Komoka, ON – Rob Clarke (#49 Manning Collision/JBM Leasing/HRP/Melchers Construction/Cars by Clarke Chevrolet) took the lead from Brandon Watson (#9 Shear Metal Products/Royal Distributing/Barrie Frame and Alignment/Knightworks Design Chevrolet) on lap nine at Delaware Speedway on Friday night and never looked back to claim his first OSCAAR tour win of 2012. ‘Magic Shoes’ led Watson by as much as a full straightway and third place finisher George Wilson (#77 Port City Racecars/Morollo Racing Engines/Union Cab Ford) by half a lap en route to the impressive win at the London, ON native’s home track. What’s more impressive is the car Clarke drove to Knightworks Design victory lane was a brand new race car making its debut appearance. The result that followed even surprised the five-time OSCAAR champion.
“It’s my guys, they worked on it real hard and made it real quick. I’m a little surprised it worked as well as it did, but we’re happy,” said Clarke following the win.
Clarke’s previous two appearances in 2012 were in the same chassis that won on two occasions in 2011 before the newest entry was complete for Delaware.
“We started working on the new car and we were trying to fly the old car, and the old car’s really good, but we weren’t giving the attention to it that it needed,” explained Clarke. “So we kind of stopped racing, worked hard on the new one, and came out with a pretty good piece.”
The race was slow to get off the ground as a four car spin on the back stretch as the field came to the initial green flag would force another attempt. The second try went awry when Jim Bowman (#63 Remax/Cash Inn Loans/TMG Mortgages Chevrolet) went around in turn one as he battled issues with oil line.
The ensuing restart would see rookie Quinn Misener (#5 Jenco Equipment/Passer Racing Chevrolet) spin on the front stretch with just one lap in the books. Cousin Kyle Passer (#14 Jenco Equipment/Passer Racing Chevrolet) would suffer a similar fate on lap three to bring out the fourth caution.
Two laps later, the field would get up to speed and the top-five drivers sorted themselves single-file. A side-by-side battle for the ninth spot between Mike Beyore (#54 Stemac/Millenium Crane/CNC Custom Machining/Praxair/Metals Plus) and Dave Taylor (#51 Napa Auto Parts/Elliot Auto/Cottage Country Paving/Ron Lee Sceptic) would see contact between the pair down the front stretch. Taylor, attempting to pass Beyore on the inside of turn 1, would send the #54 spiralling towards the outside wall, ending Beyore’s night.
After seeing five cautions just four laps in to the race, OSCAAR officials decided to restart the field single-file. The field would then go 23 laps without issue.
On lap nine, Clarke drove past Watson for the lead while an intense battle for the fourth spot between Jeff Hanley (#70 Raylene Racing Toyota), Glenn Watson (#22 Rival Office Solutions/Rac2way.ca/Williamson Uxbridge/Shane Michaels RV Centre Chevrolet), and Derrick Tiemersma (#7 Wayfreight/Spira Fire Protection Chevrolet).
By lap 16 Clarke had caught the tail of the 22-car field, but still managed to maintain a lead of nearly a full straightaway over Brandon Watson.
A caution at lap 27 as Taylor spun in turn one after contact with Paul Law (#72 Midas of Orangeville/Ron Little Trucking Chevrolet) would tighten the field for another single-file restart. Two laps later, it was Law who was facing the wrong direction on the frontstretch, after Misener initiated contact between the two. Misener’s night would end at the hands of a black flag.
Former Delaware Speedway regular Jesse Kennedy (#10 Cameron Crane/Quality Collision/GRE/Bev’s Auto Body Chevrolet) would orchestrate an impressive power move around Tiemersma for the sixth spot off the lap 29 restart, sending the pro-Kennedy crowd to applause.
Clarke, Brandon Watson, and Wilson distanced themselves from the rest of the field, but a tight group of Hanley, Glenn Watson, Kennedy, Tiemersma, and Shawn Chenoweth (#29 KR Communications/Transaxle Parts/Boyder Systems Chevrolet) engaged in a nose-to-tail battle for the final two spots inside the top-five.
‘The Red Rocket’ of Glenn Watson looked to have the advantage on Hanley down the frontstretch on lap 37 for fourth, but backed out of the spot at the last second and, as a result, was sent spinning in turn one.
“I got up on the inside of Jeff (Hanley). I was in, I don’t know if I was in far enough. I guess I could have left it in and we probably both would have survived. I chose to back out and it cost me,” said Watson.
Watson would have to restart at the tail of the field with just 13 circuits remaining and would be further hindered by a slow leak in the right front tire.
Clarke continued to lead following each restart, fending off a hungry Watson and Wilson duo in the process.
The yellow provided Brandon Watson with his best opportunity to better Clarke, but was no match for the five-time champion who would earn his first win of 2012. Watson would hold on to second ahead of third place finisher Wilson.
Despite the third place finish, Wilson would much rather have ended up in victory lane than with a podium finish.
“I guess if you’re points racing (it is a good finish). We want to get some wins and let everything fall in to place. So all in all, we only lost a couple of points to Brandon (Watson) and gained on the two guys who were in front,” said Wilson.
Wilson also explained he tried to save his equipment to the end when he realised one of the two lead cars may have had an oil leak.
“I was getting oil all over the car and, not to make excuses, we couldn’t figure out who was giving it to us, the #9 or the #49. They were gang busters so I thought, ‘I’m going to let them run’ and hopefully save my stuff a little more than normal and hope for a yellow at the end. We got them, but we just didn’t have it for them,” explained the Sault Ste. Marie, ON native, who made the 11-hour haul to be at the track.
As was evidence by the closing laps, Brandon Watson did not feel he had anything left for Clarke.
“I would like to say yes. We did have a bit of a problem in our car, sparks coming off the left front. I’m not taking anything away from Rob Clarke. I was trying my hardest to stay up with him and on the restarts maybe get by him. He ran a good race and it was hard to get by him,” said the Stayner, ON teen and current OSCAAR Super Late Model points leader.
Watson will carry that points lead to Peterborough Speedway next weekend on Saturday, September 2, for the eighth stop on the 2012 tour.
Just one set of Klotz Synthetics qualifying heat races were run, but were extended to 12 laps. The races were won by Jeff Hanley, Rob Clarke and Brandon Watson. On the final lap of heat two, an issue with the car’s steering column sent Roy Passer (#27 Jenco Equipment/Passer Racing Chevrolet) towards the inside retaining wall and the car came to a stop with three wheels in the air. Luckily, Passer was able to slow the car enough before the impact to walk away unscathed. The same could not be said for the racecar.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)
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OSCAAR Super Late Models Agates
August 24, 2012 – Delaware Speedway
Results: 50-Lap Feature
1. #49 Rob Clarke; 2. #9 Brandon Watson; 3. #77 George Wilson; 4. #10 Jesse Kennedy; 5. #70 Jeff Hanley; 6. #7 Derrick Tiemersma; 7. #29 Shawn Chenoweth; 8. #40P Charlie Gallant; 9. #13 Gary Passer; 10. #72 Paul Law; 11. #51 Dave Taylor; 12. #03 Shane Maginnis; 13. #22 Glenn Watson; 14. #07 Todd Campbell; 15. #64b Chris Burrows (DNF); 16. #45 Rob Poole (DNF); 17. #10x Brady Smith (DNF); 18. #04 Rudy Oppersma (DNF); 19. #54 Mike Beyore (DNF); 20. #14 Kyle Passer (DNF); 21. #63 Jim Bowman (DNF); 22. #5 Quinn Misener (DNF-DQ); 23. #27 Roy Passer (DNS); 24. #18 Bruce Gowland (DNS).
Klotz Synthetics Qualifying Heat Race Winners (12-Lap Heats): #70 Jeff Hanley; #49 Rob Clarke; #9 Brandon Watson
UNOFFICIAL Championship Standings
1. #9 Brandon Watson 483 Points; 2. #77 George Wilson 445; 3. #7 Derrick Tiemersma 443; 4. #22 Glenn Watson 436; 5. #40P Charlie Gallant 420; 6. #10 Jesse Kennedy 409; 7. #07 Todd Campbell 394; 8. #45 Rob Poole 373; 9. #29 Shawn Chenoweth 343; 10. #13 Gary Passer 341; 11. #72 Paul Law 307; 12. #51 Dave Taylor 292; 13. #14 Kyle Passer 282; 14. # 7T Jeff Dunford 268; 15. #49 Rob Clarke 251; 16. #63 Jim Bowman 248; 17. #5 Quinn Misener 225; 18. #70 Jeff Hanley 201; T-19. #42 Tyler Hawn 197; T-19. #54 Mike Beyore 197; 21. #04 Rudy Oppersma 193; 22. #27 Roy Passer 173; 23. #18 Bruce Gowland 166; 24. #83 Ian Bourque 162; 25. #64b Chris Burrows 101; 26. #98 Mike Hilliard 82; 27. #03 Shane Maginnis 70; 28. #2 John Owen 64; 29. #05 Brad Corcoran 61; 30. #16 Rob Bickle 54; 31. #62 Lloyd Ritchie 51; 32. #71 Doug Wilson 50; T-33. #69 Mike Bricknell; T-33. #77x Craig Stevenson; 35. #81 Frank Tulipano 45; 36. #10x Brady Smith 43.
UNOFFICIAL Rookie-of-the-Year Standings
1. #10 Jesse Kennedy 27; 2. #45 Rob Poole 24; 3. #72 Paul Law 23; 4. #63 Jim Bowman 13; 5. #5 Quinn Misener 10; 6. #10x Brady Smith 2; 7. #71 Doug Wilson 1.