THOROLD, ONTARIO (May 22nd, 2023)
Late Model racing returned to Merrittville Speedway with the Vanderlaan Building Products Northeast Late Model Alliance on Monday night for the Victoria Day Monday long weekend special! Brian McDonald who made the long haul from Cornwall made the trip pay off picking up $1,500 and his first ever Late Model win.
Steve Baldwin, the reigning Brighton Speedway champion won heat three and came out on top for the redraw pulling the number one pill draw to start on the poll position along side Austin King on the front row. Brian McDonald a veteran DIRTCar 358 and Big Block Modified star started third but quickly passed King for second spot on lap three. Baldwin and McDonald would hold the top two spots and veteran Late Model star Charlie Sandercock would make it a three-way battle for the top spot as the three raced all over the track.
Lap ten would bring out the first caution of the race when the race was slowed for Brett Hope. On the ensuing restart McDonald would take the lead from Baldwin well the two battled side by side once again. Sandercock not wanting to be left out of the action would go to the extreme high side of turn one trying again to make it a three-car battle for the lead. Unfortunately for Sandercock this time he would go a little too high and lose the handle on his 57 machine off the end of turn on lap 13 putting him as far back as 18th position on the restart.
The Lap 14 restart would see McDonald hold the lead on the bottom well Baldwin would give chase on the top and now Nathan Rinaldi who started nineth had moved into the top three. Sandercock would not be happy with dropping to the back, with the helping hand in the way of lap 14 caution Sandercock quickly made his way back through the field. On Lap 23 he would pass Rinaldi to regain his spot in the top three and chase down Baldwin. Sandercock would use lap traffic on lap 26 in order to pass Baldwin and set his sights on McDonald. Ultimately, his incredible comeback came up one spot short as he could not track down leader Brian McDonald despite being faster car in the closing laps. McDonald was able to maneuver lap traffic and hold to get the win. Baldwin was third, with Rinaldi forth and the tenth starting Brandon Mowat advancing to finish 5th.
The Vanderlaan Building Products Northeast Late Model Alliance will be off now until August 2nd when it joins the Super Dirt Car Series Big Block Modifieds at the BOS, Brockville Ontario Speedway for a mid-week special. For complete results and points please visit ww.nlmaracing.com
Northeast Late Model Alliance – BRIAN MCDONALD, Charlie Sandercock, Steve Baldwin, Nathan Rinaldi, Brandon Mowat, Rob Ledingham, T.J. Downs, Jeff Dayman, Austin King, Kyle Sopaz, David Pangrazio, John McIntyre, Blaine Murawski, Ryan Goudie, Anthony Rinaldi, Rich Sanders, Brett Hope, Tim Gillespie
Qualifying Heats – Brian McDonald, Charlie Sandercock, Steve Baldwin