Ninth career win: Southern Ontario Sprints Record Set When Keith Dempster Wins Ohsweken
By Dave Cook Media Officer
Ohsweken, Ontario, Aug. 9th. Keith Dempster of Alton, Ontario established a new Southern Ontario Sprints (SOS) feature win record of nine when he flashed across the finish line at Ohsweken Speedway ahead of New York drivers Curt Sherwood of Sanborn, and Tim Phillips of Grand Island.
Dempster, who won the SOS championship in his first season in 2000, won four races that year and followed that up with another four last year to finish second in the championship, a scant eight points behind Warren Mahoney of Lefroy, Ontario.
Both Dempster and Mahoney qualified for front row starting spots in the 20-lap run over Ohsweken’s three-eighths mile banked clay oval in what turned out to be a caution-free race. When the green fell, Mahoney grabbed the point and held it until lap five when Dempster slide past on the inside.
Sherwood and Phillips, who started fourth and fifth respectively, both had little trouble getting past third-place starter Charles McCann of London, Ontario and settled into a race-long pace running in that order.
Off the start Garry Evans of London, Ontario, John Riegling of Chatham, Ontario and Billy Krull of Wheatfield, N.Y. immediately started to mix it up but by lap five Evans had slipped off the pace leaving Riegling and Krull locked in a tight battle for fifth place.
At the half-way mark it was Dempster, Mahoney, Sherwood, Phillips, Riegling and Krull with Ohsweken, Ontario’s Glenn Styers taking up seventh place. The leaders just started to encounter lapped traffic on lap 11. Five laps later Mahoney would start to slow and by lap 17 Sherwood and Phillips passed the ailing Mahoney.
At the wire it was Dempster, Sherwood, Phillips, Krull and then Mahoney who managed to just hold on.
"My engine went sour on me. It wasn’t terminal but it wasn’t good. It was running very hot. I looked at the leader board on lap 16 and just hoped I could hang on for four more laps," he said after the race.
Dempster, who later said he was not aware of Mahoney’s problems or even that he had dropped off the pace, said he just ran his own race.
"I have to give credit to my crew for an outstanding job tonight. The track was really good as well. Actually I found it was a tough job in itself just to get past the lapped cars," said Dempster.
Styers finished sixth, his best result to-date in his fledgling sprint car career. Styers started the race from 16th position and steadily moved through the field. Finishing seventh was Jim Porter of Grand Island, N.Y. followed by Adam West of Ridgetown, Ontario, Riegling, and Evans to round out the top 10 finishers.
SIGNET TOOLS Heat One: 1. Keith Dempster, Alton, Ontario; 2.John Riegling, Chatham, Ontario; 3. Curt Sherwood, Sanborn, N.Y.; 4. Paul Ballantyne, Brantford, Ontario; 5. Bob Mesmer, Grand Island, N.Y.; 6. Phil Armishaw, Binbrook, Ontario.
SIGNET TOOLS Heat Two: 1. Tim Phillips , Grand Island, N.Y.; 2. Warren Mahoney, Lefroy, Ontario; 3. Billy Krull, Wheatfield, N.Y.; 4. Jim Porter, Grand Island, N.Y.; 5. Vinnie Christiano Jr., Tonawanda, N.Y.; 6. Glenn Styers, Ohsweken, Ontario, dnf.
SIGNET TOOLS Heat Three: 1. Garry Evans, London, Ontario; 2. Dick Mahoney, Newmarket, Ontario; 3. Charles McCann, London, Ontario; 4. Adam West, Ridgetown, Ontario; 5. Ken Bayliss, Hamilton, Ontario; 6. Phil Plant, Brantford, Ontario.
PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS DASH FOR CASH: 1. Dempster; 2. Warren Mahoney, 3. Riegling, 4. Evans, 5. Phillips, 6. Dick Mahoney, dnf
KENETIC PHOTOS/ OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY ROOKIE DASH:
1. Styers, 2. Ballantyne, 3. Bayliss, 4. Armishaw
FEATURE: 1. Dempster, 2. Sherwood, 3. Phillips, 4. Krull, 5. Warren Mahoney, 6.Styers, 7.Porter, 8. West, 9. Riegling, 10. Evans, 11. McCann, 12. Dlck Mahoney, 13. Bayliss, 14. Christiano Jr., 15. Mesmer, 16. Ballantyne, 17. Armishaw, 18. Plant.