(Bowmanville, ON) – The championship standings for the 2010 Lucas Oil Sportsman Series were shaken up on Saturday August 7th at Mosport Speedway, about 45 minutes northeast of Toronto, as the tour competed in a double feature night to make up for a previous rainout for the series from June.
Dave Connelly entered the night as the point leader, but a number of problems would knock him from the top step of the podium early in the night as a rear end problem ended his chances at winning the first 75-lap feature.
The field was set from qualifying in June, and following the inversion, Cole Weber was on the pole with Josh Wood joining him on the front row. The duo would battle early for the lead until Wood seized the position. From then on the event seemed to be Wood’s to win, as he was able to pull away from the competition on a number of occasions. On a lap 59 restart, Wood was flanked by Brennan Didero, with Shawn McGlynn on the inside of the second row, directly behind Wood. As the field went into turn one, McGlynn hit Wood from behind, and by the time Josh gained control of the car, Didero was leading, and Wood was deep in the field.
Didero would be forced to survive two more restarts, one with McGlynn beside him, and another with Kelly Balson on his flank, keeping both of them at bay, and seeming to be on his way to career victory number one. As the field entered turn three with less than two laps to go, Didero’s car lost power, and Balson had to make an evasive manoeuvre to avoid contact, and took the lead. Balson spoke about claiming the top spot, saying, “I had no idea what happened to Brennan. We went into turn three and it was like he stopped. I was thinking that we were going to have a solid second-place finish.”
For Balson, a division rookie, it would be his first trip to victory lane since joining the tour, but it didn’t come without challenges, as he was involved in a mid-race incident with Weber. He spoke about the contact with Cole, and how it ended up leading to the win. “Our stagger grew way too much and the car was really loose. I made a mistake, and got into Cole, but it ended up leading to a win. We cut down a right front tire, and had to come to the pits to replace it. While we were there, we adjusted the stagger through air pressure, and fought our way back to the front. If we hadn’t had that problem, we probably would have protected our track position, and we wouldn’t have won, but being forced to pit won us the race.”
Balson was thrilled to win his first race at Mosport. “Our shop is about five minutes from here, and we had both cars here tonight [along with girlfriend Amanda Connelly who was competing in the Mosport Late Model class]. She had some brake problems, and struggled but our car was good enough to take advantage of Brennan’s bad luck.”
Doug Brown worked his way to the front throughout the event, and came home with a solid second-place result, with Jay Doerr filling out the podium. McGlynn and Dan Prudhomme rounded out the top-five.
1st 75-lap feature – 1. Balson, 2. Brown, 3. Doerr, 4. McGlynn, 5. Prudhomme.
The top-three from the first feature were inverted for the second 75-lap event, putting Doerr and Brown on the front row. As soon as the green flag dropped, the race was all Doerr, as the London driver was able to hold off Brown, and later McGlynn during the first two green flag runs. The race would go green again on lap 26, and Doerr checked out, putting substantial distance between himself and second-place McGlynn. McGlynn was passed by Brown and Balson at the halfway point, but by that time, Doerr’s lead was up to almost one-half of the track.
The event would be slowed by a lap 57 yellow flag, bunching up the field for a sprint to the finish. Doerr was able to vary the pace of his restarts and keep the field behind him, including Prudhomme, who charged up to second for a lap 71 restart. McGlynn would get Prudhomme for the silver medal position, but didn’t have enough to challenge Doerr who captured his second feature win of the season. Wood and Balson rounded out the top-five.
Doerr spoke about victory number two, “The car was on rails, and I just can’t say enough about my dad, the crew, and the job they did tonight. This thing was just so easy to drive. We were able to work up to a half-track lead, and as soon as I knew I had that big of a lead I did two things, back up the corners to take it easy on the car, and hope for no cautions – then we got one.”
Jay was able to overcome everyone else on those restarts, “I tried to vary it up as far as where I started. There was one time that Shawn McGlynn was outside me, and he took off, but I wasn’t worried. I was going to bury it in there after he jumped the start no matter what. We were really concerned that this was going to be a horsepower racetrack, but it didn’t matter, because our car handled that well.”
The team dedicated the victory to a crew member that was injured in an auto crash earlier this week, “Dean Degraw wasn’t with us this week, as he had a head-on accident with a truck last week but we were thinking about him tonight, and this one was for him.”
2nd feature results – 1. Doerr, 2. McGlynn, 3. Prudhomme, 4. Wood, 5. Balson.
Points Standing (following 4 of 7 events) – 1. Doerr – 395, 2. Balson – 391, 3. Connelly – 379, 4. Wood – 377, 5. McGlynn – 373.
The next event for the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup will be Saturday August 21st at Sable Speedway, in Sauble Beach. The event will feature twin 50-lap features.
For more information, please visit www.lucasoilsportsmancup.com, www.mosport.com, or www.saublespeedway.com.
Story and photos by Jamie Maudsley – www.maudsleymotorsports.com.