Glenn Watson Dominates at Sunset for Fourth Straight Win

STROUD, Ontario – Glenn Watson accomplished a feat Saturday night at Sunset Speedway that is unrivaled in Canadian motorsports. Watson won his fourth straight OSCAAR feature race, making him the only feature winner of the 2011 OSCAAR season and the current point’s leader. Watson drew the fifth starting position for the Celebrate the Nations Colors 50, after finishing the heat races as the top qualifier, and finished the night in Knightworks Design Victory Lane, just as he had in the first three events of the season.

By lap 10 the #22 Chevrolet of Watson had moved to second place and began chasing the #48 of Dwayne Baker who had taken the lead after starting on the outside the front row. Before lap 11 could be complete, the#18 of Bruce Gowland spun on his own in turn 4. The caution tightened the field which was ordered significantly different than the original starting positions. The #9 of Brandon Watson, in a brand new vehicle wrap courtesy of Knightworks Design, had advanced to the fifth position after starting eleventh, while the #7T of Jeff Dunford followed his pre-race philosophy and sat in the sixth position after starting 13th.

“I gotta go fast and I ain’t got time to play around” stated Dunford before strapping in to his Castrol Canada Chevrolet.

The second caution of the night flew on lap 15 when Ed Bowlby, who made his first appearance of the 2011 season, spun exiting the tricky corner two at Sunset. Multiple cars entered the infield pits to make adjustments, but Craig Stevenson’s night was over when his #77 was leaking fluid from the rear end. The ensuing restart allowed Brandon Watson to move in to third.

Just two laps later on lap 17 Ed Bowlby spun again in turn three, but the field was quickly reset. The following restart caused another caution when Dave Taylor’s #51 was turned around off the bumper of Roy Passer’s #27 Chevrolet. The #97 of Brandon Vanderwel stopped to avoid the incident and all three cars were sent to the back of the field, but Taylor remained in the pits to fix a radiator problem. Passer’s night was also ended due to undisclosed mechanical difficulties, as was Ed Bowlby’s.

Glenn Watson remained the leader following the restart and survived a challenge from Dwayne Baker on the high side. Baker however could not hold off Brandon Watson any longer and on lap 21 ‘The Bully’ surrendered the second position to Brandon. Another caution flag was displayed on lap 21 and gave Brandon Watson his best chance of the night to take the lead from his uncle Glenn. Brandon led lap 22, beating Glenn to the line by a nose, but the elder Watson regained the lead on the low side on lap 23 and would lead for the remainder of the race. Brandon has been able to catch his uncle in all three of the events he has participated in this season, but hasn’t been able to take the lead.

“(The car) was alright on the outside. I just found Glenn got a bit better as the run went on. I tried to stick on the outside as long as I could. The car was pushing a bit in the center so I couldn’t hold him down” explained Brandon about the tight battle. “It sucks that we keep getting second here. I think one of these days we’ll be able to get by him and score a win.”

The first of two final cautions occurred on lap 28 when Brandon Vanderwel spun the #42 of Tyler Hawn in turn two. The caution saved Shane Gowan who lost just one lap after turning down pit lane to make adjustments under green flag conditions. Gowan, who destroyed the front end of his car in the season opener at Sunset, finished thirteenth and on the lead lap. Dave Taylor was also able to return to the track following the caution, but eleven laps off the pace. The final caution took place on lap 34 when Dave Taylor spun the #13 of Gary Passer.

Glenn Watson was able to survive a challenge on the night’s final restart by nephew Brandon and third place competitor Wayne Isaacs who had a very solid final sixteen laps. Isaacs, like many drivers, became very frustrated with the number of cautions.

“It was very frustrating. My car needed about seven or eight laps before it…stopped the pushing, and started working. Each time we had a caution, I needed that seven laps again” explained Isaacs. “The last run we had was a pretty good run because it was longer. I wish it happened earlier.”

The always humble Glenn Watson was excited about how well prepared his car was and the results it produced, eventually leading him to victory lane for the fourth consecutive OSCAAR event.

“It was an awesome car tonight. Just a small adjustment in practice and it really helped the car…get off the corner. It was a bullet tonight” explained Glenn in victory lane.

Watson also explained the difficulty in maintaining the lead over several double-file restarts.

“Those double-file restarts are nice when you’re trying to make up positions, when you’re on the front (of the line), it’s tough.”

Charlie Gallant and Lloyd Ritchie suffered the worst luck of the night. Gallant was leading the first heat of the night when on lap 8 the car lost power exiting turn 4. Gallant was unable to return for his second heat race or for the feature due to engine failure. Lloyd Ritchie started the feature race in fourth after third and fifth place finishes in his heat races. During the lap 10 caution, Ritchie’s car became enveloped in a cloud of smoke when the power plant on his Chevrolet malfunctioned.

“Just bad luck. That’s two races in a row (at Sunset)” said a disappointed Ritchie referring to the season opener in which his car blew an engine in practice. “I think we got one more here. Third time’s the charm.”

Jeff Dunford turned his season around with a fifth place finish, his first top-five of the season. The 2010 points runner-up is not used to finishing at the back and was desperately in need of the good finish he earned.

“We’ve had a tough season. The first three races were junk…and we’re getting back to where were supposed to be. The car worked great from start to finish” explained Dunford following the event. “The monkey’s gone so now we can start building on what we have now. We’ve got a good foundation and now we’ll get faster.”

Chris Burrows shook his bad luck with an eighth place finish, the team’s first finish of the season. Burrows were unable to race in either the Kawartha or Mosport features due to engine troubles.

“It feels real good. It’s about time” said Burrows excitedly from his pit following the race. “I had carburetor trouble. Once I got going I was alright, but then I screwed up, hit the wall.”

Todd Campbell expanded his lead in the Inside Track Rookie-of-the-Year standings over Tyler Hawn with his seventh place finish.

Ian Bourque made his first appearance of the 2011 season and finished sixth after starting on the pole. Ian’s son drew the pole as part of the invert of OSCAAR’s top eleven qualifiers (half of the field).

OSCAAR had its highest car count of the season to this point with twenty-two cars arriving, meaning two sets of three heat races were the order of the evening. Three drivers swept their set of heat races. Dwayne Baker won both races starting from the fifth and second positions respectively. Brandon Watson won both races from the fifth and third positions, and Glenn Watson won both races from the fourth starting position.

OSCAAR returns to action in just one week at Sauble Speedway on July 9th. Stay tuned to throughout the week for details on the event as it will include a unique format, as well as the schedule of events.

By Clayton Johns

Photo’s by Amanda Downey & Dan Little

Click here to view video’s

Results posted by Mike Charest

OSCAAR – Feature

Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Points
1 1 22    Glenn Watson    Barrie , On 310.00
2 2 9    Brandon Watson    Stayner , On 295.00
3 6 00    Wayne Isaacs    Brampton , On 280.00
4 3 48    Dwayne Baker    Stayner , On 275.00
5 13 7T    Jeff Dunford    Callander , On 260.00
6 7 83    Ian Bourque    Newmarket , On 250.00
7 16 07    Todd Campbell     – 240.00
8 19 64B    Chris Burrows     – 230.00
9 4 34    Al Thompson     – 220.00
10 17 42    Tyler Hawn    Oro Station, On 210.00
11 10 16    Rob Bickle    Port Hope, On 200.00
12 9 13    Gary Passer    Innisfil , On 190.00
13 12 39    Shane Gowan    Waterford , On 180.00
14 5 51    Dave Taylor     – 170.00
15 14 97    Brandon Vanderwel     – 160.00
16 21 14    Kyle Passer    Innisfil , On 150.00
17 8 27    Roy Passer    Innisfil , On 140.00
18 18 19    Ed Bowlby     – 130.00
19 15 77    Craig Stevenson    Courtice , On 120.00
20 11 62    Lloyd Ritchie    Southampton , On 110.00
21 20 18    Bruce Gowland    Grand Valley, On 100.00
22 22 40P    Charlie Gallant     – 25.00 DNS

OSCAAR – Qualifying Heat B 3
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Points
1 3 22    Glenn Watson    Barrie , On 10.00
2 2 51    Dave Taylor     – 9.00
3 1 97    Brandon Vanderwel     – 8.00
4 6 83    Ian Bourque    Newmarket , On 7.00
5 4 7T    Jeff Dunford    Callander , On 6.00
6 5 07    Todd Campbell     – 5.00
7 8 18    Bruce Gowland    Grand Valley, On 4.00
8 7 64B    Chris Burrows     – 3.00

OSCAAR – Qualifying Heat B 2
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Points
1 2 9    Brandon Watson    Stayner , On 10.00
2 1 39    Shane Gowan    Waterford , On 9.00
3 5 13    Gary Passer    Innisfil , On 8.00
4 6 00    Wayne Isaacs    Brampton , On 7.00
5 4 62    Lloyd Ritchie    Southampton , On 6.00
6 7 19    Ed Bowlby     – 5.00
7 3 42    Tyler Hawn    Oro Station, On 4.00

OSCAAR – Qualifying Heat B 1
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Points
1 2 48    Dwayne Baker    Stayner , On 10.00
2 3 34    Al Thompson     – 9.00
3 6 27    Roy Passer    Innisfil , On 8.00
4 4 16    Rob Bickle    Port Hope, On 7.00
5 1 77    Craig Stevenson    Courtice , On 6.00
6 7 14    Kyle Passer    Innisfil , On 5.00
7 5 40P    Charlie Gallant     – 0.00 DNS

OSCAAR – Qualifying Heat A 3
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Points
1 4 22    Glenn Watson    Barrie , On 10.00
2 1 83    Ian Bourque    Newmarket , On 9.00
3 5 51    Dave Taylor     – 8.00
4 3 7T    Jeff Dunford    Callander , On 7.00
5 2 07    Todd Campbell     – 6.00
6 7 97    Brandon Vanderwel     – 5.00
7 6 64B    Chris Burrows     – 4.00

OSCAAR – Qualifying Heat A 2
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Points
1 5 9    Brandon Watson    Stayner , On 10.00
2 1 00    Wayne Isaacs    Brampton , On 9.00
3 3 62    Lloyd Ritchie    Southampton , On 8.00
4 2 13    Gary Passer    Innisfil , On 7.00
5 4 42    Tyler Hawn    Oro Station, On 6.00
6 7 39    Shane Gowan    Waterford , On 5.00
7 6 19    Ed Bowlby     – 4.00

OSCAAR – Qualifying Heat A 1
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Points
1 5 48    Dwayne Baker    Stayner , On 10.00
2 4 34    Al Thompson     – 9.00
3 3 16    Rob Bickle    Port Hope, On 8.00
4 1 27    Roy Passer    Innisfil , On 7.00
5 6 77    Craig Stevenson    Courtice , On 6.00
6 7 14    Kyle Passer    Innisfil , On 5.00
7 2 40P    Charlie Gallant     – 4.00
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