Brad Rouse of St. Catharine’s claimed the DIRTcar Sportsman tour victory while teammates Bobby Tolton of Guelph and Brandon Crumbie of Beeton won the HRW Automotive Mini Stock Features.
Logan Schuchart Takes a Bite Out of Donny Schatz to Win Six Nations Showdown
Logan Schuchart hunted down Donny Schatz in heavy lapped traffic and then dominated the second half of the Six Nations Showdown at Ohsweken Speedway for his fourth World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series win of 2017 on Tuesday night.
The victory was a much-needed confidence boost for Schuchart and his Shark Racing team who had struggled of late. The slick Ohsweken surface was exactly to the liking of the Hanover, Pa. native in the Outlaws only visit to Canada this season.
“I love these type of racetracks, not just because we ran well on it tonight. I love slick racetracks,” Schuchart said in Victory Lane. “I love when you have to drive the car straight and smooth. I feel like it makes it fun. Obviously if you’re not running good it’s not fun, but if you can glide around the racetrack, be smooth and have forward drive, it’s fun.”
Schuchart had all of those ingredients at Ohsweken. While Schatz grabbed an early lead from the pole and drove away from the majority of the field, Schuchart was the only driver able to keep pace. The top duo wandered into heavy lapped traffic by lap nine and as Schatz was forced to give up his preferred line on the bottom to move past a slower car, Schuchart capitalized when he found room on the bottom of turn two and down the backstretch to take the lead.
“I was having trouble catching Donny when we were in an open run,” Schuchart admitted. “It wasn’t until we got to lapped traffic, I felt like, that some lapped cars made him go where he didn’t want to. I could just move around a little bit more than he could and go through the middle. When some lapped cars took his line away, I just felt like I was able to get the forward drive off the corners to get by him.”
One lap after Schuchart took the lead, the caution flag waved for Sheldon Haudenschild, who suffered a flat right-rear tire. He made the repairs in the work area and returned to the rear of the field. Schuchart held the point on the lap nine restart while Greg Wilson and Kyle Larson battled tooth and nail for the third spot.
Schuchart led the top-five into traffic again on lap 16 of the 30-lap main event, but was able to run the bottom the lane the whole time to continue pulling away from Schatz. His advantage with 10 laps to go was 2.6 seconds but grew each lap until he achieved the eventual 5.984-second margin of victory.
Schatz was openly disappointed he was not able to capitalize on his pole starting position to claim his 16th win of the season. His runner-up finish was his 40th top-five finish of the season.
“We got beat,” Schatz stated bluntly. “Logan was really good. He could go all over. Obviously, we got to traffic and you have to move around. We did that a little bit and he found the better groove. Those guys rolled pretty good and I couldn’t stay down there very well. I had to roll the middle and do what I could. These guys did a great job, Logan was just that good tonight.”
Schuchart was ecstatic to score his fourth Outlaw win of the season and to beat the current Series point leader to achieve the feat.
“Anytime you can beat Donny Schatz on any type of racetrack, but especially a slick racetrack, it’s saying something,” Schuchart said. “We’ve had a car for a while that’s given us some trouble and this is the first night on this new XXX (chassis) and it was hooked up on this slick surface. I felt like it was just gliding around the racetrack and I was just guiding it.”
Wilson rounded out the podium finishers after holding off Kyle Larson in the second half of the race. It was Wilson’s fifth top-five finish of the season on a surface he raved about in his post-race interview.
“We’ve been struggling pretty bad lately, so I can’t thank the folks at Hercules Tires, Ohio Logistics, DNC Hydraulics, Gear Alloy and Weikel Sportswear for staying with us,” Wilson said. “This is always an amazing show. (Track Owner) Glenn (Styres) and the whole crew gave us an excellent racetrack. It’s fun. I wish some other tracks in the country would take a look at this. I realize we’re not going 100mph, but there’s racing all over the racetrack and that’s what it’s about.”
Larson settled for a fourth-place finish and 19-year-old Dylan Westbrook, who was making his first career Outlaw start in his first night with a 410ci motor, rounded out the top-five after starting 16th. Jacob Allen was the KSE Hard Charger award winner after he advanced 13 positions from 24th to 11th.
Brad Sweet was the night’s fast qualifier with a lap of 12.280 seconds. Sweet, Schuchart, Larson and Wilson all won heat races in some of the most thrilling qualifying action all season. Schatz won the Craftsman Club Dash from the pole, but had to take the lead back from Brent Marks midway through the race to gain the pole. Kraig Kinser came out on top of a three-car battle for the lead with Jared Zimbardi and Steve Lyons to win the Last Chance Showdown.
Brad Rouse Dominates DIRTcar Sportsman Tour
The DIRTcar Sportsman tour rolled into Ohsweken 33 cars strong for the first race on the Western Region’s schedule. Brad Rouse of St. Catharine’s, Ont. dominated the 30-lap Feature, leading 28 laps after starting on the pole to score the victory.
“The luck of the draw and starting up front really helps with these guys,” Rouse said in Victory Lane. “Like I said before, we have the best in the business around here. The guys put a great car underneath me again tonight and I want to thank everybody for that.”
Rouse and Rob Knapp from Niagara Falls, Ont. brought the field to the green flag for main event. Knapp led the opening two circuits before Rouse pulled alongside him and drove off with the lead.
The polesitter didn’t get very far thought before he was slowed by a lap four caution when Luke Carleton spun in turn four. On the ensuing restart, Rouse got a much better jump than the initial green flag and pulled away from the field while James Henry and Matt Farnham battled for second.
Rouse pulled away to a lead of more than two second by the halfway point while Farnham and Henry couldn’t separate for each other and continued their battle. Rouse worked into some lapped traffic on lap 14, but a caution on lap 15 when Tyler Puchalski spun in turn three gave him a clear track once again.
That was bad news for the rest of the field as Rouse anchored his No.18r right on the bottom of the racetrack against the infield wall to take the short way around the very slick track. The all-time Ohsweken Sportsman wins leader, Jay Mallory raced into the top-five from the 10th starting spot on lap 16 and battled with Darrell Farrway, who made his way up front as well after starting 15th.
Over the final 10 laps, the race ran caution-free and Rouse drove to the win by 2.678 seconds, or what looked like a straightaway. Henry claimed the second position and Farraway was a strong third-place finisher.
“It was even all the way across,” Rouse said of the track’s slick surface. “You just had to pick your line and stick to it.”
Racing alongside the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series meant the Sportsman drivers enjoyed the opportunity to race in front of a packed crowd.
“Brad was definitely the class of the field,” said second-place finisher James Henry of Niagara Falls, NY. “This racetrack’s awesome. A big crowd, it’s awesome to be here.”
After starting in the middle of the pack, Farraway was ecstatic about his third-place effort.
“I’m totally excited about it,” Farraway said. “We changed carburetors after hot laps because we had a miss. We were still having a miss for the Feature, but maybe that’s what helped me out to keep it down low. To finish behind these guys is one heck of a job. They’re the best in the business.”
Farnham and Mark Chiddy rounded out the top-five.
Crumbie, Tolton Claim HRW Automotive Mini Stock Wins
Timed Hot Laps determined the starting lineups for the HRW Automotive Mini Stock twin 15-lap Features with the odd numbered qualifiers in Feature 1 and the even numbered qualifiers in Feature 2.
Rookie pilot Nick Masi started on the pole for the first Feature and jumped out to an early lead and held the point position through restarts on laps four and nine. Tim DeBoer threw everything he had at Masi in the second half of the race, running the inside lane and nosed ahead of Masi with two laps to go. The caution waved on lap 14 when Rob Sauder spun in turn three, setting up a one-lap dash.
DeBoer restarted as the leader with Masi to his outside. When the two drivers raced into turn three and made contact at the bottom of the track. Both cars stayed straight, but slowed enough to allow third-place Brandon Crumbie to drive around the top in turn four and claim the win. Masi settled for second while Mark Bazuin benefitted from the incident and finished third.
In the second Feature, Bobby Tolton started outside the front row and jumped to an early advantage with teammate Dave Crumbie running in second. Tolton pulled away to a convincing lead in a race that ran green flag until the final lap. Behind Tolton and Dave Crumbie, Gary Hodgson and Jon Janssens fought side by side for third. After Janssens took the spot, Hodgson was locked into a three-car battle for fourth with Matt Nuell and Jonathan Ayrton.
The caution flag halted the action on lap 14 after Rob Twitchett spun in turn two to set up a one-lap shootout for the second straight race. Tolton pulled away again on the restart and left Crumbie and Janssens to solve the discussion for second. Janssens effort fell just short as Crumbie maintained enough momentum up top to claim the runner-up spot.
UP NEXT AT OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY
Ohsweken Speedway is off on Friday, July 28 before returning to action to begin the month of August on Friday, August 4 for the Lucas Oil Night at the Races when the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints roll into town for the third and final challenge race of the season against the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars. The Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars, Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks, HRW Automotive Mini Stocks and Gale’s Auto Aftermarket Bombers. Race time is 7:30pm. For additional event information and a full schedule of events, visit www.ohswekenspeedway.com.
Tickets Available Now!
Advanced reserved seating tickets are on sale now for all of Ohsweken Speedway's 2017 major events, including the Triple Crown Showdown featuring Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds on August 24, and the 13th annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals on September 15-16 are on sale now! Visit www.ohswekenspeedway.ticketforce.com or call 519-717-0023 to order and for more information. For the full 2017 schedule of events, click here.
About Arrow Express: Arrow Express Sports is a sport and entertainment company that is dedicated to preserving and teaching Native American Indian sports, culture, music, and languages. Based at the Arrow Express Sports Entertainment Arena, the company owns and operates the Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League, and the Hamilton Nationals of Major League Lacrosse. Arrow Express owns and operates the multipurpose 3,000 spectator capacity arena which hosts lacrosse, music, and festival events. The mission of Arrow Express Sports is to help children by advocating healthy lifestyle choices. Visit the Arrow Express Sports website at www.aeslacrosse.com.
About Ohsweken Speedway: Founded in 1996, Ohsweken Speedway is a motorsports complex which includes a 3/8 (0.375) mile clay oval track. The facility is owned by the Styres family, and located in the village of Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada. Ohsweken’s weekly Friday night racing program runs from May to September each year, featuring 360 Sprint Cars, Crate Sprint Cars, Thunder Stocks, Mini Stocks, and Bombers, while the season finishes each year with the annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals. Ohsweken Speedway also hosts weekly Micro Sprint racing on Thursday nights, and has been a yearly stop on the World of Outlaws Sprint Car series schedule since 2007.
OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY MEDIA
Ohsweken Speedway thanks the following partners for their support in 2017: Arrow Express, Kool Kidz Ice & Water, Corr/Pak Merchandising Inc., Renway Energy, Case IH O’Neil’s Farm Equipment, Hoosier Tire Canada, EPIC Racewear, McDonald’s Restaurants of Paris & Brantford, Ackland Insurance, Strickland’s GMC, Lucas Oil, Burger Barn, Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Creative Edge Signs & Graphics, Insta-Insulation, Middleport Mechanical, HRW Automotive, and Gale’s Auto Aftermarket