Saturday marks round eight of the 2012 OSCAAR Super Late Model tour and the second of three stops at Peterborough Speedway. The ‘Animal’ Gary Passer surprised everyone in attendance when he won the first stop on August 4, a rain-shortened 30-lap race. Five different winners have emerged so far on the 2012 tour, with Brandon Watson and George Wilson the lone repeat winners, while Passer, Jesse Kennedy and Rob Clarke have also been the first to see checkers fly. With just four events remaining, Saturday night marks one of the best opportunities for a new winner to emerge.
One of the most consistent drivers to date has been Holland Landing, ON’s Derrick Tiemersma. Sitting third in the current championship standings, Tiemersma has earned three top-five finishes to date as well as a sixth place tally at Delaware last weekend. Coming home with a clean race car more often than not has helped the 2007 OSCAAR champion regain his form from two seasons ago as he hunts for his first win in nearly two calendar years.
Pefferlaw, ON driver Charlie Gallant is having his best OSCAAR Super Late Model season to date as he currently sits fifth in the championship standings. Gallant has largely benefitted from a new chassis in 2012, the same chassis Glenn Watson drove to seven wins and a fourth consecutive championship in 2011. Nonetheless, Gallant has made it his own and has proven he has the ability to stay clean and run at the front. The former Rookie-of-the-Year is well accustomed to Peterborough and, given the right circumstances, could waltz away with a big paycheque and a tool cart a little heavier with hardware.
Shawn Chenoweth has steadily improved over the course of his return season to OSCAAR. ‘The Aggressor’ considers Peterborough one of his favourite tracks and ran second at Peterborough on August 4 until a lap 25 spin sent him to the rear. The Ayr, ON driver is strongest when he starts at the front, capable of making his car consume most of the race track. If Chenoweth is able to get out front early, he will be very difficult to beat. Especially since the aggressive Chenoweth revealed in a recent interview that he would give up all of his racing accomplishments to date to earn his first OSCAAR feature win.
After a string of mechanical failures ruined his chase for the championship, Jesse Kennedy proved he had regained his early season form last weekend at his former home, Delaware Speedway, with a fourth place finish. ‘The Big Game Hunter’ already has a win to his credit earlier this year at Barrie and may be able to become the third repeat winner of 2012 if he can avoid any further issues under the hood.
After a spectacular 2011 season where he earned Rookie-of-the-Year honours, Todd Campbell continues to experience some of the growing pains of an OSCAAR Super Late Model. The Guelph, ON driver earned his first OSCAAR top-five with a fourth place result at one of his favourite tracks, Sauble Speedway, in early July. Returning to the confines of a 1/3-mile racetrack should aid Campbell’s effort to regain top-five form.
At this point in the 2011 season, Glenn Watson had already won six feature events. ‘The Red Rocket’ from Barrie, ON has yet to grace victory lane in 2012 and the four-time defending champion is growing impatient. He earned a win at Peterborough last season in the Autumn Colours Classic to cap off his dream season in high fashion. However, Watson could use the luck he had in 2011 as he continues to adjust to the new Port City Racecars-built outlaw he acquired to start the season. A win Saturday would give Watson a boost back in to the hunt for a fifth straight championship, where he currently sits 47 points behind nephew Brandon Watson.
Speaking of Brandon Watson, the current points leader and Stayner, ON teenager has rattled off seven consecutive top-five finishes, all of which have contributed to his 38 point lead in the championship standings over George Wilson. The younger Watson has by all accounts been consistent and clean in 2012 and as long as that streak continues, Watson will continue to lead the standings.
For the first time in OSCAAR history, the race will be broadcast live cross North America on satellite radio SiriusXM 157 by Race Time Radio’s Smokin’ Joe Chisholm. The race will also be available online via live stream on racetimeradio.com. Whether you’re able to make it to the track or not, be sure to in to the race live. The OSCAAR Super Late Models will be joined by Peterborough Speedway’s Four Fun, Mini Stock, Renegade Trucks, and Late Models. The Speedway will also host Kids Barrel Races at intermission. Pit gates open at 2:00pm for competitors ahead of the spectator gate at 4:00pm. Racing gets underway with the drop of the first green flag at 6:00pm.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)