Story By: JIM CLARKE / PETERBOROUGH SPEEDWAY – PETERBOROUGH, ONT – After losing a show because of inclement weather, racing returned to Canada’s Toughest 3rd Mile Saturday, July 22nd with the best of the hometown track’s weekly divisions at Peterborough Speedway.
The night’s action got underway with the holdover Kingsway Auto Centre Pro Junior Late Model feature, as Landon Sellers and Lucas Cousineau brought the field to green flag to pick-up where things left-off Saturday, July 8th with a couple of laps complete. From the opening laps, Peterborough Speedway’s newest division thrilled fans with a no holds barred level of enthusiasm. Following a hard wreck near the midway mark that brought out the red flag, Cole Cousineau charged to the front of the field, with a collection of his racing family hot on his tail. In the closing stages, the No. 08 of Chase Cousineau took control of the pack and picked up the win.
Ember Junkin and Brandon Feeney brought the SwitchTire Mini Stock pack from the staging area for their 20-lap feature tilt. The pair showed to be evenly matched during the early stages, with Junkin takin the lead following a quick yellow flag. Her time at the front of the field was short-lived, as mechanical issues saw the No. 19 ride complete only 8 laps of the total race distance. As the division’s most recent winner, Nolan Gould started deep in the running order but he had moved into 3rd with 7 laps on the scoreboard and took the lead just past the halfway mark. The No. 28G ride came into the night as the point leader and added another win to his impressive 2023 stats. John Lavalle, Feeney, Erin Kearns and Dave Bragg completed the top 5.
The Junior Late Model division has seen new racers join the fold on a regular basis and this week, it was Brayden Cappuccitti making his first start. Coming from a rich Central Ontario racing heritage, the youngster showed his strength early, taking the lead after starting 4th. The leader swapped the top spot back and forth with the No. 13 of Avery Kirkpatrick, but managed to lead the race where it counted, taking his first career win. Gracelynn MacInnes, Kirkpatrick, Praxton Sellers and Lakelyn Junkin were next across the stripe.
Paul Boundy and Brandon Feeney were on the front row as the 20-lap Jiffy Lube Super Stock feature hit the track. An early race caution for an issue on the frontstretch saw Boundy take the lead on the restart, with the most recent main event winner Mark Gordon flexing his muscle, moving into the runner-up spot with less than a handful of laps complete and taking the lead shortly after. Miles Tyson moved into 2nd on lap 6. The lead duo was locked in a 2-car breakaway at the halfway mark, with Gordon taking the win. Tyson, Feeney, Clayton Reed and Boundy followed the leaders across the line.
In the night’s regularly scheduled Kingsway Auto Pro Junior Late Model feature, Landon Sellers and Lucas Cousineau brought the field to the green flag. Cole Cousineau snatched the early lead and moved ahead of Lucas, who ran 2nd in the early stages. With Sellers, Chase Cousineau, Kaiden Beatty and Chase Stevenson logging some strong laps, the leaders caught the tail-end of the field with 7 laps complete. The No. 14 of Cole Cousineau was the class of the field, with Chase Cousineau, Lucas Cousineau and Sellers next across the line. The No. 77 of Chase Stevenson was originally credited with 5th, but later disqualified for use of radio communication during the race. Lyla Sikma was moved-up to 5th place.
Chad Strawn and John Baker Jr. paced the Ontario Modifieds Racing Series teams to the Great Canadian RV green flag. Strawn jumped-out to the lead at the start and had as much as a 5-car length advantage with 3 laps on the scoreboard. Baker held-down 2nd, with Alex Cuzzilla closing-in on the runner-up position near the halfway mark. While every racer on the track was looking for their best finish, they all ran nearly perfect laps in the caution-free 20-lap feature. Tyler Bouillon and Bob Franks chased the trio of Strawn, Baker Jr. and Cuzzilla to the checkered flag.
Front row starters Daniel Montanari and James Townsend led the KOD Disposal Late Models to the start of their 30-lap feature event. Townsend was the early leader, with James Horner and Dan McHattie joining him in a 3-car breakaway. With a handful of laps complete, Horner was the race leader with McHattie looking to advance through the field. Following a series of yellow flags, Ryan Kimball became the new race leader with only 10 laps remaining. From there, he held-off Townsend, Montanari, McHattie and Derek Lynch for the win.
Chris Tubman, Nolan Gould, Brandon Feeney and Ember Junkin each claimed a Mini Stock heat race win, with newcomer Brayden Cappuccitti picking-up a pair of Junior Late Model qualifiers. Miles Tyson captured a couple of Super Stock preliminary rounds. Cole Cousineau, Lucas Cousineau, Chase Cousineau and Landon Sellars had the Pro Junior Late Model qualifying wins, with Bob Franks and John Baker Jr. capturing the OMRS heat races. James Horner scored a couple of Late Model preliminary round wins, with Derek Lynch and 2022 track champion James Townsend taking the others. Chad Strawn had a pair of Renegade Truck heat race wins. Defending track champion Kyle Gordon and Kurt Batty split the others.
All finishing positions are unofficial, pending scoring review and post race inspection.
Bullring bullet points: In the evening’s make-up Pro Junior Late Model feature, the No. 11 of Carson Cousineau rolled on the frontstretch. The driver was checked and released by the track safety crew, but his car was deemed to be too badly damaged to continue…Trent Lakes Complete Plumbing Renegade Truck racer Jordan Desroches made hard contact with the 3rd turn wall during practice, but some hard work in the pits saw him return in time for qualifying action…Doug Hanchard’s racing comeback was sidelined again as his No. 21 Late Model suffered transmission issues following the night’s practice rounds…Good friends Rob Crick and Chris Tubman watched the Mini Stock feature from the sidelines after their respective No. 84 and No. 88 rides fell victim to mechanical troubles…The Autism Awareness Night – in support of the Canadian National Autism Foundation – that was postponed twice by rain has been rescheduled for the next Double Toonie/Fan Appreciation Night, Saturday, August 12th…The night’s Renegade Truck feature was postponed due to the track curfew and will be made-up.
Next on the Saturday night schedule at Canada’s Toughest 3rd Mile Oval is a 100 lapper for the Ontario Sportsman Series, Saturday, August 29th. Also on the docket will be the Bone Stock, Renegade Truck, Super Stock and Late Model divisions, with King of the Hill timed spectator laps as the intermission feature. Grandstands open at 5:00, with racing at 6:00.