McNair captures title of top driver at Charity Drivers’ Challenge

Doug McNair celebrates his win with grandmother, Gwen McNair.

CLINTON – With four wins and a pair of second-place finishes on the day, driver Doug McNair earned the most points to top the standings in the 32nd Charity Driver’s Challenge at Clinton Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

With 268 points earned during the 14-race competition, McNair defeated Billy Davis Jr. (263), Jason Brewer (255), Clinton’s leading reinsman Trevor Henry (165), defending Driver’s Challenge champion Jody Jamieson (163), Scott Zeron (139), Bruce Richardson (117) and Ryan Holliday (52) for his first driving competition win. Points were earned during the Challenge for placing first through fifth (1st-50 points, 2nd-25 points, 3rd-12 points, 4th-8 points, 5th-5 points).

McNair was a winner right out of the gate, steering Ozzy Does It ($7.30) to victory lane in the first race. Despite making a break in the stretch, the Warren Ozinga trainee recovered to win in front-stepping fashion. McNair later guided Ratings Hanover ($3.30) down the road to notch his second win of the day in the fifth race for trainer Stephen Durand. The 22-year-old resident of Guelph, Ont. sent Tom Williscraft trainee Positrack ($4.70) first up and fought off Miapretty and Jamieson down the stretch to prevail in the seventh race. Cams Western ($12.80) gave McNair the grand slam as he converted from the pocket to win the 11th race for conditioner Michael Rogers.

He also earned points finishing second with Dusty Lane Tate for trainer Paul Belanger Jr. in the eighth race, fourth with Paul Taylor pupil Lucky George in the ninth race and second in the 13th with Miss Brexley for conditioner George McClure.

The competition for the Challenge title came right down to the wire though as McNair, Jason Brewer (with four wins of his own, one second and a third), and Billy Davis Jr. (two wins, five seconds and a third) had enough points to top the standings with a victory in the final race.

With favourite Pricevalleyrevitup leading for most of the mile, Davis Jr. was within reach of the victory, but a costly break in stride by his mount in the stretch left him settling for the runner-up spot. Despite finishing last in the race, McNair had enough points to hold onto the lead.

“I’ve been in a couple of driver’s challenges before and it’s a big thrill to win it,” McNair told Trot Insider after the card. “I was definitely out to win it, especially with all the money going to charity.

“I definitely drove a little different today,” he noted. “Sorry to the guys out there for not giving them much room, but I wanted to win.”

This year’s Charity Challenge benefitted Childcan, an organization committed to raising funds to provide responsive and compassionate support services to families facing the journey through childhood cancer — from diagnosis through treatment to recovery or bereavement.

McNair noted that one of the highlights of the day was getting the meet the children in attendance and take pictures with them.

Over $10,000 was raised for Childcan as all of the drivers in the Challenge donated their earnings from the day to the charity. In addition, donations were made by driver sponsors and funds were raised on track from a BBQ and corn roast. They day also held record attendance and wagering as over 1000 people joined in on the annual event, and bet over $36,000.

Live racing resumes next Sunday, September 9 and continues through September 30.

Story courtesy of Standardbred Canada


Written by on September 5, 2012 in Central Huron, Clinton, Community News, Sports - No comments

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