Story By: JIM CLARKE / PETERBOROUGH SPEEDWAY – PETERBOROUGH, ONT – Thanks to all the hard work and dedication of track staff and friends from the provincial motorsports community, the team at Peterborough Speedway was able to bounce back to action Saturday, May 28th for the ‘Beat the Storm Night’ a week after the facility sustained catastrophic damage during a derecho storm.
The 2022 Pure Country 105 Season Opener saw the Trent Lakes Complete Plumbing Renegade Trucks come to the line first for main event action, as reigning rookie of the year Kyle Gordon and Shawn Murray brought the pack to the green flag. Gordon took the early lead, with Stephen Bierworth heading pit-side to replace a flat tire with only a couple of circuits on the scoreboard. Gordon’s No. 52 pick-up was set on cruise as he led every lap. Stacy Switzer, Paul Boundy, Bill O’Hara and Kurt Batty rounded-out the top 5.
Brad Lavalle and Steve Finnegan showed the way as the Battlefield Equipment Rental Bone Stockers rolled from the staging area. At the drop of the green flag, Finnegan shot into the lead from his outside front row starting spot. He built-up a 2 second lead over Lavalle, who relinquished the runner-up spot to Jake Kelly just passed the halfway mark. While the lead duo was pacing the field, Sean Kennedy was trying the outside line to wrestle the 3rd spot away from Lavalle, who thwarted every attack. Finnegan opened the 2022 schedule with a checkered flag over Kelly, Lavalle and Kennedy. Angelo Novis scored a top 5 finish.
Next to take the Great Canadian RV green flag was the Jiffy Lube Mini Stock field, with Kevin Strutt and reigning track champion Jeremy Kelly on the front row. Kelly grabbed an early lead over Strutt, with a 3-wide fight for 3rd in his rear-view mirror. The pack started to catch slower traffic with less than a handful of circuits on the board and after a lap 9 yellow flag, Tyler Junkin took the lead with former Bone Stock champion Shawn Solomon moving into 2nd. Even with tight battles throughout the field, Junkin took the win. Solomon, Kelly and Strutt were next across the line, with Rob Crick finishing 5th.
With 25 laps to settle the score Mark Gordon and Bailey Jacobs led the KOD Disposal Super Stock runners to the stripe. As his son Kyle had done in the Renegade Truck ‘A’ main, Mark Gordon took the lead early and despite having Jacobs on his back bumper, never looked back. The pace was slowed for a pair of yellow flags before the lap counter showed 10 complete but close was as close as Jacobs could get to the leader. Paul Boundy’s strong run resulted in a 3rd place finish, just ahead of a hard charging Brandon Feeney who said his No. 38 machine was the best car he’d ever had at the track. Crowd favourite Marlie Owen was 5th at the checkered flag.
The Ontario Modifieds Racing Series, presented by GEN-3 Electrical was the final feature event of Peterborough Speedway’s 2022 opening night. Randy Hollingsworth and Bob Franks brought the field to the line. A 3-wide fight for the front saw Chad Strawn take the lead with OMRS newcomer Rob Richards moving into 2nd. After a lap 3 restart, John Baker Jr. moved into the runner-up position but his night ended early because of rear-end issues. Strawn claimed the first checkered flag of the season with hard charging youngster Alex Cuzzilla taking 2nd. Richards was 3rd, with Tyler Bouillon – also in his first career series start 4th. Rob Warnes was 5th at the stripe.
Kyle Gordon took a pair of Renegade Truck heat races, while Finnegan racked-up a couple of Bone Stock qualifiers. Jake Kelly and Sean Kennedy split the other 2. Shawn Solomon made the most of his Mini Stock debut with 2 preliminary round victories. Defending track champion Jeremy Kelly and Rob Crick had the others. Paul Boundy and Bailey Jacobs split the Super Stock qualifiers, with Alex Cuzzilla setting the pace with his 2 Ontario Modifieds Racing Series heats. John Baker Jr. and Chad Strawn landed the others.
Bullring bullet points: With close to a full house on hand to watch the action, Darrin Crowher of Omemee, Ontario took home close to $1050.00 in the night’s 50/50 draw…It was rough night for Dylan Wills. After experiencing some mechanical gremlins earlier in the night, his No. 28 Mini Stock burst into flames during the feature event. Track clean-up crews came to the aid of the driver, who was unhurt…The future of local racing appears to be in very good hands as fans were delighted by the first laps for the Junior Late Model class, featuring Lyla Sikma and Kaiden Beatty. The class will return to the track Saturday, July 9th and officials are expecting the ranks to grow as additional teams come on board.
In the wake of the Saturday, May 21st damaging wind and rainstorm, Peterborough Speedway officials learned the true meaning of racing teamwork as many drivers and friends took time away from their regular jobs and family commitments to help get things into race-ready condition for the event dubbed ‘Beat the Storm Night’. Track owner and promoter J.P. Josiasse says there were far too many people to mention and thank individually, but he took a few minutes following the trackside Fan Appreciation autograph session to express his appreciation and gratitude.
Next on the 2022 docket will be the year’s first Fan Appreciation Night – presented by Pepsi – with general admission grandstand tickets at only $4.00. On track action has the season opening events for the hometown Late Model and Canadian Legend Car divisions, on a night that also includes the Battlefield Equipment Rental Bone Stock, Jiffy Lube Mini Stocks and Outlaw Midgets. Pit gates open at 1:30, with spectator grandstands unlocked at 4:00 and racing at 5:00.