Rich Vleck, BROCKVILLE, ONTARIO, (July 19, 2014)- Steve Poirier’s supreme sprint car record at the Brockville Ontario Speedway was strengthened on Saturday Night, even though the track conditions were far different then his prior visits.
Poirier, of St. Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec, led the 25-lap feature wire-to-wire to score his fifth career win in 16 starts at the Brockville Speedway. The defending Patriot Sprint Tour Champion benefited from his pole position starting spot but was also supreme throughout the event.
“The car was flawless tonight,” stated Poirier in Victory Lane. “This is a different car than what I have used here and we didn’t know what to start with but right from the warmup the car was really good.”
Poirier did not originally intend on competing at the “Beast of the East” on Saturday but once he entered the pit area, he quickly dove in to his setup book and once he hit the track, stayed on point, dominating a loaded heat race for his 13th heat race in 16 visits to Brockville, a simply incredible statistic.
In the feature action, Poirier was solid on each restart that was necessary. As the race neared the halfway point though, the “Fireball” reach the tail end of the field and began to slice through the pack with ease; Poirier did not see it as been as easy though.
“I thought when I reached the traffic in dirty air the car was backwards in the corner. I thought if I stayed like that I could be in trouble,” he recounted after the race in Victory Lane,” he recounted after the race in Victory Lane. “In clean air I could drag the brake and keep the car straight so I knew at that point that Jared (Zimbardi) would have to have a really really good car to get by me.”
Jared Zimbardi appeared to have a car equal in strength to the No. 28FM, but needed a variable such as lapped cars to mix things up. After moving by outside polesitter Mitch Brown on lap three, Zimbardi appeared to be reeling in the leader but the one time the duo reached though, Zimbardi realized he needed a caution to tighten up the field again.
The win was the 11th for Poirier in a Patriot Sprint Tour points-paying event, which moves him in to a tie for fifth on the all-time list.
Zimbardi’s runner-up finish helped him to continue to solidify his point position with a strong run. On each of the race’s restarts, Zimbardi would use the bottom line as that’s where he wanted his car in longer runs, but could not find enough bite to challenge for the lead.
In the final stage of the race, Bryan Howland slid his top win back as far as it would go and it ended up working out as the four-time PST Champion made a slick move to get by Mitch Brown to make it on to the podium. Howland had knicked a tire on the opening tire but was able to fight to the finish. Brown was content with his fourth-place effort on a fun and fast race track laid out on the night.
Lee Ladouceur was also stout throughout the night, putting together a quality top five finish. Jeff Cook was very strong early in the night, which included winning his heat race, but had to rally from a poor redraw to finish in sixth, just ahead of Alain Bergeron, who drove up from his 11th starting position to finish seventh.
Yan Bilodeau and Rick Wilson shared the hard charger honors of the events, advancing nine spots each to place eighth and ninth, respectively. Local Tyler Rand completed the top 10.
Along with Cook and Poirier scoring heat wins, Kyle Fraser notched his second career Brockville heat race win while Parker Evans won the Four Laps of Fame Dash in his first race in Canada.
The low point of the night came on lap four when a pack of competitors piled up in turn one, resulting in a red flag. After a group of cars in the middle of the pack jingled up, Chris Jones, who suffered a folded-up front end in his heat race, made hard contact with the inside barrier, shooting him back in to the race group and collected Paul Pekkonen, Stan Zanchin, as well as Kyle Fraser. Major damage was widespread but each driver walked away unharmed.
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Patriot Sprint Tour Canada Series Results: 7/19/14, Brockville Ontario Speedway, BROCKVILLE, ONTARIO.
A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Steve Poirier (28FM), 2. Jared Zimbardi (35), 3. Bryan Howland (51), 4. Mitch Brown (10), 5. Lee Ladouceur (51L), 6. Jeff Cook (10c), 7. Alain Bergeron (8B), 8. Yan Bilodeau (123), 9. Rick Wilson (42w), 10. Tyler Rand (84), 11. April Wilson (15aw), 12. Parker Evans (61), 13. Dane Lorenc (00), 14. Sammy Reakes IV (1), 15. Dale Gosselin (3), 16. Etienne Girard (422), 17. Chris Jones (11J), 18. Stan Zanchin (94), 19. Paul Pekkonen (94), 20. Kyle Fraser (01)
Lap Leaders- Poirier 1-25.
Four Laps of Fame (4 Laps)- 1. Parker Evans (61), 2. Tyler Rand (84), 3. Alain Bergeron (8B), 4. Paul Pekkonen (98), 5. Dane Lorenc (00), 6. Dale Gosselin (3).
Heats (8 Laps Each)
Race 1: Cook, A. Wilson, Evans, Rand, Gosselin, Girard, Jones.
Race 2: Fraser, Ladouceur, Brown, Pekkonen, Reakes, Bilodeau, Zanchin.
Race 3: Poirier, Zimbardi, Howland, Lorenc, Bergeron, R. Wilson.
Patriot Sprint Tour Canada Series Point Standings (Top 10)- Zimbardi 445, Bergeron 409, Brown 405, Ladouceur 387, Jones 372, Gosselin 346, Fraser 340, Zanchin 329, Bilodeau 255, R. Wilson 249.
Four Laps of Fame Dash for Cash Series Standings (Top Five)- Polyak 17, Knab and Evans 14, D. Just 12 and Collins 12.
Hard Charger of the Season Standings (Top Five)- Polyak 31, Adamczyk 17, Zimbardi 16, Reakes and Ladouceur 14.