Another great night of racing at Laird! Recap for Thursday July 21 (corrected)
We had another great night of entertainment at Laird International Raceway on Thursday July 21. The weather was perfect and with a bit of a breeze it was quite comfortable. After qualifying, we got the show started on time at 7pm, with Annette Bouchard singing the national anthems on the front stretch. Greg Brazeau was the announcer again, and was accompanied in the booth by visiting announcer Oval Reving from Onaway Speedway.
We ran 2 heats and a feature in our four main divisions, and a feature in the Enduro division.
Super Late Models
Fast qualifier in the Super Late Model division was Jake Irwin in the #21i with a time of 14.535 seconds around the 1/3 mile paved oval. After opening ceremonies the Super Late Models were first up for the night for their first 10 lap heat. Five cars were out on the track, with three cars that were in the pits missing from the lineup. A lap into the race caution came out as #71 Jay McCoy took a spin rounding corner 3. Caution was out for McCoy again on lap 7 as he spun to the infield on the backstretch. McCoy left the race at that point. The remaining 4 cars duked it out, with #61 Dustin Jackson leading all laps for the win, #21 Jake Irwin took 2nd after trading places with Rob Hiiemaa who took3rd a couple times through the race. #100 Ron Raynor came across the line 4th
In the second heat, four late models were out, with McCoy missing from the lineup. It was a quick 10 laps with no cautions. Hiiemaa started at the front and led the first couple laps, with Irwin beside. Irwin moved ahead and got by and took the checkered flag. Raynor was close 2nd, Jackson 3rd, and Hiiemaa had drifted back to 4th.
After intermission, the late models were up again for a 20 lap feature. Joining the original 5 were George Wilson in the yellow #88, and Shawn Ritchie in the #3. The 7 cars ran fast and caution free. Raynor led until lap 14, with Jake Irwin behind for the first 9 of those laps. Dustin Jackson moved into 2nd place on lap 10 then took the lead away from Raynor on lap 14. At the checkered flag it was Jackson, followed by Raynor 2nd, Irwin 3rd, Wilson 4th, Ritchie 5th. Hiiemaa dropped out on lap 18 for 6th, and McCoy left the track on lap 6 finishing 7th.
Atomic Blonde Factory Fours
Eight Factory Fours qualified at the beginning of the night with Shanna Harten in #22 being fast qualifier with a time of 17.994 seconds.
All 8 started the first 10 lap heat. The green flew and they immediately started going 3 wide by the time they got to the start line. They continued going 3, sometimes 4 wide on the first lap, with #95 Chuck Siddall who started 5th, nosed out front by the end of the first lap. Terrence Devon in the yellow/black #7 nosed ahead on lap 2 and led the rest of the race to take the win. #12 Anthony Mannarino followed 2nd, #22 Shanna Harten 3rd, with Siddall 4th.
In their second heat seven cars ran a caution free race again. Siddall jumped to an early lead and held it until the last lap. Harten pulled up along side Siddall towards the end of the race and passed on the inside on the last lap to take the checkers. Siddall took 2nd, Devon 3rd, and Mannarino 4th.
The factory fours were out after intermission for a 20 lap feature, consisting of 7 cars. Veteran #42 Jack Lannigan had the pole and led the first 2 laps of the race until he was passed by Mannarino. Mannarino then started to open up a widening lead on the rest of the field. Lannigan got passed on subsequent laps by Siddall, Devon, and Harten. Siddall and Devon were battling for second for a number of laps, side by side, with Harten patiently waiting for an opening right behind. At the half way mark of the race Mannarino had opened up a ¼ lap lead over the trio fighting for 2nd through 4th. By that time, Mannarino started lapping the back of the field, and Harten had moved into 3rd behind Devon. Harten moved past Devon on lap 13 and started to try to catch Mannarino. Caution flew on lap 18 when Siddall took the inside line up the front stretch with Devon slightly ahead. Devon came down on corner 1 causing the two to collide and spin. Siddall left the track with a tire down and was given a few laps to change it but didn’t come back.
The caution served to close the pack back up. In the front row, Mannarino started inside, with Harten outside. The green flag flew and Mannarino jumped ahead. On the last lap of the race, Harten was nose to tail with Mannarino going round corner 3 & 4 and just couldn’t get past. Mannarino took the win, Harten 2nd, Devon 3rd, Lannigan 4th a lap down, #21 Daryl Whitmel 5th, #724 Mike Heinonen 6th 2 laps down and Siddall was scored 7th with a DNF. Great race for the factory fours!
Service Rental Factory Stocks
In the Factory Stock division we had 9 cars qualifying at the beginning of the evening. Brad Bibeau #26 was fast qualifier with a time of 16.163 seconds. Brother Dan Bibeau #08 qualified close behind with a 16.324 seconds, and third qualifier was #67 Jarritt Varcoe with a 16.338 seconds around the track. Joining the group for the night was Brimley Michigan driver Chris Toms in the #44 ABC car. Because he was driving a car that doesn’t meet the division rules, he would not be officially scored for the evening.
In their first heat 9 Factory Stocks took to the track for 10 laps. Jamie Fox in the #51 had the pole, with #77 Rick Ellis outside. Fox led the race for the first 4 laps, then on the 5th lap was overtaken by #26 Brad Bibeau. Brad only led for a lap, then left the race on lap 6. Brother Dan in the #08 left the track a lap later. Jarritt Varcoe took over top spot on lap 6 for two laps, then got passed by Chris Toms in the #44. Toms went on to win over Varcoe 2nd, Fox 3rd, and #01 Jerry Ross 4th.
In their 2nd 10 lap heat, 8 cars were on track. Brad Bibeau was missing, as was #88 Rob Wagner, but the group was joined by #09 Cory Carbone. Caution came out once on lap 2 when #77 Rick Ellis and #23 Jason Kern had their sides together going through corner 4. Kern left the track with his right front quarter panel ripped off. Ellis restarted, but left the track on lap 7. Jamie Fox started at the front and led the entire race to take the win over Daniel Bibeau 2nd, Jerry Ross 3rd, and Jarritt Varcoe 4th.
In their 20 lap feature, 7 cars took part. Missing were Jason Kern, Rob Wagner and Brad Bibeau. Jerry Ross and Jamie Fox started at the front and ran side by side for the first couple laps, Ross having the lead on lap one and Fox leading laps afterwards until lap 10 when Dan Bibeau took over the lead. Ross had drifted back during those laps and Jarritt Varcoe moved up into the mix at the front in his place. On lap 11, just after the half way flags were shown by flagman Ron Schmidt caution was brought out when the #09 of Cory Carbone lost a right rear wheel on the front stretch, hitting the guardrail and spinning into the infield just past the flagstand. The red flag came out and track crews took a few minutes to clean up gear oil left on the track.
With Carbone out, and Rick Ellis having left the track on lap 7, it left 5 cars for the restart. Bibeau restarted at the front with Fox and Varcoe right behind in the second row. Over the next two laps, Fox lost a couple spots and Chris Toms moved up into second past Varcoe. Caution flew again on lap 13 when a safety tire was knocked up onto the track in corner 4. The race restarted with Bibeau in the front, Chris Toms 2nd, Jarritt Varcoe 3rd, Jerry Ross 4th, and Jamie Fox 5th and that is the order they stayed in until the end. Carbone and Ellis had DNF’s.
NAPA Auto Parts Modifieds
Eight Modifieds qualified earlier in the evening, with #20 Mike Hearty being fast qualifier with a time of 15.184 seconds. The mods also completed two 10 lap heats and a 20 lap feature through the night.
During the first heat the 8 qualifiers were joined by two late comers to make it 10 cars to start. Flagman Ronnie Schmidt gave the drivers a few hot laps then cautioned them down. Drivers were all over the track and couldn’t find their way to lining up. Schmidt showed the red flag, stopped them on the front stretch, climbed down out of the flagsstand and gave a couple of them some “advice”.
When the heat finally got started, #27 Dustin Jackson led the first 5 laps of the race until caution came out after #28 Mark Porpealia went loose and spun by himself out of corner 4. Jackson restarted at the front with #79 Roddy Bolduc 2nd. Jackson opened up a 10 car length lead over the others by the end of the race and took the win. Bolduc 2nd, #90 Jay Palumbo 3rd, and fast qualifier Hearty 4th.
Nine cars started heat 2. Missing from the lineup from the earlier heat was #21 Josh Maitland. Unlike heat 1, the cars got lined up for the green quickly. The race ran caution free, with Jackson grabbing the lead from #01 John Ross during lap 2. Palumbo moved up to take position 2 from Ross on lap 3. Through the race Jackson opened up a lead again, taking the checkered flag about 10 car lengths ahead of Palumbo 2nd. Bolduc pulled up 3rd, Hearty 4th.
The 25 lap mod feature had nine cars take part and was likely the most exciting race of the night for fans. The race started with Bolduc and Ross up front. Ross ran side by side with Bolduc for the lead on the first lap. Bolduc took the lead from lap 2. Within another lap, Bolduc had Jackson on his tail, with Palumbo running third. Jackson got up beside Bolduc but couldn’t get by. The three ran with Bolduc up front, and Jackson and Palumbo running side by side right behind. Part way through, Palumbo and Jackson switched sides but still weren’t able to get up beside Bolduc.
On lap 18 coming up the front stretch Bolduc lapped #28 Mark Porpealia . Jackson was then behind Porpealia and went to move up the track right in front of Palumbo. Jackson’s right rear contacted Palumbo’s left front, and Jackson ended up in a slide up and nearly off the end of the track at the beginning of corner 1. (corrected July 23 - Originally I had written that the three front runners had lapped the rest of the field. That was incorrect. Sorry - Tom)
On the restart, Bolduc was out front with Palumbo inside second row, and Jackson outside. Jackson made a couple runs up beside Bolduc on the outside but couldn’t get a pass. A few laps later Jackson fell back a bit, allowing Palumbo to take the outside line and make an attempt for the lead. Same thing for him, got up beside but not able to go further. Bolduc grabbed the checkered flag, Jackson was right behind for 2nd, and Palumbo was next in line for 3rd, Hearty 4th, Ross 5th, Maitland 6th, Porpealia 7th, and #4 Mike Carbone 8th. #15 Jamie Nedeau finished with a DNF, having left the track on lap 8.
Lakeway Automotive Enduro’s
The Enduro’s were last up for the night for a 20 lap feature. The feature runs pretty quick as there are no cautions during the race (unless there is a safety issue). There were 17 cars on the track for the run, with a couple of them missing scoring transponders. Winner of the race was #4 Dale Tucker, followed by #05 Tyler Praysner and #13 Logan Lavoy. The three had lapped the rest of the field at least once by the end of the 20 laps. Fourth was #96 Levi Weisflock, #89 Brad Charrette was 5th, #724 Steve Turco 6th, #68T Trevor Reid 7th and #71 Taylor Larrett 8th.
Intermission and Next Race
During intermission we had a School Bus race with 6 busses running backwards around the track. The guys from the Algoma District Lawnmower Racing Association also entertained fans with a Super Mod lawnmower race on the infield dirt track. Chuck Siddall won that one. Chuck also races in the Factory Four division. Photos of the bus and lawnmower races can be found in the gallery at https://www.lairdraceway.com/gallery/?g=22404
Our race program for the evening finished at approximately 10 pm. Points, race results, photos, news stories, videos, and more from this race night and others can be found on the www.Lairdraceway.com website. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram. More photos for this racenight can be found in the gallery at https://www.lairdraceway.com/gallery/?g=22405
Our next scheduled race was to be on Saturday July 30, but we’ve rescheduled that for two days earlier on Thursday July 28th. Hope to see you back out at the track then!
Article Credit: Tom Stephenson
Submitted By: Tom Stephenson