(Sauble, ON) – The Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series Presented by Meineke kicked off their 2014 Championship season on Saturday night at Sauble Speedway. It was a perfect location for the Fuel for Kids 100 at the tight ¼-mile circuit, and the kickoff to the eight-race championship chase. Chamber of Commerce weather greeted the teams and Race Time Radio was on hand to deliver the race live to their online listeners.
Three-time series champion Shawn McGlynn (#81) of Kitchener, was back to defend his 2013 title against last seasons’ championship runner-up Josh Wood (#66) of London, three-time winner Jake ‘The Juicebox’ Ott (#60) of Ayr, and breakout star Doug Cathcart (#48) of Ottawa.
Returning to the series after an absence of a few years were former feature winner ‘Hot Rod’ Dave Connelly (#82) of Ottawa, and Brennan Didero (#24) of Ancaster.
The night started with qualifying, and sophomore driver Kevin Allen (#54) of Drumbo, immediately served notice laying down an early lap of 15.891 seconds. That time would last until late in the time trial session when Ott stopped the clocks with a time of 15.514 seconds. The lap was a track record, besting a 2009 effort from previous champion Steve Robblee. McGlynn took a late crack at the time, but mark of 15.591 wasn’t quite enough to wrestle the fast qualifier away from Ott, as he wound up second. Jake spoke about his lap, “We had a little problem in practice, but we knew the car was pretty good. As for beating Robblee’s record, that’s pretty cool. He’s an icon of these types of car and to be in the same company as him is pretty awesome.”
Allen held on to third, while Chad McGlynn (#18) of Kitchener, and Bob Merrifield (#43) of Belle River, rounded out the top-five.
The Lucas Oil `Fast Five` draw was held next and Allen drew the pole with Ott starting alongside him. On the initial green Allen drove into the lead and led the first lap of his Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup career, but it was short lived as an early yellow would force the field to try it again.
This time it was Ott squirting into the lead on the green, with Shawn McGlynn charging from his third starting position into second. Following another yellow, McGlynn flexed his muscle on the restart and took command on the outside lane. He would pace the field for over half the event, as the drivers raced through a long green flag run, only to be slowed by a lap 67 yellow that brought the competitors together for another restart.
This time it was Ott on the outside, and he came out at the point following a little contact in turns one and two. Immediately after the contact, sparks showed from the front of Mcglynn’s Ford, and the yellow appeared, while Shawn limped to the pits.
This put Allen back into contention along with Connelly, who had raced his way forward from an eighth-place starting position.
Through the closing stages, Ott backed up his track record performance in qualifying, pacing the final 41 laps to claim victory in the season opener, and recording his fourth career Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup feature win.
Ott was emotional in victory lane, as he dedicated his victory to his grandfather, who has passed away earlier in the week, saying, “We lost my Grandpa Gary a few days ago, and it probably won’t hit me until tomorrow, because usually I call him the morning after a race to let him know how we did. This one is for him.”
Jake also spoke about his battle for the lead with McGlynn, “I pinched him down getting into turn one and he bounced into the side of me. He did the same thing to me when he took the lead from us. It was a lot of fun racing with Shawn, and it’s a shame that he ended up having trouble after we got together. When Shawn and I were able to get out together we were pretty even, and about the only time I lost ground on him was when he caught the lapped traffic better than I did. This is a great way to start the season, and it was redemption after last year here when we had a good car and got involved in a wreck. We won the pole, set a record and won the race – that`s a pretty good start to the season.”
Connelly finished his charge through the field in second, a solid placing after returning to the tour for the first time since 2011, “We qualified eighth and that really put us behind today. I had a great battle with Brennan Didero for position through the middle of the race and hit him a few times, just to let him know I was faster. We got that late yellow, but I wasn’t able to do anything with Jake. Our car was really working well up top and I made a number of passes in the high lane. From where we started, I’ll take this finish to open the season.”
Allen recorded his first career podium, finishing third, and said, “We were pretty green last year, but we learned a ton, and are much more prepared this year. We’ve went from a 602 motor to a 604 and it’s really helped. We were able to stay up front all night, and had a solid third-place car. I didn’t have anything for the #60 [Ott] or the #81 [McGlynn], and I was shuffled back on that last restart, but we’ll still take a third-place finish. This gives the team some momentum.”
Didero raced to a fourth-place result in his return to the series, while Cathcart captured the Champion Brands Hard Charger award, as he raced from a 12th-place starting position to round top the top-five. Shawn McGlynn was awarded the Mid-America Motorsports Hard Luck award following his tie rod issues just past halfway.
Final Results – 1. Ott, 2. Connelly, 3. Allen, 4. Didero, 5. Cathcart
Championship Points Standings (after 1 of 8 events) – 1. Ott (100 points), 2. Connelly (98), 3. Allen (96), 4. Didero (94), 5. Cathcart (92).
Qualifying Points Standings (after 1 of 8 events) – 1. Ott (10 points), 2. S. McGlynn (9), 3. Allen (8), 4. C. McGlynn (7), 5. Merrifield (6).
The Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series Presented by Meineke will be back in action on Saturday June 28th at Flamboro Speedway, just outside of Hamilton, ON. The one-third mile oval will host four events this season, and the competition at the facility is always thrilling.
Saturday night`s broadcast of the Fuel for Kids 100, as well as all weekly broadcasts of Race Time Radio can be found at www.racetimeradio.com.
For more information on the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series, Lucas Oil, Meineke, Sauble Speedway, or Flamboro Speedway, please visit www.lucasoilsportsmancup.com, www.lucasoil.ca, www.meineke.ca, www.saublespeedway.ca, 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.
|“Fuel for Kids 100” Sauble Speedway – June 7, 2014|
|Fast Time #60 Jake Ott – 15.514 (new record)|
|Cautions – 4, Lead changes – 3|
|Lap Leaders – 54, (1), 60 (2 – 6), 81 (7-67), 60 (69-100)|
|Champion Brands Hard Charger – #48 Doug Cathcart – 7 positions|
|Mid America Motorsports – Hard Luck Award – #81 Shawn McGlynn|
|2014 Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Schedule|
|1||Sat. June 8||Sauble Speedway||Jake Ott|
|2||Sat. June 28||Flamboro Speedway (16.369)|
|3||Sat. July 5||Capital City Speedway (19.57)|
|4||Sat. July 19||Flamboro Speedway|
|5||Sat. Aug. 9||Peterborough Speedway (14.67)|
|6||Sat. Aug. 23||Flamboro Speedway|
|7||Fri. Sept 19||Delaware Speedway (19.951)|
|8||Sat. Oct. 4||Flamboro Speedway|