The OSCAAR Super Late Models make their only appearance of 2012 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park Saturday night for the Midas of Orangeville 50-lap feature event that marks race number five on the tour. In four races thus far, the series has seen three different winners with Brandon Watson winning twice at Sunset Speedway. Rookie Jesse Kennedy and George Wilson have also taken the checkered flag this year. Watson currently sits atop the OSCAAR championship standings with a 24 point lead over Derrick Tiemersma, who has made his return to the series after a yearlong absence. However, two-thirds of the season remains on the schedule and anything can happen before a champion is crowned at the Autumn Colours Classic.
After a nightmare start to the season, Glenn Watson now sits third in the championship standings just 25 points back of the lead. The four-time defending champion will have a tough time making up those points under the new format, but one bad night by nephew Brandon could vault the #22 team up the standings. Watson dominated CTMP last season, winning both events and leading 93 of 100 feature laps at the track in 2011. Saturday poses the ultimate opportunity for the Barrie, ON native to make up some ground.
Tiemersma had an impressive start to his year, but has since suffered some ill fate in the previous two starts. Two weeks ago at Sauble Speedway, the Holland Landing, ON native was sent sprawling in to the muddy infield grass. While the #7 team was able to finish the event, they were not able to pressure for position ultimately finishing 11th at the beach. With one OSCAAR Championship already to his name, Tiemersma is more interested in earning wins on this year’s circuit. But wins are at a premium in what is widely considered to be one of Canada’s most talent-laden divisions. The #7 has been relatively passive to start the year, but as the team grows hungrier look for a more aggressive style to creep in to the game plan.
After earning the 2011 Inside Track Rookie-of-the-Year title, Todd Campbell finally secured his first top-five finish, a fourth place result, at Sauble Speedway last weekend. Campbell, who finished just shy of the top-five on a number of occasions in 2011, has improved his program for 2012 in an impressive way. The #07 team was battling for the second spot at Sauble before the Guelph, ON native was pinched against the wall in a three car battle that forced him to settle for fourth. After tasting success at the front of the field, the former Flamboro Speedway track champion is certainly hungry for his first OSCAAR feature win. If the field runs clean with limited yellow flags, look for Campbell and his GM Crate motor to benefit from the long runs and contend at the end of 50 laps.
Having made three consecutive starts on the tour, Shawn Chenoweth currently sits 13th in the championship standings. The 2009 Grisdale Triple Crown winner has one top-five after mechanical difficulties plagued his first two efforts. Chenoweth, who will make the long haul from Ayr, ON for Saturday’s event, will be a threat to win on any given night when the team can work out the final kinks from the #29 Chevrolet.
Bruce Gowland has made three starts on the 2012 tour, an impressive feat for the 72 year-old from Orangeville, ON. Gowland earned a top-ten, 10th-place finish at Sauble Speedway two weeks ago to further his list of accomplishments. The veteran of Florida’s Speedweeks also attended the Super Late Models test event at Varney Speedway Motorplex last weekend where he laid down the sixth quickest time at 13.002 seconds and followed the performance with a third place finish in the 25-lap mini-feature. Gowland’s schedule for the remainder of 2012 is not finalized, but anytime the #18 shows up at the track, people take notice of the only driver on tour in his senior years.
Paul Law and Mike Beyore will both return to their former home track in Super Late Models. The two competitors have suffered engine issues this year that has kept each from two events so far. Look for each driver to pull out all the stops and dip in to some old notes to finish at the front tonight.
The Super Late Models will join the Speedway’s regular thunder car and pure stock divisions on Saturday night for a 6pm start. Competitor pit gates open at 2:30pm followed by the spectator gate at 5:00pm.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)