(Delaware, ON) – The Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series rolled into Delaware Speedway on Saturday, September 1st for the second to last race of the 2012 championship season with Shawn McGlynn (#81) of Kitchener, and Jay Doerr (#40) of London, separated by just nine markers with a title on the line.
The first order of the day was time trials, and Darrell Lake (#77) of London, was the third driver on the track, setting a benchmark lap of 20.661 seconds. Driver after driver tried to eclipse the mark but fell short until the final four qualifiers. Josh Wood (#66) of London turned the half-mile in 20.625 seconds to take the provisional pole before both Doerr (20.418 seconds) and McGlynn (20.174 seconds) stomped the mark to claim the first two qualifying positions.
For the first time in series history, the field would run qualifying heat races, and it was Doug Cathcart (#48) of Ottawa, and Amanda Connolly (#10) of Aurora, taking the checkered flags before the field started preparing for the Lucas Oil 100-lap main event.
McGlynn accepted the Blast Floor Coating Challenge, starting from the rear of the field in an effort to try and claim the bonus, while Lake drew the pole, and Doerr the outside pole. Jake ‘The Juicebox’ Ott (#60) of Ayr, and Bob Merrifield (#43) of Belle River started on row two.
Doerr got a good start and took the early lead from Lake, while Wood picked his way from his fifth-starting position to second by lap 18. For a majority of the race, the only view that Wood had was of the rear bumper of Doerr, following him lap after lap, as the pair negotiated traffic. Wood had one stab at Doerr with about 30 laps to go while the pair were working a lapped car, but Doerr was able to trap Wood behind the lapper and maintained the lead.
The races third yellow of the night flew on lap 79, with Lake, Ott, and Connolly trailing the lead duo on the restart, and McGlynn just outside the top-five following a pit stop for handling adjustments. When the green dropped, Wood fought on the high side and took the lead on lap 86, before the race was slowed on lap 88 for another yellow flag. Doerr was able to take the lead back again when the green dropped once more, only to see his championship hopes die with just four laps left as the car quit running and he came to rest in turn four.
McGlynn had rallied back and went toe-to-toe with Wood in the closing laps, taking the lead with just three laps to go, and seemed to be on his way to a third consecutive series win, but Josh would have none of it. He fought back and made a last lap pass on McGlynn to take his first feature win of the season, with McGlynn nipping Ott by inches at the line in a photo finish that had to be reviewed following the checkers for second. The finish allowed Wood to move to within 10 points of Connolly for third in points.
Wood has previous wins at Sauble Speedway and Sunset Speedway, but has been in a dry spell since May, 2011 when he recorded his most recent win, also at Delaware Speedway. He talked about his trip to victory lane, “I started my racing career here, and love coming back to the track. It’s awesome to win here. I have to thank my dad for putting this deal together and giving me another great car tonight. I was trailing Doerr all night long and then he broke. I thought McGlynn might have had us, but I didn’t give up and we were able to get him late to take the win.”
When he combines finishing second by a nose, with the problems of Doerr, McGlynn puts a healthy 22-point cushion on his championship rival heading into the final race of the season. He said, “We’re happy to finish second tonight. Our car went away on us tonight – it happened the last time we were here too – I think we too soft in the shocks on the front. We came in and adjusted the front end on a pit stop, and gave up track position, but it didn’t fix the car. It seemed like everyone slowed down, but we were able to come back through the pack.”
As for the championship, McGlynn said, “I feel bad about what happened to Jay with his problems tonight, because I would rather beat him on the track. I guess we should have a pretty good lead and as long as we don’t wreck at Flamboro we should be fine. We were also very fast there last time.”
After starting third, Ott remained in the top-five for the entire feature and finished inches behind McGlynn after a tremendous last corner move. He said, “This wasn’t too bad at all after the day we had. We had a new setup today, but our biggest problem was that we brought the wrong gear. I raced Amanda for the longest time and I was better through the corner, but she would leave me coming off. I thought we were in trouble on the late restart as well. Because of the gear, I couldn’t get going quick enough on the starts and we would lose a spot on the inside, and a couple if we were in the outside. It was still a good finish for us, and now we’ll get ready to go to Flamboro for Octoberfest.”
Connolly qualified eighth but raced her way to a solid fourth-place finish and moved to within eight points of Doerr for second in the championship standings.
Pole-sitter Lake rounded out the top-five finish with an impressive run. It was his second top-five finish in as many starts this season on the tour.
1. Wood, 2. McGlynn, 3. Ott, 4. Connolly, 5. Lake.
The final round of the 2012 Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series will be Saturday September 29th at Flamboro Speedway as the feature event on the first night of the annual Octoberfest celebration of speed.
Championship standings – (after 5 of 6 events) – 1. McGlynn (516 points), 2. Doerr (494), 3. Connolly (486), 4. Wood (476), 5. Cathcart (445).
For more information on the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series, Flamboro Speedway, or Delaware Speedway, please visit www.lucasoilsportsmancup.com, www.flamborospeedway.itgo.com, www.delawarespeedway.com, or contact Series Director Dave Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Delaware Speedway – Sept. 1st results|
|Heat winners – Doug Cathcart & Amanda Connolly|
|L.O.S.C. Standings as of Sept. 2nd|