THOROLD, Ontario – Lance Yonge has been saying all year that he’d like to have a chance to start up front.
The veteran campaigner has started near the back of the field all year long after drawing poorly at the start of the night.
Saturday evening Yonge finally drew well and took full advantage of his front row starting position to earn his first win of the season with the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints in the Gary Cunningham Memorial 25-lap A-Main event at Merrittville Speedway.
The win was the 37th of his career and moved him ahead of Mal Lane on all-time win list.
“I’ve been telling you guys all year if we got a good starting spot we could run with these guys,” said Yonge. “Tonight proved it.”
Yonge started on the outside of the front row with Shawn Donath along side for the Le Groupe Ultra Tour of Canada event. At the green Yonge got the jump and beat Donath to the outside of turns one and two. He utilized the high lane to drive away from Donath down the back straightaway.
With Yonge leading the field, Donath and fourth starter Glenn Styres began racing for the second position. Styres eventually wrestled it away from Donath and set his sights on Yonge.
Yonge utilized traffic to perfection. He worked all lanes on the speedway to ensure that there were always cars between himself and Styres. He started working the slower cars with just 10 laps complete and battled his way through for the rest of the event.
Midway through the race Yonge set the pace while Styres was now busy holding off the challenges of Chris Steele. Steele worked low while Styres stayed on the top side. The duo battled back and forth several times before Styres ultimately was able to pull away from him with five laps to go.
At that point, Yonge had checked out on the slick surface forcing Styres to settle for the second place finish in the non-stop feature.
Steele, a modified driver at the track every Saturday, came home in third. Current point leaders Justin Barger advanced from the eighth starting position to finish in fourth while Donath, of South Onondaga, N.Y., was able to complete the top five with his Mucci Motorsports mount.
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