By Rich Vleck
ROCHESTER, NY, (April 18, 2014)- It was a dreadful winter for much of Patriot Sprint Tour landscape but heading in to the season opener it is all systems go for an invasion at one of the most anticipated tour stops.
This Saturday, for the second consecutive season, the Patriot Sprint Tour Canada Series gets underway at the Merrittville Speedway in Southern Ontario. In last season’s lid-lifter, Steve Poirier held off a wild late-race challenge from Justin Barger to score the win and eventually go on to the 2013 PST Canada Championship. A host of drivers are looking to pull a similar feat at the 3/8-mile this year to go wire-to-wire to score the $5,000 prize that is up for grabs for the 2014 Championship.
Poirier is a favorite at any race he enters, but the defending Spring Sizzler winner will contend with a number of drivers that have a knack for getting around the d-shaped oval. Jason Barney, who was runner-up in the PST Canada standings in 2013, has a third place effort at Merrittville last April and thrives on tactical race tracks such as Merrittville.
2013 PST America Champion Jared Zimbardi has four career top 10 finishes in five starts in Thorold. But it is fellow past PST Champions Scott Kreutter and Bryan Howland who have each have won at the Bicknell/Williamson-Owned Facility, with Howland doing it on two occasions.
PST America regulars that will be traveling north include Don Adamczyk, Steve Collins, Steven Hutchinson Jr., Tommy Wickham and Todd Hoddick. PST Canada regulars Glenn Styres, Keith Dempster, Jamie Collard and Chris Jones are also names expected to be on hand.
Of course a race at Merrittville would not be complete without the groundswell of local teams that circled this date on their schedule early on. Mikey Kruchka, Chris Steele, Tom and Jim Huppunen, Stan Zanchin, Zach Zumpe, Conor Mahoney, Jamie Turner and Brad Malloy just scratch the surface of names that could be present this weekend.
Pit gates for this special event will swing open at 3:00 P.M., with heat racing getting underway at 7:00 P.M. Stay up-to-speed with all that his happening this Saturday by following the Patriot Sprint Tour on Twitter or liking the Patriots Tour on Facebook. For additional information, visit www.PatriotSprintTour.com.
Patriot Sprint Tour History at Merrittville
June 24, 2006- Bryan Howland
August 1, 2009- Scott Kreutter
June 18, 2011- Bryan Howland
April 27, 2013- Steve Poirier