by Tommy Goudge
(May 17, 2017) – Ohsweken, Ontario – It’s finally here; Ohsweken Speedway’s 22nd annual Season Opener presented by Ackland Insurance will take the green flag this Friday, May 19 at 7:30pm!
Large fields are expected this season in all of the regular Friday night divisions, including the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars, Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars, Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks, HRW Automotive Mini Stocks, and Gale’s Auto Aftermarket Bombers.
KOOL KIDZ-CORR/PAK 360 SPRINT CARS
A pair of wins and amazing consistency propelled Mitch Brown to his first 360 Sprint Car championship last season. Brown finished in the top ten in every feature he competed in at Ohsweken last season, and it will take a similar effort – or more – to successfully defend his title.
Teammates Dylan Westbrook and Glenn Styres lead the pack of challengers to Brown’s throne. Westbrook scored four feature wins at Ohsweken last season, along with the Rookie of the Year award and a runner-up finish in the championship standings. Styres will be looking to regain the form which saw him win track championships in 2014 and 2015.
Jake Brown, 2010 champ Dave Dykstra, two-time champ Jim Huppunen, and Mikey Kruchka all visited victory lane at Ohsweken last season and figure to be contenders in 2017. The Turners – Jamie, Cory, and Ryan – all finished in the top ten in the championship chase last season as well.
STRICKLAND’S GMC CRATE SPRINT CARS
Jesse McDonald became the third different champion in the three year history of the Crate Sprint Car division in 2016, taking the Rookie of the Year award as well. McDonald scored three feature wins last season, while Holly Porter did the same on her way to finishing just 13 points behind McDonald in the championship standings.
Mack DeMan may well have been in the championship chase last season as well, but missed several races due to engine trouble. DeMan scored seven feature wins last season, while 2014 champ Ryan Hunsinger bagged three wins before engine problems took him out of title contention. Josh Shantz scored a win and a top five finish in the points standings last season, while Aaron Turkey, Mike Thorne, Shone Evans, Hannah Ferrell, and Jerry Hill made it into the top ten in points.
The fast-growing division will also see a large increase in car count this season, as more than a half dozen rookies could be in attendance on any given night.
MIDDLEPORT MECHANICAL THUNDER STOCKS
Dave Bailey and Ryan Dinning scored seven feature wins each in Thunder Stocks at Ohsweken last season, but Bailey prevailed for his second consecutive championship while Dinning ended up third. Karl Sault got one win, but consistency allowed the former Bomber and Mini Stock champ to stay in title contention and finish just 19 points behind Bailey in the final standings.
Jim Lampman and Wyatt Van Wart also went to victory lane last year, while Dereck Lemyre, Trevor DeBoer, and Jason Lungaro are among the returning drivers who claimed top ten finishes in the championship standings in 2016.
HRW AUTOMOTIVE MINI STOCKS
Brandon Janssens locked down his second consecutive Mini Stock championship last season, but Rookie of the Year award winner Brandon Crumbie gave Janssens all he could handle. Crumbie scored three feature wins to Janssens’ one and finished just 21 points behind in the final standings.
Mark Bazuin won five features last season, while Jon Janssens, Rob Hoskins, and Jake Bazuin are other returnees who went to victory lane in 2016. Jonathan Ayrton, Martin Schroder, Tim Deboer, and Matt Nuell are among the returning drivers who scored top ten finishes in last year’s championship chase.
GALE’S AUTO AFTERMARKET BOMBERS
Dustin Longboat won three features in 2016 and will be back to defend the Bomber championship this year, but he is sure to face stiff competition. Wayde Thorne won five times last year, while Paul Longboat scored four wins, and Jerry Burnham got two. Those drivers and several others are sure to provide plenty of entertainment in the always-unpredictable Bomber division.
Tickets for the World of Outlaws Six Nations Showdown, Northern Summer Nationals, Triple Crown Showdown, and Canadian Sprint Car Nationals are on sale now! Visit www.OhswekenSpeedway.com or call 519-717-0023 for more information.
About Ackland Insurance: Nathan Ackland has served the Brantford area for more than a decade. His agency offers many products, including car, home, life, and business insurance. He specializes in moves to the Brantford area and is a proud supporter of local racing, sports, and charities. Nathan’s mission is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. Visit the Ackland Insurance office at 206 King George Road in Brantford, call him at 519 754-8700, or toll free at 877 754-8707, and visit www.NathanAckland.ca 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, Mini Stocks, and Bombers, while the season finishes each year with the annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals. Ohsweken Speedway also hosts weekly Micro Sprint racing on Thursday nights, and has been a yearly stop on the World of Outlaws Sprint Car series schedule since 2007.
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, Burger Barn, Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Creative Edge Signs & Graphics, Insta-Insulation, Middleport Mechanical, HRW Automotive, and Gale’s Auto Aftermarket.