Ken Schrader will return to Ohsweken Speedway on May 20 – Photo by Dale Calnan (www.imagefactormedia.com)
By Tommy Goudge
OHSWEKEN, Ont. (May 18, 2022) – The 26th season of racing at Ohsweken Speedway is set to get underway on Friday, May 19 when APC Auto Parts Centres presents Opening Night for the 2023 Friday Night Excitement season.
The The Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars, Strickland’s Crate Sprint Cars, Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks, and HRW Automotive Mini Stocks will all be in action, along with the UMP vs. CDN Modified Challenge featuring NASCAR legend Ken Schrader.
Ohsweken Speedway is located approximately halfway between the two Ontario tracks – Southern Ontario Motor Speedway and Brighton Speedway – with weekly UMP/IMCA-type Modified divisions; this makes it an ideal meeting point for the UMP teams from the west and Canadian Modified teams from the east to square off in a UMP/CDN Modified Challenge. Along with provincial bragging rights, the teams will be trying to keep NASCAR legend Ken Schrader out of the winner’s circle. The Missouri-based driver has claimed victory twice at Ohsweken in the past. At least one other American UMP invader is expected in the Modified Challenge as well.
Cory Turner enters the season as the defending Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Car champ, but a host of challengers will begin their title hunt on Friday. Many eyes will be on Dylan Westbrook as the four time track champion is returning to weekly competition this season after touring the United States for the past few years.
Lucas Smith won the Strickland’s Crate Sprint Car title last season, but that division’s championship chase will be wide-open in 2023; Smith is one of several Crate Sprint standouts moving up to 360 Sprints this season. Mack DeMan is back in the Crate division and will be a strong contender, along with Brett Stratford and Jesse Costa who finished in the top five last year.
Dave Bailey took an unprecedented seventh consecutive Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock championship last season and now has his sights set on number eight. Ryan Beagle gave Bailey a run for his money as the two dueled wheel-to-wheel for several wins last season. Beagle will be joined by Trevor DeBoer, Christopher Hale, Kyle Wert, and a host of other challengers to Bailey’s throne.
2022 HRW Automotive Mini Stock champ Tyler Lafantaisie has moved to the Thunder Stock division this season, and several former Mini Stock champs – Dusty DeBoer, Matt Nuell, and Brandon Janssens – have their eyes on the 2023 title. Those three will have competition from Nick Erskine, Tim DeBoer, Fabio Olivieri, Ryan Hillar, and many others in the often-unpredictable four cylinder division.
Race time is 7:30PM on Friday, May 19. Adult grandstand admission is $20 on Friday, while Senior (65+) and Youth (13-17) admission is $15, and Kids (0-12) are FREE. Please visit www.ohswekenspeedway.ca for more information.
OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY ON GFORCETV
Can’t make it to the track or don’t live within driving distance? No problem! Check out all of Ohsweken’s weekly Friday Night Excitement action live online for FREE on GForceTV. Just search for GForceTV on YouTube, OHSWEKENSPEEDWAY on Facebook, or visit www.ohswekenspeedway.com to watch.
Ohsweken Speedway Media
About Ohsweken Speedway: Opened in 1996, Ohsweken Speedway is a motorsports complex and event centre featuring a 3/8 mile clay oval auto racing track and 1/6 mile clay oval Micro Sprint and Karting track. The facility is owned by the Styres family, and located in the village of Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada. Ohsweken’s weekly Friday Night Excitement racing program runs from May to September each year, featuring 360 Sprint Cars, Crate Sprint Cars, Thunder Stocks, and Mini Stocks, while the facility also hosts weekly Micro Sprint and Kart racing on Thursday nights.