Fast Freddie Flies At Merrittville Speedway’s Brian Stevens Memorial

Story By: JONATHAN HOWE / MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY – THOROLD, ONT – On a beautiful night at Merrittville Speedway, fans were treated to fireworks and fantastic racing for the 10th annual Brian Stevens Memorial, presented by RCR Performance Golf Carts.

Fast Freddie Carelton defeated Todd Gordon and Scott Wood to win the heads up $444 Pole Dash Challenge event. The St. Catharines native went on the win the 44 lap Commercial Auto Electric 358 feature as well. Ryan Beagle of Vittoria, Ontario won the Hoosier Stock feature event. The NLMA Late Models feature was won by Brighton native Nathan Rinaldi. Tyler Winger of Ridgeway, Ontario won the Rona Doidge Modified Lites feature and Ken Hair of Niagara Falls, Ontario took the win in the Vansickle Pet Valu/PV on the Lane 4 Cylinders.

Feature time for the Commercial Auto Electric 358 Modified’s began with the $444 Pole Dash Challenge. The 1v1 heads up style racing set the lineup for the top 12 starters in the Brian Stevens Memorial. While Todd Gordon raced his way forward, winning eight heads up races in a row, his run came to an end when Fred Carleton knocked him out in the second to last matchup. Carleton went on to defeat Scott Wood for the pole and the bonus money. Come feature time, it would again be Carleton and Wood dueling for the win for much of the 44 laps. On lap 8 of the race, Gary Lindberg and James Friesen tangled and collected Pete Bicknell. All drivers were able to continue with minimal damage. Just as Scott Wood was able to make a pass for the lead on Carleton in traffic, the caution came out again for Brad Rouse spinning. On the restart, Wood elected to take the inside line, and Carleton used the faster outside line to regain the lead. Carleton held off Wood and then a late challenge from Pete Bicknell to score the win. When asked in victory lane about his race car, Carleton pointed to some advice about how to set up the gearing that he got directly from the late Brian Stevens and credited that advice with helping him win the 10th addition of the Brian Stevens Memorial. Bicknell finished in second, while Erick Rudolph finished third. Lindberg and Wood completed the top 5.

Bryce Richardson and Gofast Teeple led a field of 20 Hoosier Stocks to green. An early debris caution reset the field. Kyle Pelrine, Zach Bleich and Steve Shaw Sr. began to mix it up at the front of the field with Pelrine showing the way for most of the race. Ryan Beagle began to reel in Pelrine after a restart on lap 10. Rob Disher had a fire erupt under his race car bringing out a caution on lap 14, just after Beagle made the pass for the top spot. On the restart Beagle held off Pelrine’s challenge and scored the victory. Bleich and Shaw were third and fourth respectively, while Mark Fawcett was fifth.

Multiple early incidents in the first 10 laps of the Vanderlaan Building Northeast Late Model Alliance feature forced the field to go single file for restarts, with veteran Brian McDonald in control of the race. McDonald spent most of the race out front, until Nathan Rinaldi reeled in the leader and completed a pass. After Anthony Rinaldi had a hard hit in turn 1 to bring out a yellow, Nathan Rinaldi was tasked with holding off the field on a lap run to the finish, which he accomplished with ease. McDonald finished second, while Adam Turner, Brandon Mowat and Ryan Lambert completed the top five finishers.

Tyler Winger led flag to flag in the Rona Doidge Mod Lites on Monday. Even with defending champ Brent Begolo lined up beside him, Winger still droves off on the start of the race, maintaining a comfortable gap while also lapping multiple cars in the field. A caution on lap 17 for Chris Watson’s solo spin, set up a three-lap dash. Despite having Begolo and Josh Sliter on his tail, Winger still claimed the win with an impressive restart.

The Vansickle Pet Valu/PV on the Lane 4 Cylinders were brought to green by Mason Anderson and Randy Alway. Two cautions early affected the races initial flow, but after a run of green flag laps Ken Hair found the top spot while being pursued by Alway. On lap 12, Mason Anderson spun from inside the top five, and Hair was tasked with the whole field lining up on his back bumper, including Hana Rothwell in search of her first win. She put the pressure, on but could never find the opening she needed to best Hair, who claimed the feature win. Alex Riley was third, Always fourth and Clinton Barrick gained 14 spots to finish fifth.

Racing action returns on Saturday May 25th as Merrittville goes to the dogs! Vansickle Pet Valu and the Niagara Ice Dogs present the Dog Days of Summer featuring the Best Appearing Dog Contest. Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing will feature the Commercial Auto Electric 358 Modifieds, Semenuk’s Esso/Baron Roofing DIRTcar Sportsman, Hoosier Stocks, Rona Didge Modified Lites and Vansickle Pet Valu/PV on the Lane 4 Cylinders, who will contest the second 25 lap Duel on the Dirt Home Track Event of the year. Pit Gates on Monday will open at 5pm, with grandstands opening at 5:30pm, and racing will get underway at 7pm.

RACE RESULTS –- May 20th, 2024.

Commercial Auto Electric 358 Modifieds – FRED CARLETON, Pete Bicknell, Erick Rudolph, Gary Lindberg, Scott Wood, Jay Mallory, James Friesen, Chad Brachmann, Dylan Davidson, Boyd MacTavish, Trevor Wright, Justin Sharp, Dave Flannigan Jr., Todd Gordon, Martin Polhill, Noah Walker, Glenn Styres, Kyle Richner, Brandon Gruhl, Bill Gill, Shayne Pierce, Luke Carelton, Ken Winfield, Derek VanMil, Mike Bowman, Brian Page, Tyler Willard, Nelson Mason, Darrell Farraway, Brad Rouse

Pole Dash Challenge – Fred Carleton

Qualifying Heats – Todd Gordon, James Friesen, Boyd MacTavish

Hoosier Stocks – RYAN BEAGLE, Kyle Pelrine, Zach Bleich, Steve Shaw Sr., Mark Fawcett, Dave Bailey, Jason Fontaine, Jim Lampman, Bryce Richardson, Brock Gregory, Ryan Dinning, Gofast Teeple, Jeff Larmet, John Couture, Evan Curtis, Rob Disher, Rob Murray, Chris Crowe, Spencer Smolders, Pete Reid, Murray Nicholls, John Overholt

Qualifying Heats – Kyle Pelrine, Zach Bleich, Steve Shaw Sr.

NLMA Late Models – NATHAN RINALDI, Brian McDonald, Adam Turner, Brandon Mowat, Ryan Lambert, Rob Ledingham, Austin King, Tyler French, Stan Zanchin, John McIntyre, Kyle Sopaz, Charlie Sandercock, Rich Sanders, Anthony Rinaldi, Ryan Goudie, Tim Gillespie, Steve Baldwin, Blaine Murawski

Qualifying Heats – Rob Ledingham, Brian McDonald, Brandon Mowat

Rona Doidge Modified Lites – TYLER WINGER, Brent Begolo, Josh Sliter, R.J. Pietz, Ryan Anderson, Shawn Sliter, Sean Iftody, Cohen Corbett, Ashton Anderson, Leroy Buscumb, Anthony Kelly, Dave Cornish, Chris Watson, Dan Kviring, Cole Hardy, Chance Kotar, Ryleigh Sliter, Tyler Colbert

Qualifying Heats – Josh Sliter, R.J. Pietz

Vansickle Pet Valu/PV on the Lane 4 Cylinders – KEN HAIR, Hana Rothwell, Alex Riley, Randy Always, Clinton Barrick, Olivier Larocque, Joshua Dmytrow, Austyn Werstroh, Shawn Keus, Sam Iftody, Ray Cerenzia, Richard Hadler, James Marshall, Blair Rousselle, Grayden Lyons, Nathan Joyner, Sierra Robison, Mason Anderson, Kyle Rothwell, Cierra Keus, Ashton Dickie, Matt Christie, John Lubeck, Nick Bowman

B Feature 1: CIERRA KEUS, Nathan Joyner, Kallie Akins, Connor Chambers, Jacob Mcintyre, Roger Winfield

B Feature 2: BLAIR ROUSSELLE, James Marshall, Justin Towers, Joe Stevenson, Tina Ronning

Qualifying Heats – Mason Anderson, Randy Alway