Photo Finish At Buxton
Merlin’s Steve Shaw and Kingsville’s Rob Young got out of their cars, shook hands and traded shoulder pats – then waited almost 10 minutes on the track for a verdict after finishing in a virtual dead-heat.
They engaged in a lively interview for what was left of the nearly 3,000 fans, past the midnight hour.
“I’ll take a tie any day with this guy,” Shaw said of Young as they waited for the decision. “Give us both a half-win,” said Young, with a smile.
They shook hands again when Shaw was announced the winner of in all probability, the closest finish in the track’s 43-year history.
Young took the lead midway through the 20-lap feature while Shaw moved into second place after a restart on lap 14.
Shaw stalked the leader until taking the lead coming out of turn four of the final lap.
Young got a run on the outside as they crossed the line door-to-door.
“I was going by our window posts and I thought I was a little bit ahead,” Shaw said, “but I didn’t know how long of a nose he had on his car, and that’s what it boils down to on some of these races.”
“I was thinking I got him by a little bit,” Young said of the photo finish. “I was trying to protect the bottom going into (turn) three but the car tripped up a little bit,” Young said, describing the final lap.
“I had to catch it and that’s when he got that extra three-inch advantage.”
Shaw noticed Young was leaving the bottom open in the waning laps but waited until the final circuit to make his move.
“I was just trying to stay off his left-rear corner panel, I did not want to touch him one little bit, just get in there and drag race him to the finish,” said Shaw, showing respect for Young.
“I’d race against 20 of Rob Youngs any night and you’d come home with your car straight every week,” Shaw said.
It was Shaw’s fifth feature win of the season, capping a three-for-three night as he won the heat and pursuit races earlier.
Essex’s Gerald Martin and the Vanderiviere brothers – Eren of Merlin and Eric of Chatham – rounded out the top five.
Merlin’s Joe Brosseau won his first feature of the season in an accident-filled Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds race that was shortened 10 laps by the time limit.
Brosseau took the lead from Chatham’s Brian Speelman on lap six as the two drivers duked it out on six restarts.
“That plays a toll on the brain,” Brosseau said of the numerous restarts.
“I was thinking the bottom was where I wanted to be but it didn’t want to fire off and my guys were telling me to get up top … I think that’s where I should have stayed the whole way.”
Leamington’s Joel Dick moved into second late but never got a chance to challenge Brosseau because a red flag ended the race for a rollover accident on lap 15 involving Wheatley’s Justin Mills.
Chatham’s Louis Clements, Speelman and Merlin’s Jeff Daniels rounded out the top five.
Ridgetown’s Dale Glassford took the lead on lap three but had to hold off Chris Ross on a late restart to win his fifth Westside Performance Plus UMP Late Models feature of the season.
“I knew I’d better get a good start and not screw up, because when you have a fast guy like Chris starting beside you, he can take advantage and jump on you if you’re not ready,” Glassford said of the Charing Cross driver, who has spent the past few years racing in Ohio.
“It was important to get a good restart and get through that first corner smooth… that was a real confidence builder,” said Glassford, who rebuilt a comfortable lead over the final six laps to post his fifth feature win of the season.
Chatham’s Erick Walker, Wallaceburg’s Mike Lewis and Chatham’s Brad Authier were the other top five finishers.
Blenheim’s Trevor Jones and Shawn Hope both won their third features of the season.
Jones led the final 11 laps for his first Tirecraft Sport Stocks feature win since back-to-back victories May 3 and 10.
He held off a strong challenge from Blenheim’s Kyle Hope, who posted his fourth runner-up finish of the year.
Chatham’s John Pinsonneault, Blenheim’s Elliott Wilton and Kingsville’s Larry Hart rounded out the top five.
Shawn Hope, who started 12th, survived a late caution, running the final two laps on a flat tire, to win his third Autotech Bombers feature in the last four weeks.
Chatham’s Ryan O’Hearn started at the back of the 14-car field and finished second, with Blenheim’s Austin Pickering third.