Story By: JIM CLARKE / PETERBOROUGH SPEEDWAY – PETERBOROUGH, ONT – It was a week later than originally expected but Peterborough Speedway was able to get its Pure Country 105 Season Opener in the record books Saturday, May 27th.
A 20-lap feature tilt for the Trent Lakes Complete Plumbing Renegade Trucks, with Shawn Murray and reigning track champion Kyle Gordon on the front row. From his outside line starting spot, Gordon grabbed the early lead, with Paul Boundy looking to take over the runner-up spot. A quick yellow flag just past the halfway mark brought the pack back together and saw Boundy move into second on the restart. The No. 52 of Gordon held back the charge for a trip to Dart Heating & Air Conditioning victory lane, with Boundy, Stephen Bierworth, Murray and Jack Dallin completing the top 5.
Jakob Spencer-Walt and Carson Cousineau paced a strong field of Kingsway Auto Centre Junior Late Models to the green flag for their 15-lap feature tilt. From the drop of the green flag, Spencer-Walt took off like he’d been shot from a cannon, turning laps that were in the high 18 second mark. The young speedster was never challenged and took the win over Chase Cousineau, Keegan Moat, Chase Stevenson and Landon Sellers.
With 50-laps of action on the line, Victor Vowles and Kevin Strutt brought the SwitchTire Mini Stock field to the stripe for the season opening marathon. Strutt – who announced his retirement from weekly racing late in the 2022 season – had his Dodge Daytona set for battle and took the early lead. Nolan Gould took the position away from Strutt with a trio of laps complete and other than a couple of restarts – after lap 7 and 35 yellow flags – kept Strutt in his rear-view mirror. Chris Tubman moved into 2nd with about a handful of laps remaining, with Strutt, Vowles and James Townsend completing the top 5.
Newcome Gerrit Tiemersma and Paul Boundy led the Jiffy Lube Super Stock pack from the staging area with a 20-lap ‘A’ main set to roll. Crowd favourite Marlie Owen moved into 2nd spot early, with Anthony DiBello and Brandon Feeney bringing their dogs into the fight. Following a lap 6 caution, DiBello moved into second spot and took the lead with only 4 circuits remaining. Tiemersma was 2nd – in his debut as a Peterborough Speedway regular – with Owen, Jeremy Dobb and Feeney rounding-out the fast 5 at the checkered flag.
Reigning series champion Alex Cuzzilla and past titleholder John Baker Jr. were on the front row as the GEN-3 Electrical Ontario Modifieds Racing Series teams concluded the opening night’s action with a 25-lap feature run. Cuzzilla took the lead early but surrendered the position to Baker Jr. as the crowd watched Chad Strawn become the 3rd race leader in less than 3 completed laps. An early yellow flag may have slowed the pace, but Strawn was still in control of the field as the pack started working through the backmarkers with just over 10 laps left. Wheeling a ride now carrying No. 35, Strawn earned his first win of the year over Baker Jr., Cuzzilla, Bob Franks and Shane Pollock.
Chad Strawn had a pair of Renegade Truck heat race wins, with the others going to Paul Boundy and reigning track champion Kyle Gordon. Jake Spencer-Walt and Lucas Cousineau held the hot hand in the Junior Late Models with a pair of qualifying round wins each. Lyla Sikma – with the first wins of her career – had a pair of opening round checkered flags. In Mini Stock preliminary action, James Townsend scored a couple of wins. Ember Junkin and Rob Crick had the others. Anthony DiBello, Marlie Owen, Paul Boundy and Miles Tyson each had a Super Stock qualifier win, with Chad Strawn sweeping the OMRS heat races.
Cole Cousineau picked-up the win in the Junior Late Model ‘B’ feature.
All finishing positions are unofficial and subject to scoring review as well as post-race safety and technical inspection.
Bullring bullet points: Some familiar faces made their return to action at Canada’s Toughest 3rd Mile Oval for the 2023 opener. Former track champion Jack Dallin was back behind the wheel of a No. 67 Renegade Truck, while Andrew Massey – who has a background in Legend Cars and Mini Stocks – was on-hand for his first laps with OMRS. His return was cut short when he made contact with the 3rd turn wall during the pre-race practice sessions…Junior Late Model runner Carson Cousineau rolled his No. 11 machine in the first qualifying heat. The driver was unhurt and returned later for the feature event…After a pair of heat race wins, Chad Strawn saw his Renegade Truck feature race debut sidelined by mechanical woes.
The 2023 Pure Country 105 Opening Night activities wrapped-up with a display by Supernova Fireworks.
Action returns to Canada’s Toughest 3rd Mile Paved Oval Saturday, June 3rd with the home track Battlefield Equipment Rental Bone Stock, SwitchTire Mini Stock and KOD Disposal Late Model divisions, along with the Trailers Plus Canadian Legend Car Series and Outlaw Midgets, with Kid’s Rides as the intermission feature. Pit gates open at 2:30, with spectator grandstands at 5:00 and the night’s first green flag at 6:00.