Shane Wins 2012 Vintage Modified Championship!
Flamboro Speedway, September 22, 2012 — Three drivers, two heats, one feature; one champion. The stage was set for what could be one of the most exciting Canadian Vintage Modified races in the series’ history, and the drivers did not disappoint.
Heading into the series finale at Flamboro Speedway, the top three drivers: Steve Trendell, Shane Stickel and Corey Jones were each only a single point apart. The drivers were nervous. Flamboro Speedway is well-known in the series for being tough to pass on, with wrecks a constant threat.
Practice went well for the two of three points contenders. Trendell said his car felt good and was looking forward to maintaining his clean and consistent finish with hopes that it would translate into a championship victory. Shane Stickel, who had led the points for most of the season, found trouble in his first practice session with a fuel leak. He was able to recover and dial in his car for the race. Corey Jones, winner of two previous Flamboro races, was not satisfied with fast and was experimenting with his race car throughout practice noting that improvements were being made. Confidence was visibly on his side.
Jones and Trendell found themselves pitted against one another in heat #1. An aggressive start by Jones and a seemingly conservative race by Trendell resulted in a heat win for Jones with Trendell two spots behind– setting them up in a tie to start the feature.
Shane Stickel was separated from the other championship contenders as heat #2 got underway. Cold tires and a heavy foot caused Stickel to spin the tires on the start breaking his car loose nearly hitting other the wall and collecting others on consecutive occasions. He managed to regain control of his car and drove hard to a fourth place finish. The bobble put him at a notable point deficit going into the feature race, given the consistency and past performances of his rivals.
The feature saw Rick Jones and John Karley on the pole of the field of seventeen drivers. Twenty-five laps were slated for the night’s event and the three title contenders were starting under a blanket. However, after the green flag was thrown seventeen cars went into turn three and only sixteen came out of turn four. The caution on the first lap of the race called for a complete restart and the field was bunched up again. Another throw of the green flag and another wreck on the Flamboro oval meant another complete restart, this one would make a large impact on the championship outcome.
Jones got stuck up high with a wreck in front of him and with no where to go got collected in the melee, ending his night and championship hopes. Trendell experienced minor contact that did not appear to have damaged his car, and Stickel managed to make it through the wreck cleanly. The accident, however caused a long red flag delay causing the race to be shortened to only 15 laps.
Setting up for the eventual start of the race, Shane found himself on the inside on the restart, valuable real estate at Flamboro, with Trendell on his outside. This start order would end up playing a major factor in the outcome of the race as Stickel used the inside line to his advantage by quickly pulling into the second position behind Daryl Henwood. Trendell fought hard back in fifth position, but with passing as difficult as it was, he was unable to fight his way up through the pack to challenge Stickel for the Championship victory.
When the checkered flag flew, it was Daryl Henwood who took the checkered flag first, followed by Stickel in second and Steve Lyons in third. Trendell drove well but was unable to make an advancement in the race standings bringing the car home in fifth place; two points behind Shane in the Championship.
2012 Point Standings – Final (With Drops)
Once tech was completed we could officially crown and congratulate Shane Stickel as our 2012 Canadian Vintage Modified Champion. Trendell would finish the season in second spot and Jones, despite his bad luck still held on to third spot.
Next season promises to be very exciting. Trendell and Jones, two of the series’ elite had a very good peak at the top of the points standings and are undoubtedly hungry. Will Stickel be able to defend his title next year? You’ll have to come watch to find out.