OHSWEKEN, Ont. – May 18, 2018 – A long, seven-month off-season finally came to an end for Ohsweken Speedway drivers, staff and fans as the green flag finally dropped to begin the 2018 season as 116 drivers signed in for competition at the 23rd Season Opener presented by Ackland Insurance. The night featured the inaugural race for the Action Sprint Tour powered by RaceRivalz.com. When the dust settled on a busy night, Aaron Turkey made history as the upstart tour’s first winner. Reigning champion Dylan Westbrook claimed the win in the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Car Feature while defending champion Dave Bailey won the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock Feature and Nick Masi scored the opening night victory with the HRW Automotive Mini Stocks.
KOOL KIDZ-CORR/PAK 360 SPRINT CARS
Mikey Kruchka jumped out to an early lead in the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars Feature event, but was quickly under siege from defending track champion Dylan Westbrook. While Kruchka opened a half straightaway lead in the early laps and the top two drivers distanced themselves from the rest of the field, Westbrook kept pace with the leader.
On lap four, Westbrook pulled to the rear tail tank of Kruchka’s No.01k off of turn two and then dove to the inside lane in turn three to take the lead. A lap later, the leaders had found their way into lapped traffic and Westbrook began to distance himself from the field.
A caution on lap eight for a spun Cory Turner regrouped the field before the second and final yellow flag of the race on the ensuing restart when Tyler Hendricks spun at the bottom of turn one. The restart gave Kruchka a chance to retake the lead, but Westbrook was too strong and ran away from the field to a 7.440-second margin of victory, lapping all but the top three finishers.
Turner recovered from his mid-race spin and worked his way back to the front. He mounted a late race charge and drove past Kruchka with two laps to go for second and held down the runner-up spot at the finish, leaving Kruchka to settle for the podium’s bottom step. Rookie 360 Sprint Car driver Mack DeMan finished fourth in his debut and Tyler Hendricks rounded out the top-five. Hendricks and DeMan also won qualifying heats earlier in the night.
ACTION SPRINT TOUR/STRICKLAND’S GMC CRATE SPRINT CARS
The first-ever race for the Action Sprint Tour powered by RaceRivalz.com was also a full points night for the Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars weekly racing. Of the 31 cars entered, 24 cars qualified for the inaugural 20-lap Feature event. Shone Evans and Brad Herron started on the front row for the main event.
Evans grabbed an early lead before fourth-starting Aaron Turkey darted out front on the second lap in what proved to be the winning pass of the night. The caution waved for the first time on lap three when Herron slowed with damage to his No.12, ending his night. Two laps later with four laps in the book, the red flag was displayed when Herron’s Styres Racing teammate Holly Porter flipped in turn three. She was uninjured.
At the halfway mark, Turkey had opened a full straightaway advantage over Evans and third-place Jesse Costa. With five laps to go, Costa had worked past Evans to claim second, but faced a deficit of more than seven second behind Turkey. That advantage was erased though on lap 16 when the caution waved for Steven Beckett, who suffered a broken tie-rod on the left-front and rolled to a stop at the exit of turn two.
The restart didn’t prove to hinder Turkey at all as he drove away to the victory over the final four laps, leaving second-place to Jesse Costa, while 20th starting DJ Christie scored a third-place finish. Former Bomber driver Lucas Smith finished fourth in his Sprint Car debut while Evans claimed the fifth-place finish.
Costa, Turkey and Evans were heat race winners while Jerry Hill won the B-Main.
MIDDLEPORT MECHANICAL THUNDER STOCKS
The Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock field featured some familiar faces along with a new cast of characters. Two familiar faces in Logan Shwedyk and Jason Lungaro started on the front row, but it was third-starting Ken Sargent who grabbed the early lead.
Sargent was quickly met a familiar foe though when sixth-starting Dave Bailey drove to the runner-up spot and the two drivers battled side-by-side for the lead. After numerous attempts to get past Sargent on the inside, Bailey got a run down the front straightaway on lap eight and drove to the outside of the No.25 and completed the pass for the lead off turn two.
The race ran caution-free, allowing Bailey to pull away from the rest of the field in traffic and make a statement victory on opening night to open his championship defense. Sargent faded to fourth in the closing laps after reigning Mini Stock champion Mark Bazuin made a three-wide pass to take over second with three laps to go. Billy Bleich took over third in the final laps and Trevor DeBoer made an impressive move late to take fifth.
Earlier in the night, Shwedyk, Bailey and Chris Dickie won qualifying heats while Jay Liverance won the B-Main.
HRW AUTOMOTIVE MINI STOCKS
The HRW Automotive Mini Stocks featured the largest car count of the night, with 39 drivers signing in for competition. When the 15-lap Feature rolled to the line, it was Dusty DeBoer and Nick Masi who started up front.
Masi jumped out to an early lead on the opening lap with DeBoer in tow and a bee hive of drives behind them. The caution waved on lap seven when Tim Nuell rolled to a stop on the back stretch. Masi maintained the lead on the restart, but DeBoer stayed within striking distance.
The final caution of the race was on lap 11 for debris and didn’t appear to bother Masi at all as he held off DeBoer on the restart and for the final four laps to claim the opening night win. Meanwhile, Bobby Tolton, who started 22nd after missing his heat race and qualifying through the B-Main, raced to a third-place finish ahead of Sean Iftody and Jonathan Ayrton, who both had strong runs after starting in the fifth and sixth rows, respectively.
Heat race victories went to Jason Dixon, Dale Millard, Tim DeBoer and Ayrton. Tim Nuell and Tolton won the B-Mains.
UP NEXT AT OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY
Friday, May 25 – McDonald’s of Brantford and Paris Night
Ohsweken Speedway returns to action next Friday, May 25 for McDonald’s of Brantford and Paris night featuring a full card of racing for the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprints Cars, Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars, Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks and HRW Automotive Mini Stocks. Race time is 7:30pm. For additional event information, visit www.ohswekenspeedway.ca.
Ohsweken Speedway’s weekly Friday Night Excitement program includes Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars, Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars, Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks and HRW Automotive Mini Stocks. To view the full 2018 season schedule visit www.OhswekenSpeedway.com or call (519) 717-0023 for more information.
About Ohsweken Speedway: Founded in 1996, Ohsweken Speedway’s wide and fast 3/8 mile clay oval track is Canada’s Home for Sprint Car Racing Action! The facility is owned by the Styres family, and located in the village of Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada. Situated 20 minutes southeast of Brantford, 30 minutes southwest of Hamilton, just over 60 minutes from Niagara Falls, and 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, Ohsweken Speedway is easily accessible to fans from all over Southern Ontario and beyond. Ohsweken’s Friday Night Excitement program runs from May to September each year, featuring 360 Sprint Cars, Crate Sprint Cars, Thunder Stocks, and Mini Stocks, while future stars start their careers racing in the track’s weekly Thursday Night Micro Sprint program. The season finishes each year with the track’s signature event; drivers and teams from all over North America converging on Ohsweken for the annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals weekend. Speedw
OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY MEDIA
Ohsweken Speedway thanks the following partners for their support: 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.