Steve Poirier Wins PST Canada Championship
Rich Vleck, BROCKVILLE, ONTARIO, (October 19, 2013)- Back in 2005, Bryan Howland went up to Brockville in October and ran cautiously to win his first PST Championship. On Saturday, Howland, now a four-time series champion, went to “The BOS” without points on his mind and went out and claimed the season finale.
Howland, of Auburn, NY, scored his 23rd career Patriot Sprint Tour win on Saturday afternoon at Brockville Ontario Speedway in his only trip to “The Beast of the East” in 2013. “Flyin’ Bryan” started third and pushed hard throughout the 25-lap feature to move by Jeff Cook with five laps remaining to score his second PST win of the year.
In the closing laps, Howland was able to hold off Steve Poirier. All was not lost for Poirier though, as his runner-up finish was more than enough to claim the 2013 PST Canada Championship and the $5,000 cash point fund that accompanies it.
Poirier came in to Saturday locked in a fierce battle with Jason Barney for the championship, but things would change drastically on the opening lap when Barney, who started sixth, looped his No. 87 on the high-side of turn one and was clipped by Chris Jones. Barney would return but was never a factor and would eventually pull off on lap 18.
On the ensuing original start, outside polesitter Etienne Girard would snag the lead away from polesitter Jeff Cook and would set sail on the field. The sophomore competitor would struggle upon reaching the tail of the field though, allowing Cook to run him back down and take the lead at halfway.
A lap later, the caution flag would appear and at that point it became apparent that perhaps Girard and Cook had pushed it too hard and worn out their right rear tires. Before the field went back to green, Girard would have to pit with a flat right rear tire.
Cook would lead on the restart but Howland was hot on his tail. Each time off of turn two, Howland’s No. 51 would find so much bite on the rubbered-down surface that his left front tire was lifting off the ground. Coming off of turn four to complete lap 20, he moved underneath the No. 10. Cook tried to answer back in turn one but got out of the rubbered-up groove and slid over the banking, falling back to fourth.
On lap 21, Jamie Collard, who won at Brockville in July and had moved up to third, popped his right rear tire, drawing the yellow. While under caution, Cook would also have to go pit side to swap out tires.
Steve Poirier, who had driven from eighth up to second, would attempt to apply pressure on Howland but it was to no avail, as Howland would drive to his second career win at the ¼-mile oval, his first since 2009.
The championship for Poirier capped off a terrific year for the St. Mathieu de Beleoil, QC driver. He claimed two other championships this year, but it is the PST Canada Championship that was the most lucrative.
Driving up to third was Chris Jones. Despite starting 12th and getting involved in the opening lap jingle with Barney, the former weekly competitor from the area held off fellow locals Devin Caron and Charlie Sandercock, who also drove forward to round out the top five.
Patrick Vigneault was sixth, ahead of Collard, Cook and Girard, who each changed right rear tires during the event. Heat race winner Rick Wilson completed the top 10.
A scary incident occurred in heat race action when a multi-car pileup knocked out Brockville’s Paul Pekkonen for the night.
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Patriot Sprint Tour Canada Series Results: 10/19/13, Brockville Ontario Speedway, Brockville, Ontario, CANADA.
A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Bryan Howland (51), 2. Steve Poirier (28FM), 3. Chris Jones (11J), 4. Devin Caron (24K), 5. Charlie Sandercock (57), 6. Patrick Vigneault (55), 7. Jamie Collard (7x), 8. Jeff Cook (10), 9. Etienne Girard (422), 10. Rick Wilson (42w), 11. Yan Bilodeau (123), 12. Kyle Fraser (01), 13. April Wilson (15aw), 14. Jason Barney (87), DNS: Paul Pekkonen (98).
Lap Leaders- Girard 1-12, Cook 13-19, Howland 20-25.
Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: Poirier, Girard, Cook, A. Wilson, Collard, Bilodeau, Pekkonen, Fraser
Race 2: R. Wilson, Caron, Howland, Barney, Vigneault, Jones, Sandercock
Final PST Canada Series Point Standings (Top 10)- Poirier 1042, Barney 1006, Collard 983, Barger 856, Zimbardi 834, Jones 782, Styres 774, Dempster 696, Vigneault 654, Girard 546.
Final Gater Racing News Hard Charger of the Season Standings (Top Five)- T. Wickham 43, Barney 36, Barger and Howland 35, Ward 34.