(August 6th, 2023) - Following finishes of fourth, third, and second in the first three Super Late Model Series races, many wondered if the Universal Truck and Trailer 150 was Dylan Gosbee’s (#16) race to lose. A strong and consistent season netted the PEI driver a healthy point lead - and the coveted yellow trim for his car - but it was an elusive feature win he was seeking to finally conquer.
On Sunday, Gosbee would not be denied, winning the Universal Truck and Trailer 150 to not only extend his points lead and claim his first SLMS victory, but to finally check off a box of winning a major regional extended distance Super Late Model race at his home track of Oyster Bed Speedway.
Gosbee had a spirited battle for the lead for over twenty laps with Troy Burke (#01), who dominated much of the race leading the first 103 laps. Gosbee would assume the second position to challenge Burke after Dave O’Blenis (#48) - who spent much of the first half of the race stalking Burke for the lead - had an issue on the restart which stacked up the field causing a few cars to spin out. O’Blenis had to pit, putting Gosbee in position to work the inside groove in a colossal battle that finally saw the 16-car come out on top on the 104th lap of the race.
Burke had to hold off some hard chargers in his mirror over the 70-lap green flag run to the finish, as he held on to bring home a runner-up finish and his first SLMS podium. Burke was able to outduel Ryan Messer (#1), who earned his first career Oyster Bed Speedway podium with a third-place finish. Steve Halpin (#03) and Darren MacKinnon (#18) rounded out the top five.
After forcing the postponement of the race from Saturday to Sunday, mother nature made her presence felt during the Universal Truck and Trailer 150. The second caution of the race would fly on lap 56 for weather, which resulted in an extended caution period awaiting a passing shower. Fortunately, the entirety of the race was able to be completed.
Messer, Gosbee, and Halpin all scored heat race victories to kick off the day. However, Dave O’Blenis would earn the EIT Race Radios Pole Award with a +4 passing points score. While O’Blenis led the field to the green, Troy Burke grabbed the lead on the opening lap and showed the way for much of the early going, with O’Blenis and Greg Proude (#29) forcing him to work to keep the lead in lapped traffic.
Two heavy contenders who were near the top of time sheets in practice fell by the wayside during the opening run. Ashton Tucker (#2) saw his race shortened after being plagued by transmission issues, while Lonnie Sommerville (#23) drew the races first yellow flag 48 laps in after succumbing to mechanical gremlins of his own.
It would be less than 10 laps before rain hit, but following the rain delay, a twenty-three-lap green flag run ensued until Brodie Lewis (#22) took a long slide through the infield drawing a yellow flag. Kenny Snow (#7) got crossed up on the ensuing restart, while the races fifth and final caution came on the second restart attempt as several cars spun when Dave O’Blenis ran into problems.
Twenty-two (22) drivers entered the re-scheduled Universal Truck and Trailer 150, with a few competitors being unable to attend due to the rescheduled date.
Prior to the feature, Ryan Raynes (#94), who was lined up 10th on the grid, accepted the Nick’s Towing Pole Challenge to start at the rear for an instant $500. Raynes had an additional $500 on the line to finish on the podium but would suffer damage in the races final caution.
With his win, Dylan Gosbee will open a sizeable points lead over Robbie MacEwen (#40) and Steve Halpin, who are separated by one point for second.
The Super Late Model Series returns to action Saturday August 19th, 2023, at Geary, New Brunswick’s Speedway 660 for round five! The penultimate race will be the ReCar 150 presented by Wonder Auto and Tire. The Riverview Ford Season Opener at Speedway 660 was an incredible race, and fans can expect more of the same as the Super Late Model Series rolls back into the Geary Woods.
Stay tuned to SLMS.ca, Super Late Model Series on Facebook, or @SLMSeries on other social media platforms including YouTube for highlights, recaps, and updates on the next event!