Ohsweken Speedway, Ohsweken, ON Poirier wins third canadian sprint car nationals title

Discussion in 'Ontario Race Tracks' started by Administrator, Sep 19, 2012.

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    by Tommy Goudge (September 15, 2012) - Steve Poirier of
    Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil, Quebec became the first driver to win three
    Canadian Sprint Car Nationals A-Features on Saturday night in the 8th
    annual edition of Ohsweken Speedway's signature event. Poirier led 32 of
    35 laps in the feature to earn the $12,000 prize, while 2-time Nationals
    winner Shane Stewart settled for second, and 2011 Ohsweken Speedway
    track champion Jim Huppunen took third.

    Jeff Cook and Steve Poirier made up the front row for the A-Feature, but
    were moved back to the second row after a false start, allowing Shawn
    Donath and Glenn Styres to start up front. Poirier didn't let that
    setback get in his way, as he took the lead after a brief joust with
    Donath. Dustin Daggett looked to be on a mission, as he moved around
    both Stewart and Donath into second place on lap 6, and gave chase to
    Poirier while Donath and then Stewart went off track momentarily before
    Thomas Kennedy spun in turn 2 to bring out a caution flag on lap 9.

    Daggett had just one lapped car between himself and the leader when the
    race restarted, but Poirier streaked away until traffic became a factor.
    Poirier missed his mark entering turn 3 on lap 15, allowing Daggett to
    take over out front, but Daggett himself got crossed up in the same spot
    on lap 18, and Poirier went back out front for good. Daggett slid back
    to 5th by the end of the race, while Stewart and Jim Huppunen tried to
    chase down Poirier. Huppunen had moved up from row 5, and was ahead of
    Stewart several times as the race wound down, but could not get by.

    The rest of the field had a final chance to chase Poirier down when Ryan
    Grubaugh spun to bring out a caution on lap 31, setting up a 4 lap dash
    to the finish. Poirier had 4 lapped machines between himself and Stewart
    when the race restarted, and cruised to the win while Stewart and
    Huppunen again raced side-by-side for second, with Stewart prevailing.
    Huppunen, Hebing, and Daggett rounded out the top 5, while Jessica
    Zemken, Bryan Howland, Shawn Donath, Jeff Cook, and Jamie Collard
    finished in the top 10.

    Poirier made sure to thank crew chief Kevin Loveys, a former weekly
    racer at Ohsweken, for helping him to get back to victory lane at
    Ohsweken after a tough season which saw him miss several races due to

    "I would exchange many wins this year for that one," said Poirier after
    the race. "It looked like our season was going the wrong way with my
    knee injury. Not too much luck on our side, but tonight all night luck
    was on our side. The car was super good - thanks to Kevin (Loveys). I
    know he wanted that trophy pretty bad because he lives around here, so
    I'm really happy for him, and for my team to win that three times. This
    track has been so good to me. We always do good here, but the
    competition is getting tougher and tougher. It's even better than the
    first two wins we had here."

    Stewart was also trying to win the Nationals for the third time in his
    career, but came up just a bit short this time.

    "(Poirier) drove a great race, and had a great race car," Stewart said
    afterwards. "We were just second place tonight, and we actually almost
    finished third. I could see (Huppunen) sneaking around the bottom, but I
    just can't thank Joe and Tim and Cindy enough. They worked really hard
    to put together a really good team and program, and it's always fun to
    come race for them. It's good to see all the fans out here. I know it's
    a little chilly out, but it was a good race. They did a great job
    preparing the race track."

    Huppunen improved on his 10th place finish in 2011 by getting to the
    podium this year, but couldn't help but wonder if he could have done
    even better.

    "This track was what I wanted," Huppunen said of the slick conditions in
    the feature. "I almost got Shane there at the end. I blew it into (turn)
    one and I missed my mark, and I cursed myself going around that last
    lap, but all in all, wow that was fun!"

    76 drivers from 3 Canadian provinces, 8 American states, and New Zealand
    attempted to qualify for the 2012 edition of the Nationals on Saturday
    night. Chris Steele ran the fastest time overall in group time trials,
    collecting the Lane Automotive Top Qualifier Award, along with the
    Bicknell Racing Products Top Canadian Qualifier award, and setting a new
    360 Sprint Car time trial track record at 13.308 seconds. Kyle Sauder
    and his crew were awarded $300 for the Corr/Pak Merchandising “Bill Peer
    Memorial”￾ Best Appearing Car honours, and Lee Ladouceur recieved a $200
    bonus from Brighton Speedway as the highest finishing driver from the
    Southern Ontario Sprints.

    Heat races went to Glenn Styres, Steve Poirier, Shane Stewart, Dustin
    Daggett, and Jeff Cook, while the B-Mains were claimed by Todd Hoddick,
    Michael Parent, and Dylan Swiernik, and Randy Hannagan and his crew
    changed engines in time to win the "Little Feature" and the final
    A-Feature starting position after starting deep in the field.

    The Ohsweken Shootout and Dave McLeod Memorial Mr. Sprint Car Challenge
    were also contested on Saturday, after being rained out on Friday. Chuck
    Hebing took the win in the Ohsweken Shootout, while Randy Hannagan won
    the Dave McLeod Memorial Mr. Sprint Car Challenge.

    Ohsweken Speedway wishes to thank all of the sponsors responsible for
    making this weekend’s event a big success, including Bell Helmets,
    Electromotive Engine Controls, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, Best Western
    Cairn Croft Hotel, BS&B Radiator, Wiseco Piston, Diversified Machine
    Incorporated, King Racing, Rod End Supply, Pancho’s Racing Products, XYZ
    Machining Inc., Rocket Headers, Manton Pushrods, ISC Racer’s Tape, J&J
    Auto Racing, Hoosier Tire, Kinser Air Filters, Keizer Aluminum Wheels,
    KSE Racing Products, Awesome Racewear, Hepfner Racing Products, Saldana
    Racing, Zemco Speed Equipment, Winters Performance, Seals-It, BMRS, and
    Slade Shock Technology.

    Derek Wagner continued his domination of the Mod-Lite visits to Ohsweken
    in 2012 by leading all but the first lap in the A-Feature. Paul Klager
    was close to getting by Wagner several times, but settled for the
    runner-up spot, followed by Jason Corless, Kory Howe, and Jeff May.

    The annual Ohsweken Speedway awards banquet will be held on Friday,
    November 16 at Carmen's Banquet Hall in Hamilton, Ontario. Please visit
    www.OhswekenSpeedway.com for more information.

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