Rookie Kevin Gallant Flies to Victory at Home Track

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 30, 2016

(Milgrove, ON) – Saturday night was the second chapter of the 2016 Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Championship – The MS Society 100 – was written, but it was much different then night number one.  Two weeks ago, the track was stone cold, as the temperatures were less than 10 degrees with a wind chill in the negative, but Saturday night the conditions were perfect, as the night stayed balmy, and the track conditions were looking good for an assault on the track record.

Mike ‘Hollywood’ Hyrnuik (#15) of LaSalle, entered the night as the point leader on the heels of his opening night victory over Chad McGlynn (#18) of Kitchener, and Kevin Allen (#54) of Drumbo, but night number two would be no sequel for the previous events’ winner.

Sophomore Brandt Graham (#14) of Bowmanville, set a fast time just after the mid-point of the session with a lap of 16.440 seconds, as the field chased the track record of 16.348 seconds set in July of 2015 by Shawn McGlynn.  Allen knocked Graham off the pole with a time of 16.416 seconds before the final duo hit the track.  Chad McGlynn was up first and blistered the 1/3rd-mile with a new record time of 16.300 seconds, but he would only hold the track record for about a minute, as Hyrnuik finished up time trials with a lap of 16.281 seconds to set a new qualifying bar.

Following getting paired up with lucky young fans in the ‘Lucas Oil Fast Five’ draw, Graham was on the pole with ‘The Flying Farmer’ Kevin Gallant (#51) of Waterford, beside him.  Row two would contain Hyrnuik and Allen.

The first green was short lived, as the field checked up in turn three on the first lap, with Alvin ‘The Bandit’ McNichol (#77) of Exeter, Doug Cathcart (#48) of Ottawa, and Josh Wood (#66) of London, all suffering damage.  The field was lined up again for a restart and Brandt snatched the early lead, but it was short lived as the Flamboro veteran Gallant came calling and took over on lap two after a brief battle, with Allen and Hyrnuik moving past Brandt as well.  The trio were spread out as they started to put laps in the books and ran in that order until lap 35 when Hyrnuik lost a spot to McGlynn.  Graham was able to get past a few laps later, while the point leader continued to fade.

At the halfway mark the order was Gallant, Allen, McGlynn, Graham, and Wood, while the yellow hadn’t appeared since the opening lap incident.  The green flag run continued with Graham losing a couple of spots after an short expedition through the infield, but he climbed back up to fifth by lap 75.

A lap later business picked up as McGlynn took a peak to the inside of Allen, and the pair ended up making contact in turn one sending both of them around and to the back of the pack.  This put Wood and Graham on the trail of Gallant.  Gallant survived the restart, and a few laps later another yellow appeared, setting the field up for a 12-lap sprint to the finish, while Graham stayed close, and Wood dropped a few spots.

Allen had deftly cut through the field after spinning and lined up third with Graham on Gallant’s flank for the next green.  Allen kept Graham on the high side, and took second by lap 91, but Graham charged back to second five laps later.  He made a late run at ‘The Flying Farmer’, and even got to Kevin’s bumper in turn three on the final lap, but Gallant held on to win his first Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup feature at his home track in just his second start.

Gallant spoke about the win, “I didn’t know how good the car was going to be on that restart, because these tires wear out so much.  You really have to conserve them to have something for the end.  The #14 had something left at the end, but we were able to hold him off.  It was a lot of fun racing him at the end.  He ran me tough, but clean.  I thought we could run well, and I figured that this would be our best track, but I didn’t think we would be in victory lane so soon.  I really have to thank Brian McDonald for all the work he’s done on the car, because it was pretty good all night again.  I also think I was a little more prepared for the longer distance.  Now it’s on to Sauble, which I think is a lot like this place.  I’ve raced at all these tracks before, now I just have to get used to doing it in this car.”

Graham was all smiles despite coming up half a car length short of a win at the line, “We got crossed up when we went through the infield, and lost a couple of spots, or I think we would’ve been in better shape at the end.  On the last restart, I tried to get in front of Kevin Allen, but he was right there.  I was able to get back past him, and had enough time to catch the #51, but didn’t have enough time to pass him.  I tried to move him a bit, but I wasn’t going to wreck him to win.  We practiced at Peterborough this past week on qualifying, and it paid off with a spot in the ‘fast five’.  That makes it a whole lot easier to save the car when you’re not having to come from outside the top-ten at the start of the race.  We wanted the win, but we’re still pleased with the night.”

Allen, a winner at Flamboro in the final race of 2014, had mixed emotions after a third-place finish, saying, “We were the second loser tonight.  Towards the end of the long flag run I caught the #51, but we were better in different parts of the track.  He wasn’t getting through the centre of the corner, but he was beating me off the corner so I wasn’t able to get a run on him.  We also had a good battle with the #14 after that last restart.  He did a very good job of saving his stuff for the end, and he raced me clean.”

Wood and McGlynn rounded out the top-five, while McNichol wound up sixth.

Point leader Hyrnuik found out after the event that he had a tire going down for most of the night and wound up seventh, which was still good enough to hang on to a tie for second with Gallant and McGlynn.  Allen, on the strength of a pair of podium finishes, is on the top of the championship battle, with the top-six are separated by a mere six points.

The Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup teams will get a few weekends off before returning to action on June 25th at Sauble Speedway for the first of two visits to the 1/4-mile oval in 2016.

Final Results – 1. Gallant, 2. Graham, 3. Allen, 4. Wood, 5. McGlynn.

Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup – Championship Points Standings (after 2 of 7 events) – 1. Allen (192 points), 2. Hyrnuik (190), 3. Gallant (190), 4. McGlynn (190), 5. Graham (189).

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

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

Release and photos by Jamie Maudsley –www.maudsleymotorsports.com.