Dempster Captures Canadian Sprint Car Championship Title - 9/28/03
By Bill Oldroyd
Grand Island drivers in bold
September 28, 2003 Ohsweken, Ontario. . . The 5th Annual Canadian Sprint Car Championships was a huge success and for the first time in four years, the championship title goes to one of the Southern Ontario Sprints (SOS) regular competitors. Keith Dempster of Alton, Ont. won a hard fought battle to take home his first Canadian Championship in a spectacular race. This was by far the best sprint car race of the year as the chilled fans sat on the edge of their seats through the entire event. After the race Dempster was asked how it felt to finally take home the championship after finishing in the top 5 on two other occasions.
“It was really great to win the championship but it would have been even sweeter if Woodring (Mike) had been part of the show and I was able to beat him. I was able to take the lead when the cars in front of me got caught up in some lapped traffic. I saw an opening around the outside and jumped past all of them.”
Even though Woodring, who has won this event three years running, was not present, the field of 31 sprinters that made the tow was packed with talent. Several of the top runners from the Empire Super Sprints, Sprints on Dirt and Patriots series were on hand to challenge many of the SOS competitors for top honors.
The evening got under way with time trials to determine heat race line-ups and starting positions for the feature. Rick Wilson, the “Joyceville Jet” of Joyceville, Ont. looked to be the one to beat with a lap of 14.271. Problems during his heat race however forced Wilson to come through the B-main and take a starting position well back in the field.
When the green flag dropped, pole sitter Gregg Dalman of Grand Ledge, Mich. jumped into the lead. On lap two, the race’s only caution slowed the field when Kyle Moffit of Dayton, N.Y. spun in turn 3. Wilson had already moved up to 11th position from his 17th starting position. When the green dropped, 2nd place Mike Lauterborn of Rochester, NY quickly took over top spot from Dalman followed by Kyle Wilson of Joyceville, Ont., Joel Lehman of Elora, Ont., Ohsweken track owner, Glenn Styres of Ohsweken, Ont., Adam West of Ridgetown, Ont., Cody Geldart of Mossley, Ont., Dempster, Billy Krull of Wheatfield, N.Y. and Warren Mahoney, of Lefroy, Ont. rounding out the top ten.
Lauterborn held onto the top position until mid race when Dalman was able to battle back and take the lead. K. Wilson was still a close 3rd with Styres, Geldart, R. Wilson, Krull and Dempster all fighting for position.
Lapped traffic was an issue all night as 21 of the 24 starters finished the race. On lap 18, the lapped traffic played a major role in the race outcome. Dempster surprised everyone, even his own crewmembers, when he was able to make his move to the top when the front-runners were jockeying for position with lapped traffic. One lap later, Styres passed Lauterborn for 2nd with the young Geldart close on his heels while K. Wilson slipped back to 5th position.
On the last lap, Styres gave it everything he had but couldn’t take the victory away from Dempster. Fifteen-year-old standout, Geldart, had an outstanding run coming home 3rd in only his fifth feature start in a sprint car. Lauterborn would hold on to finish 4th with Dalman taking 5th. Krull finished 6th with K. Wilson 7th and R. Wilson coming from 17 starting position to finish one position behind his son. Rounding out the top ten were Billy Coffey of Avon N.Y. and W. Mahoney.
Rookie Bob Crawford of Sutton, Ont. had a solid run finishing in 11th with Moffit, Kevin Loveys of Hamilton, Ont. in Styres back-up car, West and Tim Phillips of Grand Island N.Y. finishing 12th through 15th respectively. The SOS “Rookie of the Year”, Kyle Patrick of Tilbury, Ont. was having motor problems but still managed a 16th place finish with Mike Galadja of Delaware, Ont., Dick Mahoney of Newmarket, Ont., Jim Porter of Grand Island, N.Y., and CASCAR star, Neil Fair of Ancaster, Ont., (in only his second race on dirt in a sprint car) finishing 17th through 20th. The last runner on the track was Phil Armishaw who was battling an ill-handling car all night.
The night was capped off with one of the best Fireworks displays you’ll see anywhere!
What a perfect way to end the SOS season; one of the best sprint car features one could wish for plus a Fireworks display second-to-none!
1 Rick Wilson 14.271
2 Kyle Moffit 14.559
3 Billy Krull 14.605
4 Keith Dempster 14.643
5 Cody Geldart 14.656
6 Kevin Loveys 14.674
7 Glenn Styres 14.866
8 Adam West 14.980
9 Kyle Wilson 15.114
10 Mike Lauterborn 14.157
11 Joel Lehman 15.185
12 Gregg Dalman 15.320
13 Warren Mahoney 15.322
14 Bob Crawford 15.414
15 Vinnie Christiano Jr. 15.437
16 Billy Coffey 15.461
17 Tim Phillips 15.666
18 Kyle Patrick 15.680
19 Dave MacLeod 15.717
20 Mike Galadja 15.731
21 Dick Mahoney 15.950
22 Jim Porter 16.161
23 Phil Armishaw 16.420
24 Pete Ucci 16.481
25 Greg Haskell 16.587
26 Frank Baranowski 16.830
27 Neil Fair 16.840
28 Daryl Turford 16.875
29 Charlie McCann 16.925
30 Stephanie Christiano 17.479
31 Jeff Pfaff no time
Heat One: 1. Coffey, 2. Geldart, 3. Dalman, 4. West, 5. Galadja,
6. Haskell, 7. Ucci, 8. McCann
Heat Two: 1. Krull, 2. Styres, 3. Lehman, 4. MacLeod, 5. Armishaw, 6. S. Christiano, 7. V. Christiano Jr. dnf
Heat Three: 1. Lauterborn, 2. Jim Porter, 3. Crawford, 4. Moffit, 5. Patrick, 6. Fair dnf, 7.Loveys dns
Heat Four: 1. Dempster, 2. K. Wilson, 3. W. Mahoney, 4. Tim Phillips, 5. R. Wilson, 6. D. Mahoney, 7. Turford dnf
“B” Main: 1. R. Wilson, 2. Loveys, 3. D. Mahoney, 4. Galadja, 5. Patrick, 6. Fair, 7. Armishaw, 8. McCann, 9. Ucci dnf, 10. S. Christiano dnf, 11. Haskell dnf, 12. Turford dnf, 13. V. Christiano Jr. dns, 14. Baranowski dns
Feature: 1. Dempster, 2. Styres, 3. Geldart, 4. Lauterborn, 5. Dalman, 6. Krull, 7. K. Wilson, 8. R. Wilson, 9. Coffey, 10. W. Mahoney, 11. Crawford, 12. Moffit, 13. Loveys, 14. West, 15. Tim Phillips, 16. Patrick, 17. Galadja, 18. D. Mahoney, 19. Jim Porter, 20. Fair, 21. Armishaw. 22. Lehman dnf, 23. MacLeod dnf, 24. Turford dnf.