3. (tie) Kevin Allen (378), Kevin Gallant (378), 5. Chad McGlynn (375).

For more information on the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series, Lucas Oil, Sauble Speedway, or Peterborough Speedway, please visit www.lucasoilsportsmancup.com,

www.lucasoil.ca, www.saublespeedway.ca, www.peterboroughspeedway.com, or contact Series Director Dave Didero at midamericamotorsports@hotmail.com.

Release and photos by Jamie Maudsley and maudsleymotorsports.com.

Race #4
  Sauble Seedway – July 16, 2016  “Boss of the Beach” #2
Fin St. #  Name Standings after 4 races
1 13 14 Brandt Graham 1 14 Brandt Graham 389
2 4 3 Bobby Tolton 2 54 Kevin Allen 378
3 2 66 Josh Wood 2 51 Kevin Gallant 378
4 1 77 Alvin McNicol 2 66 Josh Wood 378
5 5 51 Kevin Gallant 5 18 Chad McGlynn 375
6 6 43 Bob Merrifield 6 48 Doug Cathcart 366
7 8 54 Kevin Allen 7 77 Alvin McNicol 364
8 9 85 Mike Nelson 8 3 Tim/Bobby Tolton 359
9 7 48 Doug Cathcart 9 43 Bob Merrifield 355
10 10 88 Scott Laporte 10 88 Scott Laporte 352
11 11 8 Adam Martin 11 40 Don Beattie 343
12 12 18 Chad McGlynn 12 8 Adam Martin 342
13 3 40 Don Beattie 13 15 Mike Hryniuk 277
14 85 Mike Nelson 180
Lap Leaders – 66 (1-50), 3 (51-86), 14 (87-100)
Cautions – 4,
Time of race – 50 minutes
Fast Time
# 18 Chad McGlynn – 15.338
ANCRA Tie Downs award winner –
# 18 Chad McGlynn
McColl Racing Ent. voucher winner –
# 8 Adam Martin
Grisdale-American Racer Tire award winner –
# 40 Donny Beattie
Mid-America voucher winners –
# 14 Brandt Graham & # 51 Kevin Gallant
Performance Fiberglass voucher winners –
# 85 Mike Nelson & # 88 Scott Laporte
“Boss of the Beach” $1000 bonus –
#14 Brandt Graham