Shoot Out Weekend
It was the weekend all race fans look forward to the most, The Canadian Fall Shootout at South Buxton Raceway. This years race was renamed : The Joey Atkinson Memorial Canadian Fall Shootout. Joe Atkinson, the founder of the race track, passed away at the age of 86 on September 15, 2016. After going to his very first Daytona 500 race , he and fellow friend Dennis Pooke decided they wanted to mimic the track but on a smaller and local scale. In 1971 Raleigh Raceway Park, what we now know as South Buxton Raceway was opened. A Saturday night tribute to the founder left few fans, staff and drivers with a dry eye. Forty Five years after the first green flag was waved, the community of South Buxton Raceway gathered for one last weekend of racing.
The first of two Championship Feature Races Friday Night was the West Side Performance Plus UMP Late Model Race. The Race began with the # 60 of Dale Glassford and RH21 of Gregg Haskell in a race all of their own. Unfortunately a caution during lap 12 ended the race for the RH21 who had to leave the track. This gave Glassford his chance to solidify his first place lead and bring him a Championship win, and also first place in the South Buxton Raceway Late Model Points. Jake Hooker #38 led an incredible race, battling with third place winner Jim Jones #34. Hooker at lap 13 was able to secure his second place position after starting 5th and followed that lead to the winners circle. Hooker, who at a young age has proven himself worthy for competition against veteran racers: Haskell, Glassford, Dale Jr and Jones always does so with respect and humility. Jim Jones the Championships third place winner, celebrated in victory lane with his always supportive and excited kids and grandchildren, thanking his crew and sponsors, Jones left the track to get ready for the next big race.
The Schinkles Gourmet Meat Modified Championship began as 21 cars fought for the title of Champion. Mark Glassford #90 avoided a caution as he narrowly avoided the track wall. After this caution it was smooth sailing for Glassford who after lap 3 was able to take first place and sail into the Winners Circle to collect another Championship win. “This one I wanted to win, it was the most important race of the weekend “ he said surrounded by family. Brian Speelman #22 started 5th in the race and after a pass in lap 8 became the second place Championship winner. Brian McLeod #43 was the third place Champion.
Will Vyse #2 was the Tire Craft Sports Stock Joey Atkinson Canadian Fall Shootout feature Champion. Vyse, who has suffered mechanical issues, has fought all season for this win.
New to South Buxton Raceway was the V8 Stock Cars, these cars are regularly seen at Humberstone Speedway, Oshweken and Brighton. This year, they put on an incredible show for the fans. Dave Bailey #49 was the first place feature winner. Steve Shaw #96 who is no stranger to South Buxton and has collected over 100 feature wins was the 3rd place winner.
The Joey Atkinson Fall Shootout UMP Late Model race had everyone on their toes. Andrew Reaume #88 who was last year’s champion was back at the track fighting to keep his title. Eric Spangler #27 who drove from Lake City Michigan and Brian Ruhlman #49 from Clarksdale Michigan were also in attendance at the this weekends Shootout. It was a race which was filled with unfortunate cautions, one of which had Jake Hooker #38 driving his car with all four wheels on the front stretch wall with the car on its side. Although his racing night was over, he was thankfully okay. Ruhlman one of eleven cars left after the caution in lap 11, became the feature Winner.
The Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modified Joey Atkinson Canadian Fall Shootout out was the last race of the night, Joel Dick #09 was the feature winner. Dick who stuck to the bottom of the track to maintain his lead had to fight off fellow racer Brian Speelman #22 who in lap 13 overtook him for the lead. The fight continued and in lap 17 Dick was able to get his first place position back and maintain it for the win.
Saturday September 24th began with South Buxton raceways GoKart’s. Thomas Simpson who is racer Brad Simpson’s son, was the winner of the red plate division and came in second place in the points. Travis Whittal, son of track announcer Jason Whittal was happy with a 5th place finish. Both boys were happy with their completed season and proved that Joe Atkinson’s dream of creating a family oriented track is still alive and well.
The First Joey Atkinson Shootout Championship race of the evening was the Tire Craft Mini Mod Race. Trevor Jones #27 led an incredible race as he raced alone for several laps finally ending in the winners circle. A beaming Jones thanked all of his family and crew for their help and support throughout the season.
The Schinkels Gourmet Meats Joey Atkinson Shootout Championship race followed and Brian Ruhlman #49 led the race from the beginning. Rulhman who raced hard against Joel Dick #09 , Mark Glassford #90, Darryl Hoekstra #36 all who race cars made by Ruhlman himself. “I tried to find a lane I could run pretty smooth in” Ruhlman said. Rulhman thanked his crew and left the track to prepare for the next Late Model Championship race.
The West Side Performance Plus UMP Joey Atkinson Canadian Fall Shootout had fans holding their breaths, similar to the previous night. Eric Spangler #27 was in a race all of his own as he led the pack during the race. It was a nail biting caution in lap five that took the race from 20 Late Model cars down to 11. An unfortunate caution with Andrew Reaume #88, #79 Nick Zurtz, 00 of Jim Dale Jr., #30 CJ Fields and #11 Paul Rivait causing a red flag ;Fields was taken by ambulance to the hospital as precaution but is okay. After an 8th lap caution leaving 9 cars left to compete, Spangler was able to maintain his position bringing home yet another feature win at South Buxton Raceway. Brian Ruhlman who was sent to the back before a caution restart was able to make his way to second place, securing the Joe Atkinson Canadian Fall Shootout Points Championship.
South Buxton Raceway would like to thank the Paramedic and Fire team who come out each and every Saturday night. It is with their professionalism and quickness to respond that they ensure the safety of not only the drivers, but the staff and fans of the track. We would also like to thank all the fans , drivers and staff who come out each and every Saturday to make a successful 2016 race season.