Vanderiviere Reigns In The Rain
The Chatham driver finally captured his first Tirecraft Sports Stocks championship race victory on Saturday night, taking the checkered flag just as severe weather hit the speedway, cancelling the rest of the program.
“I didn’t know what was going on, I thought someone was driving through the infield,” Vanderiviere said, as visibility on the final two laps was reduced by swirling dust stirred up by a sudden wind gust.
“I took the checkered and put my window net down and got pelted by rain,” he said, as instead of a trip to Victory Lane, he headed for cover to his hauler. “I finally win, and no celebration,” he laughed.
“I felt bad for my guys, they deserve their picture with the trophy for all the work they do. They’re the reason we won this,” said Vanderiviere, who also locked up his fourth straight points championship.
Vanderiviere led all 20 laps, winning the battle on the initial green and two restarts after cautions against his chief rival Steve Shaw, of Merlin.
“The car was perfect, sticking to the bottom,” Vanderiviere said. “I’d see him (Shaw) entering the corners but wouldn’t see him coming off, so I was pretty confident I had a good run coming off the corners.”
Vanderiviere pulled out to good-size leads on an early nine-lap green flag run and quickly reestablished command after a lap-10 caution.
“I don’t know how much of a lead I had on him, I just kept trying to hit my marks every time,” Vanderiviere said.
Kingsville’s Rob Young passed Shaw with three laps to go but couldn’t take advantage of two late single-file restarts to challenge for the lead.
Chatham drivers Brent Colby and Eric Vanderiviere – the winner’s older brother – rounded out the top five. Wheatley’s Steve Clements finished ninth and Essex’s Dillon Moody was 10th.
Vanderiviere was in position to win the last three championship races but got caught up in late crashes each time to ruin his chances.
He admitted he was probably too worked up going in those races, as he changed his approach this year.
“Everyone kept saying to me all day, ‘come on, you’ve got to get pumped,’ but I just sat back, stayed calm and didn’t want to get too excited … and we did it, we finally did it!”
The Tirecraft Mini-Mods championship race was postponed by the rain.
The Mini-Mods championship race is rescheduled for this Friday night, as a part of the two-night Canadian Fall Shootout.
The UMP Late Models and UMP Modifieds will run qualifying heat races and the Ohsweken Crate Sprints will also be a part of Friday’s program.
Saturday will be the big night, with the ‘A’ Mains for the Late Models ($3,000 to win) and Modifieds ($2,000 to win), while the Mini-Mods and Sport Stocks will both run $1,000-to-win features.
The Westside Performance Plus UMP Late Models and Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds non-points features, which were also rained out Saturday, will not be rescheduled.
Tate O’Leary, a 12-year-old rookie from Port Lambton, won the Autotech Bombers’ non-points feature.