By Tommy Goudge (August 22, 2008) – The skies were clear over Ohsweken Speedway on Friday night, allowing a great field of competitors in 5 divisions to put on a show for a large crowd that turned out on Cafe 54 night at the Speedway. The night will be especially memorable for Brad Malloy of Niagara Falls, who visited Engine Pro Racing Victory Lane after winning his first career sprint car feature in Corr/Pak Merchandising Sprint Car action on Friday. Joining Ohsweken’s regular Friday Night Thunder divisions were the teams of the Modified-Lite Stars Championship North Tour, with Adam Leslie taking the victory in that 20 lap feature. Also in action were the ESSO Thunder Stocks, with Billy Bleich, Jr. taking the feature win, while Abel Castelein took the ESSO Mini-Stock victory and Karl Sault was the victor for the Friday Night Fun Stocks.

Warren Mahoney and Brad Malloy led the field to green to start 20 laps of Corr/Pak Sprint Car feature race action on Friday night, with Mahoney getting the early lead. Malloy kept the Mahoney #25 in sight though and drove underneath the Mahoney machine in turns 1 and 2 on lap 4, taking over the lead coming out of the 4th turn. 4th starter Glenn Styres also began to make his presence felt, but had trouble passing Mahoney, allowing Malloy to negotiate a few laps unchallenged. 2 caution periods slowed the race briefly just before the halfway point as Ryan Hunsinger spun to a stop in turn 4, and then a lap later the Jim Price #7 came to a stop at the exit of turn #2 with a flat right front tire. The green flag came back out for good with 12 laps left, and Styres made his move right away, getting by Mahoney for 2nd on the outside of turn 2 and setting his sights on Malloy’s #5m. Earlier in the evening, Styres came within .03 seconds of the track record and was flying in the top groove, but Malloy was steady and very fast running in the middle lane, keeping Styres at bay. 

With 13 laps in the books, Malloy and Styres had broken away from the rest of the pack and were approaching John Burbridge, Jr. and Kyle Patrick who were battling side-by-side near the rear of the field. Entering turn 3, Patrick chose the top side with Burbridge on the bottom while Malloy seized the moment and drove between them to put a lap on the 2 slower machines, however Styres followed right behind, making a 3-wide move of his own in turns 1 and 2 to keep Malloy in sight. Malloy was then briefly slowed up while trying to pass the Rob Ledingham #19jr, allowing Styres to get a run in turns 3 and 4 and dive underneath Malloy coming down the front-stretch to lead the 15th lap. Malloy, however, was not about to let his first ever sprint car feature win slip through his fingers and went back to work, diving low in turn 1 and drawing even with the Styres #0. The two battled side-by-side for the next 2 laps, and then Malloy was able to slip past the Nick Cupolo machine, putting Cupolo’s lapped #99c between he and Styres and opening a gap he would not relinquish. Styres could not mount a challenge in the remaining 2 laps and settled for 2nd, 1.7 seconds behind Malloy when the chequered flag flew. Following Malloy and Styres to the finish was the #6n of Dain Naida, who charged from 14th on the grid to 3rd, trailed by Keith Dempster, who entered the evening with the points lead, and Warren Mahoney rounding out the top 5. Heat races victories for the 28 car field went to Mikey Kruchka, Styres, Ryan Hunsinger, and Dempster, while Jared Zimbardi won the B-Main and clawed his way to 9th in the feature to keep his hopes of an Ohsweken track championship alive.

The Modified-Lite Star Championship North Tour made their 2nd and final visit to Ohsweken for the 2008 season on Friday night with a good field of 16 “Mini-Modifieds” on hand to do battle. Paul Klager entered the evening with a small lead of 6 points over Shawn Sliter in the Tour Championship standings, and things were looking good for Sliter in his heat race as he and Adam Leslie pulled away from the rest of the field, including Klager, to battle for the heat race victory. Leslie came away with the checkers, but Sliter gained slightly in the standings on Klager. Come feature time, the front row was made up of Jamie Gilbert and Leslie, and Leslie quickly picked up where he left off in his heat race, taking the lead and opening a gap at the front. Meanwhile, Klager quickly moved up from his 6th starting position and got by Sliter for the 3rd spot and Gilbert for 2nd all during the 3rd lap, while Sliter got by the Gilbert machine to keep the 3rd spot, and also keep Klager in sight. Gilbert, however, was not ready to give up and passed both Klager and Sliter back during lap 9, while Leslie continued to hold court out front. On lap 14, disaster struck for Sliter as he made heavy contact with the backstretch wall and came to a stop entering turn 3. Sliter took his damaged machine to the pits and returned to the track after quick repairs, but was at the back of the pack for the restart. When the green came back out, Leslie reasserted his lead and was not seriously challenged, while the battle for 2nd waged on, this time with Kory Howe in the mix battling with Klager and Gilbert. During the 18th lap, Klager slipped by the Gilbert machine, while Howe did the same the next time around, but time had run out for both competitors as Leslie cruised home over 1.5 seconds ahead at the finish, leaving Klager and Howe to settle for podium spots, followed by Gilbert, and Josh Sliter. Heat races for the Mod-Lites were won by Gilbert and Leslie.

After a big night of twin-15 lap features during the last evening of racing, the ESSO Thunder Stock division was back to regular action on Friday night, with another stellar field of 24 cars set to do battle. Gord Bates and Ryan Dinning made up the front row, but when the race went green, all eyes were on competitors further back as division points leader and 7-time feature winner in 2008 Cody McPherson started in row 6, right next to Billy Bleich, Jr. who took home his first ever feature win in the 2nd 15 lap feature on August 8th. Both drivers moved up quickly through the field, and were in the top 3 in short order. During a restart, Bleich was able to drive past the McPherson machine and take a lead he would never relinquish. McPherson was forced to settle for 2nd, marking the first time all season that the young St. Catharines driver has gone 2 weeks in a row without a feature win. Defending 2007 track champion Brad Bacher came home 3rd for one of his best finishes of what has been a difficult season in defence of his title, while Jeremy Bean and Brad Herron rounded out the top 5. After blowing his engine in heat race action, Rob Disher jumped in the Mark Fawcett #32 for the feature and made his way to 7th when the feature reached it’s conclusion to keep his spot in the top 5 in the points standings alive. Mike Thorne also bounced back from adversity in his heat after a flat right rear tire forced him out of the lead and into the pits. After starting 22nd in the feature, Thorne was able to drive the #55 into a 9th place finish.

David Goodacre and Chase Hess began the ESSO Mini-Stock feature in row 1, with Hess getting the early advantage when the green flag dropped. An early caution flag bunched the field at the conclusion of the 2nd lap as Steve Miller lost the handle on the #79 and pounded the wall at the exit of turn 4. Fortunately, Miller was uninjured despite the heavy impact and climbed from his mount. The race restarted with Hess once again taking the lead, but the action was going on behind him as Mitchell Brown and Abel Castelein quickly made their ways to the front after starting in rows 5 and 6, respectively. With 7 laps in the books, Castelein dove low under the Hess machine entering turn 1 and completed the pass a lap and a half later exiting turn 4 to take the lead. Brown was not able to follow points leader Castelein through and battled with Hess and Rick Emberson for 2nd for the rest of the event, with Brown just barely nipping Hess at the line for 2nd. Hess settled for 3rd, followed by Emberson and Mike Evers rounding out the top 5. Heat race victories for the Mini-Stocks went to David Goodacre, Brown, and Hess.

The Friday Night Fun Stocks were back in action again on Friday night with another wild feature, but familiar faces were once again up front as Karl Sault and Lee Hils once again showed they are the drivers to beat in the new entry-level division at Ohsweken. At the end of 20 hard fought laps on the infield oval, it was Sault taking the feature win after a few close calls with lapped machines, while Hils settled for 2nd, but kept his points lead intact with another top finish. Jesse McDonald, Mike Taylor, and Ryan Swift rounded out the top 5.

Friday Night Thunder returns to Ohsweken next Friday, August 29 when H.R.W. Automotive presents the Ontario Dirt Late Models series, plus the Corr/Pak Merchandising Sprint Cars, ESSO Thunder Stocks, ESSO Mini-Stocks, Friday Night Fun Stocks, and Mechanics races in the ESSO Mini Stocks and ESSO Thunder Stocks! Friday Night Thunder at Ohsweken Speedway offers affordable family entertainment just a short drive away from most mid-western Ontario locations. Friday Night Thunder Adult General Admission is just $10, while Seniors and Students are $8, and kids 12 and under are FREE! Please visit HYPERLINK for more information. Gates open at 6:00p.m. with the first race taking the green flag at 7:45p.m. this Friday, August 29!


HEAT RACES (Top 4 Transfer To A-Feature):
BS&B RADIATOR Heat Race #1

1. 01 Mikey Kruchka (Hamilton), 2. 8 Blake Breen (Savannah, NY), 3. 25 Warren Mahoney (Lefroy), 4. 33k Kyle Patrick (Tilbury), 5. 31 John Burbridge, Jr. (Simcoe), 6. 94 Stan Zanchin (Fort Erie), 7. 22 Jim Porter (Grand Island, NY)

1. 0 Glenn Styres (Ohsweken), 2. 5d Dave Dykstra (Port Colborne), 3. 5m Brad Malloy (Niagara Falls), 4. 6n Dain Naida (Belleville, MI), 5. 71 Craig Downie (Burlington), 6. 79 Dick Mahoney (Newmarket), 7. 12c Jim Huppunen (Fenwick)

1. 77x Ryan Hunsinger (Brantford), 2. 19jr Rob Ledingham (Port Colborne), 3. 69 Rob Pietz (Port Colborne), 4. 21j John Burbridge, Sr. (Simcoe), 5. 99c Nick Cupolo (Thorold), 6. 7 Jim Price (Wainfleet), 7. 66 Frank Baranowski (Hamilton)

1. 5 Keith Dempster (Alton), 2. 9b Bobby Breen (Savannah, NY), 3. 1a John Riegling (Chatham), 4. 21x Kevin Job (Campbellville), 5. 35 Jared Zimbardi (Salamanca, NY), 6. 81 Derek Jonathan (Lewiston, NY), 7. 10 Bobby Crawford (Sutton)

(Top 4 Transfer To A-Main)
1. 35 Jared Zimbardi, 2. 31 John Burbridge, Jr., 3. 7 Jim Price, 4. 99c Nick Cupolo, 5. 81 Derek Jonathan, 6. 10 Bob Crawford, 7. 94 Stan Zanchin, 8. 79 Dick Mahoney, 9. 12c Jim Huppunen, 10. 66 Frank Baranowski DNF, 11. 71 Craig Downie DNS, 12. 22 Jim Porter DNS


Position. # Name (Starting Position)
1. 5m Brad Malloy (1)
2. 0 Glenn Styres (4)
3. 6n Dain Naida (14)
4. 5 Keith Dempster (10)
5. 25 Warren Mahoney (2)
6. 69 Rob Pietz (11)
7. 01 Mikey Kruchka (6)
8. 8 Blake Breen (12)
9. 35 Jared Zimbardi (17)
10. 1a John Riegling (9)
11. 77x Ryan Hunsinger (8)
12. 21x Kevin Job (16)
13. 5d Dave Dykstra (7)
14. 99c Nick Cupolo (20)
15. 21j John Burbridge, Sr. (15)
16. 19jr Rob Ledingham (3)
17. 33k Kyle Patrick (13)
18. 31 John Burbridge, Jr. (18)
19. 9b Bobby Breen (5) DNF
20. 7 Jim Price (19) DNF

Heat Race #1:

1. 53 Jamie Gilbert (Welland), 2. 63 Jeff Johnson (Versailles, NY), 3. 17 Josh Sliter (Ridgeway), 4. 5c Jordan Curran (Welland), 5. 19 Jason Corless (Bolton), 6. 37 Wally Billing (Elmira), 7. 67 Rick Brubacher (St. Clements), 8. 56 Lorne Colling (Stevensville) DNF

Heat Race #2:
1. 15 Adam Leslie (Port Colborne), 2. 71 Shawn Sliter (Port Colborne), 3. 1 Paul Klager (Vineland), 4. 33 Kory Howe (St. Catharines), 5. 13 Scott Phillips (Hagersville), 6. 31 Scott Billing (Waterloo), 7. 14 Kellie Mason (Virgil), 8. 4 Greg Mills (Niagara Falls)

(20 laps)
1. 15 Adam Leslie (2)
2. 1 Paul Klager (6)
3. 33 Kory Howe (8)
4. 53 Jamie Gilbert (1)
5. 17 Josh Sliter (5)
6. 19 Jason Corless (9)
7. 5c Jordan Curran (7)
8. 67 Rick Brubacher (13)
9. 63 Jeff Johnson (3)
10. 14 Kellie Mason (14)
11. 31 Scott Billing (12)
12. 71 Shawn Sliter (4)
13. 13 Scott Phillips (10)
14. 56 Lorne Colling (16)
15. 37 Wally Billing (11)
16. 4 Greg Mills (15)


Heat Race #1
1. 40 Terry Osmond (Cambridge), 2. 9 Glen Leinen (Hannon), 3. 191 Gord Bates (York), 4. 37 Jeremy Bean (Stoney Creek), 5. 32 Mark Fawcett (Canfield), 6. 1 Chris Dickie (Brantford), 7. o44 Jamie Cox (Cambridge) DQ, 8. 13 Mark Saul (Hagersville) DQ

Heat Race #2
1. 777 Cody McPherson (St. Catharines), 2. 8 Ryan Dinning (Caledonia), 3. 3 Brad Bacher (Hagersville), 4. 12 Brad Herron (Brantford), 5. 23 Tim Deboer (unknown), 6. 33 Colin Court (Alberton), 7. 17 Rob Disher (Grimsby) DNF, 8. 55 Mike Thorne (Caledonia) DNF

Heat Race #3
1. 18 Dave Bailey (Hagersville), 2. 11 Michelle Johnson (Caledonia), 3. 31jr Michael Bosse (St. Catharines), 4. 108jr Billy Bleich, Jr. (Port Robinson), 5. 18a Amanda Stoner (Hamilton), 6. 24k Kyle Magrin (Hamilton), 7. 98 Lee Winger (Caledonia), 8. 01 Mark Czuba (unknown)

Position. # Name (Starting Position)
1. 108jr Billy Bleich (12)
2. 777 Cody McPherson (11)
3. 3 Brad Bacher (6)
4. 37 Jeremy Bean (8)
5. 12 Brad Herron (9)
6. 9 Glen Leinen (5)
7. 32 Rob Disher (23)
8. 8 Ryan Dinning (2)
9. 55 Mike Thorne (22)
10. 31jr Michael Bosse (7)
11. 18 Dave Bailey (3)
12. o44 Jamie Cox (18)
13. 13 Mark Saul (20)
14. 1 Chris Dickie (15)
15. 11 Michelle Johnson (4)
16. 23 Tim Deboer (13)
17. 18a Amanda Stoner (14)
18. 40 Terry Osmond (10)
19. 98 Lee Winger (19)
20. 24k Kyle Magrin (17)
21. 33 Colin Court (19)
22. 01 Mark Czuba (21)
23. 191 Gord Bates (1)
* NOTE: The #32 of Mark Fawcett was driven by Rob Disher in the Feature

Heat Race #1

1. 05 David Goodacre (Brantford), 2. 265 Mike Evers (Caledonia), 3. 86 Rick Emberson (Paris), 4. 20 Kevin Magrin (Hamilton), 5. 777x Steve Hess (Ohsweken), 6. 11 Mike Giberson (Caledonia), 7. 79 Steve Miller (Paris)

Heat Race #2
1. 10 Mitchell Brown (Brantford), 2. 72 Kevin Hilborn (Brantford), 3. 397 Brent Hill (Ohsweken), 4. 02 Lee Winger (Caledonia), 5. 222 John Marsh (Hamilton), 6. 55 Rob Slater (Dundas) DNF, 7. 113 Mark Thorne (Waterford) DNF

Heat Race #3
1. 7x Chase Hess (Ohsweken), 2. 27 Dan Stewart (Hamilton), 3. 88 Marc Hallett (Brantford), 4. 28 Abel Castelein (Cayuga), 5. 37 Rob Hoskins (Harley), 6. 04 Wyatt Van Wart (Cambridge), 7. 8 Andrew Snelling (unknown)

Position. # Name (Starting Position)
1. 28 Abel Castelein (11)
2. 10 Mitchell Brown (10)
3. 7x Chase Hess (1)
4. 86 Rick Emberson (4)
5. 265 Mike Evers (5)
6. 72 Kevin Hilborn (8)
7. 397 Brent Hill (6)
8. 777x Steve Hess (13)
9. 11 Mike Giberson (16)
10. 27 Dan Stewart (3)
11. 37 Rob Hoskins (15)
12. 55 Rob Slater (20)
13. 88 Marc Hallett (7)
14. 04 Wyatt Van Wart (17)
15. 20 Kevin Magrin (9) DNF
16. 05 David Goodacre (2) DNF
17. 222 John Marsh (14) DNF
18. 113 Mark Thorne (21) DNF
19. 79 Steve Miller (18) DNF
20. 8 Andrew Snelling (19) DNF
21. 02 Lee Winger (12) DNF

Position. # Name (Hometown)
1. 81 Karl Sault (Dundas)
2. 181 Lee Hils (Dundas)
2. 88j Jesse McDonald (unknown)
4. 72 Mike Taylor (unknown)
5. 86 Ryan Swift (Caledonia)
6. 88 Dale Cooke (unknown)
7. 13 Kacey Huffman (Hamilton)
8. 22 Trevor Deboer (unknown)
9. 818 Chris Hils (Dundas)
10. 5 Ryan Hess (Ohsweken)
11. 8 Tommy Goudge (London)
12. 18 Dave Hils (Dundas) DNF
13. 388 Dale Cooke (unknown) DNF

GATES OPEN @ 6:00 P.M., RACING @ 7:45 P.M.