(Peterborough, ON) – The 2014 Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series Presented by Meineke made a return to ‘Canada’s Toughest 1/3rd-mile’, Peterborough Speedway on Saturday night for round five of the eighth race championship season. Sophomore driver Kevin Allen (#54) of Drumbo entered the night as the point leader, with a five-point margin over ‘Hot Rod’ Dave Connelly (#82) of Arnprior. The top five were separated by a mere 15 points.
Qualifying was the first order of business and Tim ‘The Intimidator’ Tolten (#3) of Guelph, laid down a quick time early in the session, running a lap of 14.93 seconds. He would stay on the top of the chart until the fourth from last qualifier Connelly ran a 14.90 second lap. The next three drivers would also rocket to the top of the list, as Jake ‘The Juicebox’ Ott turned a lap of 14.77 seconds, as ‘Mr. Highside’ Brennan Didero (#24) of Brantford, clocked in second, and defending series champion Shawn McGlynn (#81) of Kitchener, was third. In all 12 cars were within 0.60 seconds of the fast time.
The front of the field was jumbled up with the Lucas Oil ‘Fast Five’ draw, putting Tolton and Ott on the front row for the 100-lap main event, and Didero and Connelly in row two. Going into turn one on the first lap contact between Tolten and Ott ended with both cars at the back of the field for the second green flag.
Didero took an early lead, with Connelly on his rear bumper, but it was McGlynn who was the one to watch, picking off Connelly, and then passing Didero for the point on lap four. McGlynn was able to pull out to a comfortable lead on Didero, as Josh Wood (#66) of London, moved to third. The field would run in that order until lap 49 when the second yellow of the night flew.
After the restart, Didero experienced problems, fading through the field, while Ott moved to third. After pressuring Wood for a number of laps, Jake moved Josh heading into turn three. Wood fought back, and ensuing contact would cut down a tire on Ott’s car.
Up front, it was all McGlynn, as he continued to have flawless restarts, usually clearing all traffic by the time he arrived at turn one. As the laps wore on, it was clear that his Mustang was the car to beat.
Ott pitted and over the last 20 laps was able to race his way through the field, passing Wood on the final restart for second, but running out of time in trying to pass McGlynn, who earned his second victory in a row, after claiming the checkers at Flamboro in late June.
The first two-time winner on the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup trail this year, McGlynn spoke about the second consecutive win, and leading all but the first four laps, “We were loose all night, but the car rotated so well in middle of the corners, and helped us. We just needed a little more wedge in the car and it would’ve been faster. I didn’t like all of those late yellows, but I had some good starts, other than once when I was right sideways, and then the #60 (Ott) comes out of nowhere, but we were fast enough.”
With the finish, Shawn vaulted two spots in the championship standings to third, just 11 markers back of Allen and one behind Connelly for second. He said, “We did everything we could do to gain some points back tonight. Every year this series gets more competitive, but we’re still in the championship picture – we just have to keep running like we did tonight.”
Ott talked about his ‘too little – too late’ run at the checkers, “I think we had the car to beat tonight. Shawn is a tough guy to pass in two laps. You need five or ten laps to get him, because he doesn’t make many mistakes, but I think we were better at the end, got right to his bumper. We just had a tough night to overcome. We had that deal on the first lap, and something was bent on the car at that point. Then we had contact with the #66 [Wood] and got a flat tire out of the deal. Despite all that, we still managed to finish second.”
After opening the season with three consecutive podium finishes, Allen finished seventh at Flamboro, but the championship leader started another streak on Saturday night, finishing third, and continues to hold a point lead of 10 over Connelly with three events left, “It was good tight racing all night, but as the race wore on, our car started to get loose and really went away. It was another podium, but I really want to get that first win. It’s tough, because while I want that win, there is also the championship to think about, so we have to continue to have solid finishes. I think the win is out there, and I really want to get one for the guys on the team.”
Didero finished fourth, while Wood rounded out the top-five.
Final Results – 1. Shawn McGlynn, 2. Ott, 3. Allen, 4. Didero, 5. Wood.
Other Race Award Winners
Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup presented by Meineke – Championship Points Standings (after 5 of 8 events) – 1. Allen (478 points), 2. Connelly (468), 3. S. McGlynn (467), 4. Ott (457), 5. Cathcart (456).
Qualifying points – 1. Ott (48 points), 2. S. McGlynn (46), 3. Allen (33), 4. Didero (30), 5. (tie) Wood (27), Connelly (27).
The Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup presented by Meineke will get a weekend off before returning to the track on Saturday, August 23rd, at Flamboro Speedway, just outside of Hamilton. Two of the final three races are at the Hamilton-area oval, with the other battle to be waged at Delaware Speedway on Friday, September 19th.
For more information on the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series, Lucas Oil, Meineke, Flamboro Speedway, or Peterborough Speedway, please visit www.lucasoilsportsmancup.com,
– Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series press release and photo