South Buxton Raceway, Merlin, ON Haskell family goes all out to make Rick’s memorial extra special

Discussion in 'Ontario Race Tracks' started by Race Results, Sep 6, 2012.

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    The Haskell family has gone the extra mile to make sure his dad’s annual memorial race is a special.

    And they can only imagine how special it will be if Gregg Haskell is the winner.

    The Chatham driver leads the Glencoe Auto Recyclers UMP Late Model standings heading into Saturday night’s sixth annual Rick Haskell memorial feature race.

    “I can’t even imagine how big the celebration would be with everyone in the family and all of the guys who work on the cars ”¦ if we could win it,” said the 37-year-old Haskell, who has already won three features this season and has been atop the points standings since June 2.

    “We’ve got three big races left, the championship and the Shootout ”¦ but this is the big one for me, the one I really want,” he said of his dad’s memorial.

    Rick Haskell Sixth Annual Memorial Race Poster, click to view

    Haskell has been trying to win the race since 2007, the year his father passed away of heart attack at the age of 51.

    “I dropped my dad off at his friend’s house and went to a (Red Wings) game,” Haskell recalled the night he lost his father.

    “I got the call at the game ”¦ it was the longest ride home of my life.”

    Rick worked at the track for many years in various roles.

    Gregg and his family - mother Deb, sister Kristin, brothers Patrick and Jason - have been busy the last few weeks enhancing this year’s memorial race.

    They have recruited six major sponsors - Dig R Wright Excavating, Ed Carley Motorsports, Performance Fitness, Handyman Electric, Don Gordon Trucking and Emergency Medical Response - to increase the payout.

    And they have also received donations from family, friends and fellow race enthusiasts for lap sponsorship (see attached poster for complete list of lap sponsors).

    “Every lap is sponsored, it’s going to be a random draw so it’s spread out through the field,” Haskell said.

    The race winner not only receives the six-foot-tall memorial trophy, they will also get $100 from the night’s sponsor (Lube Tech/Lubie’s Car Wash/Great Canadian Oil Change) and a $500 voucher from Ed Carley Motorsport on a 2013 race car body.

    Kirk Hooker joins the Haskell family in the Winner's Circle following his Rick Haskell memorial race winlast September.
    Kirk Hooker, the defending Haskell race winner, is also sponsoring laps 3 and 8 through his Hooker Bros./Country View Golf Course race team.

    “I’m hoping I’ll be there,” said Hooker, who races in a 200-lap Late Model race at Delaware on Sunday afternoon and is contemplating the logistics of also racing at South Buxton.

    Along with canvassing for dollar support, Haskell has also been busy recruiting as many cars as possible for the race.

    The Late Models have been averaging between 8 and 10 cars on a race night but there could be more than 15, including some from the United States, for Saturday.

    “We’re trying to make this as big of race as we can for the Late Models, and hopefully the extra cash will bring more cars,” Haskell said.

    Jason Haskell, who moved to the Modified class this season, is working on getting a Late Model ride for the night. Patrick Haskell is also a former Late Model driver but hasn’t raced in four years.

    “The weight might be all on my shoulders,” Gregg laughed, as he almost won the race in 2010 when he led the first 17 laps but was passed by Chatham’s Brad Authier with eight laps to go.

    Haskell carries an 82-point lead over Authier into Saturday’s racing action and with three weeks left in the season is on course to his first career points championship.

    “It’s been a fabulous year, my goal was to win one feature ”¦ but to win three is amazing.

    “But a win on Saturday will be bigger than anything else I could ever do this year,” he said.

    His most recent feature win came two weeks ago on a night which he unveiled a new paint scheme on his helmet, highlighted by a picture of his father.

    “John Pinsonneault did an amazing job ”¦ it’s impressive,” Haskell said, crediting his long-time friend who did the art work.

    “I think it definitely had something to do with that win.”

    Merlin’s Eren Vanderiviere can be the first driver to lock up a division title as he takes a 130-point lead over Grande Point’s Tyler Lozon into Saturday.

    If his lead is 103 points or more after Saturday, Vanderiviere will repeat as the Windride Transportation Sport Stocks champion.

    “It’d be nice to go into championship night and not worry about anything but the race,” said Vanderiviere, who won his seventh feature of the season last Saturday.

    The Sport Stocks will have a special guest driver on Saturday as Jason Hathaway, driver of the No. 3 Dodge in the Canadian Tire NASCAR Series, will drive Lozon’s second car for the night’s races.

    Hathaway will also hold an autograph session on the grandstand side before the night’s races.

    Shrewsbury’s Jim Dale Jr., in search of his eighth career track championship, is 64 points ahead of Louisville’s Fletcher atop the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds.

    Blenheim’s Shawn Jones, looking for a third straight Tirecraft Comp 4 points total, leads his brother Trevor by 52 points and Cottam’s Denis DeSerrano by 58 with two race nights remaining.

    The Sport Stocks and Comp 4s will have their championship night on Sept. 8 while the Late Models and Modifieds will race for their crowns on Sept. 22.

    The grandstand opens at 5:30 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m.

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