OSCAAR Midget Race for the Cup Preview

oscaarmidgets_crystalnorthcott

After a thrilling season of action, the grid is set and the OSCAAR Midget Race for the Cup kicks off this weekend at Sauble Speedway.

With the six drivers who will contend set, it’s now all up to how they perform the next three races in whom will be the champion.

The OSCAAR Midget Race for the Cup will be four races in length. Due to only seven drivers qualifying, nobody will be eliminated following the August 27 race at Sauble Speedway. If there had been eight drivers, the lowest would’ve been eliminated on Saturday night.

However, the next two races will be more interesting as the lowest two remaining drivers will be eliminated in the following races at Full Throttle Speedway on September 10 and at Flamboro Speedway’s Oktoberfest on October 1-2.

The final three drivers will be set for the final championship showdown at the Autumn Colours Classic on October 7-9. The three remaining drivers are guaranteed to start fourth, fifth, and sixth. The driver who accumulates the most heat race points during Autumn Colours weekend will earn the fourth starting spot and so on. The top finisher of the three contenders in the final race will be declared the 2016 OSCAAR Midget Champion.

With the format set, here is how each driver has gotten to this point, as well as their past success at Sauble Speedway.

Brian MacDonaldbrianmacdonald

With a top-10 in each of the races this year, including seven top-fives, Brian MacDonald enters the OSCAAR Race for the Cup as the top seed. While he hasn’t reached victory lane this year, he has been close over the course of the season with five podium finishes.

He has been strong at Sauble Speedway in his last two appearances, finishing fifth last season and third this season.

Wayne McKibbonwaynemckibbon

Following a solid season last year, Wayne McKibbon has been solid once again with a top-10 in each of the races this season. He has been at the front each week, posting six top-five finishes, highlighted by a third place finish at Flamboro Speedway on July 9.

Following a 13th place finish last year at Sauble Speedway, McKibbon was stronger this year with a fourth place finish in June.

Wally Wilsonwallywilsonheat

Despite balancing driving two cars all season, Wally Wilson has been quick behind the wheel of his midget. He has a top-10 finish in each race this season, including three top-fives highlighted by a pair of thirds.

After finishing 14th last year, Wilson showed more speed this year at Sauble Speedway, but a late race mechanical issue relegated him to a 10th place finish.

Ryan Brownryanbrown

After starting the year with a pair of finishes outside of the top nine, Ryan Brown has been solid since with a top-five finish in each of the last six races. The highlight for Brown this year has to be picking up his first career feature victory at Flamboro Speedway mid-season.

Brown knows how to run well at Sauble Speedway, posting a fifth place finish a couple months back.

Alex Cuzzillaalexcuzzila

Alex Cuzzilla may have started the year off a little slow, but nothing has been able to hold him back lately. In his last four starts, he has posted a top-six finish. He made highlights in the series’ most recent race at Flamboro Speedway, scoring his first career victory.

The teenager could make it two in a row this weekend as he finished second at Sauble Speedway in June.

Zach Millmanzachmillman

Following just one top-10 in the first three races, Zach Millman has been solid ever since with four straight top-seven finishes.

Notably, Millman picked up a seventh place finish in his first trip to Sauble Speedway in June.

OSCAAR Super Late Model Race for the Cup Preview

oscaarsuperlates_flamboro

After a thrilling season of action, the grid is set and the OSCAAR Super Late Model Race for the Cup kicks off this weekend at Sauble Speedway.

With the six drivers who will contend set, it’s now all up to how they perform the next three races in whom will be the champion.

The contending drivers will see their points reset equally for each round of the Race for the Cup. The lowest contending driver in points following the August 27 race at Sauble Speedway will be eliminated from contention. The two lowest remaining drivers following the September 3 race at Peterborough Speedway will also be eliminated.

The remaining three drivers will battle in the Race for the Cup finale at Peterborough Speedway’s 24th annual Autumn Colours Classic on October 7-9 and are guaranteed to start fourth, fifth, and sixth. The driver who accumulates the most heat race points during Autumn Colours weekend will earn the fourth starting spot and so on. The top finisher of the three contenders in the final race will be declared the 2016 OSCAAR Outlaw Super Late Model champion.

With the format set, here is how each driver has gotten to this point, as well as their past success at Sauble Speedway.

J.R. Fitzpatrickjrfitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick enters as the top seed as he has held the points lead throughout the entire season thus far with two feature victories to his credit. In each of the seven races, he has finished in the top-five including six podium finishes.

Interestingly, he has yet to run a full 50-lap race at Sauble Speedway behind the wheel of a super late. The series only visits there once a year and last year’s event in Fitzpatrick’s first full year of competition was ended at Lap 3 due to damage to the frontstretch fence. Despite not getting the event in, Fitzpatrick showed speed throughout the qualifying heats and felt he’d be one of the podium finishers at night’s end.

Roy Passerroypasser

Passer is having his best season in the series ever to date this year, highlighted by scoring his first career feature victory at Peterborough Speedway earlier this month. He enters the Chase with a top-10 in each of the seven races, including six top-fives.

Being able to quickly adapt to the track could be the key for Passer, as he hasn’t ran a full race at Sauble Speedway in the past three years.

Glenn Watsonglennwatson

Despite fight some mechanical issues, Glenn Watson has made an impact this year as he enters the Race for the Cup sitting third. The four-time series champion has six top-10’s in seven races, including four top-four finishes this season.

Watson knows what it takes to get around Sauble Speedway, having picked up the victory in 2011. He’s kep the consistency going at the beach with finishes of fifth in 2013 and a runner-up in 2014.

Charlie Gallantcharliegallant

Following a heavy crash and a blown motor the past couple of years, it’s nice to see Charlie Gallant back on the tour full-time and having success. He enters the Race for the Cup with six top-10’s, including a pair of top-fives this season.

Like Passer, he hasn’t ran a full race at Sauble Speedway in the past three years.

Tyler Hawntylerhawn

Steady and consistent are the two words to describe Hawn’s season as he hasn’t contended for a feature win this year yet, but he’s been solid on a weekly basis. He has seven top-10s this season thus far, including three top-five finishes.

In his past two starts at Sauble Speedway, Hawn hasn’t been real successful with finishes of ninth and 13th.

Gary Passergarypasser

The last driver to qualify is someone whom has continued to get stronger on a weekly basis – Gary Passer. Passer enters the Race for the Cup with six top-10s this season, including a fifth a couple weeks ago at Flamboro Speedway.

In his last two starts at Sauble Speedway, he has been solid with a pair of top-10 finishes.

OSCAAR Modified Race for the Cup Preview

oscaarmodifieds_flamboro

After a thrilling season of action, the grid is set and the OSCAAR Modified Race for the Cup kicks off this weekend at Sauble Speedway.

With the seven drivers who will contend set, it’s now all up to how they perform the next three races in whom will be the champion.

The OSCAAR Modified and Midget Race for the Cup will be four races in length. Due to only seven drivers qualifying, nobody will be eliminated following the August 27 race at Sauble Speedway. If there had been eight drivers, the lowest would’ve been eliminated on Saturday night.

However, the next two races will be more interesting as the lowest two remaining drivers will be eliminated in the following races at Full Throttle Speedway on September 10 and at Flamboro Speedway’s Oktoberfest on October 1-2.

The final three drivers will be set for the final championship showdown at the Autumn Colours Classic on October 7-9. The three remaining drivers are guaranteed to start fourth, fifth, and sixth. The driver who accumulates the most heat race points during Autumn Colours weekend will earn the fourth starting spot and so on. The top finisher of the three contenders in the final race will be declared the 2016 OSCAAR Modified Champion.

With the format set, here is how each driver has gotten to this point, as well as their past success at Sauble Speedway.

Luke Gignacgignac_delaware

In his rookie season, Luke Gignac has a great chance to take home the victory as he has finished in the top-eight in each of the nine races thus far this season, including five top-fives. Notably he was only a lap and a half away from his first career victory when a mechanical issue caused him to not finish.

“Just keep racing like we have all year and not mess anybody up, and hopefully they won’t mess you up,” Gignac said. “Just try and race clean, and stay out of trouble.”

While Gignac has yet to run an OSCAAR event at Sauble Speedway, he competed in the Rick Woolner Memorial there earlier this season, posting a top-five finish.

Gary Elliottgaryelliott

Despite battling some mechanical issues thus far this year, Elliott finds himself as one of the seven qualified drivers. He has been solid, posting six top-10s in the nine races. The biggest event of the season had to be a couple weeks ago at Flamboro Speedway when he scored his first career modified feature victory.

“I’m really looking forward to the Chase,” Elliott said. “It should be exciting. I believe there’s seven cars that are eligible to be in the Chase, and I’ve been saving my tires for the final few races. I think tires are important. Tonight (at Delaware) I ran old tires, and I think for races that don’t matter, the guys that save the tires will make the difference, and I’m fortunate as I like all four tracks that we’re going to racing at. Next week is at Sauble, then Full Throttle, then Flamboro, and then Peterborough. So I’m really looking forward to it.

“I really want to be in the top-three when it comes to the end. We’ve been a fourth or fifth place car pretty well all year. There are some really good guys. Gary (McLean) will be hard to beat, as always; he’ll be the one to beat, for sure. There are a few other cars – A.J. has been running awesome, and Luke has been fantastic this year. He’s going to win the Rookie of the Year hands down, but he’s also been doing great. It’s awesome to see him running as well as he is.

“I’m looking forward to being one of the cars at the end so Sauble is one of the favourite tracks of mine; Full Throttle is so-so – had a second there and a fifth – so I’m looking forward to not being eliminated. Flamboro is my home track so I have lots of laps around there. So I’m looking forward to making the big one at Autumn Colours. It’d be awesome to be in the final three.”

He’s done well at Sauble in the past, posting a pair of top-five finishes, including a runner-up in 2014.

Dan Pricedanprice01

Price has faced his fair share of issues thus far in 2016, but has been solid with five top-10s this season. Notably, he had his best finish this year of fifth just a couple weeks ago while at Flamboro Speedway.

“I wish the points were the way they should be, and the guy who scores the most points wins – but we got what we got,” Price said. “I guess it’s for the fans and we’re just going to have better nights than I had tonight and a couple weeks ago at Flamboro. We got to figure it out and really, I haven’t run that well at Sauble. So it’s a big unknown so we’re taking it one race at a time, and seeing what happens.”

Despite this being his second year of competition, this weekend marks his first Sauble Speedway modified start.

A.J. EmmsIMG_6176

The sophomore season for Emms is going pretty well as despite a mid-season wreck at Delaware, he’s posted five top-five finishes this season, highlighted by a pair of runner-up finishes.

“We’re going to make some changes,” Emms said. “We’re going to change things up, try and keep improving like we have each week. Now the drivetrain needs some work. We’ve been working on handling – it’s been good, but we’ll keep getting better. Just looking forward to a fun Chase and that’s what this is about. Hopefully we can have some positive finishes throughout it.”

He was solid at Sauble last season, finishing eighth, and posted a top-five in the Rick Woolner Memorial earlier this year.

Gary McLeangarymclean

When it comes to OSCAAR Modified competition, the man to watch is always Gary McLean. The four-time series champion has finished in the top-three in each race he’s run this year, except the season opener at Flamboro. On that note, his victory on Friday night at Delaware Speedway marked his fourth of the season.

While the Chase format isn’t something he’s a super fan of, he said he’s set to have some fun and see what happens.

“We’re going to race every race like we’ve been racing them, have fun and do what we’ve been doing,” he added.

He will carry the positive momentum at Sauble Speedway, where he has two podiums to go with two finishes outside of the top-10.

Cory HornerIMG_6165

Cory Horner is the man known for consistency as he’s always in the top-10 each week, having posted seven top-10s this season. Despite having not reached victory lane yet in his career, he knows what it takes with two podium finishes this year.

“Heading into Sauble, the car needs to get a lot better,” Horner said. “These last few races are all about who will be winning and running up front, and I don’t think you will be able to finish fifth or sixth to win the championship this year.

Notably, he finished seventh last year at Sauble.

John HarperIMG_6179

John Harper’s season been a tale of two stories – but he’s on the right side right now. After starting the year with five finishes outside of the top-10, he’s posted top-five finishes in each of the last four races. It’s worth noting he’s one of the drivers with a win under his belt this year, too, as he picked up the win earlier this month at Flamboro Speedway.

Sauble hasn’t been his best track in the past, though, with only one prior top-10 finish.

By Ashley McCubbin

Gary McLean Picks Up Victory at Delaware Speedway

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After taking a week off due to family commitments, Gary McLean was back behind the wheel this weekend at Delaware Speedway, picking up the victory in the 30-lap feature.

“The night started off with a couple of quick spins in the first heat, courtesy of Dan Price and Dale Reinhart. A.J. Emms picked up the win ahead of Jamie Cox, Cory Horner, Luke Gignac, Ryan Dick, Dan Price, David Baylch, Dale Reinhart and Justin Demelo.”

Barry Newman edged out Cole Powell in the second heat to pick up the win ahead of Chris Milwain, Gary McLean, Jeff Showler, John Harper, Duane Cinnamon and Gary Elliott.

Come feature time, it’d be A.J. Emms starting pole ahead of Horner, Cox, Newman, McLean, Gignac, Dick, Showler, Price, Cinnamon, Powell, Baylch, Demelo, Reinhart, Harper and Elliott.

Emms put the No. 14 Sunshine Super Wash – Orillia, Davenport Subaru, Creecher’s Design, Klotz Canada, Artech Promotional Wear – Orillia, Bromley Automotive, and TSS Top Shops – Barrie Modified out front ahead of Cox and Horner, McLean quickly worked his way to the front, moving to third and bringing Milwain through with him. Newman moved into fifth ahead of Horner, Gignac, Showler and Powell.

Behind them, Dick and Cinnamon battled for 10th, with Cinnamon taking the spot on Lap 5 ahead of Dick, Demelo, Harper, Price, Elliott, Reinhart and Baylch. Showler began to make his move, getting alongside Horner for sixth and making the pass on Lap 9. Gignac continued to run eighth ahead of Powell, Cinnamon, Dick, Horner, Demelo and Price. Elliott was able to get by Price for 14th, getting alongside Demelo for 13th at Lap 11.

Unfortunately, bad luck bit a couple teams as Milwain slowed on Lap 13 with a problem after running in the top-five early. With Milwain slowing, it’d bump Newman up to fourth ahead of Powell and Horner. The first caution then flew at Lap 16 for Dick spinning in turn four.

The first restart resulted in a second caution with Elliott going for a spin in turn two. The second restart was clean, with Emms holding down the top spot now ahead of McLean, as Cox and Powell battled for third. Powell got the spot on Lap 17 ahead of Cox, Newman, Gignac, Horner and Showler. Back in the field, Price got outta shape on Lap 19, but was able to get it back straight and keep going.

On Lap 20, there’d be a change at the front of the field as Gary McLean put the No. 8 McLean Industrial Design and Fabrication Ltd. and McLean Farms Modified out front ahead of Emms, Powell, Cox, Newman, Gignac, Harper, Showler and Horner as Reinhart and Cinnamon ran side-by-side for 10th. Unfortunately, the battle went affray with Reinhart going for the quick spin on Lap 24 in turn two.

McLean got a good restart to maintain the lead while Powell moved into second ahead of Newman, Emms, Cox, Gignac and Harper. Gignac then got alongside Cox for fifth as the laps closed down to the end.

Gary McLean led the rest of the way en route to victory ahead of Cole Powell, Barry Newman, A.J. Emms and Jamie Cox. Luke Gignac finished sixth, followed by Jeff Showler, John Harper, Cory Horner and Justin Demelo. Dan Price finished 11th, followed by Dale Reinhart, David Baylch, Duane Cinnamon, Gary Elliott and Ryan Dick.

By Ashley McCubbin

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