OHSWEKEN, ON – A busy Friday night at Ohsweken Speedway saw 128 drivers sign in across five divisions, including NASCAR Legend Ken Schrader, who was in attention to take on the UMP Modifieds as Auto Parts Centres presented Friday Night Excitement on June 1.
When the dust settled, it was Schrader claimed the victory in the UMP Modified Feature. Dylan Westbrook scored the win in the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Car Feature, Jesse Costa claimed victory in the Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Car main event, Ryan Dinning won the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock Feature and Sean Iftody won the HRW Automotive Mini Stock Feature.
Jim Dale Jr. and Joel Dick started on the front row for the 20-lap UMP Modified main event. Dick took a quick lead over Ken Schrader and fifth-starting Tim Richardson. The caution at lap 6 found Schrader in third position behind Dick and Richardson. By lap nine, Schrader and Richardson were battling for second, with Dick still holding the lead.
Schrader grabbed the second spot shortly after and the battle for first was on. Schrader and Dick provided exciting side by side racing for the lead on lap 17 and 18, with Schrader taking the lead on lap 19 after the two had exchanged several slide jobs at both ends of the track. Schrader hung on for the win in an exciting finish for the crowd favourite.
“The track was awesome,” Schrader said in Victory Lane. “I’ll tell you what though, I’m 63 years old and 20 laps is a long time to be doing that stuff.”
Schrader and Dick also claimed heat race wins earlier in the night.
KOOL KIDZ-CORR/PAK 360 SPRINT CARS
Dylan Westbrook won his third straight 360 Sprint Car Feature to start the season.
After earning the Ackland Insurance Top Gun award, Dylan Westbrook started outside Todd Hoddick on the front row for the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Car A-Feature.
Westbrook jumped to the early lead while Cory Turner climbed into second by lap two. Westbrook was the dominant force out front early, but was slowed by a lap six caution when his teammate Glenn Styres spun off the top of turn three with six laps complete.
Westbrook pulled away again on the restart, leaving Turner to battle with Jim Huppunen for the second position. The two drivers swapped the spot for the middle portion of the race before Turner re-gained the upperhand. Westbrook was in lapped traffic with five laps to go with a straightaway advantage over Turner and had the race sewn up, but a yellow flag with one lap to go for a spun Mack DeMan in turn three halted his effort.
With just one lap remaining off the restart, Turner threw everything he had at Westbrook and executed slide jobs at both ends of the racetrack, but on both occasions Westbrook was able to turn back underneath to secure his third straight win to start the season. Turner, Huppunen, Chris Steele and Ryan Turner rounded out the top-five.
Teammates Styres and Westbrook scored the victories in qualifying heat race action. Westbrook was also the Ackland Insurance Top Gun award winner as the top driver in passing points from heat race action.
STRICKLAND’S GMC CRATE SPRINT CARS
Jesse Costa won his first Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Car Feature on Friday, June 1.
The Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars were 30 cars strong for the third week of action before 24 drivers took the green flag for the 20-lap Feature. Rookie driver and former Bomber champion Lucas Smith drove to the early lead after starting outside the front row, but was quickly under siege from Holly Porter and Jesse Costa.
A flurry of cautions between laps three and nine prevented a rhythm, but allowed Smith to stay up front. Following a lap nine restart, Costa built his momentum to challenge Smith for the lead and successfully took the lead on lap 14.
Costa had to survive one final restart on lap 16 after a DJ Christie spin, but was able to outrun Smith and Josh Hansen to score the win. Holly Porter recovered from an early spin to finish fourth while Shone Evans rounded out the top-five.
Evans, Hannah Ferrell and Steven Beckett claimed victories in the qualifying heats. Evans was also the Ackland Insurance Top Gun award winner as the top driver in passing points from heat race action.
MIDDLEPORT MECHANICAL THUNDER STOCKS
Ryan Dinning tied AJ Lewis for the most Thunder Stock wins all-time at Ohsweken with his 23rd career win on Friday, June 1. (Photo by Dale Calnan/Image Factor Media).
The Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock Feature had no shortage of action. Devon Bacher and Aaron Rewutzsky started on the front row, but the opening lap saw a four-wide battle for the lead through turns three and four. Bacher scored an early lead, but fifth-starting Jason Lungaro led the second lap before Ryan Dinning claimed the point position on lap three.
The race ran caution-free until lap nine when Jim Lampman and Trevor DeBoer tangled in turn two. Dinning led on the ensuing restart with Billy Bleich Jr. and 17th-starting Dave Bailey in tow. On lap 13, Dinning and Bailey were side-by-side for the point with neither driver able to gain the upper hand.
The two drivers raced side-by-side, with Bailey leading laps 16 through 18 by a nose, before Dinning took back the point and paced the final two laps to secure his first win of the season and 23rd of all-time, tying AJ Lewis for most in track history in the Thunder Stock division.
Blake Bomberry Jr., Rob Hoskins and Bailey won the qualifying heats. Mike Klazinga won the B-Main to determine the final six starters in the main event.
HRW AUTOMOTIVE MINI STOCKS
Sean Iftody claimed the HRW Automotive Mini Stock win on Friday, June 1.
Rookies Jeff Esliger and Cody Sommerville started on the front row for the 15-lap HRW Automotive Mini Stock feature. Esliger took the early lead and paced the opening four laps while Tim Nuell, Matt Nuell and Kyle Wert battled behind him for second.
Tim Nuell took over the lead on lap five, but then broke while leading the field off of turn two with six laps complete to bring out the yellow and end his night. It handed the lead back to Elsliger briefly before Wert took over on lap eight.
After restarting outside the top-five, three laps later Sean Iftody was side-by-side for the lead with Wert on lap nine. The two drivers exchanged the lead multiple times over the final six laps, before Iftody took over the top spot when Wert suffered a flat right-rear on lap 12 and brought out the final yellow. Iftody had no issues on the final restart and drove to his first victory over Dave Crumbie, who edged Jonathan Ayrton at the line. Nick Masi and Gillian Hils rounded out the top-five.
Tim Nuell, Tristan Da Silva, Jason Dixon and Matt Nuell won qualifying heats. Wayde Thorne and Gillian Hils won the B-Mains.
UP NEXT AT OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY
Ohsweken Speedway’s weekly racing continues on Friday, June 8 as the Rochester Knighthawks present Friday Night Excitement featuring Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars, Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars and Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks, while the HRW Automotive Mini Stocks battle in Home Track race 2 for the Insta-Panels Duel on the Dirt Series. Race time is 7:30pm. For additional event information, visit www.ohswekenspeedway.ca.
ABOUT AUTO PARTS CENTRES: Auto Parts Centres (APC) opened its first branch in London in 1981 and since then over thirty branches have been added to the network, which now stretches across South and Central Ontario. Constant supply and support of the stores is carried out from r two distribution centres in Dorchester and Mississauga. From our stores and warehouses we are able to offer over 250 different product lines to our customers, including undercar, underhood, chemicals, tools and workshop equipment, plus a wide range of performance related parts. We carry over 55,000 active part numbers in our inventory, which equates to over 2.5 million parts. APC’s target market is purely trade based, supplying garages, specialty installers and muffler shops throughout the province, with product lines that include; ACDelco, Bosch, Total Lubricants, Federal Mogul, AP Exhaust, Tenneco, Dayco, Fram/Autolite, Spectra Premium as well as many others. For more information, visit www.autopartscentres.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 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 thanks the following partners for their support in 2018: 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 Products, Burger Barn, Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Creative Edge Signs & Graphics, Insta-Insulation, Middleport Mechanical, HRW Automotive, and Gale’s Auto Aftermarket.