WILLIAMSON, GABOURY, BAILEY, BEGOLO, KELLY, AND CONLEY GETS OPENING NIGHT WINS AT MERRITTVILLE
by Steven Petty
THOROLD, ONTARIO (May 4, 2019)…Defending S&W Service Centre 358 Modified Champion Mat Williamson from St. Catharines, Ontario won the 35-lap feature event to headline the 68th Season Opener presented by Peter’s Excavating Saturday night at the Merrittville Speedway. Paul Gaboury from Welland picked up the win Dave Bailey from Hagersville, Ontario won home race number one for the Insta Panel Duel on the Dirt for the Hoosier Stocks. Defending track champion Brent Begolo from Thorold, Ontario won the Doidge Building Centre’s Mod Lites. Anthony Kelly Jr won the main event for the Central Fabricating 4 Cylinders. Kevin Conley won the feature event for the Dave’s Auto and Speed Centre V6’s.
Tyler Willard and Chad Brachmann shared the front row in the 35-lap feature for the S&W Service Centre 358 Modifieds. Brachmann would take the lead on lap five after Willard bobbled off turn four. Todd Gordon would take the lead away off a lap nine restart. Gordon and Brachmann would battle for the lead for several laps. Gordon popped the motor down the front stretch to bring out the caution on lap 13, giving the lead to Mat Williamson, who took second away from Brachmann. The restart would see Williamson pull away from Brachmann as Gary Lindberg, Tim Jones, and Fred Carleton raced in the top five. Williamson would start to open his lead as Lindberg started to reel in Brachmann. The lead trio were all within two car lengths of each other. Brachmann got high in turn three and spun and Tim Jones had nowhere to go to bring out the red flag. Both drivers were alright and talking to safety officials. On the restart, it was Williamson back in the lead as Lindberg was pressuring Williamson for the lead. Williamson would hold off Lindberg to score the win.
Chad Chevalier would lead the opening laps in the 25-lap feature for the David Chevrolet DIRTcar Sportsman. Chevalier and Gaboury would pull away from James Michael Friesen, Robbie Johnston and the balance of the field. Off a lap 10 restart, Chevalier and Gaboury would start to pull away from the field as Greg Panunte moved up into the top five. Gaboury would take the lead away on lap 14 from Chevalier. Panunte would pass Robbie Johnston and Dylan Davidson to move into third place. Gaboury would lead the final 11 circuits to go on to score the win. Chevalier would finish in second and be followed to the line by Greg Panunte, Dylan Davidson, and Robbie Johnston.
The Hoosier Stocks held their first home race of the season as part of the Insta Panels Duel on the Dirt with Dave Bailey showing the way. Jason Fontaine would battle with Chris Hale for second place. The battle between Hale and Fontaine would allow Bailey to pull away from the field. Bailey would go on to score the win.
Dan McKay and Anthony Kelly Jr shared the front row for the Central Fabricating 4 Cylinders feature event with Kelly jumping out into the early lead. Tyler Lafantaisie would take second away from McKay on lap four and would go after race leader Kelly. Kyle Rothwell was on the move starting 16th on the grid and moved to eighth place at the halfway mark. Kelly would lead the entire distance to score the win.
Rob Meisner would lead from the drop of the green flag in the main event for the Doidge Building Centre’s Mod Lites. Sean “Cheeseburger” Iftody raced in second as RJ Pietz raced in third. Josh Sliter would spin in turn four to bring out the caution on lap nine. Brent Begolo would take the lead away from Meisner on lap 11 and would check out on the field. Begolo would pull away to score the win.
John Couture led from the drop of the green flag in the feature event for the Dave’s Auto and Speed Centre V6’s. Couture would lead until suffering a broken right front with three laps to go, bringing out the caution. The restart with three laps remaining saw Kevin Conley and Colton Lane on the front row. Conley would lead the final three laps to earn the win.
Next Saturday, 2 Cool Automotive presents the Brian Stevens Memorial for the Modifieds featuring $444.00 Pole Dash Challenge. The Mother’s Day eve event will also feature the first race of the TMR Racing 4 Cylinder Triple Crown and Go Kart Display and Exhibition. Pit gates will open at 5pm with grandstand gates opening at 5:30pm and the first green flag of the season will fall at 7pm. For more information and for the complete Merrittville Speedway schedule, log online to www.merrittvillespeedway.com
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