Race season begins at Ohsweken
OHSWEKEN – It was touch and go as the clouds gathered over the Ohsweken Speedway for the second attempt at a season opener Friday night. The event was originally planned for last week, but was rained out as was the tune up pre-season runs the week before, but the rain stayed away and the cars finally ran this Friday with a full docket of drivers in every class.
Despite the cold evening things were hot on the track. In the Corr/Pac Merchandising 360 Sprint Division,
Sprint Car rookie Shawn Sliter and 2008 track champion Keith Dempster shared the front row for the first feature of the season, but row two starter and 2010 champ Dave Dykstra got by both of them to take the early lead. Mitch Brown quickly moved into second and began to put pressure on Dykstra, while Paige Polyak moved into third.
Mikey Kruchka, Todd Hoddick, and Glenn Styres were the only drivers consistently using the high side of the track for much of the race, and all three were able to make passes that way. Kruchka started 12th, but was already in the top five after the completion of lap 5, and into third at the halfway mark of the race. Hoddick was in the top 5 when contact with the front stretch wall ended his race.
Kruchka went to work on Dykstra and Brown when the race restarted, and passed them both between laps 13 and 15. Styres was into 6th by lap 16, and had moved to 2nd when a caution flag was thrown for the stopped car of Chris Steele on lap 18. A two lap shootout followed, with Styres able to make the winning move in turn 2 on the last lap, and claim his 20th feature victory at Ohsweken. Kruchka, Brown, Dykstra, and 15th starter Jim Huppunen rounded out the top 5.
Heat races were claimed by Stan Zanchin, Dave Dykstra, and Mitch Brown, while Kyle Patrick won the B-Main.
In the Strickland GMC Crate Sprint Cars Division, the first ever Crate Sprint Car feature in Ohsweken Speedway history began with Aaron Turkey and Ryan Hunsinger on the front row, and Hunsinger quickly took the lead. The former 360 Sprint Car driver led all the laps on his way to victory, while Turkey dropped out of the second position with a broken rear end with 5 laps to go.
Jake Brown and Brad Herron diced for the runner-up spot, with Herron eventually taking that position, followed by Brown, Paul Lang, and Robbie General.
Aaron Turkey, and Ryan Hunsinger claimed heat races for the 11-car field.
In the Affordable Towing and Recovery Thunder Stocks it was Dave Silverthorn Jr. and Dave Bailey beginning the Thunder Stock feature on the front row. Silverthorn took the early lead while Wyatt Van Wart moved up to the second spot. Those two raced for the lead for much of the race, until Derek Liverance made contact with Silverthorn as the leaders were trying to get around him. Van Wart avoided the trouble and went on to the feature win, followed by Karl Sault, Billy Bleich, Jr., Dave Bailey, and Lee Winger.
Heat races for the 32-car field were claimed by Billy Bleich, Jr., Jack Myers, and Lee Winger, while Chris Dickie won the B-Main.
Jeremy May and Dan Erskine made up the front row for the HRW Automotive Mini Stocks feature. May took the lead in a car borrowed from Jeremy Hughes. May fought off early challenges from Jason Lungaro, and kept the rest the field behind him to go on to his first feature win. Tyler Lafantaisie, Jon Janssens, Lucas Lubin, and Lungaro rounded out the top five.
Heat races for the 30-car field were claimed by Tyler Lafantaisie, Rob Slater, and Rob Hoskins while Tim DeBoer won the B-Main.
In the Gales Auto Aftermarket Bombers Division, Dusty DeBoer and Joe DeBoer were the front row starters for the Bomber feature, and Dusty led much of the race until he went to the outside of a slower car and almost missed the first turn entirely. Joe was able to hang on to the lead after that, and went on to take the feature win, with Dusty settling for the runner-up spot. Gillian Hils, Paul Longboat, and Ashton Reekie made up the rest of the top 5.
Heat races for the 14-car field were claimed by Dusty DeBoer, and Joe DeBoer.
Next week at Ohsweken Speedway, Styres Gas Bar presents weekly Friday night racing at Ohsweken next Friday, May 30th. Spectator gates open at 6:00pm, with racing starting at 7:30pm.