By: Tim Baltz
The start of the 2023 season at the Brockville Ontario Speedway saw opportunities from drivers to hit milestones in their career. One driver achieved 100 wins in his career the previous week. This past Saturday saw a familiar face claim one of the biggest wins of his legendary career.
The Street Stocks were on the card for the first time in 2023 for a 20-lap event. Dakota Sharp, who claimed the DIRTCar Pro Stock opener at the Can Am Speedway back in May, took the lead on lap 3 and started to author a dominant performance with Nick Merkley and defending track champion Brett Horner just behind him. Sharp was making his debut at The BOS and looked like a veteran as he opened up a near straight away lead leaving the rest of the field behind. The yellow flew on lap 10 which bunched up the field for another restart, allowing Brett Horner and the others another shot at the leader. When the green flew Sharp again pulled away and was not going to be stopped, or was he? Sharp would cruise on and cross the finish line first but at the scales, would come up short for the minimum weight requirement. Brett Horner was officially credited with the win over Francis Gauthier, Nick Merkley, Sylvain Gauthier and Maxime Prevost.
Ryan Arbuthnot had won the first two events of the season in the DIRTCar 358 Modifieds and was poised to try and get three in a row as he took the lead with Johnathon Ferguson Danny O’Brien Jarrett Herbison and Lee Ladouceur close behind. As the laps clicked off Arbuthnot, Ferguson and O’Brien began to distance themselves from the rest of the field, as they battled for position. Ferguson started to make a run at the lead at the half way point of the race, as he pulled to the high side looking for the number one position, while O’Brien was trying to figure out how to get by the top 2. On lap 20 Gavin and Sandy Macfarlane spun in turns 3 and 4, giving Danny O’Brien the break, he needed to charge after his 100th win. When the green flew Arbuthnot remained in control as Ferguson made a bid for the top spot. Ferguson and Arbuthnot began their battle which opened the door for O’Brien to make his charge. On lap 22 O’Brien made a big move on the bottom from third to first as he rocketed past Ferguson and Arbuthnot for the lead. Once in front, O’Brien maintained a two-car length lead and was building on that until lap 26 when the yellow flew again. On the final restart O’Brien got the jump he needed and pulled out to a comfortable lead over Arbuthnot while Johnathon Ferguson was having a spirited battle with Kyle Dingwall for third. In the end the quest for 100 wins was official, as Danny O’Brien would march to his first win with car owner Steve Polite, his first of the season, but his milestone 100th Brockville Modified victory. Ryan Arbuthnot crossed second, over Ferguson and Dingwall, with Tristan Draper charging from 15th to 5th at the line.
Lee Ladouceur would have a busy night as he would jump into his Crate Sprint Car right after the 358 Modified event and lead the way from the pole in the Suprernant Truck Shop Action Sprint Tour East Series race. Behind him Mathieu Bardier and Adam Turner were having their own battle for the second spot, with Evan Reynolds and defending track champion Ryan Poole right there to challenge. Ladouceur was the fastest car on track and used clear race track to pull away to a big lead as Bardier and Turner tried to catch him. Andrew Hennessy had problems just before halfway in the 20-lap event, as he slowed with a broken front end. On the restart it was once again Ladouceur in command while Turner finally got by Mathieu Bardier for the second spot, but Ladouceur still had the dominant car and pulled away one more time. Even with restarts, Adam Turner and the rest of the field had no chance of catch Lee Ladouceur as he drove on to his second straight Crate Sprint Car win but also his first career Action Sprint Tour East win. Turner would come home a career best second over Mathieu Bardier, Evan Reynolds ad Dale Curran, who came from 12th to 5th at the checkers.
Shane Pecore was also looking back-to-back victories after getting his 100th career win a week ago. Pecore took the lead with Shane Stearns and Bobby Herrington filling out the top 3. Pecore had a solid race car but behind him, Bobby Herrington was on the move. The two-time defending track champion made his way to second and then chased down Pecore. The top two drivers began to distance themselves from the field as Herrington tried several moves on the high line for the lead but was unsuccessful. Just past the half way point Shane Stearns, Xavier Andrews and Dylan Kirkland were all in a tight battle for top 5 positions, but the bottom lane was the place to be making passing difficult. On lap 16 Dominick Merkley lost the handle on his car, giving Herrington and the rest of the field a shot at the lead. When the green flew Pecore remained in front but Herrington used the high lane to again pull alongside of the race leader. Pecore remained on the bottom and was able to get away in the final laps. After a big victory a week ago, Shane Pecore would do it again has he claimed his 2nd straight Sportsman win. Herrington made a last-ditch effort off turn 4 but settled for 2nd over Shane Stearns, Xavier Andrews and Dylan Kirkland.
Skylar Ladouceur had been to victory lane in the past in Mini Stock action and was looking to add a Novice Sportsman victory to his resume as he led the way over Dylan Moore and Melcolm Banks. Moore was looking for two in a row and put the pressure on the leader but Ladouceur remained steady in the top spot as Banks was in a battle of his own with Nathan Lambert for third. As the laps clicked off Moore did everything to get by but would have to wait another day as Skylar Ladouceur would add his name to the list of winners in the Novice Sportsman ranks at The BOS. Moore would cross in 2nd with opening day winner Matt Pruner in third, Nathan Lambert and Melcolm Banks rounded out the top 5.
DIRTCAR 358 MODIFIEDS
A Feature 1 (30 Laps): 1. 17D-Danny O’Brien; 2. R70-Ryan Arbuthnot; 3. 44-Johnathon Ferguson; 4. 66-Kyle Dingwall; 5. 17-Tristan Draper; 6. 38J-Jarrett Herbison; 7. 77E-Ryan Stabler; 8. 18-Kalen Draper; 9. 75J-Joe Banks; 10. 64-Terry McClelland; 11. 88-Lee Ladouceur; 12. 08-Chris Ferguson; 13. 80EH-Doug Buzzell; 14. SS3-Sandy MacFarlane; 15. 17M-Gavin MacFarlane
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. R70-Ryan Arbuthnot; 2. 44-Johnathon Ferguson; 3. 17D-Danny O’Brien; 4. 18-Kalen Draper; 5. 77E-Ryan Stabler; 6. 66-Kyle Dingwall; 7. SS3-Sandy MacFarlane; 8. 17-Tristan Draper
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 88-Lee Ladouceur; 2. 38J-Jarrett Herbison; 3. 75J-Joe Banks; 4. 64-Terry McClelland; 5. 80EH-Doug Buzzell; 6. 08-Chris Ferguson; 7. 17M-Gavin MacFarlane
A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 0M-Shane Pecore; 2. 88Z-Bobby Herrington; 3. 22S-Shane Stearns; 4. 0-Xavier Andrews; 5. 88K-Dylan Kirkland; 6. 91-Kraig Handley; 7. 35B-Brennan Moore; 8. 52-Jessica Power; 9. 11J-Justin Saunders; 10. 23-Michael Dillon; 11. X41-Xavier Perrin; 12. 32-Tyler Stewart; 13. 98-Domonick Merkley; 14. 27D-Mario Dupuis; 15. 18J-Jordan Wood; 16. 707-Greg Brinklow; 17. 73J-Jonah Lewis
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 0M-Shane Pecore; 2. 88Z-Bobby Herrington; 3. 23-Michael Dillon; 4. 91-Kraig Handley; 5. 707-Greg Brinklow; 6. 73J-Jonah Lewis; 7. 98-Domonick Merkley; 8. 11J-Justin Saunders; 9. 27D-Mario Dupuis
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 22S-Shane Stearns; 2. 88K-Dylan Kirkland; 3. 0-Xavier Andrews; 4. 52-Jessica Power; 5. 35B-Brennan Moore; 6. 32-Tyler Stewart; 7. X41-Xavier Perrin; 8. 18J-Jordan Wood
WINGED CRATE SPRINTS
A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 51L-Lee Ladouceur; 2. 9-Adam Turner; 3. 19-Mathieu Bardier; 4. 13-Evan Reynolds; 5. 31-Dale Curran; 6. 00-Ryan Poole; 7. 1V-Josh Verne Jr; 8. 9C-Brian Nanticoke; 9. 85C-Cam MacKinnon; 10. 4K-Jamie Kay Roslin; 11. 87-Andrew Hennessy; 12. 85-Tim Bailey; 13. (DNS) 115-Dan Deyo; 14. (DNS) 17-Marc Suprenant
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 51L-Lee Ladouceur; 2. 87-Andrew Hennessy; 3. 1V-Josh Verne Jr; 4. 85C-Cam MacKinnon; 5. 115-Dan Deyo; 6. 31-Dale Curran; 7. 4K-Jamie Kay Roslin
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 9-Adam Turner; 2. 19-Mathieu Bardier; 3. 00-Ryan Poole; 4. 13-Evan Reynolds; 5. 9C-Brian Nanticoke; 6. 85-Tim Bailey; 7. 17-Marc Suprenant
A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 52J-Brett Horner; 2. 71-Francis Gauthier; 3. 911-Nick Merkley; 4. 9-Sylvain Gauthier; 5. 22-Maxime Prevost; 6. 125-Stephane Philippe; 7. 42C-Curtis Merkley; 8. (DNS) 7-Matt McRae; 9. (DQ) 12S-Dakota Sharp
Heat 1 (6 Laps): 1. 12S-Dakota Sharp; 2. 9-Sylvain Gauthier; 3. 911-Nick Merkley; 4. 22-Maxime Prevost; 5. 125-Stephane Philippe; 6. 42C-Curtis Merkley; 7. 71-Francis Gauthier; 8. 52J-Brett Horner; 9. 7-Matt McRae
A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 21L-Skylar Ladouceur; 2. 35D-Dylan Moore; 3. 16-Matt Prunner; 4. 20-Nathan Lambert; 5. M75-Melcolm Banks; 6. 39-Cory Lambert; 7. 80D-Damien King; 8. 17M-Madie Wallace
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 21L-Skylar Ladouceur; 2. M75-Melcolm Banks; 3. 98-Paul Donnelly; 4. 80D-Damien King; 5. 16-Matt Prunner
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 35D-Dylan Moore; 2. 20-Nathan Lambert; 3. 39-Cory Lambert; 4. 17M-Madie Wallace