Glassford, Dick Sweep Season Championships

Dale Glassford - South Buxton Raceway

Dale Glassford celebrates his season championship at South Buxton Raceway – Photo by James MacDonald/ ApexOne Photo

It was ‘double the pleasure’ for Leamington’s Joel Dick and Ridgetown’s Dale Glassford on Saturday night at South Buxton Raceway as both drivers swept their division season championship races and points titles.

Dick already had the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds points title locked up going into Saturday’s races. But he had a battle on his hands with Belle River’s Mario Toniolo before taking the lead with 10 laps to go and went on to win his second straight and third championship race in three years.

Toniolo looked like might pull off the upset as he took the lead on the initial green and held point for 15 laps. But on lap 16, Dick got a run on the high side going into turn three and exited turn four with the lead.

“Mario had the bottom working good and the only way around him was to not follow him, so I had to change my line and go to the top side,” said Dick. “Once the tires came in, I got the high groove working.”

Toniolo couldn’t take advantage of two late cautions to regain the lead.

“The bottom had gone away so I had to change my groove to the high side,” Toniolo said. “I could stay with him, but once Joel passed me, all I could do was sit second.

“But this feels like a win,” Toniolo said, capping his breakout season by finishing second in both the championship race and points standings.

Chatham’s Darryl Hoekstra and Brian Speelman, and Cottam’s Denis DeSerrano rounded out the top five.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” Dick said about sweeping the Modified crowns. “I’m not a points guy, but it’s cool being a champion. And it means a lot to win this championship race, we overcame a lot the second half of the season,” he said.

Dick won all five features in May and eight of the first 10 through July 5. But he said the car was never the same after a hard crash with Chatham’s Eugene Hoekstra in the July 19 feature.

“We really struggled with the car after it got put in the wall, we still can’t get the balance quite right,” said Dick.

He won two more features the rest of the way and was able to maintain a steady lead in the standings over Toniolo.

Dick finishes the season with 11 feature wins and 22 checkered flags. He now has 30 feature wins since moving up to the Modifieds in 2010.
lassford led all 20 laps to win his second career season championship race in the Westside Performance Plus UMP Late Models. His win, coupled with a fifth-place finish by Chatham’s Jim Jones, clinched Glassford’s third points championship.

He went into the night with a slim two-point lead and won by a 25-point margin. Glassford won the points title despite missing the July 12 mid-season championship race night for his daughter’s wedding. He turned down opportunities to use a substitute driver or have another driver run his No. 60 number on their car for points, a common practice at South Buxton.

Although he rebounded to win the ensuing feature race, he went from a 21-point lead to a 52-point deficit by sitting out a full race night.

“Everybody on the team, my family, we were all on the same page …either it’s us with the car or we don’t go,” Glassford said of his decision to sit out. “So it feels good that we came back and did this together,” he said.

It helped Glassford that the other three challengers for the points title – Jones, Gregg Haskell and Brad Authier – all had at least one bad night down the stretch.

“We had a couple of really good nights right after (the night off), so that brought us back close, but it’s hard to make up ground because there are a lot of fast cars out here,” Glassford said.

“It wasn’t until the final three weeks when we thought we had a chance and that’s what made it fun,” he added.

Haskell emerged as the top challenger in the championship race, as the two-time reigning points champion was able to close the gap on Glassford on long runs but didn’t have enough to make a pass.

“I heard him a handful of times,” Glassford said of Haskell. “I told the guys, I thought the 21 car was the one to beat, but at least he has to pass us, that’s the benefit of the championship night,”

Glassford said, as cars are lined up by points as Haskell started in the second row. Haskell held off a late charge by Wallaceburg’s Mike Lewis to finish second while Chatham’s Erick Walker was fourth. Chatham’s John Pinsonneault won his seventh Tirecraft Mini-Mod feature.

But with his second-place finish, Blenheim’s Trevor Jones clinched the Mini-Mods season points championship.

Jones leads Pinsonneault, who moved into second in the standings, by 113 points – and the maximum a driver can accumulate is 105 points in a single race night.

Cottam’s Rob Quick, who went into the night second in points, fell out of the feature early and finished 17th, dropping to third in the standings, 118 points behind Jones.

Steve Shaw Jr. finished third and Dylan Wolters, a 14-year-old rookie from Kingsville, was fourth for his third straight top-five finish.

Chatham’s Eric Vanderiviere led all 20 laps to win his second Tirecraft Sport Stocks feature of the season. Merlin’s Steve Shaw finished second.

Chatham’s Eren Vanderiviere, who finished third, will take a 52-point over Shaw into this Saturday’s championship night in his bid for a fourth straight points title.

The Mini-Mods and Sport Stocks will crown their 2014 champions while the Late Models and Modifieds will run non-points races in preparation for the Canadian Fall Shootout on Sept. 26-27.

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