At intermission, the track welcomed five new members to its Wall of Fame. The 2017 inductees, former Mini Stock driver Jim Cochrane, longtime sponsor and support Gale Hill, Sprint Car racer Tom Huppunen and, track announcers and ambassadors Adam Ross and Clinton Geoffrey Kruchka were honoured with a ceremony on the front straightaway. All five honourees were joined by family and friends as they received their commemorative plaques displaying their achievements.
KOOL KIDZ/CORR-PAK 360 SPRINT CARS: Dylan Westbrook’s front row starting position proved advantageous as he drove past polesitter Travis Cunningham on the outside on the opening lap and never looked back. Westbrook drove flawlessly in the outside lane against the cushion and paced to his second win in as many weeks at Ohsweken.
By lap eight, Westbrook’s lead was nearly a straightaway over Jim Huppunen, who had charged from fifth to second. His lead was erased on lap nine when Shawn Sliter rolled to a stop in turn three after hitting the wall on the backstretch. The restart took two tries, but Westbrook had a lapped car as a cushion between him and Huppunen to ease the pressure.
The toughest battles happened behind Westbrook inside the top-five. Cory Turner and Mikey Kruchka exchanged slide jobs for fourth at the halfway mark before Kruchka took the spot. With five to go, Westbrook’s lead was 2.8 seconds over Huppunen and he lost little of it as he raced around lapped traffic over the final three laps to earn the win. Huppunen and Mitch Brown rounded out the podium.
Kruchka won the first qualifying heat and the Nathan Ackland State Farm Insurance Top Gun award while Westbrook won the second heat.
STRICKLAND’S GMC CRATE SPRINT CARS: Jesse Costa and Mike Thorne led the Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars at the drop of the green flag for the Feature event with Thorne using the outside lane to charge to an early lead. Thorne jumped to a convincing one-second lead early on, but was reeled in by the second yellow of the race on lap five. Jerry Hill challenged for the lead on the restart, but another caution halted his progress and Thorne retook the top spot when the race regained full speed.
Following a lap nine yellow, Thorne pulled away from the field again while Holly Porter and 10th-starting Mack DeMan exchanged slide jobs for the third spot. DeMan was on the move and took third from Porter on lap 12 and second from the polesitter Costa on lap 13. DeMan then wasted no time reeling in Thorne, and took the lead on lap 16 when he slid in front of Thorne off of corner four. DeMan led the final five laps to secure his ninth career Ohsweken victory ahead of Costa. Fifteen year-old rookie Josh Hansen of Beamsville claimed the final spot on the podium after starting 13th.
Lofton Schuts, Ryan Hunsinger and Costa won qualifying heats. Schuts was the Nathan Ackland State Farm Insurance ‘Top Gun’ award winner. Shone Evans won the B-Main.
MIDDLEPORT MECHANICAL THUNDER STOCKS: Dave Bailey and Ryan Dinning produced an instant classic in the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock main event. It was Kacey Huffman and Terry Martin who brought the field to the green flag, but last week’s rollover victim Rob Hoskins who took the early lead.
Hoskins led until lap three when Jason Lungaro raced to the point. However, the race many fans were watching was the battle Dinning and Bailey faced as they raced through the field from 13th and 19th, respectively. Dinning took the lead just prior to the first caution on lap six when Christopher Hale spun his No.79 and was hit by Melissa Miller.
Bailey restarted in the third spot behind Dinning and the two drivers battled side-by-side until the second and final yellow flag on lap 11 with the two drivers exchanging the lead multiple times. The final nine laps saw Dinning on the inside and Bailey to his outside for each lap. Coming to the white flag, Bailey lost momentum behind a lapped car, but used the opportunity to switch lanes and take the bottom lane away from Dinning. Dinning fought back through the middle of the track and the two drivers came off turn four in a dead heat. At the start-finish line, Bailey earned the victory by 0.005 seconds over Dinning in a thrilling photo finish. It was Bailey’s third win of the season in four starts at Ohsweken. Ken Sargent quietly raced into the third and final podium spot.
Logan Shwedyk, Dinning and Bailey won qualifying heats.
HRW AUTOMOTIVE MINI STOCKS: The HRW Automotive Mini Stock Feature saw Tim Nuell and Jeremy May pace the field to the green flag. Nuell grabbed the early lead, but May kept pace and took his No.16J to the outside lane to challenge for the lead. On lap six, May’s challenge was successful as he took over the top-spot while a three-wide battle for the lead waged behind him.
A lap later, it was a three-wide battle for the lead and 22nd-starting rookie Nick Masi took over the lead at the halfway point after passing both May and last week’s winner Dave Crumbie. Masi led until lap nine when the yellow flag waved for excessive moisture on the track due to incoming rain. With the race past the halfway point of its 15-lap distance and rain continued to fall, the checkered flag waved to end the race. The win was the first of Masi’s Mini Stock career at Ohsweken.
Tim Nuell, Bobby Tolton and Jon Janssens won qualifying heats.
GALE'S AUTO AFTERMARKET BOMBERS: Jennifer McCollum and Enya Robinson brought the Gale’s Auto Aftermarket Bombers to the green flag for their 12-lap Feature. However, it was the fourth-starter Alex Maas who quickly raced to the lead. Maas opened a convincing lead through the first half of the race until Aidan Nigh and Adam Plazek tangled on the backstretch to bring out a caution on lap six.
On the ensuing restart, Maas had to hold off Gillian Hils and Lucas Smith, who charged from 14th, as they battle side-by-side for the second position. Hils and Smith fought until the final lap for position, allowing Maas to pull away to the victory. Smith claimed the second spot while Hils rounded out the podium. Maas and Hils won qualifying heat races.
PRO 4 TRUCKS: Dylan Llord and Danny Wurster brought the field to the green flag for the Pro 4 Truck 10-lap Feature. The third starter Kyle Tomaski jumped to the early lead while Craig Vlasic and Wurster battled side-by-side for the second spot on lap three. Tomaski’s lead was erased on lap six when the caution flag waved for debris in turn four.
Tomaski was penalized two positions for jumping the original start, which allowed Llord to take the lead in the outside lane on the restart. Tomaski and Vlasic battled door-to-door for the second position while led to a three-wide battle for the lead coming to the white flag. Contact in turn one on the final lap between Tomaski and Vlasic allowed Llord to drive off with the victory. Taylor Vanderzanden and Danny Wurster rounded out the podium. Vanderzanden won the qualifying heat.
UP NEXT AT OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY
Up Next at Ohsweken Speedway
Ohsweken Speedway resumes competition next Friday, June 23 on Minor Sports Team Night presented by Pinty’s Delicious Food featuring the Race of Champions Sportsman Tour. All kids wearing their Minor Sports Team apparel receive discount admission. Race time is 7:30pm. For additional event information, visit www.ohswekenspeedway.com.