Turner and Dykstra win at Merrittville

Ryan Turner Photo by Dale Calnan

By Tommy Goudge

THOROLD, Ont. (September 17, 2021) – Ryan Turner won his first sword from the Pinty’s Knights of Thunder 360 Sprint Car series on Friday night at Merrittville Speedway; Turner led just one lap in the 25 lap A-Main, but it was the most important one.

The action began in the early morning hours when series points leader Jordan Poirier had trouble with his hauler more than four hours from Merrittville. Poirier was able to get a ride to the track but his equipment was left behind, and the Team Turner Racing 19 car became the Quebec driver’s ride for the evening.

Travis Cunningham and Glenn Styres made up the front row for the 11th Knights of Thunder A-Main of 2021, and Styres grabbed the early lead with Cunningham and DJ Christie giving chase. Christie got past Cunningham on lap five and quickly went to work on Styres. The middle groove was working for Styres, while Christie worked the cushion and Cunningham was on the inside. Close racing ensued as all three began to work through traffic, and Christie briefly got past Styres for the lead before getting over the cushion in turns three and four. Christie recovered and was preparing to mount another attempt when a yellow flag appeared for the stopped car of John Burbridge Jr.

Another yellow flag for Aaron Turkey appeared soon after the restart, but Styres’ stay at the front ended on lap 12 when Christie made a well-executed slide job and fought off a crossover attempt by Styres. Christie opened up a lead while Styres fell into the clutches of Mack DeMan, who had fallen back on the initial start before mounting a comeback. DeMan got around Styres just before a red flag flew for a Dan Nanticoke tipover, while Ryan Turner followed suit after the restart.

Christie opened a lead of more than one second as the race wound down, while Turner caught and passed DeMan with three laps to go. It appeared Turner was going to run out of time in his pursuit of Christie, but the yellow flag appeared again for Jamie Turner’s stopped car and set up a two lap dash to the finish. Christie had the advantage on the restart, but Turner gained rapidly on the leader as they took the white flag. Turner got alongside in turns one of two and cleared Christie down the backstretch, but Christie fought back and attempted to slide under Turner in turns three and four. Christie couldn’t make the move stick and watched helplessly as Turner took the checkered flag.

Christie held DeMan off for the runner-up spot, while Josh Hansen and row seven starter Jim Huppunen rounded out the top five. Styres faded at the end but held on to finish sixth, followed by Tyler Rand, Cunningham, Poirier, and Mat Williamson. Cory Turner moved from 22nd to 11th to claim Hard Charger honours, while heat race wins went to Jacob Dykstra, Liam Martin, and Styres.

Poirier’s lead in the championship standings now stands at 44 points over Ryan Turner, with Jim Huppunen 12 points behind Turner in third. Josh Hansen holds the fourth position, while DJ Christie is now into the top five. Travis Cunningham, Cory Turner, Liam Martin, Tyler Rand, and Holly Porter make up the rest of the top ten.

The Pinty’s Knights of Thunder series will next be in action on Friday, October 1 at Humberstone Speedway. Visit www.knightsofthunder.com for more information.

Pinty’s Knights of Thunder 360 Sprint Car Series
Race Report – Friday, September 17, 2021
Merrittville Speedway
Thorold, Ontario, Canada

0 Glenn Styres – Ohsweken, Ontario
0W Mat Williamson – St. Catharines, Ontario
01K Mikey Kruchka – Hamilton, Ontario
1 Holly Porter – Dorchester, Ontario
5 DJ Christie – Beachville, Ontario
5D Jacob Dykstra – Port Colborne, Ontario
9 Liam Martin – Binbrook, Ontario
11 Jamie Turner – Caistor Centre, Ontario
13 Cory Turner – Caistor Centre, Ontario
14H Jim Huppunen – Fenwick, Ontario
15 Dan Nanticoke – Ohsweken, Ontario
17X Mack DeMan – Mississauga, Ontario
19 Jordan Poirier – Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil, Quebec
21 John Burbridge Jr. – St. Williams, Ontario
46 Kevin Pauls – St. Catharines, Ontario
68 Aaron Turkey – Ohsweken, Ontario
70 Baily Heard – Niagara Falls, Ontario
71S Shawn Sliter – Port Colborne, Ontario
84 Tyler Rand – Picton, Ontario
87X Shone Evans – Scotland, Ontario
88H Josh Hansen – Beamsville, Ontario
90 Travis Cunningham – Grimsby, Ontario
91 Ryan Turner – Dunnville, Ontario

Heat Race 1 [Started] 8 laps – 1:47.589
1. 5D-Jacob Dykstra[2]; 2. 91-Ryan Turner[1]; 3. 17X-Mack DeMan[4]; 4. 19-Jordan Poirier[3]; 5. 0W-Mat Williamson[6]; 6. 14H-Jim Huppunen[8]; 7. 70-Baily Heard[5]; 8. 11-Jamie Turner[7]

Heat Race 2 [Started] 8 laps – 1:50.286
1. 9-Liam Martin[1]; 2. 5-DJ Christie[3]; 3. 84-Tyler Rand[2]; 4. 68-Aaron Turkey[4]; 5. 87X-Shone Evans[5]; 6. 01K-Mikey Kruchka[6]; 7. 1-Holly Porter[7]; 8. 13-Cory Turner[8]

Heat Race 3 [Started] 8 laps – NT
1. 0-Glenn Styres[2]; 2. 88H-Josh Hansen[6]; 3. 90-Travis Cunningham[4]; 4. 15-Dan Nanticoke[5]; 5. 46-Kevin Pauls[1]; 6. 21-John Burbridge Jr[7]; 7. (DNF) 71S-Shawn Sliter[3]

A-Main [Started] 25 laps – NT
1. 91-Ryan Turner[5]; 2. 5-DJ Christie[4]; 3. 17X-Mack DeMan[3]; 4. 88H-Josh Hansen[6]; 5. 14H-Jim Huppunen[14]; 6. 0-Glenn Styres[2]; 7. 84-Tyler Rand[9]; 8. 90-Travis Cunningham[1]; 9. 19-Jordan Poirier[12]; 10. 0W-Mat Williamson[13]; 11. 13-Cory Turner[22]; 12. 9-Liam Martin[7]; 13. 70-Baily Heard[20]; 14. 5D-Jacob Dykstra[8]; 15. 1-Holly Porter[19]; 16. 87X-Shone Evans[15]; 17. 68-Aaron Turkey[11]; 18. 15-Dan Nanticoke[10]; 19. 46-Kevin Pauls[17]; 20. (DNF) 11-Jamie Turner[23]; 21. (DNF) 01K-Mikey Kruchka[18]; 22. (DNF) 21-John Burbridge Jr[16]; 23. (DNS) 71S-Shawn Sliter
A-Main Lap Leaders – Glenn Styres 1-11; DJ Christie 12-24; Ryan Turner 25
Margin of Victory – 0.647 seconds
Hard Charger – Cory Turner +11

Up Next:
Friday, October 1, 2021 – Humberstone Speedway – Port Colborne, Ontario

Jacob Dykstra
Photo by Dale Calnan

Jacob Dykstra continued his dominant season in the Pinty’s Action Sprint Tour Crate Sprint Car series with another win on Friday night at Merrittville Speedway. Dykstra led just two laps of the 25 lap A-Main – the first lap and the last lap – but it was enough to earn his ninth win of the season.

Dyksta and Dale Curran made up the front row for the A-Main, but row two starter Eric Gledhill took the lead away from Dykstra on lap two and began to pull away. A pair of red flags slowed the race – one for a tipover by Larry Gledhill, and one for a very hard crash for Lucas Smith after he hopped Brett Stratford’s right rear tire and flipped over the turn one wall. Smith had to go through the B-Main and had charged into the top ten in the A-Main at the time of the crash; he was shaken up, but otherwise unhurt in the incident.

Eric Gledhill held the lead through both the stoppages along with a yellow flag for Matt Hill, but Dykstra stayed close behind the leader and stole the win when Gledhill got held up in traffic in the last set of corners. The win was Dykstra’s ninth in 11 AST races this season. Gledhill settled for the runner-up spot, followed by Nick Sheridan, Darren Dryden, and Curran. The top ten was rounded out by Dereck Lemyre, row eight starter Steve Murdock, Curtis Gartly, Dave McKnight, and Ryan Fraser. Heat race wins went to Lemyre, Dykstra, Eric Gledhill, and Brian Nanticoke, while Smith won the B-Main.

Jacob Dykstra’s lead in the championship standings now stands at 76 points over Allan Downey, while Nick Sheridan is a further 21 points back in third. Eric Gledhill and Darren Dryden are fourth and fifth, followed by Lucas Smith, Brett Stratford, Rob Neely, Dereck Lemyre, and Dale Curran.

The Action Sprint Tour will next be in competition on Friday, October 1 at Humberstone Speedway. Visit www.actionsprinttour.com for more information.

Pinty’s Action Sprint Tour Crate Sprint Car Series
Race Report – Friday, September 17, 2021
Merrittville Speedway
Thorold, Ontario, Canada

08 Steven Beckett – Fonthill, Ontario
2M Steve Murdock – Georgetown, Ontario
3S Austin Roes – Mossley, Ontario
4B Darrell Pelletier – Port Perry, Ontario
5D Jacob Dykstra – Port Colborne, Ontario
7 Eric Gledhill – Thamesford, Ontario
MK8 Matt Hill – Ohsweken, Ontario
9C Brian Nanticoke – Ohsweken, Ontario
12DD Darren Dryden – Freelton, Ontario
14 Larry Gledhill – Thamesford, Ontario
19D Allan Downey – Waterloo, Ontario
20 Johnny Miller – Six Nations, Ontario
26 John Verney – Salmon Arm, British Columbia
26X Terry Baker – Ancaster, Ontario
31 Dale Curran – Bowmanville, Ontario
38 Derek Miller – Six Nations, Ontario
39 Shane Stickel – Kitchener, Ontario
BS39 Brett Stratford – Wainfleet, Ontario
45 Nick Sheridan – Mount Brydges, Ontario
45L Curtis Gartly – Thamesford, Ontario
48 Lance Erskine – Brantford, Ontario
48M Andrew Marshall – Dorchester, Ontario
49L Lucas Smith – Brantford, Ontario
50LS Adrian Stahle – Kitchener, Ontario
51 Trevor Young – Ancaster, Ontario
56 Dereck Lemyre – Hamilton, Ontario
70MM Dave McKnight – Brampton, Ontario
74 Rob Neely – Rockwood, Ontario
77E Ashton VanEvery – Ohsweken, Ontario
77T Tyeller Powless – Ohsweken, Ontario
94 Ryan Fraser – Rockwood, Ontario
99 Joshua Hill – Ohsweken, Ontario

Heat Race 1 [Started] 8 laps – 1:57.133
1. 56-Dereck Lemyre[2]; 2. 31-Dale Curran[3]; 3. 74-Rob Neely[1]; 4. 94-Ryan Fraser[4]; 5. 99-Joshua Hill[5]; / 6. 49L-Lucas Smith[8]; 7. 50LS-Adrian Stahle[6]; 8. 08-Steven Beckett[7]

Heat Race 2 [Started] 8 laps – 1:55.454
1. 5D-Jacob Dykstra[2]; 2. 45L-Curtis Gartly[1]; 3. 4B-Darrell Pelletier[5]; 4. 19D-Allan Downey[3]; 5. 26X-Terry Baker[6]; / 6. 26-John Verney[4]; 7. 48M-Andrew Marshall[8]; 8. 39-Shane Stickel[7]

Heat Race 3 [Started] 8 laps – 1:57.856
1. 7-Eric Gledhill[2]; 2. 12DD-Darren Dryden[1]; 3. 3S-Austin Roes[4]; 4. MK8-Matt Hill[6]; 5. BS39-Brett Stratford[8]; / 6. 38-Derek Miller[5]; 7. 51-Trevor Young[7]; 8. 77E-Ashton VanEvery[3]

Heat Race 4 [Started] 8 laps – 1:59.284
1. 9C-Brian Nanticoke[1]; 2. 70MM-Dave McKnight Jr[2]; 3. 45-Nick Sheridan[6]; 4. 2M-Steve Murdock[3]; 5. 14-Larry Gledhill[4]; / 6. 20-Johnny Miller[5]; 7. 48-Lance Erskine[7]; 8. 77T-Tyeller Powless[8]

B-Main [Started] 12 laps – NT
1. 49L-Lucas Smith[1]; 2. 38-Derek Miller[2]; 3. 48-Lance Erskine[7]; 4. 20-Johnny Miller[3]; / 5. 50LS-Adrian Stahle[8]; 6. 08-Steven Beckett[10]; 7. 39-Shane Stickel[11]; 8. 51-Trevor Young[6]; 9. 48M-Andrew Marshall[4]; 10. 77T-Tyeller Powless[9]; 11. 77E-Ashton VanEvery[12]; 12. 26-John Verney[5]

A-Main [Started] 25 laps – NT
1. 5D-Jacob Dykstra[1]; 2. 7-Eric Gledhill[3]; 3. 45-Nick Sheridan[8]; 4. 12DD-Darren Dryden[9]; 5. 31-Dale Curran[2]; 6. 56-Dereck Lemyre[7]; 7. 2M-Steve Murdock[16]; 8. 45L-Curtis Gartly[10]; 9. 70MM-Dave McKnight Jr[4]; 10. 94-Ryan Fraser[15]; 11. 74-Rob Neely[14]; 12. 26X-Terry Baker[18]; 13. 3S-Austin Roes[11]; 14. 19D-Allan Downey[17]; 15. 9C-Brian Nanticoke[6]; 16. 20-Johnny Miller[24]; 17. BS39-Brett Stratford[13]; 18. 38-Derek Miller[22]; 19. 48-Lance Erskine[23]; 20. 14-Larry Gledhill[20]; 21. 4B-Darrell Pelletier[5]; 22. 99-Joshua Hill[19]; 23. (DNF) 49L-Lucas Smith[21]; 24. (DNF) MK8-Matt Hill[12]
A-Main Lap Leaders – Jacob Dykstra 1, 25; Eric Gledhill 2-24
Margin of Victory – 0.372 seconds
Hard Charger – Steve Murdock +9

Up Next:
Friday, October 1, 2021 – Humberstone Speedway – Port Colborne, Ontario