Photo – #17x Dain Naida and #51 Bryan Howland are retiring this weekend (Dale Calnan – www.ImageFactor.ca)
by Tommy Goudge (September 15, 2017) – Ohsweken, Ontario – Two of the longest-tenured competitors in the history of the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals are planning to wrap up their careers at Ohsweken Speedway this weekend.
New York’s Bryan Howland and Michigan’s Dain Naida have been prolific in their visits to Ohsweken Speedway over the years; The all-time feature win list shows Howland with seven wins, while Naida is close behind with five. Each have officially attempted 11 of the 12 editions of the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals, and both have announced that this weekend’s 13th annual CSCN event will be their last.
At just 30 years old, Howland hasn’t entirely ruled out occasional returns to the driver’s seat, but is unlikely to make the four hour trip to Ohsweken from the Finger Lakes again.
“We aren’t selling our equipment this year so if we feel like racing a few times next year, we will,” Howland noted. “It’s not costing us anything to sit in the garage, so why not keep it and play once in a while, right?”
Despite being a perennial favourite to win the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals, luck never seemed to go Howland’s way at the big event. Flat tires, part failures, and various other issues plagued the team on Nationals weekend. The worst of that bad luck came in 2010 when Howland lost a wheel while leading a Friday night Ohsweken Shootout race and crashed. The result was a broken shoulder and fractured leg which sidelined Howland for several months.
Howland’s fortunes finally changed in 2015, when he made a phenomenal charge from 20th to steal the $12,000 Saturday night win away from Steve Poirier and Parker Price-Miller. With better luck, Howland may have scored multiple Saturday night CSCN wins already, but he does have a total of three top five finishes and seven top tens to go along with his 2015 win.
“It’s been a wild ride!” Bryan exclaimed earlier this week. “I’ve been through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I’ve ended up everywhere from victory lane to the emergency room. This is the race that everyone wants to win, everyone gives special attention to, and everyone prepares for all season long. Only the best and luckiest goes home with the grand prize. I’ve had the backing of the same sponsors and crew for pretty much the entire journey and I believe I have gained the respect of several fans. For everyone that has been on this trip with me: thank you for the support and help, from the bad times all the way through the good times. It’s the most exciting weekend of the season and I can’t wait to get at it one more time.”
Meanwhile, Naida has been a perennial contender on CSCN weekend too. The 45-year-old from Southeast Michigan has attempted all but the first edition of the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals, and qualified for the feature nine times. Naida has two Saturday night top tens on his resume, including a fifth place run in 2007.
Despite living more than four hours away from Ohsweken, Naida and his team have often been full-time or close to full-time weekly competitors at Ohsweken over the years. Their dedication and support of racing in Ontario has not gone unnoticed by fans, fellow competitors, and track officials.
“It’s been incredible to see how the CSCN has grown over the years to become such a marquee event,” Naida reflected earlier this week. “A lot of people put forth a phenomenal effort, and it shows. For many of us it is the event of the year, and definitely the top 360 Sprint Car event in all of eastern North America. I’ll miss the CSCN, but can’t think of a better event to be my last.”
The 2017 Canadian Sprint Car Nationals weekend kicked off with a Test & Tune session on Thursday, September 14, while racing will commence Friday, September 15 with the Burger Barn Night Before the Nationals, and finish with the 13th annual Arrow Express Canadian Sprint Car Nationals on Saturday, September 16.
The 13th annual Arrow Express Canadian Sprint Car Nationals will again pay $12,000 USD-to-win and $1,000 USD-to-start the 35 lap A-Feature, along with several other cash awards. The entry list currently stands at 63 cars, with more expected. Many CSCN entrants will represent one of the six official affiliate sanctions for the event, including the Ohsweken Speedway 360 Sprint Car division, the Southern Ontario Sprints tour, Patriot Sprint Tour, Empire Super Sprints, National Racing Alliance Sprint Invaders, and Great Lakes Super Sprints. The Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars will be the support division for the 360 Sprint Cars on Saturday, September 16.
This year’s Burger Barn Night Before the Nationals again includes a pair of 15 lap A-Features for the 360 Sprint Cars, plus the Dave McLeod Memorial Shootout, Kevin Ward, Jr. Young Stars Challenge, and the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks, HRW Automotive Mini Stocks, and Gale’s Auto Aftermarket Bombers. Both of the Twin 15 A-Feature winners on Friday will be guaranteed a starting spot in the Saturday night Canadian Sprint Car Nationals A-Feature.
The Dave McLeod Memorial Shootout will feature top drivers from each of the six CSCN affiliate sanctions. The youngest drivers signed in for competition on the Night Before the Nationals will make up the 13 car starting field for the 13 lap Kevin Ward, Jr. “Young Stars Challenge”.
TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW!
Tickets and campsite reservations are available NOW for the 2017 CSCN weekend coming up on September 15 and September 16. Call 519-717-0023 or visit www.OhswekenSpeedway.com for more information on ticket sales and campsite reservations.
CSCN ENTRY INFO
Entries continue to be accepted for the 2017 Canadian Sprint Car Nationals. Teams are encouraged to save time by submitting entry information online at the following link: https://ohswekenspeedway.ca/?page_id=5093
Teams traveling to Ohsweken from outside Canada are encouraged to click on the following link – http://www.ohswekenspeedway.ca/BorderForm.pdf – to view and print documents which will help you in the international border crossing process.
Live pay-per-view video is available for both the Night Before the Nationals on Friday, September 15, and the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals on Saturday, September 16. Visit www.CanadianSprintCarNationals.com for details.
The Canadian Sprint Car Nationals has been the annual season-closing event at Ohsweken Speedway since 2005, and brings together drivers and teams from several affiliated sanctioning organizations in the area, plus teams and drivers from all over North America and beyond. The event has drawn an average of 70 entries for the 12 previous editions, with a total of 249 different drivers from 16 American states, five Canadian provinces, Australia, and New Zealand taking part.
PAST CSCN WINNERS:
2005 – Kenny Jacobs, Holmesville OH USA
2006 – Steve Poirier, Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil QC Canada
2007 – Steve Poirier, Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil QC Canada
2008 – Wayne Johnson, Mustang OK USA
2009 – Shane Stewart, Bixby OK USA
2010 – Shane Stewart, Bixby OK USA
2011 – Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Sunnyvale TX USA
2012 – Steve Poirier, Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil QC Canada
2013 – Shane Stewart, Bixby OK USA
2014 – Jessica Zemken, Sprakers NY USA
2015 – Bryan Howland, Auburn NY USA
2016 – Parker Price-Miller, Kokomo IN USA
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 MEDIA
Ohsweken Speedway thanks the following partners for their support in 2017: 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.