Posted by Tom on September 29, 2015
We had a good season at Laird this year, it was our 17th, with some great racing and close points battles for championships in our four divisions.
We got a total of 10 racedays in, a couple less than average. We had a bit of a slow start to the season, then also shut it down for a couple weeks mid season to regroup and seeks some solutions to attendance issues.
The fan attendance at the beginning of the season was lower than normal, and lower than what is needed to support the operation of the track. By the end of the season though the crowd size had increased a bit and that was encouraging.
Prouse Motors Super Late Model Division
Fourteen different drivers were out over the season in the Super Late Model Division. The points championship came down to the last night of the season.
Rob Hiiemaa surfaced to the top as the season champion, with 239 points. Rob has participated in most seasons at laird, but usually is absent for a few nights and misses some of the heat races. Not this year though, Rob attended the whole season and was out for every race. Rob is a veteran and has been racing since the early 80’s. This is Rob’s second championship in the division at Laird, his last one was in the 2003 season.
Keith King was the defending champion in the division this season. He pulled up second in the division championship with 231 points, just a slim margin of 8 points behind Hiiemaa.
Dan Byrnes was third in the division with 196 points. Byrnes missed the last race day of the season.
Roddy Bolduc was a past late model champ, he was absent from the track for a couple years but returned this season and put in a good run for the championship pulling up fourth, just one point behind Byrnes.
Thanks to our division sponsor, Prouse Motors. They have sponsored this division for a few years know and their support is greatly appreciated. Regular fans will remember seeing many of their new cars and trucks on display at the track.
Dynatype Motorsports Laird Modifieds
We saw 21 different drivers take part in the modified division this year at Laird. The division was actually a combination of the Laird Modifieds and the Outlaw Modified divisions (Michigan Modifieds). Rules were changed to permit the Michigan cars to run with treaded tires instead of slicks, and there were some weight changes required to the Michigan cars, depending on their configuration.
This division was the only one where the champion wasn’t decided on the final race date. Mav MacDonald Jr. drove clean and hard all season and secured the championship on the second to last race night. Mav had 315 points at the end of the season. MacDonald was a previous champion in the Outlaw Modified division in 2013.
Second in the division was Keith King with 278 points, 37 points back from the leader. King was driving the #7 car owned by L & L Automotive. King was doing double duty and secured a second in the Late Model Division as well.
Kevin Oicle snagged third place in the division, 9 points behind King. Oicle won the championship in the first season that the modifieds ran at Laird, in 2004.
Fourth in the division was Dustin Jackson. Dustin’s priority was to run at U.S. tracks this season and consequently he missed a couple race nights.
Our division sponsor for the modifieds this year was Dynatype Motorsports. This business is owned and operated by late model champ Rob Heiimaa. Dynatype does engine work for some of the drivers at laird. The primary clientele for Dynatype though is the snowmobile, ATV, and marine market. Dynatype also is the area Argo dealer and does some automotive repairs as well.
Maitland Motors Factory Stocks
Eighteen drivers in total competed in the Factory Stock Division. We had relatively good car counts through the season in the division, which is good, considering that a few years ago the division was in jeopardy with only a handful of cars showing up at the beginning of the season.
J.P. DelPaggio secured the championship on the final race day of the season with 298 points. J.P. was second in the division last season and stepped up again this season with a lot of hard work and great on track racing.
Keenan Spurway placed second in the division with 287 points, 11 behind DelPaggio. Spurway was the leader going into the final race day but didn’t show up for the final race. He had suffered car damage in the feature the race night prior. (Updated Sept 30th: Since this article was written, Keenan has contacted the writer and advised he was missing for the last night in personal protest, not due to car damage.)
Jarritt Varcoe came up third in the division with 262 points. Varcoe raced well through the season but had a DQ from a feature one night for a tire issue, which set him back in the points battle.
Mark Porpealia pulled up fourth place in the division. Mark has been racing in the division for quite a few years and might be considered to be a bit of an “underdog” in the division. Mark however is a consistent competitor that doesn’t miss many, if any, races in the season.
Maitland Motors has sponsored the Factory Stock Division for many years. We thank them for their sponsorship and continuing support.
Northern Fencing Factory Fours
We only had 16 drivers take part in the Factory Four division this season. In previous years we’ve seen upwards of 30. A few drivers have moved into other divisions over the years, but there are a lot of cars out there that are sitting in garages.
Jacob Heimonen was the season champ in the division with 297 points. The young driver finished well in most races and carried the checkered flag a number of times through the season. Heimonen finished 7th in the division last year so the young man has made some great improvements into this season.
John Robinson pulled up a second place finish with 276 points, 21 behind Heimonen. Robinson received a DQ in a feature late in the season and that hurt his bid for the championship. Robinson ran the season last year with some car issues and through the season found them and fixed them. The last race day of the season he was outdriving the entire field.
John Carter also was a strong runner and finished third with 242 points. Carter was absent on the last race day due to an engine failure suffered at a neighbouring track a week before the end of the season. He also has showed up with a factory stock towards the end of the season so if he’s back next year it will probably be in the Factory Stock.
Long time racer Jack Lannigan was fourth in the division. Lannigan is running a weaker car than the others but he is consistently on the track for each and every race.
Northern Fencing was the division sponsor this year. The company takes care of the fences and some of the maintenance work at Laird. We wish to say thanks for their sponsorship.