OHSWEKEN, Ont. (May 24, 2019) – Ohsweken Speedway finally got to kickoff its 2019 season with the Ackland Insurance Friday Night Excitement Season Opener on Friday, May 24. A busy grandstand saw a full pit area of 120 racecars battle in an exciting night of action. When the dust settled, it was Dylan Westbrook who scored the win in the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars and Liam Martin led all 20 laps on the way to victory in the Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Car lid lifter. For the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks it was defending champion Dave Bailey claiming victory on opening night while Sean Iftody won the HRW Automotive Mini Stock opener in what was also the first race of the Insta-Panels Duel on the Dirt Series.
Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars
Jim Huppunen and Chris Steele started on the front row for the 20-lap Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Car A-Feature. Huppunen grabbed the early lead but fourth-starting Dylan Westbrook jumped to second through the opening two corners. The top two raced nose-to-tail until Westbrook drove under Huppunen off turn four on lap seven and had the lead at the start-finish line. The leaders had worked their way into lapped traffic and on lap nine Westbrook darted through the middle of two slower cars to hold his advantage.
A lap later at the halfway point, Steele and Mack DeMan got passed Huppunen for second and third, respectively. By lap 12, Westbrook had grown his lead to 2.9 seconds, but saw it erased after lap 13 was complete when the caution flag waved for a slowing Cole MacDonald.
There were no lapped cars between Westbrook, Steele and DeMan on the ensuing restart, but Westbrook had no problem establishing a lead again. However, the red flag was displayed on lap 14 when Mike Thorne and Scott Kreutter came together in turn two, sending both cars flipping. Both drivers were uninjured and walked away from their cars under their own power.
The restart with six laps to go proved no problem for Westbrook who drove to the victory by 1.9 seconds over Steele and DeMan. Huppunen and Cory Turner completed the top-five. The victory was Westbrook’s 23rd 360 Sprint Car triumph at Ohsweken, putting him four back of Glenn Styres’ all-time record of 27. Westbrook, Huppunen and Steele won their qualifying heat races to start the night.
Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars
Liam Martin and Caleb Wood paced the field to the green flag for the Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars season opening feature. Martin jumped out to the early advantage that ultimately proved to be the winning move. By lap five, the Binbrook, Ont. teenager held a 1.3-second advantage over Wood, but had to keep pushing as he worked into lapped traffic on lap seven.
At the halfway point, it was still Martin and Wood out front of Jacob Dykstra and Paul Klager. With nine laps to go, Martin was in the thick of lapped traffic and made a move that may have sealed his win. Stuck behind two slower cars, Martin made a daring slice between the two cars off turn four to maintain his lead over Wood. A similar situation arose with 14 laps to go, but Martin was up to the task again and raced away to the checkered flag. Wood, Dykstra, Klager and Dereck Lemyre completed the top-five.
Wood, Trevor Young, Klager and Brian Nanticoke won their qualifying heats to begin the nights while Derek Miller and Brad Herron won the pair of B-Mains.
Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks
Brian Teeple and Ryan Beagle brought the 22-car field of Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks to the line for the green flag. Beagle immediately jumped to the point while fourth-starting Dave Bailey climbed into second. The two drivers battle side-by-side for the first five laps until Beagle regained a brief edge only to have Bailey take the top spot on lap seven.
The first caution of the race came on lap nine for a piece of debris in turn one. Bailey chose the outside line on the restart, which proved no issue for. Beagle, meanwhile, fell into the clutches of Logan Shwedyk who moved forward into second. The top three stayed that way until lap16 as Jonny Lowenberg brought out the caution when he went into the turn three hay bales after it appeared the rad hose let go on his No.14.
On the ensuing restart, Bailey re-asserted his dominance in the division and paced the remaining four laps to start his championship defence with a victory. Shwedyk held off Beagle and Jim Lampman in a hard-fought battle for second while Chris Hale rounded out the top-five. Blake Bomberry Jr., Shwedyk and Beagle scored victories in the qualifying heats earlier in the night. The victory was the 22nd Thunder Stock win of Bailey’s career at Ohsweken, putting him one back of the all-time record of 23 held by AJ Lewis and Ryan Dinning.
HRW Automotive Mini Stocks
Bobby Tolton and Sean Iftody were on the front row for the HRW Automotive Mini Stock 15-lap Feature. Iftody took full advantage of his front row starting position and grabbed the point position on the opening lap. Third-starting Kyle Wert challenged Iftody up front on lap five, but then fell back into a battle for second with Dusty DeBoer and Wayde Thorne at the halfway point of the 15-lap affair.
The only caution came on lap 11 for debris in turn three. Iftody was not troubled by the restart, however, Wert didn’t fair so well and fell off the pace and pulled into the pits on lap 12. That handed the second spot to DeBoer who was in no position to track down the lead with just two laps remaining. The win was Iftody’s second at Ohsweken as DeBoer, Thorne, Kyle Haynes and Jonathan Ayrton completed the top-five.
Dusty DeBoer, Kevin Thorne, Ayrton and Mike Sarantakos raced to heat race victories, meanwhile Nick Masi and Matt Nuell scored checkered flags in a pair of B-Mains.
Up Next at Ohsweken Speedway
Ohsweken Speedway returns to action on Friday, May 31 for Victory Gamez Friday Night Excitement and will make history with its first ever live television broadcast on MavTV Canada as part of All North Racing presented by Pinty’s. All four of Ohsweken’s weekly divisions will be in action, including the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars, Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars, Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks and HRW Automotive Mini Stocks. The Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks race will count as their first home track race for the Insta-Panels Duel on the Dirt Series. Grandstand admission is $30 per car load (max 6 people) as we try to #FillTheO. Pit gates open at 5:30pm and spectator gates open at 6:00pm. Race time is 7:30pm. For additional event information, visit www.ohswekenspeedway.ca.
About Ackland Insurance: Ackland Insurance is an agent for Desjardins Insurance. Born and raised in Brantford, Nathan Ackland is a second generation insurance agent with 18 years experience in the industry serving the community of Brant. Nathan is an active supporter of several local charities, sports teams and is an avid race fans who owns and supports several local race teams. For more information, visit www.acklandinsurance.com.
About MavTV Canada’s All North Racing Powered by Pinty’s
Ohsweken Speedway is excited to announce its Friday Night Excitement racing will be the centerpiece of a new international television broadcast on MavTV Canada called All North Racing powered by Pinty’s. All North Racing will visit Ohsweken for six live broadcasts that will be re-aired multiple times in Canada and the United States. The MavTV broadcasts are scheduled for May 31, June 21, July 22, July 23, August 30 and September 14. These broadcasts include both nights of the Northern Summer Nationals featuring Tony Stewart, Christopher Bell and Rico Abreu as well as the 15th annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals. For more information on MavTV Canada, visit www.facebook.com/MAVTVCanada.
Northern Summer Nationals Tickets Available Now
Tony Stewart, Christopher Bell and Rico Abreu are coming to Ohsweken Speedway for two action-packed nights on July 22-23. All three Sprint Car stars will be in action both nights for two $5,000-to-win 360 Sprint Car shows. Tickets and camping for the Northern Summer Nationals are on sale online at https://ohswekenspeedway.ticketforce.com/ or can be purchased by phone by calling (519) 717-0023.
Ohsweken Speedway Live Stream
Can’t make it to the track or don’t live within driving distance? No problem! Check out all of Ohsweken’s weekly Friday Night Excitement action live online for free via the Ohsweken Speedway Live Stream. The stream goes live at 7:30pm EST each race night at www.OhswekenSpeedway.ca and on our official Facebook page.
Ohsweken Speedway’s 24th season of weekly Friday Night Excitement features four divisions of racing, including the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars, Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars, Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks and HRW Automotive Mini Stocks. Visit www.OhswekenSpeedway.com or call (519) 717-0023 for more information.
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 and Mini Stocks. The season finishes each year with the track’ annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals. Ohsweken Speedway also hosts weekly Micro Sprint racing on Thursday nights.
OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY MEDIA
Phone: (519) 717-0023
Ohsweken Speedway thanks the following partners for their support: Ackland Insurance, Arrow Express, Auto Parts Centres, Bradshaw Brothers Fuels, Burger Barn, Case IH O’Neil’s Farm Equipment, Core-Mark International, Corr/Pak Merchandising Inc., Creative Edge Signs & Graphics, EPIC Racewear, Gale’s Auto Aftermarket, Hoosier Tire Canada, HRW Automotive, Insta-Insulation/Insta-Panels, Jibs Action Sports, Kool Kidz Ice & Water, McDonald’s Restaurants of Paris & Brantford, Middleport Mechanical, Nitro 54 Variety/Club 54 Racing, Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Renway Energy, Rochester Knighthawks, Strickland’s GMC and Victory Gamez.