OHSWEKEN: Cunningham unwraps second 'Christmas in July' win

OHSWEKEN: Cunningham unwraps second 'Christmas in July' win

Written by  on Tuesday, 24 July 2012 11:48
OHSWEKEN, ON - Ohsweken Speedway celebrated "Christmas in July" presented by Outhouse Image & Design and McDonald's of Brantford and Paris on Friday night. Four drivers left with the best gifts of all as Travis Cunningham, Jack Myers, Jeremy Hughes, and Dusty DeBoer visited the Engine Pro Racing Winner's Circle.

Keith Dempster and Dave Dykstra started on the front row of the Sprint Car feature, and Dykstra took the lead as he went after his first win of the season. The 2010 track champion set a fast pace, and 14 laps went by very quickly as Dykstra worked through slower traffic, and 6th place starter Travis Cunningham moved to the runner-up spot.

The only yellow flag of the race flew when Derek Jonathan slowed in turn 4, leaving clear track for Dykstra, but Cunningham right behind him for the restart. Cunningham used the high groove to make the winning move on lap 16, and went on to take his second win in the last three weeks. Dykstra settled for the runner-up spot, followed by Keith Dempster, Kyle Patrick, and row 7 starter Tom Huppunen.

"That was awesome! That was way more fun than the first one, riding around the top, and driving around people like that." said the elated driver. "The track was absolutely incredible tonight. It was the most fun I've ever had in a Sprint Car. I can't believe I'm standing here again."

Heat races for the 25 car field went to Glenn Styres, Travis Cunningham, and Todd Hoddick, while Jared Zimbardi won the B-Main.

Kameron Kocarik and Kacey Huffman were on the front row for the Thunder Stock feature, but it didn't take long for the field to start racing three and sometimes four wide for position. The lead was up for grabs for almost the entire race, until a caution flag set up a one lap dash to the finish.

Jack Myers prevailed to get his second win in the last three weeks, with championship leader Wyatt Van Wart settling for second, followed by Cory Turner, Lee Winger, and Mike Thorne.

"The other win I got here was also an autograph night, so I guess autograph night is good for me," Myers said after the race. "It's crazy out there. I can't believe going into the turns that the car actually hooks, and we're fairly clean lap after lap. It's incredible. The track is great." Heat races for the 30 car field went to Kacey Huffman, Cory Turner, and Mike Thorne, while Jesse McDonald won the B-Main.

Jon Janssens and Brock Ducharme began the Mini Stock feature on the front row, but it didn't take long for the championship contenders to make their way through the field. Mike Evers was the first of that group to get to the front, but Jeremy Hughes caught him and took the lead.

Hughes opened a large advantage and looked to have the win in hand until his car burst into flames exiting turn 4 on the last lap.

His big lead was enough to give him the win, as his car coasted across the finish line with the rest of the field closing in. Safety crews extinguished the fire, and although the car didn't make it to the Engine Pro Racing Winner's Circle, Jeremy did.

"I was just searching for any gear that would make it go forward," Hughes said after making his way on foot to the winner's circle.

Heat races for the 28 car field were claimed by Chase Hess, Robin Elliott, and Mike Evers, while Dan Erskine won the B-Main.

Danny Shantz and Frank Turkey made up the front row for the Bomber feature, but Jeremy May and Brady Longboat got to the front and dueled for the win. Slower traffic played a factor in the outcome of the race, as it often does on the tight infield oval.

May and Longboat got tangled up with the slower cars while racing for the win on the final corner of the race. The melee left the bottom lane open for Dusty Deboer to sneak by for the win. Davey Boughton and Kathi Dickie also took advantage of the leader's misfortune, and took the second and third positions, followed by May and Longboat.

"I didn't think that was going to happen," said DeBoer afterwards. "Somehow I got inside (Longboat), and all of a sudden I saw Jeremy jump up on two wheels like I did a couple of weeks ago. When we came to the line, somebody was beating on my left side, and somebody was beating on my right side. I was thinking 'I hope this is the last lap because this car isn't going to take much more of this!'" Heat races for the 16 car field went to Davey Boughton and Dusty DeBoer.

NEXT WEEK AT OHSWEKEN: Best Western Cairn Croft Hotel presents “Norfolk County Night” next Friday, July 27. Spectators showing proof of residence in Norfolk County will be admitted to the speedway for half price this week. The Corr/Pak Merchandising Sprints, Lighthouse Tattoos Thunder Stocks, HRW Automotive Mini Stocks, and Pierced Parts Bombers are all part of round 9 of Friday Night Thunder. Gates open at 6:00 with racing starting at 7:45!

From Tommy Goudge/Ohsweken

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