Racenight Recap for the Mike Parsons Memorial Sat Aug 27, 2022
Mike Parsons Memorial Racenight - Recap for Aug 27, 2022
Our final racenight of the 2022 season was held on the night of Saturday August 27, 2022. It was night 2 of the Mike Parsons Memorial Weekend and included a 73 Lap Super Late Model feature with $10,000 to win. The total payout purse for the night was approximately $35,000, about 3 1/2 times what it is for most regular race nights.
We held opening ceremonies on the front stretch under partly cloudy skies and perfect temperature. Annette Bouchard sang the national anthems. Our announcers for the night were Greg Brazeau and visiting announcer Oval Reving. The grounds were packed with over 3500 in attendance. Fan cars filled the parking lot and cars were parked and lined up down Lake George Road. The biggest turnout at Laird in many years, maybe the biggest ever!
Our night of racing consisted of two heats in each of the Atomic Blonde Factory Fours, Service Rental Factory Stocks, and NAPA Auto Parts Modified divisions before intermission. There were no heats in the Late Model division for the night. After Intermission we had the 73 lap Mike Parsons Memorial Super Late Model race, followed by regular features in other divisions
Super Late Models
Sixteen Super Late Models were out for qualifying earlier in the evening. Fast qualifier was #90 Jay Palumbo with a time of 14.294 seconds. All cars qualified with times less than 15 seconds around the 1/3 mile – between Jay’s 14.294 and 14.936 sec for the slowest. With times so closes, it looked like we were in for a treat!
After intermission, we had some ceremonies on the front stretch. George Parsons, brother to Mike had some words with announcer Greg Brazeau, followed by a few words by track promoter Donnie Varcoe. Greg then introduced each of the 16 drivers in the field then the 73 Lap Mike Parsons Memorial Race got underway!
Normally at Laird we “invert” the field according to qualifying times. This means that for the starting lineup the fastest qualifier starts at the rear, the slowest starts at the front. During our regular season events, the previous week’s Feature winner also starts at the back. This makes for a more interesting race for fans as it forces the faster cars to pass to get the lead. For this feature though we did a draw to determine where the inversion occurs. Fast qualifier Jay Palumbo picked a number out of a hat during the drivers meeting to determine the inversion position, which was 8 – meaning the fastest 8 cars would be inverted, the rest would fall into place by qualifying times – fastest to slowest. Palumbo started 8th - outside in row 4, and 8th fastest qualifier, #03 Dario Capirchio started at the pole with #61 Dustin Jackson outside of him.
The 16 took the green flag and immediately pole sitter #03 Dario Capirchio jumped to the lead ahead of #77 Chase Wilson who started outside of him. Wilson slipped back a few positions. Two laps into the race, Wilson made contact with #51 Ethan Courneyea into corner 3, sending Courneyea into a spin and down in front of the corner 3 pit grandstand. Wilson was sent to the back on the restart.
Capirchio restarted at the front and held the lead. Running behind him a couple laps later was #88 Josh Ware, and #17 Brandon Passer. Palumbo moved past Passer to take over 3rd on lap 12. Over the next laps Passer lost a couple more positions to #21K Kevin Errington and #61 Dustin Jackson. As lap 20 approached the leaders started to move into lap traffic, first with #100R Ron Raynor. Capirchio worked Raynor for a couple laps, with Ware right there too and finally got around Raynor on lap 22. Caution flew on lap 23 as Errington, running 4th spun around by himself in corner 2. He was sent to the back for the restart.
On the restart Capirchio was up front, with Ware and Palumbo in row 2. The green flew but Capirchio didn’t get on the gas and was immediately passed by both Ware and Palumbo – one on each side. By the time the group got into corner 1 Capirchio had fallen back to 8th spot. A stroke of luck for Capirchio though, as caution flew before that restart lap was complete with #52 Adrian Foster and #5 John Ross making contact in corner 3 spinning Ross. A couple others came together behind them as they all checked up.
Capricho wasn’t going to make the same mistake on the restart and got back out to the lead. As laps progressed Capirchio opened up a gap of about 10 car lengths on Ware, Palumbo and Jackson. On lap 31 caution flew again, this time as 3rd place Palumbo tagged 2nd place Ware through corner 1. Palumbo was seen tapping his roof to the flagman, a gentlemanly admission of guilt. Palumbo restarted at the back.
The restart consisted of Capirchio at the front, with Ware inside, Jackson outside in row 2. In row 3 it was #51 Ethan Courneyea inside, and Chase Wilson outside. Capirchio repeated his earlier starts and as the laps ticked down opened up another quarter lap lead on Ware in 2nd, and Jackson in 3rd. On lap 46, Jackson was successful in making an inside pass on Ware down the backstretch to take over 2nd. After that Ware was seen slowing and losing positions, possibly with car problems or a tire going down. He left the track on lap 49.
Caution flew again on lap 50, when #0 Dan Byrnes and Wilson working to get under him touched. Byrnes looped it in corner 3. Byrnes was a couple laps down at the time. He left the track.
The caution served to bring them all back together again. Capirchio had the lead for the restart, this time with #21K Kevin Errington inside, and #77 Chase Wilson outside in row 2. Wilson had the advantage over Errington on the outside at the restart to take over 2nd. Over the next laps Wilson was all over Capirchio’s back but wasn’t able to get by. Caution flew again on lap 56 with a track tire knocked up onto corner 4.
On this restart, Wilson was inside row 2 with Errington outside, behind Capirchio. Wilson had a good start and kept up with Capirchio. There was a bit of mayhem on the track over the next lap, with Errington getting caught up in moving him back some positions. On lap 57 the field was cautioned down again with Ron Raynor stopped on the inside of the front stretch just past the flagstand. Raynor was done.
Another restart, this time with Wilson and Jackson behind Capirchio. Jackson didn’t have enough get go and dropped into third. Meanwhile Wilson was side to side behind Capirchio looking for a way around. Caution flew again with #5 John Ross rolling slowly down the front stretch. Didn’t see what happened to him. Twenty five laps left!
Yet another restart, Wilson inside, and Jackson outside. Jackson had a chance if he could get a good start. He didn’t seem to have any oomph though and Wilson took up working on Capirchio again. With 62 laps complete, coming around corner 4, Wilson touched Capirchio just enough to cause Capirchio to slide a bit. A half lap later though, with Wilson now in the lead more mayhem on corner 1 and Jackson looped it coming out of corner 2. The race reverted to the last completed lap, which put Capirchio out in front again for the restart. Less than a lap after the restart, caution again, more mayhem at the back of the pack. Still eleven laps to go!
Wilson again trying to find a way around Capirchio. High, low, nothing there. Wilson lost some ground coming out of corner 4 on one lap with a bit of a slide. Caution out again, this time with #61X Cody McLean taking a spin out of corner 2. Three laps to go!
Wilson again was working behind Capirchio. On the last lap, Wilson tagged Capirchio coming out of corner 2 sending him for a spin! Wilson was sent to the back with one lap remaining.
Capirchio starting at the front, with Jackson inside and #17 Brandon Passer outside row 2 for a one lap shootout. Capirchio had another great restart and went on for the checkered flag and a $10,000 prize. Passer pulled in $4,000 for 2nd place, Jackson took home a cheque of $2,500 for 3rd place. Kevin Errington 4th, #52 Adrian Foster 5th, #90 Jay Palumbo 6th, #50 Rob Hiiemaa 7th.
Entering into the night, Dustin Jackson and Jay Palumbo were tied in the points championship with 162 points each, so whomever finished ahead of the other during the Memorial race would take the points championship in the division. Dustin Jackson, who missed a night of racing a few weeks ago, opting to attend to his job, was a bit disheartened back then as the decision might have cost him this championship. It all worked out for the young man though as he took the Super Late Model championship, 3 points ahead of Palumbo. Ron Raynor was 3rd place, 21 points behind Jackson.
Atomic Blonde Factory Fours
Nine Factory Fours were out to qualify. #22 Shanna Harten was top qualifier with a time of 17.590 seconds. Harten toasted an engine the week before and her team worked hard to get her car back out for the weekend runs.
In their first heat, the 9 qualifiers were joined by a couple others to bring the car count for the race to 11. The 10 lap race ran caution free, with Harten taking the checkers, #05 Tyler Praysner 2nd, #7 Terrance Devon 3rd, #12 Anthony Mannarino 4th, and #4 Dale Tucker 5th.
The same group of 11 were back out a bit later for a second heat, also a 10 lap caution free race. Harten raced her way to take the checkered flag again, with Devon 2nd, #21 Daryl Whitmel 3rd, Mannarino 4th, and Praysner 5th.
They were all back out for a 20 lap feature later in the night. #197 Keegin Lablance inside, and #724 Mike Heinonen outside started row 1, with #42 Jack Lannigan and Whitmel in row 2. As the green flew, Lannigan moved inside of Lablance for a pass. As they entered corner 1, Lannigan got spun, bringing out the caution and requiring a complete restart of the race. During the caution, #7 Terrance Devon pulled up and stopped on the inside of the front stretch, just ahead of the starter stand. Apparently he had a broken throttle cable. Devon came into the night with the points lead in the division, 2 points ahead of Mannarino. The relatively minor problem cost him the points championship.
After the full restart, the race ran caution free. Mannarino found his way to the front quickly, with Harten following into second a couple laps later. Harten moved up to Mannarino but there was no opportunity to pass. On lap 11, Devon popped back up onto the track – apparently he “snuck” by the officials at the track entrance in an attempt to get into the race and keep some points. He was shown the black flag immediately by flagman Ron Schmidt. Mannarino and Harten started to lap cars at the rear of the field on lap 12. The pair continued to run nose to tail through to the end of the race. Mannarino took the checkered flag, and with the win finished the season with the championship. Harten finished 2nd in the race and 2nd in the points championship, 3 points behind Mannarino. 3rd place in the race went to Praysner, Tucker was 4th, and Whitmel 5th.
As mentioned above, Mannarino clenched the division points championship, with 216 points for the season. Harten and Devon came up just 3 points behind with 213 points each. Harten will take 2nd in the points championship though, as she has 2 feature wins over Devon’s none. #42 Jack Lannigan took 4th place in the division.
Service Rental Factory Stocks
In the night’s Factory Stock action we had 10 cars out for qualifying, including Dave King driving the #100R, Brent Fewchuk driving the #3, a new car #21 driven by Andrew Givens and in the #01, normally driven by Jerry Ross, was veteran driver Jim Falkins. Fast qualifier was #29 John Carter with a time of 16.114 seconds.
In their first 10 lap heat, caution flew a couple times early in the race. The first time #21 Andrew Givens had spin in corner 2. During that caution #88B of Owen Brown stalled and was pushed off the track. The second caution came out after Givens and #88 Rob Wager made contact up in about the same spot in corner 2. Givens left the track at that point.
Once the race got rolling again, Dave King took over and wheeled the #100 to the win. John Carter finished 2nd, about 1/3 of a second behind. Brent Fewchuk took 3rd, #67 Jarritt Varcoe 4th, and Falkins 5th.
In their second heat caution flew once on lap 4 with #88B Owen Brown getting into the back of #88 Rob Wagner in corner 3. Wagner was spun and had axle/rear end damage causing gear oil to flow on the track. Wagner was out of his car and was obviously a bit irate. It took a few minutes for cleanup and the race to resume. Dave King once again ran up to the front to take the checkered flag for the second time in the night. Carter finished 2nd again, with #51 Jamie Fox 3rd, Varcoe 5th, and Fewchuk in the #3 5th.
In the 20 lap Factory Stock Feature there were no cautions. It was a fast race. Falkins and Fox were at the pole. By lap 3, Varcoe had taken over the lead with an inside pass on Falkins coming out of corner 2. Varcoe was on rails for the rest of the race, opening up a quarter lap, 3.3 second lead over 2nd place finisher John Carter. It was Varcoe’s first feature win of the season. Dave King was another 3 seconds behind Carter for 3rd, 4th went to Jamie Fox, and 5th to Brent Fewchuk.
Going into the night Varcoe had a 17 point lead in the points standings over Fox. After the nights racing Varcoe had extended that lead to 21 points over Fox. Through most of the season Daniel Bibeau had the lead in the division but was absent for the weekend, attending a wedding. Bibeau finished 3rd in the points in the division. Rookie Owen Brown finished 4th.
NAPA Auto Parts Modifieds
Fans got to see great racing in the Modified division with 14 cars showing up for the night, 13 of which were out for qualifying. Fast qualifier was Mike Hearty with a time of 14.952 seconds - getting close to the times posted by Super Late Models.
The division was broken into two 7 car fields for qualifying, with each field having a single 10 lap heat.
In the first heat they ran caution free with #78 Jason Herrington leading all laps from start to finish. #4 Mike Carbone rang up 2nd, #28 Mark Porpealia 3rd and #01 John Ross 4th.
In the second heat there were also no cautions. #84 Mark Laakso led the first 3 laps, then #7W Josh Ware took over the lead for 4 laps before being passed by #20 Mike Hearty to lead the last laps including the one that counts. Ware pulled up 2nd, #27 Dustin Jackson 3rd, and #90 Jay Palumbo 4th.
The Modified feature saw all 14 out on the track for a 25 lap race. Caution came out 3 times during the race, all within the first 10 laps. #78 Jason Herrington led the first 7 laps unchallenged until the first caution on lap 8 caused by #73 Randy Larrett running 9th spinning in corner 1.
All 14 restarted but before another lap was complete caution flew again. This time it was Josh Ware making it three wide going into corner 3. John Ross was pinched in the middle, checked up and spun up into corner 4 with #79 Roddy Bolduc getting collected and up off the top of corner 3 into the tires in front of the pit grandstand. Roddy’s racenight was done. Jake Irwin also left the race during the caution.
Twelve restarted with Herrington leading a couple more laps before caution flew again on lap 10. Josh Ware spun in corner 4 and #20 Mike Hearty was sent to the back for it. Another good restart for Herrington but this time he found #90 Jay Palumbo running up along the outside. Palumbo took over the lead on lap 12 completing an outside pass. Over subsequent laps Herrington was also passed by Jackson and Ware.
The race continued in the same running order for a few laps while Mike Hearty moving from mid pack started picking off spots one at a time. Hearty got past Jackson for 2nd on lap 21 with just 4 laps remaining. Hearty closed the gap to Palumbo and coming out of turn 4 on the last lap they had a drag race to the finish line. Palumbo won over Hearty by a half a car length, less than 1/10th of a second. Jackson took 3rd, Herringon 4th, and Mike Carbone 5th.
Going into the night, Palumbo had a commanding lead in the points championship in the division, 40 points over Roddy Bolduc running second. After the night’s races that lead was extended to 50 points. John Ross finished the season in 3rd place, just 2 points behind Bolduc and Dustin Jackson place 4th in the season points championship.
Lakeway Automotive Enduros
After the Friday night race consisting of 20 starters in the Enduro division, there were only 8 left running and able to start a race on this night. Unfortunately the program ran long and the modified race ran right to curfew so the Enduros could not run.
Our intermission activity featured another 7 bus School Bus Race, a lawnmower race and spectator drags.
Photos, and videos for the night can be found under the “media” menu item on this website.
Donnie Varcoe and track staff thank fans and drivers for their record attendance this season. It has very much been a rebuild year for the raceway after being closed for 2 seasons due to covid.
After a short period of rest and recovery, we’ll all be busy planning for another great season next year. If you have any comments or suggested improvements we’d be pleased to hear from you. We can be contacted through the “contact” link on our website at www.lairdraceway.com or like us on Facebook to get track news through the off season.
Article Credit: Tom Stephenson
Submitted By: Tom Stephenson