In its first full season of dirt Late Model Racing in the Northeast, the Vanderlaan Building Products Northeast Late Models Association would only see one driver hit victory lane in combined events. Charlie Sandercock of Trenton, Ontario swept all six combined events on route to winning his first NLMA Championship.
The NLMA point’s battle began early in the season while drivers would compete for home track points at one of the four NLMA member tracks prior to going head to head in the combined events. At the conclusion on of the home track events only one driver collected a perfect 100 points and that was David Pangrazio of Genesee Speedway while Sandercock and Kyle Sopaz of Brighton Speedway both entered to the combined portion of the season with an almost perfect 98 points each.
Sandercock was able to carry the momentum of his home track events into the first combined event of the season June 23rd at Genesee Speedway. Sandercock would start 6th in the 24 car field and drive to the $1000.00 win over Bill Holmes and Kyle Sopaz.
Combined event #2 would be held on July 1st at Humberstone Speedway and Sandercock would pick up his second $1,000.00 to win race in as many events. Humberstone Speedways Chad Holman and Colton Ledingham would come home 2nd and 3rd respectively while Sopaz would come home 4th keeping the points tight after two events.
Round 3 would see the NLMA drivers head to the Cornwall Motor Speedway for a neutral battle grounds with no drivers able to claim home track advantage. Sopaz would lead early in this race and battled side by side for a number of laps with Sandercock finally taking the lead on the high side and would go on for the $1,200.00 win with Sopaz finishing 2nd to keep Sandercock in his sights for the points title. Cornwall would see Fulton Speedways Dale Caswell pick up his first podium of the season with a 3rd place while Humberstone Speedway’s Sam Pennachio and John Pinsonneault also cracked their first top five results of the season.
Rounds 4 and 5 would see the drivers head to Brighton Speedway for the Applefest Shootout Weekend and the Great Crate Race. Night one would see Brighton’s Adam Turner try and dethrone Sandercock for the first time of the season. The two raced side by side for a number of laps and swapped positions but in the end it was Sandercock picking up the $1,200.00 pay day. Turner would finish 2nd with Phil Potts rounding out the podium with a 3rd. Saturday would see more of the same with this time Fulton Speedway’s Chris Fleming battling Sandercock for 50 laps, however in the end Sandercock would continue his dominance with a $4,000.00 win over Flemming and Potts would pick up his second podium in as many nights with a 3rd. Sopaz would pick up 4th on Saturday keeping Sandercock in striking distance for the championship.
Things got interesting going into round 6 for the Outlaw 200 Weekend at Fulton Speedway. Sandercock who had a “victory Lane incident” the previous Saturday at Brighton, breaking his rightfoot and was casted from his toes to below the knee. Sandercock’s brother and crew chief Jamie determined to race and complete the championship rigged the car with a hand throttle and they headed to Fulton broken leg and all. With 28 cars on hand, qualifying was not a sure thing and drivers performed timed hot laps for heat positions. Sandercock would time 3rd fasted in his group with Sopaz qualifying 4th in the same group. In the heat Sopaz would drive to 2nd securing a spot in the redraw with Sandercock finishing 4th and qualifying for the 50-lap main event. Genesee Speedway’s Jimmy Johnson would start on the poll with Sopaz while Sandercock would start 11th and only having to finish 24th or better to secure the championship. Sandercock would make his way to second place and once again battle with Holman for the lead for the next 18 laps and on lap 38 take the lead on route to the $1,000.00 win. Holman would finish 2nd with Caswell rounding out the top 3.
Sandercock’s undefeated season nets him the inaugural Vanderlaan Building Products Championship and $3,500.00 points fund check. Sopaz’s consistent season with 6 top ten finishes completed his runner up season while 3rd through 5th has Sam Pennachio, Phil Potts and John Pinsonneault rounding out the top five in points respectively.
The Promoters of Brighton Speedway, Fulton Speedway, Genesee Speedway and Humberstone Speedway would like to thank to sponsors of the Vanderlaan Building Products NLMA. Associate Sponsors include C. Smith Automotive Machine Shop, Deerhaven Farm and Garden, Bellevue Fabricating, Dibbits Landscape Supply and Excavating, Insta Panels and Willow Publishing.
2018 Vanderlaan Building Supplies NLMA top 12 Points Standings
|Pos||Car #||Driver||Home Track||Total Points|
|1||57||Charlie Sandercock||Brighton Speedway||398|
|2||12||Kyle Sopaz||Brighton Speedway||357|
|3||311||Sam Pennachio||Humberstone Speedway||305|
|4||29||Phillip Potts||Brighton Speedway||288|
|5||0||John Pinsonneault||Humberstone Speedway||250|
|6||46||Brandon Mowat||Brighton Speedway||246|
|7||R19||Dale Caswell||Fulton Speedway||230|
|8||5||Steve Baldwin||Brighton Speedway||222|
|9||1020xx||Andy Mayhew||Brighton Speedway||199|
|10||89||Austin King||Brighton Speedway||196|
|10||09||Robbie Wilson||Brighton Speedway||196|
|12||91||Chad Homan||Humberstone Speedway||192|
Photo Credit to Mike Johnson,