Dustin Brown celebrated his 17th birthday in style at Georgian Downs Raceway near Barrie, ON, on Saturday night, dominating round ten of the 12 event Harley-Davidson Canada Flat Track Series presented by Parts Canada. Brown earned his third Feature race win in a row, moving steadily closer to his first overall number one plate for Canadian Flat Track – Brown holds a solid lead atop the Expert Open points standings.
With lightning on the horizon and rain threatening, the Flat Track Canada sanctioning group hurried the schedule, and Brown ran away with the 15 Lap expert Open Feature. Earlier Brown won the Expert Open race as well as the Dash for Cash at the venue described as the biggest track on the National tour.
“My plan was to put my head down after a good start and just check out, and that’s what happened,” smiled an elated Brown from the centre of the Podium. “I want to say a big thanks to all my local fans, it was just a great day. With two races left in the Series, the goals are still consistency, and then see how we do at the end of each race and now the end of the day for the series.”
After thanking main backers Sehl Racing, Kurt Beiger Racing and Yamaha Canada, Brown confirmed that he was lucky to earn the win in the main event.
“I guess the bike more or less blew up when I crossed the finish line,” confirmed Brown, who pulled off outside turn one and had to be pushed to the Podium, skipping the usual victory lap. “We really don’t know what happened, it just started bogging down on the last lap, and then just quit.”
Brown was aboard a well-travelled and well-sorted C&J framed, air-cooled Rotax single, in fact the same bike that Scott Sehl used to win with in 2000. The bike displaces 614cc, “as big as a short stroke Rotax can be and still stay reliable.”
Well behind victor Brown, 2018 multi-National victor Dave Pouliot aboard a Woods-Rotax held on to earn second after a near event-long fight against veteran fast guy Chris Evans. Evans netted third aboard a Honda-powered “framer.”
Following the Final, Pouliot admitted that his “framer” had lost the rear brake mid-event, perhaps as a result of an earlier crash. “I was trying hard, we were good, but we just were not quite there, and Dustin pulled away.” Pouliot thanked mentor and bike builder John Parker as well as Canadian Kawasaki, Moto Vanier and Inglis Cycle.
“I feel like I pushed the number 16 all day,” explained 55-year-old Evans of his pursuit of Pouliot. “It got a little exciting over those last few laps. I plan to race a few more years, and we have a couple of irons in the fire.”
Reigning National Champ Brodie Buchan was back in action after missing the past four National Feature races due to an arm injury. The current number one opted to skip the production-framed DTX event, his typical speciality, and make his twin cylinder debut aboard a borrowed Kawasaki 650 powered “framer” belonging to American sponsor Tim Wells.
Buchan held fourth for most of the Main, showing good form on the rambunctious Twin, but was caught late in the race by the framer of a hard-charging Tyler Seguin. Seguin took fourth, Buchan fifth ahead of DTX Yamaha mounted Jimmy McCullough and the Honda framer of American Brandon Newman.
In the early-program Heats to determined grids for the Feature race, Brown dominated the opener as Buchan held off Newman for third. Seguin borrowed Evans bike but dropped out with a mechanical issue, meaning he did not qualify for the fan-favorite Dash for Cash.
In Open Expert Heat Two, Pouliot on his DTX-class Kawasaki edged Evans in a good dice, Evans aboard Seguin’s machine! Luke Rahm completed the Dash for Cash grid, battling to a strong third in Open Expert Heat Two.
Production Yamaha-mounted Brown also ran off with the mid-evening, ten lap DTX event, winding up almost four seconds up on Pouliot’s Kawasaki. Pouliot kept the pressure on in the overall season class points standings by coming out on top in a good battle with third overall Newman. Honda pilot Trent Pickle backed up his first Pro Heat win with a strong fourth ahead of McCullough.
As is frequently the case, the Dash for Cash was action packed, Pouliot crashing to cause an early red flag. After the second start, the motivated Buchan fell from his twin for the first time, but didn’t stop the action. Both riders were quickly back in action.
Brown ended up taking “Dash” victory, while Evans came out on top of Pouliot in another fight for second. Newman was fourth while Rahm completed the finishers with his Honda.
The next round of the tour is scheduled for Wheatley, ON, September 22, with the season wrapping up a week later at Sarnia’s Hiawatha Downs, September 29.