OHSWEKEN, Ont. – May 25, 2018 – A warm spring night at Ohsweken Speedway saw 110 cars sign in across four divisions for McDonald’s of Brantford and Paris night on Friday. The season’s second edition of Friday Night Excitement saw 15-year-old Liam Martin of Binbrook, Ont. score his first career Sprint Car Feature victory with the Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars while Gillian Hils claimed her second career HRW Automotive Mini Stock victory. A pair of reigning champions were also winners for the second week in a row as Dylan Westbrook won the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Car Feature and Dave Bailey held off a flurry of charges to win the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock main event.
KOOL KIDZ-CORR/PAK 360 SPRINT CARS
The main event for the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars was the final Feature of the night and saw Tyler Hendricks and Glenn Styres start on the front row. Styres grabbed the early lead Hendricks was positioned in second until Styres got out of shape in turns one and two on lap three, handing the lead to Hendricks.
Quickly in tow were fourth-starting Cory Turner and seventh-starting Dylan Westbrook. On lap four. Westbrook dove to the inside in turn one and came out of turn two with the lead and Turner also got passed Hendricks, shuffling his No.38 back to third.
A lap six caution slowed the field before Westbrook and Turner pulled away on the restart. The advantage was erased by the second and final caution on lap nine. The ensuing restart saw Turner give Westbrook all he could handle as he drove to his outside and ran alongside the No.47x for the next two laps.
Westbrook eventually used his preferred track position in the bottom groove to pull away to a 1.8-second advantage with five laps remaining. The win was Westbrook’s fifth straight in weekly competition at Ohsweken, dating back to August 2017. Turner earned his second-straight second-place finish while rookie Mack DeMan was on the podium for the first time with a third-place result. Chris Steele earned a fourth-place finish in his season debut and Hendricks rounded out the top-five. Turner and Westbrook also won the qualifying heats.
STRICKLAND’S GMC CRATE SPRINT CARS
Jesse Costa and Brad Herron were on the front row for the Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars 20-lap Feature. Herron took the early lead after Costa slowed on the opening lap before getting the car back in gear and settling into sixth. Fifth-starting Liam Martin quickly made his way into second and on lap six was right on Herron’s tail tank in a battle for the lead.
Martin made his move for the point on lap eight and took the lead off turn two. At the halfway mark, the top-three of Martin, Harron and Shone Evans broke away from the rest of the field and worked into lapped traffic just as the caution waved for a stopped Steven Beckett in turn four.
Following the restart, Martin opened a lead of 1.4 seconds over Harron, Evans, Costa and Holly Porter by the time the lap counter showed five laps to go. The advantage was erased by the second caution on lap 16. Martin had to be strong on that restart and then three more the final yellow set up a green-white-checkered finish.
Herron threw everything he had at Martin on the restart and pulled alongside him on the inside momentarily but the 15-year-old youngster was able to fend off the veteran for his first career Sprint Car win. Costa, Porter and Lucas Smith completed the top-five. Porter, Evans and Hannah Ferrell scored heat race wins while Ryan Hunsinger won the B-Main.
MIDDLEPORT MECHANICAL THUNDER STOCKS
Dave Bailey and Jim Lampman lined-up on the front row for the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock Feature and wasted little time beginning a battle for the top spot. Bailey held the top spot in the bottom lane while Lampman worked the outside groove at Bailey’s right-rear quarter-panel.
Bailey pulled away to a 10 car-length advantage by lap five while Lampman was left to battle Billy Bleich Jr. for the second spot and behind them Ken Sargent, Ryan Dinning and Trevor DeBoer battled for fourth.
A trio of caution on laps 8,11 and 12 kept the running order the same and the field close and tested Bailey repeatedly. On the final restart at lap 14, Bailey had his hands full with Lampman, but managed to create a gap of roughly five car lengths, leaving Lampman to fight for second with Bleich and the quick-moving Mark Bazuin.
Bailey went largely uncontested over the final two laps to secure his second-straight win to open the season, while Bazuin claimed second ahead of DeBoer, Lampman and Bleich. DeBoer, Bailey and Bazuin were also heat winners earlier in the night.
HRW AUTOMOTIVE MINI STOCKS
The HRW Autmotive Mini Stocks produced arguably the most thrilling Feature of the night in their first Insta-Panels Duel on the Dirt home track race. Jonathan Ayrton and Wayde Thorne started up front and Thorne grabbed the early lead, but Gillian Hils quickly moved into the battle up front.
Thorne led the opening three laps until Hils took over the point on lap four, but was quickly under siege from both Ayrton and Thorne. Behind them, opening night winner Nick Masi was charging from the 17th starting spot to the front and was up to second by the time of a lap seven caution.
On lap nine, Ayrton, Masi and Hils went three-wide for the lead for more than half a lap. Masi and Hils then locked into a side-by-side battle for the final five laps. Masi used a better drive off of turn four to lead laps 10 through 13 before Hils used a strong drive off turn two to claim the lead on lap 14 and then held on to the point on the last lap for her second career Mini Stock win at Ohsweken. Masi claimed the second spot while Matt Nuell was third, Jeremy May was fourth and Ayrton settled for fifth.
Sean Iftody, Ayrton, Hils and Rob Twitchett claimed the heat race wins. Mike Taylor and Nuell scored victories in a pair of B-Mains.
UP NEXT AT OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY
Ohsweken Speedway’s weekly Friday Night Excitement continues on Friday, June 1 when the speedway welcomes NASCAR legend Ken Schrader to do battle with the UMP Modifieds on Auto Parts Centres night. All four of Ohsweken’s weekly divisions will also be in action, including the first home track race for the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks in the Insta-Panels Duel on the Dirt Series while the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars, Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars and HRW Automotive Mini Stocks will also be on the card. Race time is 7:30pm. Additional event information is available at www.ohswekenspeedway.ca.
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.
Ohsweken Speedway’s 23rd 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 to view the schedule 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 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.