Thunder hits Leamington for Thunderfest

Round three of the Harley Davidson Canada series took place at the Leamington Fairgrounds on Saturday June 14th.   Always known for its awesome racing with riders sometimes four wide in the corners, the third stop in the Flat Track Canada series presented by Parts Canada was once again a barn burner.
  Expert DTX action was split into two heats with the talent level split evenly between them. Heat one action saw JPR Kawasaki rider Dave Pouliot set the tone for the evening early as he got to the front and never looked back. Meanwhile, behind him rookie Expert Trent Pickle had an excellent start and found himself ahead of reigning champion Brodie Buchan. Although Buchan challenged Pickle a few times throughout the race, Pickle was equal to the task and held Buchan off at the line to take second. Heat two saw Don Taylor take the victory on his KBR Honda while Dustin Brown and rookie Expert Luke Rahm rounded out the top three.
   Main event action in the DTX class saw Buchan and Taylor lead the pack out of turn two on the opening lap. Buchan edged out a bit of a gap and Taylor soon found himself in the sights of some hungry riders behind him. Taylor fell victim to Pouliot in turn two shortly after as Pouliot made a decisive move to get by and set out after Buchan. Not long after that Taylor was once again passed in turn two as Sehl Racing’s (Yamaha Canada) Brown made his way by. In the end Buchan’s early lead turned out to be too much to overcome and Pouliot would cross the line in second followed by Brown.
   Open Expert action saw three heats of riders in front of an excited crowd. Pouliot kept his heat race streak going as he took heat one in front of Tyler Seguin and Brandon Newman. Dominic Beaulac looked in fine form in heat two as he took the victory in front of the ageless Chris Evans who had been involved in an intense battle with Nick Wenzler who finished third. Buchan took heat three on his Buchan Racing Honda while Taylor and Stephen Vanderkuur finished second and third respectively.

 

 
   With the top two in each heat making the Dash for Cash, fans were in for a treat as the riders staged for a four lap fist fight. Off the start, early leader was Beaulac but many in the crowd were under the impression he may have left the line early. It took a couple of laps but Buchan reeled Beaulac in on lap three. The last lap saw Buchan and Beaulac pass each other a couple of times but at the end it was Buchan edging out the win followed by Beaulac and Pouliot. The victory allowed Buchan to do a backwards victory lap in honour of friend and mentor Jesse Phibbs.
   Beaulac seemed to get away with an early start in the Dash, but in the Open Expert final he wasn’t so lucky. Off the start, Beaulac took off from the field but the race was red flagged and Beaulac found himself at the penalty line. When the field restarted, Pouliot took the hole shot but Beaulac was the man on the move early until the race was red flagged shortly after due to an incident in turn three involving Brown and Rahm. With Brown and Rahm uninjured, the whole field lined up once again for a third attempt at running the race. Off the green light, Taylor grabbed the early lead while the rest of the field battled for real estate behind him. Pouliot was on a charge and on lap three he went under Taylor to take the lead. Taylor soon found himself in the clutches of Evans who took over second and would hold on to it for the majority of the race. Beaulac and Buchan made their way past Taylor as well and spent the next several laps fighting over third. Buchan would eventually win that battle and set his sight on Evans. While Pouliot checked out on the field up front, Evans held Buchan off until the last corner of the last lap when Buchan made the move to grab second by a slim margin at the line. The victory was Pouliot’s second of the season in the first three races.
   Intermediate action was dominated by the fast and smooth Hunter Bauer while Boyd Deadman took both checkered flags in the Novice classes.
Round four will kick off back in Welland at Welland County Speedway on July 21st.  For all the information head over to www.flattrackcanada.com
Photography by: Fast Photography & J. Downie Photography 

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