By: Jonathon Howe
THOROLD, ON – Burger Barn and Merrittville Speedway put together a special night of racing Friday at Canada’s Oldest Dirt Track. The Pinty’s Knights of Thunder 360 Sprint Cars, Hoosier Stocks, Action Sprint Tour, and Glo & Go Tanning 4 Cylinders did battle on the dirt on a remarkably clean night of racing broadcasted live on GForceTV. Jordan Poirier, Dave Bailey, Nick Sheridan, and Ken Hair each took home the checkers in their respective classes.
The Pinty’s Knights of Thunder 360 Sprints were next up with Jim Huppunen on the pole. Huppunen got away cleanly but had a mirror full of Jordan Poirier within the first few laps. Poirier, who was searching for his 4th straight win in the Pinty’s Knights of Thunder series would get by Huppunen and begin driving away. Huppunen, went back to work trying to reel in Poirier once again, slowly catching the Quebec native, until a spin while running second ended Huppunen’s chance of ending the streak. Poirier would hold off Aaron Turkey and Ryan Turner to score win number four on the season.
The night concluded with the Action Sprint Tour, where outside pole sitter Nick Sheridan grabbed the lead early. Unsurprisingly, Jacob Dykstra who had won the last three Action Tour Sprint events, would rise to be Sheridan’s biggest competition. What was surprising was the ability Sheridan showed to navigate his #45 around lap traffic, seemingly able to make the car work in multiple lanes on any given lap. Dykstra struggled to find speed anywhere but the bottom groove at Merrittville, as Sheridan put on a dominating performance. Nick Sheridan also picked up $5000 dollars for his victory from event sponsor Sundance Mobile Restaurant Services LTD. Jacob Dykstra would settle for second while polesitter Eric Gledhill brought it home third.
Hoosier stocks saw two familiar foes duel once again battle for the win under the lights. The 20-lap feature began with Go Fast Teeple and Donny Lampman on the front row, but it’d be the other Lampman, Jim who would tangle with Adam Plazek and bring out the yellow. Rob Murray and Dave Bailey found themselves in another battle to the checkers as the race returned to green. Murray refused to give up the bottom lane, forcing Bailey to the high side in his passing attempts. Mark Fawcett and Logan Shwedyk lurked in the background but could never close on Bailey Murray as they dueled side by side for several laps. Bailey, using the high groove would eventually clear Murray and hang on to win his 4th of the season at Merrittville.
Feature racing began with the Glo & Go Tanning 4 Cylinders who put on a great show from the drop of the green flag. Jordan Denobriga started on pole, but the night quickly ended after making contact with 4th place starter Kourtney Kocarik. Braden Keus led the field back to green with Ken Hair emerging as Keus’s challenger. Soon a pack of 8 cars would break away from the field all nipping at the heels of Keus and Hair. After multiple laps side by side, Hair was able to clear the pack of side-by-side racers that included heavy hitters like Jay Moulton, Austyn Werstroh, and Kyle Rothwell to score the victory. The win for Hair, the Fonthill native, comes less than two weeks after a scary rollover on the tricky Merrittville track.
Racing continues at Merrittville Speedway Saturday night for night two of the weekend doubleheader. Niagara Employment Help Centre presents a full Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series program featuring the Bill Willard Sr Stirling Silver Cup for the Sportsman. Main gates open at 5:30 pm and racing begins at 7 pm. Follow Merrittville on social media including Facebook (facebook.com/MerrittvilleSpeedway), Twitter (@Merrittville), and now on Instagram (@merrittvillespeedway). For results, point standings, and more, check out www.merrittvillespeedway.com
RACE RESULTS – August 6, 2021
Knights of Thunder 360 Sprint Cars: JORDAN POIRIER, Aaron Turkey, Ryan Turner, Liam Martin, Jamie Turner, Holly Porter, DJ Christie, Baily Heard, Josh Hansen, Jim Huppunen, Travis Cunningham, Tyler Rand, Dan Nanticoke, Scott Burk, Cory Turner, Shone Evans, Kevin Pauls, Mikey Kruchka
Qualifying Heats: Jim Huppunen, DJ Christie, Ryan Turner
Action Sprint Tour: NICK SHERIDAN, Jacob Dykstra, Eric Gledhill, Jesse Costa, Lucas Smith, Allan Downey, Josh Hill, Darren Dryden, Dereck Lemyre, Dale Curran, Curtis Gartly, Rob Neely, Austin Roes, Adrian Stahle, Derek Miller, Johnny Miller, Brett Stratford, Ryan Fraser, Brian Nanticoke, Steve Murdock, Lance Erskine, Trevor Young, Larry Gledhill, Noelle Teal
Did Not Qualify: Dave McKnight Jr, Tyeller Powless, Shane Stickel, Andrew Marshall, Eric VanEvery
Qualifying Heats: Lucas Smith, Jacob Dykstra, Jesse Costa
B-Main: Adrian Stahle
Hoosier Stocks: DAVE BAILEY, Rob Murray, Mark Fawcett, Logan Shwedyk, Ryan Beagle, Clinton Nicholls, Go Fast Teeple, Jeff Larmet, Dave Small, Kyle Wert, Mike Thorne, Zach Bleich, Jim Lampman, Donny Lampman, Adam Plazek, Devon Bacher, Kacey Huffman, Robbie General
Qualifying Heats: Ryan Beagle, Clinton Nicholls
Glo n’ Go 4 Cylinders: KENNY HAIR, Braden Keus, Kyle Rothwell, Tyler Lafantaisie, Austyn Werstroh, Jay Moulton, Rob Goulding, Fabio Olivieri, Mark Bazuin, John Lubeck, Kourtney Kocarik, Rob Twitchett, Hana Rothwell, Ray Cerenzia, Lyle White, Mike Giberson, Danny Wurster, Jordan Denobriga, Clinton Barrick
Qualifying Heats: Rob Goulding, Jay Moulton, Tyler Lafantaisie