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No one has been able to catch Rick Verberne in the truck division at Delaware Speedway this season.
He has won 11 of 15 races, established the track record (21.521 seconds) and, with top rival Tom Zagorodny sidelined by an ankle injury, is well on his way to capture his second series title in three years.
So this is shaping up to be a swan song, if ever there was one. The owner of Otterville Motors has plans to run a new super stock, built by David Wight Jr. next season.
Verberne has been helping crew for Andrew Ranger’s NASCAR Pinty’s team and learning from Wight, who also builds DJ Kennington’s cars.
“I’ve been travelling with them and it’s been a lot of fun,” jVerberne said. “We’ve had an awesome year with the truck and this year’s success has had a lot to do with working with David and DJK Racing. (David) and I have become great friends. He’s a great leader and runs a very professional team.
“I’m looking forward to working with him (next season).”
As with any mechanical leap of faith, Verberne is hoping to add to his sponsorship group and maintain his previous partners.
In the meantime, he’s gunning for that truck title. There are two events left, including Friday night’s weekly Delaware card.
Then, the 2006 truck rookie of the year turns his attention to the new pursuit.
“I think it’ll take a few races to get used to the super stock,” he said, “but the quality of equipment and the knowledge we have behind us, there’s no reason we can’t be competitive and be able to run in the top five. I’m looking forward to that.”
Londoner Mark Sammut ended 21 years of frustration on his hometown track with his winged ISMA Supermodifieds tour victory Saturday night at Delaware.
The veteran racer, who last won a feature on the local half-mile oval in a midget car, grabbed the lead on lap 30 and held off-hard charging Mike McVetta to capture the 75-lap Harvey Lennox Memorial in the series’ lone Canadian stop.
The winners’ purse was $10,000 — biggest on the ISMA tour. It was Sammut’s sixth career victory on the circuit.
Dan Bowes, Innerkip’s Mike Lichty and points leader Timmy Jedrzejek rounded out the top five.
Londoner Matt Pritiko led 31 laps before settling for a second-place finish — his third straight podium effort — in the AP Exhaust 100 at Sunset Speedway Saturday night.
“It was really stout off the initial green,” the driver of the No. 21 Global Warranty Toyota entry in the APC United Late Model Series. “Early on, it was a great handling car. I got up to about a seven-car length lead, but I think I just burnt those tires a little too soon.”
Points leader Brandon Watson won for the sixth time in seven starts. Pritiko is third in the standings, 63 points behind with three races left.
Two of those will be 75-lap features Sunday in the Rankin Construction late model summer shootout at Jukasa Speedway in Hagersville.
“It’s going to be a bad fast race,” Pritiko said. “We were fast there and I know we can go faster than the times we posted there last weekend. I think the race is going to be kind of crazy.”
DJ Kennington is fourth in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series points standings after a third-place finish at Riverside International Speedway Sunday near Antigonish, N.S.
The two-time Riverside winner started with the pole and led the first 36 laps, before surrendering top spot. After some adjustments, he rallied to the podium finish in the No. 17 Castrol Edge Dodge — his fifth top-five result in 10 starts.
“I like what we’re doing, but I really want to win one of these things,” the St. Thomas native said. “We’re going to get the job done soon.”
Race winner Alex Labbe continues to lead the point standings with 432. Kennington is 46 back at 386. The next race is Sept. 3 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
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