(Sauble Beach, ON) – The Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series rolled into Sauble Speedway on Saturday, August 21st, with Jay Doerr holding a slight point lead on ‘The Crowd Pleaser’ Kelly Balson in the race for the 2010 championship. With just three races left in the season, the field travelled to Sauble Beach for a pair of 50-lap features.
The night started poorly for Balson as he saw a rear gear expire in practice, assisting the team in missing qualifying. Doerr was able to turn the fastest lap of the time trial session, while Dave Connelly, who entered the night third in points, qualified second. Jason Meyer ripped off a career best third-place run, while Brennan Didero and Dan Prudhomme rounded out the top-five.
The first 50-lap main saw an early incident as Prudhomme spun and Shawn Hewitt get collected, ending Hewitt’s night. Doerr was able to take an early lead, but a lap 15 restart would see him challenged. Connelly attacked on the outside line and took control on lap 17. Doerr was able to close on Connelly’s bumper a number of times, and had a great chance to retake the lead during a late restart, but Connelly held him off for his second win of the season. Meyer ran third for almost the entire race behind Connelly and Doerr, but tapped the wall off turn four late in the event, allowing Prudhomme to slide by to claim third, while Meyer held off Didero for fourth.
Connelly spoke about the pass for the win, “Jay was starting to get tight on the bottom, so I pinched him down the best I could, and our car was really rolling through the centre well. The first lap after the restart, we were still alongside him, and that’s when I thought we could get it done. Our car continued to get better all day, and we picked up 2/10ths of a second through practice. Doerr is the guy we’re chasing in the points, so anytime we can beat him, we can gain on him in the standings.”
Five cars were inverted for the second 50-lapper, putting Didero and Meyer on the front row, but just one lap into the event the pair tangled, kicking off a multi-car incident and eliminating a number of top runners.
The field lined up again with Doerr on the point and when the green flew he checked out on the field. Former Sauble Speedway winner Josh Wood challenged Doerr, but was unable to wrestle the lead away from the point leader, and would lose second to Balson on lap 35. Balson had a number of restarts to take a run at Doerr, but was unable to find a way around, as Doerr claimed his third victory of the season and extend his point lead over both Connelly and Balson. Rookie Todd Musker finished third after an impressive run, with Bob Merrifield fourth, and Wood rounding out the top-five.
Doerr spoke about holding off Balson on the late restarts, “The car was a lot better in the second feature, and I kind of figured that Kelly didn’t have the right gear in, because he broke a rear end earlier. I just made sure I didn’t make a mistake on a restart. Our car was really good, but there is still something missing, I’m not sure whether it was a brake dragging or
what, but there is something there that we have to find before the next race.”
Jay also spoke about his 23 point lead over the tie for second in the standings with just two events to go. “It’s nice to be the point leader and we have two great tracks for us left to go. We won at Peterborough earlier this year, and Flamboro is my favourite track.”
The series will get a few weekends off before returning to action on Saturday September 18th at Peterborough Speedway for a 100-lap main event.
1st feature – 1. Connelly, 2. Doerr, 3. Prudhomme, 4. Meyer, 5. Didero.
2nd feature – 1. Doerr, 2. Balson, 3. Musker, 4. Merrifield, 5. Wood.
Points standings (following 5 of 7 events) – 1. Doerr – 500 points, 2. Connelly – 477, Balson – 477, 4. Wood – 460, 5. Prudhomme – 443.
For more information on the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series, please visit www.lucasoilsportsmancup.com, or contact Dave Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story and photos by Jamie Maudsley and www.maudsleymotorsports.com.