By: Tim Baltz

Take two of opening day took place this past Saturday at the Brockville Ontario Speedway with a big card of racing as the opener for the Ogilvie’s Triple Crown Series for the DIRTCar 358 Modified and DIRTCar Sportsman took center stage.

To kick things off the Brockville Ontario Speedway paid tribute to a legend and someone who not only meant the world to Northeast Modifieds, but to auto racing both locally and across the world.

Watertown New York’s Barefoot Bob McCreadie, a two-time 358 Modified track champion, 23 time feature winner and 2013 Brockville Speedway Hall of Fame inductee, passed away on May 15th. The speedway honored McCreadie with a moment of silence to start the night. He was honored across all five divisions, with heat races going 9 laps in distance.

The Surprenant Truck Shop Crate Sprints took to the speedway for a 20 lap contest and defending track champion Lee Ladouceur grabbed the lead over Josh Verne Jr and Mathieu Bardier, but the lead would be short lived. On lap 1 Ladouceur cut down a right rear tire and went off turn three and four bring in out the yellow. Ladouceur would head back to the pits on the tow truck. When the green flew Verne showed the way but Mathieu Bardier would drive by to pick up the lead and begin to author a dominant performance. Bardier had a over a straightaway lead while Josh Verne Jr. did all he could to hold off a hard charging Andrew Hennessy and keep the runner up spot. At the finish it was Mathieu Bardier grabbing his second straight opening day win and 7th of his Crate Sprint car career at Brockville. Josh Verne Jr and Andrew Henessey would hold on for a podium finish.

Ryan Arbuthnot used his pole starting spot to take the lead at the start of the 50 Ogilvie’s Triple Crown Series opener for the DIRTCar 358 Modifieds with Steve Bernier Kyle Dingwall Johnathon Ferguson and Corey Wheeler in the top 5. Track conditions made it tough to pass in the early laps of the race, as drivers chose the bottom of the speedway, which proved successful for Arbuthnot as he charged away from the field. Arbuthnot would lead the opening 11 laps which saw a pair of cautions, one for Gavin McFarlane who spun off turn 3 and 4. The second was for Dylan Evoy who tagged an infield tire off turn four, breaking the front end on his ride. Back to green and Arbuthnot continued to lead but a challenger was right there with him in the form of Quebec star Steve Bernier, who was last through the pit gate, but was strong in the early laps. Still the bottom proved to be fast as Arbuthnot held the lead, leaving others to try and figure out a way to catch him. By lap 35 Ryan Arbuthnot had put it on auto-pilot and the 4 time series champion looked to have the field covered. On lap 40 Tristan Draper slipped off turns 3 and 4, bringing out the yellow. When the green flew Arbuthnot and Bernier continued their battle with Kyle Dingwall, Corey Wheeler and Johnathon Ferguson close by. Bernier tried the top side but again it was Arbuthnot in control. It looked like he would march to victory, but a caution on lap 47 set up an opportunity for Bernier. On the restart, Bernier would pull even with Arbuthnot, but the reigning track champion was able to hold him off, however Bernier was not done. On lap 49 Bernier got a great run down the back stretch and would pull even in turn three. As the two drivers headed to the checkered flag, Steve Bernier found a little something he had been looking for all race long, to get by Arbuthnot and win by a half car length in a thrilling finish, scoring his first Ogilvie’s Series win and second ever Brockville victory. Arbuthnot finished a close second, over Kyle Dingwall, Corey Wheeler and Johnathon Ferguson.

The DIRTCar Sportsman portion of the Ogilvie’s Triple Crown saw Shane Pecore lead early in the 40 lap race, but Jessica Power was fast in the early laps using the outside lane, as she passed Bobby Herrington for second on lap 4. Power then ran down Shane Pecore and used the top to get by for the lead and start to put on a great show at the front. With Power in front this left Shane Pecore, Gavin Eisele, Bobby Herrington and Shane Stearns to battle it out. The race went caution free until lap 14 when Domonick Merkley slid off turn three and caution flew. On the next restart Power chose the bottom and Shane Pecore took advantage as he drove around the outside to grab the lead and begin to put on a dominant performance of his own. Pecore pulled away by a half straight away while Power and Herrington battled for second. On lap 22 the race was slowed by another quick yellow giving Power, Herrington and others a shot at the leader. On the restart it was Pecore again, driving away from the field as Herrington took second, over Power, Dylan Kirkland and Gavin Eisele. Pecore would build up over a straight away lead and looked to have things well in hand, until lap 33 when Nathan Lambert spun off turn 3. The green flew again and it was no change in the top 5 as Pecore pulled away one more time, with Herrington trying to figure out how to catch him on the bottom. On lap 37 the great night for Jessica Power ended as she broke while running third on the back stretch, bringing out the final caution. On the final restart Shane Pecore did everything right, as he pulled away from Bobby Herrington and Gavin Eisele to score his 6th career Ogilvie’s Series win and 27th overall Brockville Sportsman win, good for third on the all time win list. Bobby Herrington, Gavin Eisele, Dylan Kirkland and Shane Stearns completed the top 5.

The 12 lap Novice Sportsman feature saw Paul Donnelly jump in front, over new comers Patrick Kudrinko and former karting champion Blake Smith. Donnelly elected to stick with the Novice Sportsman class to start the season and was well in command and was not challenged at all through the entire race. Kudrinko and Smith had a spirited battle for the number two spot and battled hard through the final laps. At the finish it was Donnelly winning his third ever Novice Sportsman event, over Patrick Kudrinko and Blake Smith.

The 15 lap Street Stock feature saw a great battle between Nick Merkley, who won his first ever feature a year ago and Todd Raabe, who has been a staple in the division. Raabe would use the outside lane to get by Merkley on lap 9 and would drive on unchallenged to score the opening day win. The victory was his 4th opening day triumph, having won the season opening Street Stock race previously in 2000, 2010 and 2020. Steve Brady, Maxime Prevost and Charles Marchand completed the top 5.

Next week a big show on the card as the DIRTCar Sportsman North Regional Series second round will headline the night and several invaders from Can Am will be on hand including Gavin Eisele and Eric Nier among many others. The DIRTCar 358 Modifieds, Surprenant Truck Shop Crate Sprints, Vintage, Novice Sportsman and Mini Stocks will be on hand. The Mini Stocks will have a special 25 lap event.

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A Feature 1 (50 Laps): 1. 25*-Steve Bernier[2]; 2. R70-Ryan Arbuthnot[1]; 3. 66-Kyle Dingwall[3]; 4. 47S-Corey Wheeler[5]; 5. 44-Johnathon Ferguson[4]; 6. 17-Tristan Draper[11]; 7. 38J-Jarrett Herbison[9]; 8. 64-Terry McClelland[8]; 9. 18-Kalen Draper[15]; 10. 35-Thomas Cook[13]; 11. SS3-Sandy MacFarlane[10]; 12. 83-Dylan Evoy[7]; 13. 08-Chris Ferguson[6]; 14. 17M-Gavin MacFarlane[14]; 15. 88-Lee Ladouceur[16]; 16. (DNS) 26-Michael Mandigo

Heat 1 (9 Laps): 1. R70-Ryan Arbuthnot[1]; 2. 66-Kyle Dingwall[2]; 3. 18-Kalen Draper[3]; 4. 08-Chris Ferguson[6]; 5. 64-Terry McClelland[5]; 6. SS3-Sandy MacFarlane[7]; 7. 26-Michael Mandigo[4]; 8. 88-Lee Ladouceur[8]

Heat 2 (9 Laps): 1. 25*-Steve Bernier[1]; 2. 44-Johnathon Ferguson[3]; 3. 47S-Corey Wheeler[5]; 4. 83-Dylan Evoy[2]; 5. 38J-Jarrett Herbison[6]; 6. 17-Tristan Draper[4]; 7. 35-Thomas Cook[7]; 8. 17M-Gavin MacFarlane[8]

20 entries


A Feature 1 (40 Laps): 1. 0P-Shane Pecore[1]; 2. 88Z-Bobby Herrington[2]; 3. 18E-Gavin Eisele[5]; 4. 88K-Dylan Kirkland[8]; 5. 22S-Shane Stearns[3]; 6. 35B-Brennan Moore[7]; 7. 707-Greg Brinklow[10]; 8. 11-Dan Ferguson[6]; 9. 91-Kraig Handley[11]; 10. 35D-Dylan Moore[9]; 11. X41-Xavier Perrin[12]; 12. 16-Matt Barbour[19]; 13. 21T-Trey Ladouceur[17]; 14. 18-Jordan Wood[20]; 15. M70-Billy Cook[14]; 16. 52-Jessica Power[4]; 17. 20-Nathan Lambert[15]; 18. 98-Domonick Merkley[13]; 19. 25-Pierre Picard[18]; 20. 17M-Madie Wallace[16]

Heat 1 (9 Laps): 1. 0P-Shane Pecore[1]; 2. 52-Jessica Power[2]; 3. 35B-Brennan Moore[3]; 4. 707-Greg Brinklow[4]; 5. 98-Domonick Merkley[5]; 6. 17M-Madie Wallace[6]; 7. 16-Matt Barbour[7]

Heat 2 (9 Laps): 1. 88Z-Bobby Herrington[2]; 2. 18E-Gavin Eisele[1]; 3. 88K-Dylan Kirkland[5]; 4. 91-Kraig Handley[3]; 5. M70-Billy Cook[4]; 6. 21T-Trey Ladouceur[6]; 7. 18-Jordan Wood[7]

Heat 3 (9 Laps): 1. 22S-Shane Stearns[1]; 2. 11-Dan Ferguson[2]; 3. 35D-Dylan Moore[3]; 4. X41-Xavier Perrin[4]; 5. 20-Nathan Lambert[5]; 6. 25-Pierre Picard[6]

10 entries


A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 19-Mathieu Bardier[4]; 2. 1V-Josh Verne Jr[2]; 3. 87-Andrew Hennessy[3]; 4. 9-Adam Turner[6]; 5. 4K-Jamie Kay[7]; 6. 85C-Cam MacKinnon[5]; 7. 93-Guy Gosselin[8]; 8. 52J-Brett Horner[10]; 9. 00-Ryan Poole[9]; 10. 51L-Lee Ladouceur[1]

Heat 1 (9 Laps): 1. 51L-Lee Ladouceur[2]; 2. 87-Andrew Hennessy[5]; 3. 85C-Cam MacKinnon[1]; 4. 4K-Jamie Kay[4]; 5. 00-Ryan Poole[3]

Heat 2 (9 Laps): 1. 1V-Josh Verne Jr[2]; 2. 19-Mathieu Bardier[1]; 3. 9-Adam Turner[4]; 4. 93-Guy Gosselin[3]; 5. 52J-Brett Horner[5]

7 entries


A Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 98-Paul Donnelly[2]; 2. 35P-Patrick Kudrinko[1]; 3. 18B-Blake Smith[3]; 4. 28-Matt Mould[4]; 5. 39-Cory Lambert[7]; 6. M75-Melcolm Banks[5]; 7. 80D-Damien King[6]

Heat 1 (9 Laps): 1. 35P-Patrick Kudrinko[1]; 2. 18B-Blake Smith[2]; 3. M75-Melcolm Banks[4]; 4. 39-Cory Lambert[3]

Heat 2 (9 Laps): 1. 98-Paul Donnelly[2]; 2. 28-Matt Mould[3]; 3. 80D-Damien King[1]

10 entries


A Feature 1: 1. 10-Todd Raabe[2]; 2. 911-Nick Merkley[1]; 3. 11-Steve Brady[8]; 4. 22-Maxime Prevost[4]; 5. 07M-Charles Marchand[5]; 6. 42C-Curtis Merkley[6]; 7. 66-Thomas Reid[10]; 8. 71-Francis Gauthier[9]; 9. 18C-Kyle Massey[7]; 10. (DNS) 125-Stephane Philippe

Heat 1 (9 Laps): 1. 911-Nick Merkley[1]; 2. 125-Stephane Philippe[5]; 3. 07M-Charles Marchand[3]; 4. 42C-Curtis Merkley[4]; 5. 11-Steve Brady[2]

Heat 2 (9 Laps): 1. 10-Todd Raabe[4]; 2. 22-Maxime Prevost[1]; 3. 66-Thomas Reid[5]; 4. 18C-Kyle Massey[3]; 5. (DNS) 71-Francis Gauthier