Bergeron, MacPherson, Brown, and Hils take Round 2 Victories at Ohsweken

by Tommy Goudge (May 23, 2008), Ohsweken, Ontario – St. Pie, Quebec’s Alain Bergeron made a long trip well worth it on Friday night as he passed Jared Zimbardi for the feature win on the last circuit of the 20 lap Corr/Pak Merchandising Sprint Car feature during Round 2 of Friday Night Thunder presented by Iroquois Poker at Ohsweken Speedway. Cody MacPherson continued his hot start by picking up his second ESSO Thunderstock feature in a row, while 15 year old Mitchell Brown won his first feature in ESSO Mini-Stock action, and Lee Hils became the second winner in the new Fun Stock division

28 cars filed entries for Round 2 of the Corr/Pak Merchandising Sprint Car division, with Bergeron a new visitor this week from his hometown of St. Pie, approximately 1 hour East of Montreal. Bergeron’s evening almost ended prematurely in hot laps when the 8b began smoking heavily, but Alain’s crew got things fixed in time for his heat, in which he finished 3rd and became eligible for the redraw for feature starting positions. 

Brad Malloy and John Riegling brought the field to the green flag to begin the 20 lap feature event, with Riegling taking the early lead. Jared Zimbardi made his presence known early on as he advanced from his 8th starting position to 3rd in just the first 2 corners. Bergeron fell in behind Zimbardi’s #35 and the two began a race-long battle, while also chasing the #5m of Malloy and Riegling’s #1a. Malloy got past Riegling near the midway point of the feature and it appeared for a time that Brad and the #5m would visit victory lane for the first time, but an untimely caution period proved to be his undoing as Rob Pietz (#69) and Louie Carufel (#47x) came together and made contact with the wall entering turn 3. Both machines suffered extensive front end damage in the incident, which also dropped Pietz in the point’s standings after a fine 4th place finish on opening night. 

On the restart, Zimbardi was too strong for Malloy to hold off and the #35 set sail out front, but Bergeron quickly followed and began to apply pressure to Zimbardi for the lead. The two drivers waged an exciting duel at the front of the field and were involved in a side-by-side wheel banging incident as they crossed the start/finish line with 2 laps to go, but kept going at full speed. The battle was interrupted twice on lap 19 as first the #0 of Glenn Styres came to a halt in turn 4, and then on the restart a chain reaction incident coming out of turn 2 involving the #5 of Keith Dempster, #5m of Malloy, #12c of Fred Cade, and #7 of Jim Price brought out the red flag. Cade and Malloy got the worst of it, with their damaged mounts being towed pit-side. Cade made heavy contact with the wall but fortunately emerged from his machine unscathed.

Back under green for a 2 lap dash to the finish, Bergeron and Zimbardi distanced themselves from the rest of the field. After taking the white flag, Bergeron dove low under Zimbardi in turn 2 and won the drag race down the back straight, which proved to be the winning move. Ryan Hunsinger’s #77x may have been the fastest car on the track in the feature, but after moving his way into 3rd in the latter stages of the race all the way from an 11th starting position, “the Gunslinger” slipped high in turns 3&4, and then suffered front wing damage shortly thereafter. Keith Dempster slipped past Hunsinger for 3rd at the end, while Kevin Job brought his #21x home in 5th. Heat wins went to Riegling, Cade, Hunsinger, and Rob Pietz, while Glen Styres took the checkered flag in the B-Main. Styres actually finished 1st in Heat 3, but was scored last after failing to go to the tech area immediately after the race. After advancing from 8th to 1st in the B-Main, Styres then advanced from 17th to fight for a top 5 position in the A-Main before his crash in turn 4.

In ESSO Thunder-Stock action, a fine field of 18 cars were in the pit area for Round 2. Defending Ohsweken champ Brad Bacher found himself in a hole once again this week after running afoul of the officials in heat race #1, forcing the #3 to start in the 8th row in the feature. Vince Fargnoli (#55f) and last week’s feature winner Cody MacPherson (#777) brought the field down to the green flag for 15 laps of Thunder-Stock action, with MacPherson picking up right where he left off last week – in the lead. Behind him, plenty of side-by-side action could be found, as Brad Bacher, Ryan Dinning, and Glen Leinen all advanced to challenge for top 5 finishes from deep in the field. Leinen tried many different lines around the track to get around Fargnoli and into a position to challenge MacPherson for the win, but was not able to overtake Fargnoli’s #55f. Leinen settled for 3rd while Kevin Knapp ran a steady race to bring his #4k home in 4th, in front of a hard-charging Bacher who crossed the stripe 5th. Heat race wins for the ESSO Thunder-Stocks went to Fargnoli and MacPherson.

24 ESSO Mini-Stocks filled the pits for their second event of the season at Ohsweken, and it was evident in heat race action that Mitchell Brown (#10) was going to be a factor on this night. Brown, the 15 year old son of NASCAR Canadian Tire Series driver Doug Brown, took home the win in heat race #3, earning him a 3rd place starting position in the feature. The #88 of Kelly Hallett advanced from the tail of heat race #3 to finish in 2nd behind Brown. Mike Giberson (#11) and Abel Castelein (#28) brought the field down for the green flag in the 15 lap feature, with Castelein assuming the early lead, but Brown and Hallett quickly made it a 3-way battle for the lead, which continued throughout the entire race. Behind them, Kevin Hilborn, Rick Emberson, and Steve Hess were slicing and dicing their way from deeper in the field into the top 10, but ran out of time to mount a challenge at the front. Brown eventually cleared Hallett and Castelein, who battled for 2nd, leaving Brown to finish the last few laps without a serious challenge. Castelein prevailed for 2nd, with Hallett 3rd, Hilborn’s #72 in 4th and #113 Mark Thorne rounding out the top 5. Heat race victories went to Giberson, Castelein, and Brown.

In Fun Stock action, a new driver joined the fray and took home the victory in the 25 lap feature, run on the smaller track in Ohsweken’s infield this week. Lee Hils brought his #181 to victory lane and entered his name in the record book as the 2nd Fun Stock feature winner at Ohsweken Speedway. Hils remarked afterwards that his car took just a day and a half to build, at a cost of $150. This affordable and fun entry level class is expected to grow as the season continues, as it is a great way to get involved and see what dirt track racing is all about!

Iroquois Poker presented Friday night’s action this week and is also running a unique promotion for Ohsweken fans this season. On June 23, a Progressive Poker Tournament will be held, with the winner taking home $250, while another $250 in sponsorship will be presented to an Ohsweken race team of the winner’s choosing. Make sure to visit HYPERLINK “” to enter and support your favourite Ohsweken team!

Friday Night Thunder resumes next Friday, May 30 when Trailers by Jim Bray presents another action packed 4-division event featuring the Corr/Pak Winged Sprints, ESSO Thunderstocks, ESSO Mini-Stocks, and Fun Stocks, while the Modified Lite Star Championship Tour North series will also make the first of 2 scheduled trips to Ohsweken next Friday. Adult General Admission will once again be $10, with kids 12 and under FREE! Please visit HYPERLINK “” for more information.

– MAY 23, 2008


BS&B RADIATORS Heat Race #1:
1. 1a John Riegling (Chatham), 2. 25 Warren Mahoney (Lefroy), 3. 21x Kevin Job (Campbellville), 4. 81 Derek Jonathon (Lewiston, NY), 5. 71 Craig Downie (Burlington), 6. 01jr Barry Beck, Jr. (Port Colborne), 7. 5d Dave Dykstra (Port Colborne)

1. 12c Fred Cade (Niagara Falls), 2. 35 Jared Zimbardi (Salamanca, NY), 3. 8b Alain Bergeron (St. Pie, QC), 4. 22 Jim Porter (Grand Island, NY), 5. 31 John Burbridge, Jr (Simcoe), 6. 66 Frank Baranowski (Hamilton), 7. 3w Chris Hettinger (Dryden, MI) DNS

1. 77x Ryan Hunsinger (Hamilton), 2. 10 Bob Crawford (Sutton), 3. 47x Louie Carufel (Port Huron, MI), 4. 7 Jim Price (Wainfleet), 5. 9jr Tim Zack (Dain City), 6. 0 Glenn Styres (Ohsweken) DQ, 7. 33k Kyle Patrick (Tilbury) DNS

1. 69 Rob Pietz (Port Colborne), 2. 5m Brad Malloy (Niagara Falls), 3. 5 Keith Dempster (Alton), 4. 19jr Tom Huppunen (Fenwick), 5. 71jr Jason Pietz (Welland), 6. 01 Mikey Kruchka (Hamilton), 7. 94 Stan Zanchin (Fort Erie)

1. 0 Glenn Styres, 2. 71 Craig Downie, 3. 71jr Jason Pietz, 4. 01 Mikey Kruchka, 5. 31 John Burbridge, Jr., 6. 3w Chris Hettinger, 7. 66 Frank Baranowski, 8. 94 Stan Zanchin DNF

33k Kyle Patrick (mechanical)
9jr Tim Zack (mechanical)
01jr Barry Beck, Jr (mechanical)
5d Dave Dykstra (crash)


Position # Name (Starting Position)
1. 8b Alain Bergeron (5)
2. 35 Jared Zimbardi (8)
3. 5 Keith Dempster (10)
4. 77x Ryan Hunsinger (11)
5. 12x Kevin Job (9)
6. 19jr Tom Huppunen (16)
7. 10 Bob Crawford (4)
8. 22 Jim Porter (14)
9. 7 Jim Price (15)
10. 25 Warren Mahoney (3)
11. 81 Derek Jonathon (13)
12. 5m Brad Malloy DNF (1)
13. 1a John Riegling DNF (2)
14. 12c Fred Cade DNF (7)
15. 71jr Jason Pietz DNF (19)
16. 0 Glenn Styres DNF (17)
17. 47x Louie Carufel DNF (6)
18. 69 Rob Pietz DNF (12)
19. 01 Mikey Kruchka DNF (20)
20. 71 Craig Downie DQ (18)


Heat 1:
1. 55f Vince Fargnoli (Niagara Falls), 2. 12 Brad Herron (Brantford), 3. 4k Kevin Knapp (St. Catharines), 4. 044 Jamie Cox (Cambridge), 5. 13 Mark Saul (Hagersville), 6. 1 Chris Dickie (Brantford), 7. 3 Brad Bacher (unknown) DQ, 8. 11 Michelle Johnson (Caledonia) DNF, 9. 38 Terry Martin (unknown) DNF

Heat 2:
1. 777 Cody MacPherson (St. Catharines), 2. 40 Terry Osmond (Cambridge), 3. 62 Brian Pescetti (Stoney Creek), 4. 9 Glen Leinen (Hannon), 5. 8 Ryan Dinning (unknown), 6. 55 Mike Thorne (Caledonia), 7. 17 Rob Disher (Grimsby), 8. 2 Lee Winger (Caledonia), 9. 88 Shayne Pierce (Wainfleet)


Position # Name (Starting Position)
1. 777 Cody MacPherson (2)
2. 55f Vince Fargnoli (1)
3. 9 Glen Leinen (8)
4. 4k Kevin Knapp (5)
5. 3 Brad Bacher (15)
6. 8 Ryan Dinning (10)
7. 40 Terry Osmond (4)
8. 12 Brad Herron (3)
9. 17 Rob Disher (13)
10. 55 Mike Thorne (12)
11. 38 Terry Martin (18)
12. 13 Mark Saul (9)
13. 2 Lee Winger (14)
14. 11 Michelle Johnson (16)
15. 044 Jamie Cox (7)
16. 88 Shayne Pierce (17)
17. 62 Brian Pescetti (6)
18. 1 Chris Dickie (11)


Heat 1:
1. 11 Mike Giberson (Caledonia), 2. 397 Brent Hill (Ohsweken), 3. 40 Jim Swing (Jarvis), 4. 265 Mike Evers (Caledonia), 5. 04 Wyatt Van Wart (Cambridge), 6. 86 Rick Emberson (Paris), 7. 777x Steve Hess (Ohsweken), 8. 39 Jim Cochrane (Drumbo)

Heat 2:
1. 28 Abel Castelein (Cayuga), 2. 4p Mike Peterson (Woodstock), 3. 27 Dan Stewart (Hamilton), 4. 23 AJ Castelein (Thorold), 5. 31 Dave Bailey (unknown), 6. Rob Slater (Dundas), 7. 20 Chris Spencer (Cambridge), 8. 77x Ethan Martin (Ohsweken)

Heat 3:
1. 10 Mitchell Brown (Brantford), 2. 88 Kelly Hallett (unknown), 3. 113 Mark Thorne (Waterford), 4. Kevin Hilborn (Brantford), 5. 7x Chase Hess (Ohsweken), 6. 05 David Goodacre (Brantford), 7. 14 Kerry Smith (Hamilton), 8. 02 Erinn Bailey (St. George)


Position # Name (Starting Position)
1. 10 Mitchell Brown (3)
2. 28 Abel Castelein (2)
3. 88 Kelly Hallett (6)
4. 72 Kevin Hilborn (12)
5. 113 Mark Thorne (9)
6. 40 Jim Swing (7)
7. 86 Rick Emberson (16)
8. 265 Mike Evers (10)
9. 777x Steve Hess (19)
10. 11 Mike Giberson (1)
11. 31 Dave Bailey (14)
12. 397 Brent Hill (4)
13. 23 AJ Castelein (11)
14. 05 David Goodacre (18)
15. 04 Wyatt Van Wart (13)
16. 27 Dan Stewart (8)
17. 14 Kerry Smith (21)
18. 55 Rob Slater (17)
19. 20 Erinn Bailey (20) (driven by Chris Spencer in heat)
20. 39 Jim Cochrane (22)
21. 77x Ethan Martin (23)
22. 4p Mike Peterson (5)
23. 7x Chase Hess (15)
24. 02 Chris Spencer (24) (driven by Erinn Bailey in heat) DNS

1. 181 Lee Hils (unknown), 
2. 5 Steven Hils (unknown), 
3. 81 Karl Sault (Dundas), 
4. 818 Chris Hils (unknown)