THOROLD, Ont. – (July 28, 2018) – Port Colborne, Ont. teenager Jacob Dykstra took full advantage of his front row starting position and led 19 of 20 laps including the all important money lap to score his first career win with the Action Sprint Tour powered by RaceRivalz.com at Merrittville Speedway on Saturday night.
“It’s helped a lot,” Dykstra said in Victory Lane of running practice nights at Merrittville over the last two seasons. “I have a million laps here over the last two years and it’s like it my home track, so it’s just awesome to put it in Victory Lane.”
Dykstra started outside the front row with series point leader Jesse Costa on the pole for the 20-lap Feature. The two drivers shared the front row for the main event after turning down the chance to drop to 12th for a chance at a $500 winner’s bonus in the Durnin Motors Front Row Challenge.
Dykstra jumped out to the early advantage while fourth starting Ryan Hunsinger quickly jumped forward into second. Sixth starting Aaron Turkey raced quickly into a battle for third with Costa and the two drivers dueled in side-by-side for the first five laps.
The first of two cautions came on lap five when Corey Gruhl, who was making his first start with the tour, spun in turn two and was able to continue. On the restart, Turkey got past Hunsinger for second, but didn’t pull away. Simultaneously, the two drivers reeled in Dykstra by lap nine.
On lap 10, Hunsinger jumped back into second and was side-by-side for the lead with Dykstra on lap 11. A lap later, Turkey made it three-wide at the start-finish line for the top spot. Before lap 13 was completed, Turkey made the pass on Dykstra for the lead in turn two but had it erased as the caution waved for Trevor Young, who was turned at the top of turn three.
The final restart set the stage for a furious eight-lap finish to the race. On the restart, Turkey got past Dykstra to lead lap 13, but the 15-year-old retook the point the next lap. From there, he narrowly held off Hunsinger and Turkey to score his first win after the two drivers battled high and low in search of a road to victory, but came up just short.
“I think we just needed a little bit of lapped traffic,” Hunsinger said following the finish. “Under the last caution, I was just throwing everything I could at it and I put the wing a little too far back. It was a little too tight, but overall it was a fun race. I don’t mind finishing second in a race like that. It was side-by-side and it was a blast. Jacob did a really good job.”
For Turkey, it was his fourth top-five finish in five starts this season.
“The car was pretty good on the high and low side,” Turkey said. “I should have stayed on the high side. I hope (the fans) enjoyed the Feature. Three-wide for the lead, how about that?”
Dereck Lemyre raced to an impressive fourth-place finish while Costa battled back to finish fifth after falling as far back as sixth and retained the point lead in the process.
Shone Evans, Turkey and Dykstra won qualifying heats to begin the night.
The Action Sprint Tour has now hit its official halfway point in the 2018 schedule. The series has seen three different winners in its five races. The seres returns to the track to start the second of its inaugural season on Friday, August 3 when it makes its second appearance at Ohsweken Speedway for Bradshaw Brothers Emergency Services Night. Race time is 7:30pm. For additional event information, visit www.ohswekenspeedway.ca. For more information on the Action Sprint Tour, including a full scheduled, points, purses and point fund, visit www.ActionSprintTour.com.
ACTION SPRINT TOUR MEDIA
About the Action Sprint Tour: The Action Sprint Tour is a travelling Winged Sprint Car Series based in Ontario, Canada. The cars on the Action Sprint Tour are powered by GMC 602 Crate Motors modified specifically to fit a Sprint Car chassis. The Series is racing its inaugural season in 2018 and will run 10 races at 5 different Ontario tracks. Drivers will compete for a point fund and bonuses totaling $10,000. For additional information, including rules, event purse and series point fund, visit the Series official website at www.ActionSprintTour.com.
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