Gary McLean Makes Return to OSCAAR Modified Competition in Victory Lane

OSCAAR Modifieds Sunset Speedway 2017

If you look through Sunset Speedway history, there’s one name that comes up commonly in OSCAAR Modified competition – Gary McLean. Through the years, no other driver has won the Velocity 250 since the series’ inaugural year. McLean made his first start of the season, and managed to keep that fact intact as he won Sunday’s feature.

Gary McLean won the first heat ahead of Shane Stickel, AJ Emms, Chris Milwain, Aaron McLean, Brent McLean, and Connor James.

Cory Horner won the second heat ahead of Mike Hearty, Stu Robinson Jr., Luke Gignac, Tim Tolton, Cliff Hodgkinson, Marshall Schrenk, and Wally Wilson.

The third heat featured a quick caution as Dale Reinhart had a flat left front tire following contact with Jase Cornell. Mark Gordon picked up the win ahead of Matt Barton, Marty Monette, John Harper, Cornell, and David Balych.

AJ Emms won the fourth heat ahead of Gignac, Milwain, Horner, Robinson Jr., Aaron McLean, Stickel, and Wilson.

John Harper won the fifth heat ahead of Barton, Reinhart, Schrenk, Hearty, Tolton, Cornell, and Hodgkinson.

The sixth heat featured a pair of quick yellow flags as Gordon had a problem out of turn two on the first lap, along with Monette going around in turn four. Gary McLean picked up the win ahead of James, Brent McLean, Balych, and Monette.

Come feature time, Luke Gignac started on pole ahead of Matt Barton, Marty Monette, Chris Milwain, John Harper, Shane Stickel, Stu Robinson Jr., Mike Hearty, Brent McLean, and Cory Horner. Connor James started 11th, followed by AJ Emms, Gary McLean, Mark Gordon, Dale Reinhart, Tim Tolton, Aaron McLean, Marshall Schrenk, Jase Cornell, Cliff Hodgkinson, Wally Wilson, and Gary Elliott.

The drop of the green flag saw a battle for the lead between Barton and Gignac as they went side-by-side ahead of Milwain and Monette, with Hearty and Stickel side-by-side for fifth. Behind them, the battles continued as Emms got alongside Harper for sixth at Lap 3 ahead of Horner, with Robinson Jr. battling Brent McLean for ninth.

Barton would clear Gignac for the lead on Lap 5 as Milwain ran third ahead of Hearty, Monette and Emms, with Horner and Stickel side-by-side for seventh. Emms continued to move forward, getting alongside Monette for fifth at Lap 8, completing the pass a lap later. Horner was able to follow him through for sixth as Harper, Stickel and McLean went three-wide for eighth.

Harper got the spot on Lap 11, getting alongside Monette for seventh, and easily completing the pass as Robinson Jr. looked to follow him through. The first caution then flew on Lap 13 for an incident in turn one involving Stickel and Aaron McLean. Under the yellow flag, Emms headed down pit road with an issue, officially done for the event.

The first attempt at a restart saw the second caution fly due to debris. The second attempt went cleanly with Barton and Gignac once again side-by-side for the lead. Gignac came out on top this time, as Milwain got alongside Barton for second. Milwain was able to take the spot on Lap 17 ahead of Barton, Horner, Harper, Hearty, Brent McLean and Reinhart, with Monette and Gary McLean side-by-side for ninth. The third caution then flew, though, as Cornell went around in turn two.

The restart saw a battle for the lead between Milwain and Gignac ahead of Horner, Hearty and Reinhart as Barton headed down pit road with a problem. Reinhart wasn’t left unchallenged for long, though, as Gary McLean got alongside him for sixth at Lap 22, completing the pass a lap later. Behind them, Harper ran eighth ahead of Brent McLean and Elliott.

Gary McLean continued to move forward, getting alongside Hearty for fourth at Lap 25, as Milwain finally managed to clear Gignac for the lead with 14 laps to go. Horner quickly moved into second, dropping Gignac back to third ahead of McLean, Hearty, Reinhart, and Harper. McLean continued to move forward, passing Gignac for third at Lap 29. The fourth caution then came out at Lap 31 for Brent McLean spinning off turn two after catching the curb.

The restart saw a battle for the lead between Milwain and Gary McLean ahead of Harper. Things got interesting on Lap 33 as Milwain tagged McLean, while Gignac tagged Harper. The result was McLean moving into the lead with six laps to go ahead of Gignac, Milwain, Reinhart and Hearty. Harper, who ahd fallen back to sixth, would get by Hearty with four laps to go for fifth.

Gary McLean led the rest of the way for the win ahead of Luke Gignac, Chris Milwain, Dale Reinhart,and Cory Horner. Mike Hearty finished sixth, followed by John Harper, Connor James, Gary Elliott, and Stu Robinson Jr.

Tim Tolton placed 11th, followed by Marty Monette, Marshall Schrenk, Cliff Hodgkinson, and Jase Cornell. Wally Wilson finished 16th, followed by followed by Brent McLean, Matt Barton, AJ Emms, and Shane Stickel. Mark Gordon, Aaron McLean and David Balych rounded out the field.

By: Ashley McCubbin

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