The Competion is Heating Up at Laird - Recap for Thurs July 13
Racenight Recap for 2023 Racenight #2 - July 13, 2023
Our second racenight of the 2023 Race Season happened on Thursday July 13th. Despite the weather forecasts earlier in the week calling for rain, none came down on Thursday. Temperatures at the beginning of the night were seasonal, in the low to mid 20’s, cooling off through the evening. Quite comfortable.for fans and drivers.
After hot laps and qualifying, the races for the night kicked off on time at approximately 7 pm. With exception of a few car breakdowns requiring tows, and a couple track cleanups, the night ran fairly smoothly and the races were complete at about 10:30 pm. We had another good sized crowd of approximately 3000 in attendance between the main grandstands and the pits. Great to see. Thanks fans! We've opened up more grandstand space up near corner 1 to accommodate more.
Service Rental Super Late Models
There were 8 Service Rental Super Late Models at the track for the evening. Seven of them were out for qualifying, with Chase Wilson in the #77 recorded with fast time of 14.431 seconds. The Super Late Models were out for a single 10 lap heat, and a 30 lap feature during the night.
In their heat, rookie Daryl Weisflock in the #95 brought out the caution before the first lap was complete with a spin out of corner 2. A full restart happened and before a lap was complete caution was out again, this time for John Carter who rolled to a stop on the top of corner 3 & 4. The third attempt at a start worked and the race then ran 10 laps caution free. Rob Hiiemaa led them of in his new black and yellow #50 and led all laps to take the checkers. #5 John Ross was 1.3 seconds behind to take 2nd, , #46 Dan Byrnes 3rd, #61 Dustin Jackson 4th.
In the Super Late Model 30 lap feature action was fast and caution free. Seven cars started the race, missing was Carter. Byrnes and Ross had the front row at the start. Byrnes maintained the lead for the first 7 laps, then was overtaken by Jackson. Jackson then began to open a lead on Byrnes and Ross, with #77 Chase Wilson close behind. On lap 16 Wilson got by Ross to take over 3rd. During the race #21 Jake Irwin dropped out and left the track. Shortly after #95 Daryl Weisflock was shown the black flag for being off the pace. At the end Dustin Jackson had the checkered flag in hand. Dan Byrnes took 2nd, about 6 seconds behind, with Chase Wilson 3rd about a half second behind Brynes. Ross finished 4th, Hiiemaa 5th.
NAPA Reyco Automotive Modifieds
In the Modified division, seven cars were out for qualifying early in the evening. Fast qualifier was #73 Randy Larrett. Earlier on in the pits, Larrett mentioned that he had been working on the car through the week and got a set of new tires. All cars out for qualifying were within about 0.6 seconds of each other.
The mods ran 2 heats and a feature during the night. In the first 10 lap heat, #97 Devin Service, and #7 Terrance Devon had the front row. There was lots of slipping and sliding seen during the race. Service maintained the position at the front, then caution flew on lap 8 with a spin out of corner 4 by #28 Mark Porpealia. The race restarted with Service and #78 Jason Herrington in the front row, and Larrett with #94 Mark Laakso behind them. Herrington managed to lead one lap by a nose then Service pulled ahead and took the win. Herrington was 2nd, Laakso 3rd, Larrett 4th, Ross 5th, Porpealia 6th, and Devon 7th. The time difference between first and last was less than 2 seconds.
The group of 7 were back out later for their second heat, with Service and Devon starting front row again. Caution came out on lap 2 with Porpealia getting loose again, this time on corner 2. On the restart Laakso got ahead of Service. Laakso opened up a lead on the rest through the race. Some places were traded thorugh the run. At the end Laakso took the checkers, Herrington 2nd, Porpealia made a last lap gain over Larrett to take 3rd, Larrett 4th, Devon 5th, #01 Jerry Ross 6th. Service was shown a black flag part way through the race for leaking fluid, likely fuel and left on lap 8.
Seven cars were out for the open wheel feature, with Service and Devon starting out front once again. With a lap complete, Ross had found his way to the front. Caution flew on lap 4 with Herrington going loose into corner 3, and three cars behind nailing the brakes and taking evasive action. No contact was made, but Herrington was stopped sideways between 3 & 4. Post race Jason said, “I blew the engine. It threw a rod”. Jason hopes to be back out next race night. It took a few minutes for the car to be towed and track crews to clean up the spill.
After the delay for the cleanup the race resumed with Ross taking the lead again. On lap 8, caution flew again. Porpealia was off the pace and came to a stop a the top of the backstretch just before the track entrance. There was a problem and both tow trucks couldn’t move the car, so the flat deck needed to unload and come back out to load Porpealia, resulting in another delay of a few minutes. During the caution officials decided to reduce the race to 15 laps from the scheduled 20.
The race resumed again, with Ross and Larrett in the front row. Ross led a lap, then Laakso took over the lead for the remaining laps. Laakso got to take the checkered flag for a spin around the track. Ross finished 2nd about 1/3 second behind. Larrett 3rd, Devon 4th and Service 5th.
Lakeway Automotive Factory Stocks
In the Factory Stock division fans saw nine cars out to qualify, with defending 2022 champ Jarritt Varcoe having fast time of 16.210 seconds. The Factory Stocks also ran two 10 lap heats and a 20 lap feature during the night.
In their first heat the 9 qualifiers were joined by #15G Andrew Givens. Dale Tucker was driving the #23 car, normally run by Jason Kern and started up front alongside of #57 Rick Ellis. Tucker had an explosive run going at the beginning of the race and within the first few laps was being shown the black flag for the quarter second rule. Tucker didn’t see the black flag and continued racing the full 10 laps, each lap exceeding his qualifying time by more than a quarter second.
For those that don’t know, the quarter second rule is in the Laird General Rules and states:
“Any car may be timed during any event. If you are timed running ¼ second or more faster than your qualifying time on any two (2) laps during any event (does not have to be consecutive laps), you will be sent to the pits and start any other events you are qualified in at the rear of the field. (**The top qualifier in each division are exempt from this rule)”. The purpose of this rule is to prevent drivers from “sandbagging”, purposely qualifying slow to allow them to start at the front during heats and features. Races are started with the slowest cars at the front, in inverse order of their qualifying times. If a driver determines that they will be faster in the races than they were in qualifying, they can start “scratch”, which will exempt them from the ¼ second rule, similar to the fast qualifier.
Despite Tucker running the lead for the first few laps, he quickly found the dynamic duo of #08 Dan Bibeau and #80, brother Brad, both passing him through the race.. The Bibeau ran nose to tail for most of the race with Dan taking the checkered, and Brad 2nd, just 2/10s of a second behind. #12Y of Owen Brown was 3rd, #57 Rick Ellis 4th, and #77x Ed Lapish 5th.
In the second heat, Tucker once again started up front with Ellis, and again gained a black flag for the ¼ second rule. The Bibieau dynamic duo once again ran nose to tail at the front, until the white flag when #08 Dan slowed on the front stretch then left the track on the last lap. #80 Brad Bibeau won the race, #77 Ed Lapish 2nd, Rick Ellis 3rd, Rob Wagner 4th.
Nine cars were out for the Factory Stock feature, a 20 lap event. Tucker and Ellis both started at the back this time. Up front for the green was #88 Rob Wagner, and #12 Anthony Mannarino. Mannarino led the first lap then was passed on lap 2 by Dan Bibeau, but before that lap was complete #23 of Tucker clipped the front guardrail and went up off the track on corner 1. He was done for the night. Mannarino and Wagner restarted up front. Mannarino held the lead for the first 4 laps, then #67 Jarritt Varcoe took over the lead.
Varcoe held that lead through to lap 17, with the Bibeau’s about a dozen car lengths behind, then as Varcoe was passing lap traffic of Ellis, on the inside on the backstretch the two touched and Varcoe ran up the side of Ellis’ car. The two rolled down the backstretch and at the end, Varcoes car bounced down off of Ellis’s, taking the front fender off Ellis’ car. Varcoe had cut down both right side tires. Ellis was done for the night, Varcoe went to the pits during the caution to get two tires changed. During features, cars are given 3 slow parade laps of the rest of the field to get tires change so they can get back out and rejoin the race. Ed Lapish also left the track when the caution came out.
With two tires to change, Varcoe was a bit delayed and as the field was going down the backstretch to take the green, Varcoe came back on track and restarted the race a half lap back. With only 4 laps to go, Varcoe didn’t have time to catch up. At the end of 20 laps, #89 Brad Bibeau had the win, with #08 Dan Bibeau 2nd. Owen Brown was 3rd, Anthony Mannariono 4th, and Rob Wagner 5th.
Northland Autobody Factory Fours
Our Factory Four division saw 9 competitors out for qualifying. Tyler Praysner in the #05 was fast qualifier with a time of 17.988. The #16 of Dyllen Sherrard was second fastest, and #12 Fern Mannarino was third. The three were separated by less than 2/10 of a second.
We also had a couple of new competitors out. Kayleigh Tucker, a first time driver, was driving the #4; and in a little cool looking #63 legend car was Breyden Nedeau. Breyden is a grandson of Chris Jones, who was a well loved driver in the factory stock division, until he was tragically lost in a trucking accident a few years ago. Breyden’s little legend car is powered by a 4 cylinder Yamaha motorcycle engine; he saw it down at Sunset Speedway, liked it and saved up some money to buy it.
Racing action in the Factory Four division for the night consisted of two 10 lap heats, and a 20 lap feature. In the first heat, ten cars came up on the track. Front row consisted of #42 Jack Lannigan and #20 Matt Lewis. The cars were shown the green then with a lap in, Breyden Nadeau in the little legend car, was shown the black flag, possibly because officials felt that it was unsafe to have the car running with larger factory fours. On lap 2, caution came out as new starter #4 Kayleigh Tucker slowed to a stop on the backstretch. Kayleigh was pushed off the track and the race resumed, with Lannigan still occupying top position. On that restart lap Lannigan got passed by #05 Tyler Praysner. Praysner led the remaining laps except lap 5 where #16 Dyllen Sherrard led by a bit. At the end Praysner had the checkered flag in hand, Sherrard placed 2nd, #21 Daryl Whitmell 3rd, #12 Fern Mannarino 4th, and Lannigan 5th.
In heat two the little #8 truck driven by Gord Badgero had the pole with Lannigan outside. Lannigan led the first lap then lost the lead to #21 Daryl Whitmell. Caution flew on lap 3 when #20 Matt Lewis spun up on corner 3. The race resumed with Whitmell and Lannigan up front. Whitmell continued his lead until he slowed and left the track on lap 8. Dyllen Sherrard took over the lead and went on to take the win. Mannarino was 2nd, Lannigan 3rd, Lewis 4th, Badgero 5th.
In their 20 lap feature the cars ran a fast caution free race. Lannigan and Mannarino started up front. Mannarino took the early lead and held it for 12 laps until he was passed by #05 Tyler Praysner. Praysner had started in the back. Praysner ran lead to the end for the checkered flag for the second time in the evening. Mannarino 2nd, Sherrard 3rd and Whitmell 4th.
AIM Recycling Enduros
Ten Enduro drivers took to the track for the last race of the night. We had a technical scoring/timing system issue during the Enduro race and consequently the track announcer was working from incorrect data and announced the incorrect finishing order at the track. We apologize to the fans and drivers involved for the error. The correct finishing order for the 15 lap Enduro race was #79 Cody Herrington with the win, #86 Dylan Connoly 2nd, #83 Jon Hill 3rd, #44 Eric Sylvestre 4th, #101 Ryan Sharpe 5th, and #71 Taryn McCoy 6th. This season, Enduro results are being tracked and points are being awarded and published on the Lairdraceway.com website.
During intermission we had another Lawnmower race. Track conditions were dry and the little machines stirred up the dust to the point where no-one could see what was going on, even from 30 feet away! Need some rain! Following that the School Buses were out for a race, a favorite with many of the youngsters.
Following the Late Model Feature, announcer Greg Brazeau did an on track interview with the winner Dustin Jackson, then invited Jackson into the grandstand area to give away a bicycle to a randomly selected fan. Congratulations to Connor, celebrating his 5th birthday, on his bicycle win. Connor also got his picture taken with Dustin. Something he’ll likely remember for a lifetime.
Photos, results, points standings, and more can be found on www.lairdraceway.com Also check out our Facebook page to view current announcements and information.
Our next race is scheduled for Thursday July 20th. The competition is heating up as drivers work to get their cars tuned and setup. Come on out and join us for more great local racing action!
Article Credit: Tom Stephenson
Submitted By: Tom Stephenson