Defending Champion Returns to Victory Lane at Sauble
(Sauble Beach, ON) – The stars and cars of the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series rolled into Sauble Speedway on Saturday June 8th for a return visit to the ¼-mile facility after a year’s absence. Shawn McGlynn (#81) of Kitchener, entered event number two of the championship season as the points leader, with Jake ‘The Juicebox’ Ott (#60) of Ayr, one marker back in second following his win in the season opener on Victoria Day weekend at Varney Speedway. Dan Prudhomme (#96) of Thamesford, entered the event third in points, with Josh Wood (#66) of London, and Doug Cathcart (#48) of Ottawa rounding out the top-five, all within 10 points of the leader. A huge car count of 18 were on hand for the 100-lap feature, with included a total of 11 lead changes in just 100 circuits.
A number of cars were quick in practice, and it looks like former Series Champion Steve Robblee’s qualifying record of 15.65 seconds (set in June, 2007), might finally fall. Darrell ‘Hollywood’ Lake (#77) of London was the first car out, and set down the benchmark time of 15.83 seconds. That mark would stand for 11 cars until Wood hit the track and ripped off a lap of 15.74 seconds to take the fast qualifier title away for the time being. Two cars later, McGlynn turned the oval in 15.71 seconds, fast, but not quite a record time. Ott was up next and stopped the clock at 15.66 second, missing the track mark by 1/100th of a second, but winding up as the fastest qualifier of the session.
The top-five drivers would assemble on the front stretch during opening ceremonies, and the Ultimate Sandblasting and Coatings ‘Fast Five’ draw. Each competitor was paired with a lucky fan and draw their starting positions for the 100-lap main event. The draw would put Wood and McGlynn on the front row, Lake and Prudhomme in row two, and Ott in fifth for the green flag.
McGlynn was able to get the jump on the outside and led the first stint before a lap six yellow slowed the field, but on the next restart it was Wood on the high side that took command. That would last until a yellow on lap 17, as McGlynn again captured the point when the green flew. A Cathcart spin slowed the field again on lap 28 and Wood re-took the lead on the restart. He would hold serve during the next couple of restarts on the bottom, while Prudhomme ran third and Amanda Connolly fourth. The big one hit on lap 52 as Tim ‘The Intimidator’ Tolten (#3) of Guelph, and John Schwemler (#45) of Montreal, tangles. Ott came upon the wreck and climbed onto the brakes only to be hit from behind from Cathcart, and knocked into the pile-up.
The field restarted on lap 57, and one lap later it was McGlynn shown as the leader at the stripe, but he was still side-by-side with Wood, who was back out front on lap 58. Wood was able to clear McGlynn and pulled out to a lead before a yellow slowed the field again with less than 15 laps to go. On the restart, McGlynn took control again, but by lap 90 Wood had found his way out front again.
The race would see one more restart with just a handful of laps to go, with Wood taking the green from the inside and McGlynn on the outside. McGlynn had a better run to the green and closed the door on Wood heading into turn one. Prudhomme struck as well, getting past Wood, but ran out of laps trying to catch McGlynn who held on to win his first race of the year.
McGlynn explained his night from victory lane, “It’s a lot of fun to win a race like that. Josh and I were having a great battle for the win, and on that last restart I knew he was going to push going in, and just got ready for it. When we were coming to the green, I tried to squeeze him down as much as I could. We both spun the tires, but he spun them more than I did. This has been a great way to start the season, and we’ve extended our point lead heading into the third race of the season.”
With the late move, Prudhomme was able to claim the silver medal, “I knew we had a good car, and were as good as those guys up front all night, but I was just saving my stuff for 15 to go. We tightened up a bit at the end, but we’re still very happy with a second-place finish, and taking the car home in one piece.”
After leading the most laps on the night, Wood talked about his third-place finish, “We had a great race with the #81 [McGlynn] all night, but we had a push in the car all evening. We weren’t as good when he pinched me down, and we didn’t get as good of a restart as he did on that last green. He got a great jump, and had to do what he had to do to win – I understand that – but we ran each other pretty clean and hard up front tonight.”
Connolly and Lake rounded out the top-five.
Race #1 Results – Sauble Speedway – 1. McGlynn, 2. Prudhomme, 3. Wood, 4. Connolly, 5. Lake.
Standings after 2 of 8 events – 1. McGlynn (209 points), 2. Prudhomme (197), 3. Wood (195), 4. Ott (192), 5. Cathcart (182).
The next event for the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup will be Friday, June 21st at Delaware Speedway, just minutes outside of London. Race number three of the eight-race championship season will be the only appearance of the season at the historic oval for the tour. The Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup cars ran at Delaware twice last season, with wins going to Connolly, and Wood.
For more information on the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series, Sauble Speedway, or Delaware Speedway, please visit www.lucasoilsportsmancup.com, www.saublespeedway.ca, www.delawarespeedway.com, or contact Series Director Dave Alexander at [email protected]