Phillips, Porter Race at Ohsweken Speedway
By Dave Cook, Media Officer
Grand Island drivers in bold
August 22,2003 Ohsweken, Ontario. . . Ohsweken Speedway owner and sprint car racer Glenn Styers had all the makings of a storybook ending Friday when he had a convincing lead in the Southern Ontario Sprints (SOS) race at Ohsweken Speedway.
The race was sponsored by Jeff’s at Work Office Furniture, Glenn Styers, who owns the track, also had his car sponsored by Jeff’s. And to top things off, Styers had a convincing lead and was well on his way to that storybook win. However, Alton, Ontario racer Keith Dempster came along and with only four laps remaining in the 20-lap race, re-wrote the ending.
“It was an awesome race tonight. My car was really hooked up and I was well on my way to that win. Just as I started to put a slower car a lap down, he moved over into my line and I had to lift off,” said Styers following the race.
It was at that point that Dempster made his move to go by Styers to take the lead. “I knew I wouldn’t have caught him if we were on a wide-open track,” said Dempster, But with lapped traffic entering into the equation toward the end of the race, Dempster managed to catch up and go for the pass and on to win.
“I could see the opportunity with lapped traffic and I waited my time. When I got close I thought if Glenn wasn’t going to go to the bottom of the track I was,” he said.
Finishing third was Kyle Patrick of Tilbury, Ontario who is this year’s top rookie in the SOS point’s standings. This was Patrick’s second consecutive third place finish and his finish went a long way to boost his confidence.
“We have been struggling with racing at this track. I finally paid attention to the faster drivers and found the will to make some of the moves I did tonight. I knew I couldn’t pass them but I stayed with them,” he said.
The race, which started off with the traditional four-by-four parade lap saluting the fans, no sooner got the green flag but a caution yellow came out for a spinning car. The 17-car field regrouped for a restart and another car spun. The next caution came on lap four when yet another car spun. The race then went four laps before two cars tangled bringing out the fourth and last yellow caution flag.
Bob Crawford of Sutton, Ontario led the first three laps with Patrick, Styers and Dempster tucked in behind. On lap four Dempster grabbed the lead but the caution put him back for the restart. Styers led the next 11 laps and looked as if he was going to go on for a very convincing victory. Dempster was second with Patrick running third. Bob Crawford, of Sutton, Ontario started on the pole but by lap four started to slip back bit-by-bit eventually finishing eighth.
Mike Lauterborn of Rochester, N.Y. showed early promise having started eighth and by lap four was fifth. However, Mike could only muster enough to gain one more position and he finished the night in fourth position. Lauterborn, however, waged pretty much a race-long duel with Warren Mahoney of Lefroy, Ontario. Mahoney finished fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Mark Schulz of Newfane, N.Y., Jim Porter of Grand Island, N.Y. Crawford, Dick Mahoney, of Newmarket, Ontario and Vinnie Christiano Jr. of Tonawanda, N.Y.
Cody Geldart quickly became a fan favourite with a fourth place finish in his heat and then driving home to a 12th place finish in the feature. Geldart is only age 15 and this was his absolute debut in a 600 h.p. winged sprint car.
Heat One: 1. Keith Dempster, Alton, Ontario; 2. Tim Phillips, Grand Island, N.Y.; 3. Vinnie Christiano Jr., Tonawanda, N.Y.; 4.Dave MacLeod, Tonawanda, N.Y.; 5. Daryl Turford, Stratford, Ontario; 6. Phil Armishaw, Mt. Hope, Ontario.
Heat Two: 1. Glenn Styers, Ohsweken, Ontario; 2. Bob Crawford, Sutton, Ontario; 3. Mike Lauterborn, Rochester, Ontario; 4. Dick Mahoney, Newmarket, Ontario; 5. Jim Porter, Grand Island, N.Y.; did not finish- Paul Ballantyne, Brantford, Ontario
Heat Three: 1. Joel Lehman, Elora, Ontario; 2. Kyle Patrick, Tilbury, Ontario; 3. Mark Schulz, Newfane, N.Y.; 4. Cody Geldart, Mossey, Ontario; 5. Frank Baranowski, Hamilton, Ontario; did not finish-. Warren Mahoney, Lefroy, Ontario
Dash For Cash; 1. Styers; 2. Dempster; 3. Lehman; 4. Patrick; 5. Tim Phillips; 6. Crawford.
Feature: 1. Dempster; 2. Styers; 3. Patrick; 4. Lauterborn; 5. Warren Mahoney; 6. Schulz; 7. Jim Porter; 8. Crawford; 9. Dick Mahoney; 10. Christiano Jr.; 11. Armishaw; 12. Geldart; 13. Baranowski; 14. Tim Phillips; 15. Lehman; 16. MacLeod; 17. Turford.
Next Race(s) Brighton Speedway Saturday and Sunday Double Header. August 30-31, 2003.