Mat Williamson Takes 40-Lap 358-Modified Feature Win On Monday At Merrittville Speedway
Story By: JONATHON HOWE / MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY – THOROLD, ONT – Merrittville Speedway hosted what was to be the second half of its Victoria Day Long Weekend Double Header Monday.
While Mother Nature washed out Saturday’s action, Monday more than made up for it with competitive hard racing headlined by the 75 lap Hoosier Stock feature presented by 420 Peacemaker.
Ryan Beagle from Victoria, Ontario scored the win and collected the $2500.
St. Catharines, Ontario’s Mat Williamson won the 40 lap Corr/Pak Merchandising 358 Modified feature.
Brent Begolo of Thorold, Ontario won his second Rona Doidge Modified Lite feature of the season and Brian McDonald of Cornwall, Ontario won the Vanderlaan Building Products Northeast Late Model Alliance feature who visited Merrittville Speedway on Monday.
Feature racing began with the Hoosier Stocks competing in the 75 lap event presented by Peacemaker 420 featuring and $8000 purse. Back-to-back feature winner at Merrittville Speedway Dave Bailey started the race on pole alongside Jeff Humphry. The first caution fell when Dave Small came to a stop in turn 4 on lap seven. After the restart, Bailey stretched out to a significant lead over Justin Ramsay. Ryan Beagle, who had to advance through the B-Main, started 21st and drove up to third before caution fell once again for a spin by Zach Bleich. The caution erased a sizeable margin for leader Bailey, and Ramsay, Beagle, in addition to several other hungry drivers were brought to the 49’s bumper. Bailey held off Beagle, until lap 52 when Ramsay’s engine expired, bringing out the races final caution. Beagle used the outside line on the restart to finally wrestle the lead away from Bailey, and the “Big Dog” never looked back. Beagle captured the checkers and cheque, while Bailey settled for second. Pete Reid came home third, Ron Loggie fourth and Jim Lampman was fifth.
The Corr/Pak Merchandising 358 Modified’s and Merrittville Speedway welcomed Ken Schrader to race against Southern Ontario’s best on Monday. Schrader started outside front row after a strong showing in his heat, while defending co-champion Ryan Susice drew the pole. The caution came out early on lap 2, when an accordion effect incident turned Trevor Wright sideways in the middle of 3 and 4 while Dylan Davidson and Mike Bowman were collected. All three were able to continue and on the restart Mat Williamson who started third took off to the lead and never looked back. Williamson made it three straight wins to open the season, lapping all but five cars in the field of 23. Susice got the best of his fellow 2022 Co-Champion Gary Lindberg, finishing one spot better in second while Lindberg was third, unable to make it past Susice in lap traffic. Dalton Slack came fourth and Schrader finished fifth.
Late Model racing returned to Merrittville Speedway with the Vanderlaan Building Products Northeast Late Model Alliance. Steve Baldwin and Austin King started on the front row, and Brian McDonald who started third, had a fantastic battle with Baldwin for the top spot. Charlie Sandercock showed why he is one of the top drivers in Late Model racing, charging to the front from sixth. However, his blistering pace was temporarily put on hold when he made a rare mistake, spinning and bringing out the caution on lap 10. Sandercock dropped to the tail of the field but received a helping hand in the way of another caution on lap 14. Ultimately, his incredible comeback came up one spot short as he could not track down leader Brian McDonald despite being faster, and McDonald held on to get the win. Baldwin was third, with Nathan Rinaldi and Brandon Mowat rounding out the top 5.
In Rona Doidge Modified Lite action, it was Brent Begolo stealing the race win on a restart. Tyler Winger and R.J. Pietz lead the field to green, and both battled for the lead before Josh Sliter took over in a thrilling duel with Pietz. A caution on lap 15 for Ashton Anderson spinning and stalling, reset the race and set up a five-lap shootout. Sliter controlled the restart and seemed to have his second win firmly in his grasp, when Ryleigh Sliter spun coming to the white flag, setting up a green-white-checkered. Begolo lined up on Josh Sliter’s rear for a single file restart and then pounced to take the lead in the first set of corners. Begolo made it back-to-back wins, while Rob Misener made a late charge to beat Sliter to the line in a drag race for second, with Winger fourth and Pietz finishing fifth.
Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing returns next Saturday when 97.7 HTZ-FM presents the Death-Defying Trailer Jump. Saturday’s lineup will feature the Corr/Pak Merchandising 358 Modifieds, Right Choice Auto and Leisure DIRTcar Sportsman, Hoosier Stocks, Rona Doidge Modified Lites and Vansickle Pet Valu/PV on the Lane 4 Cylinders will all be in action on Saturday as well. Pit gates will open at 5:00 pm, grandstands open at 5:30, and racing will begin at 7:00 pm.
RACE RESULTS –- May 22nd, 2023
Corr/Pak Merchandising 358 Modifieds – MAT WILLIAMSON (3), Ryan Susice, Gary Lindberg, Dalton Slack, Ken Schrader, Pete Bicknell, Erick Rudolph, Brad Rouse, Fred Carleton, Boyd MacTavish, Todd Gordon, Mike Bowman, Luke Carleton, Scott Wood, Shayne Pierce, Darrell Farraway, Tom Neale, Trevor Wright, Dylan Davidson, Glenn Styres, Derek VanMil, Brandon Gruhl, Ken Winfield
Qualifying Heats – Gary Lindberg, Brad Rouse, Mat Williamson
Hoosier Stocks – RYAN BEAGLE, Dave Bailey, Pete Reid, Ron Loggie, Jim Lampman, Mark Fawcett, Chris Hale, Jeff Humphry, Blake Bomberry Jr., Tyler French, Kyle Pelrine, Charlie Sandercock, Ryan Dinning, Dave Small, Kyle Anderson, Tyler Lafantaise, Zach Bleich, Donny Lampman, Jeff Larmet, Justin Ramsay, Rob Murray, Josh Black, Jeff Bean, Jason Fontaine
B Feature – RYAN BEAGLE, Tyler French, Chris Hale, Josh Black, Gofast Teeple, Bryce Richardson, John Couture, Cole McKeown, Kyle Andress, John Overholt, Kacey Huffman, Doug Anderson, Terry Larmet, Trevor Want, Steve Baldwin, Tyler Colbert
Qualifying Heats: Jim Lampman, Justin Ramsay, Charlie Sandercock, Ron Loggie
Rona Doidge Modified Lites – BRENT BEGOLO (2), Rob Misener, Josh Sliter, Tyler Winger, R.J. Pietz, Leroy Buscumb, Sean Iftody, Ryan Anderson, Chris Watson, Anthony Kelly, Dan Kviring, Dave Cornish, Ashton Anderson, Ryleigh Sliter, Chance Kotar
Qualifying Heats – Rob Misener, Josh Sliter
Northeast Late Model Alliance – BRIAN MCDONALD, Charlie Sandercock, Steve Baldwin, Nathan Rinaldi, Brandon Mowat, Rob Ledingham, T.J. Downs, Jeff Dayman, Austin King, Kyle Sopaz, David Pangrazio, John McIntyre, Blaine Murawski, Ryan Goudie, Anthony Rinaldi, Rich Sanders, Brett Hope, Tim Gillespie
Qualifying Heats – Brian McDonald, Charlie Sandercock, Steve Baldwin