2014 OSCAAR Super Late Model Champion – Andrew Gresel

After a stellar rookie year, Andrew Gresel was one of the pre-season championship favourites. He backed up that claim, scoring five victories en route to winning the 2014 OSCAAR Super Late Model Championship.

He showed that last year’s rookie lessons were paying off in a big ways all year, as well. The 2013 season saw Sunset Speedway be the thorn in Gresel’s side, with his performance not matching that of his rivals. However, he put himself right near the front in the season opener, posting a track-high fourth place finish.

Though beyond putting those rookie lessons to use, it seemed no matter the track that he attended, he had the speed capable of taking home the victory. Kawartha Speedway is known as the fastest track on the circuit, and that speed combined with excellent handling delivered Gresel his first victory of the season at the beginning of June. However, the Sauble Beach native didn’t have it easy. Contact early in the event resulted in Gresel having to head to pit area under caution to get the fender pulled out, resulting in having to restart at the back of the field. Gresel would then carve his way through the field, carefully and in a fast matter, retaking the lead just past lap 18. From then on, it was pure domination en route to his third straight Kawartha win.

The driver of the No. 81 Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Park, Canadian Union of Skilled Workers, London Recreational, HY-Grade Roofing, Haveone and RadenGivari of eHomes SLM almost made it two in a row, coming up short in a late race duel at Barrie Speedway to finish second to Kevin Cornelius. He would then complete the month of June with a pair of top-fives on his return to Sunset Speedway.

The month of July and beginning of August certainly stand out in the minds of many when reflecting back on Gresel’s season as it can be described in one word – domination. Gresel would pick up three straight wins on the tour, starting off with his second straight hometown win at Sauble Speedway, followed by the Chase for the Colors at Peterborough Speedway, and another win at Kawartha Speedway.

With momentum on his side, Gresel would return to Sunset Speedway to post his best Sunset finish to date, leading the first half of the feature before finishing second to Dwayne Baker. He would then finish off the month of August with a fifth place finish at Peterborough, after having to fight back following a mid-race incident.

Gresel would then finish off the year in style, finishing second at Sunset Speedway in the Velocity 250 before claiming his second straight Autumn Colors Classic feature victory in dominating style.

With a dominating year behind him, the banquet on Saturday night will mark the time for Andrew Gresel and his entire Sauble Falls Racing team to celebrate their accomplishments. However, with the new season just around the corner, you can expect to find him back in a victory lane near you this year.

By: Ashley McCubbin

2014 OSCAAR Hanover Holiday Modified Champion – Gary McLean

In 2012, it was all about domination. For 2013, it was all about consistency. This past season for Gary Mclean, it was all about determination and being resilient en route to scoring his third straight OSCAAR Hanover Holiday Modified Championship.

The season didn’t start out as warranted, though, as McLean would post a 13th place finish in the season opener at Sunset Speedway as a result of a late race wreck. However, like a champion, McLean came back stronger than ever. He would kick off the month of June with a victory at Kawartha Speedway, before heading to Barrie Speedway a couple weeks later for another victory.

Though, unfortunately, bad luck would strike the Conn, Ontario native again as he would finish 16th in the first feature of the Don Biederman Memorial weekend as a result of a flat tire. Determined not to let it get him down, McLean would come back the next night and put forth a strong effort all feature long, en route to finishing second behind Cayden Lapcevich.

With luck back on his side, McLean looked to make the summer stretch one to remember, and he certainly did just that. Behind the wheel of his No. 8 McLean Industrial Design and Fabrication Ltd. and McLean Farms Modified, he would have a great inaugural trip to Capital City Speedway, scoring a victory in the first feature, before finishing second in the second feature. A trip up to the beach would result in McLean’s second straight Rick Woolner Memorial victory in dominating fashion, taking the lead on lap three and never looking back.

However, the good-bad luck pendulum would swing once again for the veteran, with bad luck coming his way at the Chase for the Colors event. Despite being the top qualifier for the event, McLean would end up finishing 13th as a result of a mid-race incident. The rest of August, though, would fall his way as he would finish fourth at Kawartha, fifth at Delaware, before returning back to Sunset Speedway to capture his fifth victory of the year.

Looking to end off his season on a good note, McLean returned to Sunset Speedway a month later and captured the victory in the Velocity 250 for his sixth victory of the season. unfortunately, the Autumn Colors Classic a couple weeks later didn’t go as planned as a mid-race incident resulted in a 19th place finish. Still, the veteran had lots of celebrate with the championship on his hands.

With over 25 years of racing experience, McLean has seen it all across the board, and continues to prove no matter the track that he is one of the best to ever sit behind the wheel of an open-wheel car. Entering another season of competition, it’s likely that you will find the No. 8 Modified in a victory lane near you.

By: Ashley McCubbin

2nd In Super Late Model Points: Kevin Cornelius

After having his rookie season shortened due to outside circumstances, Kevin Cornelius came back this year stronger, having a solid season en route to finishing second in points.

The season didn’t start off as hoped, though, as a pre-season motor issue would force Cornelius to run a pro late model for the season opener at Sunset Speedway. Despite the setback, he was still able to post a top 10 finish, finishing eighth. Heading to Kawartha Speedway, Cornelius brought out the super late model for the first time on the season, poised to have success. However, bad luck would follow as a power steering issue with seven laps to go forced him pit side, handing him a 14th place finish.

Going into the third event of the year at Barrie Speedway, the KDR Motorsports team was looking to turn their luck around. They would get their wish in the biggest way possible – a win. Cornelius would out-duel Andrew Gresel in the final laps of the 50 lap feature to score his first career OSCAAR Super Late Model victory.

The driver of the No. 17 Halton Crushed Stone, Lee Sand and Gravel, TripleCrete, Hanson Pipe, Alliston Transmission, Sandbox Tech Child Care, Ed’s Automotive and MacMaster Pontiac Buick GMC Super Late Model would carry the momentum into the Don Biederman Memorial a couple weeks later, hoping to better a second place effort from last season.

He would start off the weekend solidly, posting a second place finish to Dwayne Baker in the first of the two features. He would then come back on the Sunday night, leading the majority of the feature en route to scoring the victory. As a result of his average finish over the two nights, Cornelius would be crowned the 2014 Don Biederman Memorial Champion.

“This is the Superbowl of Super Late Model racing in Ontario, and this is an incredible feeling,” Cornelius said post-race. “I’m so honoured to have our team on this trophy. My guys work nonstop on this car, trying to make it better; this is for all of their hard work. They earned this.”

The second half of the 2014 season would bring a mix of success, and a couple poor finishes.

The eastern swing of the province – Kawartha and Peterborough Speedway – presented the biggest issues for Cornelius. He had the speed at both tracks and was able to put himself in contention to win, but would find bad luck in each of the events.

The first event at Peterborough saw Cornelius have to pull pit side out of the lead after power steering issues, while a mid-race spin in the second event in August saw him fighting back to finish fourth. The season finale at Peterborough wasn’t much kinder, with electrical issues forcing a DNF, resulting in a 22nd place finish. Meanwhile, the August trip to Kawartha saw Cornelius running in the top-three till a flat tire brought him to pit road, resulting in a seventh place finish.

Outside of these two tracks, though, it seemed that the pieces fell together as Cornelius and team would’ve hoped. The summer featured a pair of thirds with one at Sauble Speedway, and the other at Sunset Speedway in the Bruce Gowland Memorial.

The final trip to Sunset Speedway of the season would bring forth one of the strongest performances of the season. Despite the power steering letting go early in the race, the sophomore driver pushed forward, taking the lead just before halfway to dominate the rest of the feature and score his third victory on the season.

With three victories on the season and speed shown across the province, everybody is already looking towards Cornelius being a championship contender for the 2015 season. If he can have everything fall in place each weekend, it could very well easily happen.

By: Ashley McCubbin

2nd in Hanover Holiday Modifed Points: Max Beyore

After a solid couple of runs last season, Max Beyore came out swinging in 2014 for his rookie OSCAAR campaign, finishing second in the Hanover Holiday Modified Point Standings.

Beyore started off the year solidly with a sixth place finish at Sunset Speedway, despite being surrounded by maylay near the late stages of the race. He would then carry the positive momentum through the next two events, finishing second at Kawartha Speedway before posting a third at Barrie Speedway.

As he headed back to Sunset Speedway, the driver of the No. 91N Millennium Crane Service Ltd. Modified had his sights on scoring his first career victory. However, the Don Biederman Memorial weekend didn’t start how Beyore would’ve hoped, with an eighth place finish in the first of the two features. He would bounce back the second night, though, finishing a solid fourth.

The inaugural series trip to Ottawa presented the opportunity once again for Beyore to break through with the victory. The first of the two features didn’t go as he would’ve hoped as he would post a ninth place finish. The second feature, though, that would go perfectly. Beyore bounced back in style and was able to break through to victory lane to score his first career OSCAAR victory.

The common thread of bad luck, then good luck continued for Beyore in the second half of July as he would have mechanical issues at Sauble Speedway, resulting in a 14th place finish. However, he came back at Peterborough Speedway a week later in style to score the victory in the Chase for the Colors event, giving him the pole for the Autumn Colors Classic.

The victory at Peterborough kicked off a string of strong finishes for Beyore with a fifth at Kawartha Speedway, a second at Delaware Speedway and a second at Sunset Speedway to finish off the month of August. The return trip to Sunset in September wasn’t as pretty, though, as a heat incident would result in a 22nd place finish on the weekend.

Beyore would end off his season on a good note, finishing second at the Autumn Colors Classic.

It goes without a doubt that Beyore proved in 2014 that he is one of the strong front runners of the OSCAAR Hanover Holiday Modified ranks. As we head into the 2015 season, look for Beyore to possibly pick up a couple more wins and contend for his first championship.

By: Ashley McCubbin

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