by Tommy Goudge
(July 1, 2011) – Derek Jonathan scored a popular win on Friday night at Ohsweken Speedway. The Lewiston, NY resident drove from 8th on the grid to secure his second career Sprint Car feature win, and visit the Engine Pro Racing Winner’s Circle for the first time. Shawn Sliter remained undefeated in Mod-Lite Stars Championship Tour North races this year at Ohsweken, while Larry Czinege, Jr. took the Lighthouse Tattoos Thunder Stock victory, Abel Castelein held off Jeremy Hughes and Mike Taylor for HRW Automotive Mini Stock honours, and Dusty DeBoer won his first ever Pierced Parts Bombers feature.
CORR/PAK MERCHANDISING SPRINT CARS
John Burbridge, Jr. and Kyle Moffit began the 20 lap Sprint Car feature on the front row, and Moffit immediately opened up a big lead over the rest of the field. Derek Jonathan and Dain Naida were advancing quickly from 8th and 9th on the grid, respectively.
Moffit’s night went south when he felt a vibration under the hood of his #7 and pulled off the track during a caution period, allowing Jonathan to take a lead he never relinquished. Jonathan had to hold on through several restarts and challenges from Naida to get the win though.
“I was a little bit nervous, but that last lap I was really scared because I could feel the car was starting to run out of fuel,” said Derek after the race. “I just kept it down and hoped for the best. This is always a tough place to compete. The track always plays tricks on you here, and you just have to hit the right setup, and the wins will come. My goal this year is to qualify for the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals.
Jonathan was the fourth different winner in 4 Corr/Pak events held so far this season, and all 4 drivers are residents of New York state.
“I always enjoy coming over here to race,” Derek told the crowd. “It’s always real competitive here, and everyone is always great to me, and always welcomes me here with open arms. I look forward to coming here and racing every week.”
The race was red flagged when Adam West was hit by a large chunk of mud and slowed, leaving Keith Dempster and Mikey Kruchka with nowhere to go. West suffered a possible broken nose in the incident, and all 3 cars were too damaged to continue.
Naida came home second, followed by Mitch Brown, 18th starter Jim Huppunen, Kyle Patrick, Chris Steele, Travis Cunningham, Chris Durand from 21st on the grid, and Todd Hoddick, who started 19th.
Heat races for the 23 car field were claimed by Moffit, Jonathan, and Naida. Keith Dempster was once again awarded with the “Top Gun” prize for leading the way in heat race passing points.
MOD-LITE STARS CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR NORTH
Shawn Sliter and Chris Steele battled for the lead early in the Mod-Lite feature, but the tour’s points leader Sliter proved too strong for the rest of his competition again on Friday night. Jason Corless chased him to the finish line, while Josh Sliter recovered from an early incident to finish 3rd. Derek Moore and Chris Steele rounded out the top 5.
Heat race victories for the 14 car field went to Chris Steele and Shawn Sliter.
LIGHTHOUSE TATTOOS THUNDER STOCKS
Larry Czinege, Jr. drove to the bottom in turn 1 after a mid-race restart and drove away for his second Thunder Stocks feature win of the season. Mike Thorne settled for 2nd, followed by Ryan Dinning, Cory Turner, and Devin Habiuk.
Jim Lampman, Mike Thorne, and Larry Czinege, Jr. claimed the heat races for the 27 cars in attendance, while Chris Dickie got the B-Main win.
HRW AUTOMOTIVE MINI STOCKS
Abel Castelein got to the front early in the Mini Stock feature, and held off a determined Jeremy Hughes to get the feature win in his borrowed ride. Hughes took the runner-up spot, followed closely by Mike Taylor. Dale Cooke and Kevin Hilborn rounded out the top 5. The race was slowed just once, for a flat tire on Mike Peterson’s machine.
Heat races for the 30 car field were claimed by Jason Lungaro, Steve Hess, and Jeremy Hughes, while Jon Janssens got the B-Main victory.
PIERCED PARTS BOMBERS
Dusty DeBoer drove from 9th on the grid to take the lead in the Bomber feature, and survived some close calls in traffic to get his first ever feature win. Rodney Rutherford was close behind, followed by Max Chechalk, Dave Patton, and Aaron Turkey.
Aaron Turkey and Trevor Roszell claimed heat races for the 19 Bombers in attendance.
NEXT WEEK AT OHSWEKEN
Wiseco Pistons and Evers Financial present “Mid-Season Championship Night” next Friday, July 8. The Corr/Pak Merchandising Sprints, Lighthouse Tattoos Thunder Stocks, HRW Automotive Mini Stocks, and Pierced Parts Bombers are all part of round 5 of Friday Night Thunder. Gates open at 6:00 with racing starting at 7:45!
“Christmas in July” is approaching quickly, and that event will also feature the only autograph night of the season. Santa Claus will visit Ohsweken on Friday, July 22, and kick off a busy week of action at the track which includes “Tony Stewart Night” on July 26, the World of Outlaws Sprint Car series on July 27, and another round of Friday Night Thunder on July 29. Make sure to visit www.OhswekenSpeedway.com for all the information on these special events.
FRIDAY NIGHT THUNDER 2011
ROUND 4 RACE REPORT –
FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2011
EVENT SPONSOR – METAL WORKS
CORR/PAK MERCHANDISING SPRINT CARS (23 entries)
HEAT RACES (8 laps each):
Finish. [Starting Position] Number Name (Hometown)
ENGLER MACHINE & TOOL HEAT RACE #1
1.  7 Kyle Moffit (South Dayton, NY), 2.  Kyle Patrick (Tilbury), 3.  Travis Cunningham (Grimsby), 4.  30 Adam West (Ridgetown), 5.  30g Stevin Goldner (Aylmer), 6.  Chris Steele (Vineland), 7.  10c Bob Crawford (Sutton), 8.  96 Shane Butler (St. Thomas).
GRISDALE RACING PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #2
1.  81 Derek Jonathan (Lewiston, NY), 2.  0 Glenn Styres (Ohsweken), 3.  7x Jamie Collard (Burford), 4.  5d Dave Dykstra (Port Colborne), 5.  01 Mikey Kruchka (Hamilton), 6.  14h Jim Huppunen (Fenwick), 7.  49 Todd Hoddick (Cheektowaga, NY), 8.  67 Chris Durand (Port Stanley).
BS&B RADIATOR HEAT RACE #3
1.  07x Dain Naida (Tecumseh, MI), 2.  5 Keith Dempster (Alton), 3.  10 Mitch Brown (Brantford), 4.  31 John Burbridge, Jr. (St. Williams), 5.  11 Jamie Turner (Caistor Centre), 6.  52 Jesse Costa (St. Thomas), 7.  22 Jim Porter (Grand Island, NY) DNF.
SPRINT CAR FEATURE (20 laps)
Position. # Name (Starting Position)
1. 81 Derek Jonathan (8)
2. 07x Dain Naida (9)
3. 10 Mitch Brown (4)
4. 14h Jim Huppunen (18)
5. 33k Kyle Patrick (11)
6. 80 Chris Steele (14)
7. 71 Travis Cunningham (3)
8. 11 Jamie Turner (13)
9. 67 Chris Durand (21)
10. 49 Todd Hoddick (19)
11. 7x Jamie Collard (6)
12. 10c Bob Crawford (20)
13. 31 John Burbridge, Jr. (1)
14. 52 Jesse Costa (15)
15. 0 Glenn Styres (12)
16. 96 Shane Butler (22)
17. 30g Stevin Goldner (17)
18. 22 Jim Porter (23)
19. 5d Dave Dykstra (5) DNF
20. 01 Mikey Kruchka (16) DNF
21. 5 Keith Dempster (10) DNF
22. 30 Adam West (7) DNF
23. 7 Kyle Moffit (2) DNF
SPRINT CAR AWARDS:
Nathan Ackland State Farm Insurance “Top Gun” (highest in heat race passing points): 5 Keith Dempster ($100)