If there was a track, they were rac­ing

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - TIM MILLER The au­thor of sev­eral books on auto rac­ing, Tim Miller can be reached at tim­millerthe­car­guy@gmail.com.

This past week­end saw the startup of lots of local rac­ing, so here is a run­down of some of the ac­tion.

Af­ter two rounds in this year’s Lu­cas Oil Can-Am Midget Se­ries, Adam Racine has taken the points lead with a pair of vic­to­ries. And he is do­ing it with a bor­rowed car, be­long­ing to Mack DeMan, who has placed sec­ond in both of the races.

Racine, of Elmira, took the Midget opener at Flam­boro Speed­way May 13 and re­peated his suc­cess at Sunset Speed­way over the week­end. Four-time and de­fend­ing se­ries cham­pion DeMan of Mis­sis­sauga was sec­ond in both fea­tures, and Ryan Fraser of Rock­wood placed third in both races. Next event for the Mid­gets is at Lan­caster Speed­way June 3.

On the paved Flam­boro oval last Satur­day, both the Cana­dian Vin­tage Mod­i­fieds and the Gris­dale Late Mod­els made their first ap­pear­ance at the Mill­grove track. Driv­ing his AMC-pow­ered 1933 Dodge coupe, Brian Atkin­son won the CVM fea­ture, and Kevin Al­bers of Rock­ton won the Gris­dale LM main. The sec­ond fea­ture for both se­ries was rained out and will take place later this sea­son. The OSCAAR Su­per Late Mod­els and Mod­i­fieds will head­line the rac­ing this Satur­day.

Reign­ing NASCAR Pinty’s Se­ries champ Cay­den Lapce­vich took fourth in the Can-Am 200 at Cana­dian Tire Motorsport Park Sun­day. The 17-year old Smithville high school stu­dent started 11th in the 55lap road course race, won by pole­sit­ter Kevin Lacroix of Saint-Eus­tache, QC.

Other win­ners at the CTMP opener, called the Cas­trol presents Vic­to­ria Day SpeedFest, were Jade Bu­ford of Ten­nessee who won the Pirelli World Chal­lenge GTS race, Cal­i­for­nian Ma­son Filippi tak­ing the over­all win in Tour­ing Car, and Jean-Michel Is­abelle of Gatineau, Que., win­ning the two open­ing rounds of the Nis­san Mi­cra Cup.

Mat Wil­liamson won the third an­nual Brian Stevens Memo­rial at Mer­rittville Speed­way Mon­day, an event fea­tur­ing the Pinty’s-spon­sored 358 Mod­i­fieds. The St. Catharines racer took the lead on the last cir­cuit of the 66-lap race from New Yorker Char­lie Rudolph.

It has been 15 years since a Ford­pow­ered ve­hi­cle won NASCAR’s long­est race, the Coca-Cola 600. Ford has won five of the first 11 races in the Mon­ster En­ergy Cup this sea­son, and is hop­ing to con­tinue its suc­cess at Char­lotte Mo­tor Speed­way this week­end with the run­ning of the 600.

The automaker last won this race in 2002 with Mark Martin.

Since the track opened in 1960, Chevro­let has the most vic­to­ries at 23 in­clud­ing the first 600, then known as the World 600. Af­ter David Pear­son won in a Pon­tiac in 1961, Ford was on board the next two years with win­ners Nel­son Stacy in 1962 and Fred Loren­zen in 1963. Both were driv­ing Hol­manMoody pre­pared Fords.

In to­tal, Ford has won the 600 12 times, and cor­po­rate brother Mer­cury has won four times. Toy­ota has won the past two years.

Jim­mie John­son has won the race four times, but Dar­rell Wal­trip holds the record with five wins.

Sev­eral times, The World 600 was cut short due to rain, but the race was ac­tu­ally the World 540 in 1974, short­ened due to the fuel cri­sis at the time. Driv­ing his Wood Broth­ers Mer­cury, Pear­son won the race af­ter 540 miles in­stead of the usual 600 around the 1.5-mile oval.

And in that short­ened 1974 race, Earl Ross of Ailsa Craig, Ont., the only Cana­dian to win a NASCAR Cup race (Martinsville, 1974), placed fifth at Char­lotte in his Car­ling Brew­ery-spon­sored Chevro­let.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Nis­san Mi­cra Cup win­ner Jean-Michel Is­abelle takes the check­ered flag at Cana­dian Tire Motorsport Park.

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