Westbrook Takes Win at Cunningham Memorial

By
Updated: June 22, 2019

Photo by Kevin Miller/Nitroman Media

By Tommy Goudge with files from Steven Petty

THOROLD, Ontario (June 22, 2019) – Dylan Westbrook was in a familiar spot at the conclusion of the Gary Cunningham Memorial at Merrittville Speedway on Saturday night; the two time Southern Ontario Sprints champion took the feature win at the unique 1/3 mile D-shaped track.

Jake Brown and Steve Lyons made up the front row for the 25 lap feature race, with Brown taking the early lead. Dylan Westbrook wasted no time moving forward from his third row starting position and took third place away from Cole Macdonald on lap two. Westbrook then executed a slide job on Lyons to take the second position, and took the lead from Brown in traffic on lap seven.

Westbrook stretched his lead over Brown and Lyons, who was being pressured by fourth row starter Mitch Brown for third. Mitch moved into third on lap 18, while Ryan Turner passed Lyons for fourth on lap 19. Westbrook went on to take the win by more than six seconds, while Ryan Turner snagged the runner-up spot.

Mitch Brown, Jake Brown finished third and fourth respectively, while Jim Huppunen drove the Glenn Styres-owned 0 into the top five from the sixth row. Steve Lyons, Todd Hoddick, Ryan Susice, Cory Turner, and Jamie Turner rounded out the top ten. Chris Jones, Mitch Brown, Jim Huppunen, and Dylan Westbrook took heat race wins.

Notes:
-Westbrook’s win was his second in the Gary Cunningham Memorial event, which was run under the SOS sanction for the first time. The Gary Cunningham Memorial is held annually at Merrittville in honour of the renowned engine builder who passed away in 2010 at just 61 years of age. Gary’s competitive spirit lives on in the hearts of many local racers including his son Travis, an accomplished Sprint Car and Modified driver.

-Feature winner Dylan Westbrook drew the number 24 after the race, awarding a brand new American Racer tire from Grisdale Racing Products to 24th place finisher Mike Ferrell. Three more winners will be drawn at SOS races this season, with previous recipients ineligible to win again.

-The win was Westbrook’s 17th SOS victory, moving him within one of third place Keith Dempster on the all-time SOS win list.

-The 25 lap feature went green-to-checkered without incident in just over seven minutes, with all 25 starters still running at the finish, and ten cars on the lead lap.

-Everyone from the Southern Ontario Sprints would like to thank the management and staff at Merrittville Speedway for another great night of racing. The SOS tour will return to Merrittville on September 7 for the 2019 SOS Championship race.

-The Southern Ontario Sprints tour will return to competition for round five of the 2019 season on Saturday, July 6 at Brighton Speedway in Brighton, Ontario. Visit www.southernontariosprints.ca and www.brightonspeedway.ca for more information.

_________________

SOUTHERN ONTARIO SPRINTS RACE REPORT
SATURDAY, JUNE 22, 2019
GARY CUNNINGHAM MEMORIAL
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY – THOROLD, ONTARIO, CANADA
TOTAL ENTRIES – 25

ENTRY LIST
0c Cole Macdonald – Waterdown, Ontario
0 Jim Huppunen – Welland, Ontario
1 Holly Porter – Delhi, Ontario
5d Jacob Dykstra – Port Colborne, Ontario
9 Steve Lyons – Carlisle, Ontario
10 Mitch Brown – Brantford, Ontario
11 Jamie Turner – Caistor Centre, Ontario
11j Chris Jones – Picton, Ontario
13 Cory Turner – Caistor Centre, Ontario
15 Mike Ferrell – London, Ontario
21 Ryan Susice – Ransomville, New York
22 Shawn Sliter – Port Colborne, Ontario
22jr Al Gilleta Jr. – St. Catharines, Ontario
22p Jim Porter – Grand Island, New York
30 Adam West – Ridgetown, Ontario
45 Curtis Gartly – Thamesford, Ontario
46 Kevin Pauls – Canfield, Ontario
47x Dylan Westbrook – Scotland, Ontario
66 Frank Baranowski – Mount Hope, Ontario
68 Aaron Turkey – Ohsweken, Ontario
71s Dillon Sliter – Port Colborne, Ontario
90 Travis Cunningham – Grimsby, Ontario
91 Ryan Turner – Caistor Centre, Ontario
94 Todd Hoddick – Cheektowaga, New York
1-10 Jake Brown – Brantford, Ontario

Heat Race 1 (Started) 8 laps – NT
1. 11j Chris Jones (1), 2. 13 Cory Turner (2), 3. 0c Cole Macdonald (3), / 4. 68 Aaron Turkey (7), 5. 22p Jim Porter (6), 6. 66 Frank Baranowski (5), 7. DNF 45 Curtis Gartly (4)

Heat Race 2 (Started) 8 laps – 2:02.249
1. 10 Mitch Brown (3), 2. 1 Holly Porter (1), 3. 91 Ryan Turner (2), / 4. 21 Ryan Susice (4), 5. 22 Shawn Sliter (6), 6. 22jr Al Gilleta Jr. (5)

Heat Race 3 (Started) 8 laps – 2:06.129
1. 0 Jim Huppunen (1), 2. 9 Steve Lyons (2), 3. 11 Jamie Turner (5), / 4. 30 Adam West (6), 5. 15 Mike Ferrell (3), 6. 46 Kevin Pauls (4)

Heat Race 4 (Started) 8 laps – NT
1. 47x Dylan Westbrook (3), 2. 1-10 Jake Brown (1), 3. 94 Todd Hoddick (5), / 4. 90 Travis Cunningham (2), 5. 5d Jacob Dykstra (4), DNS. 71s Dillon Sliter (6)

A-Feature (Started) 25 laps – 7:03.684
1. 47x Dylan Westbrook (5)
2. 91 Ryan Turner (4)
3. 10 Mitch Brown (8)
4. 1-10 Jake Brown (1)
5. 0 Jim Huppunen (11)
6. 9 Steve Lyons (2)
7. 94 Todd Hoddick (6)
8. 21 Ryan Susice (14)
9. 13 Cory Turner (7)
10. 11 Jamie Turner (10)
11. 68 Aaron Turkey (13)
12. 0c Cole Macdonald (3)
13. 1 Holly Porter (9)
14. 22p Jim Porter (24)
15. 11j Chris Jones (12)
16. 22 Shawn Sliter (18)
17. 5d Jacob Dykstra (20)
18. 30 Adam West (15)
19. 90 Travis Cunningham (16)
20. 71s Dillon Sliter (25)
21. 66 Frank Baranowski (17)
22. 45 Curtis Gartly (21)
23. 22jr Al Gilleta Jr. (22)
24. 15 Mike Ferrell (19)
25. 46 Kevin Pauls (23)
A-Feature Lap Leaders – Jake Brown (1-6), Dylan Westbrook (7-25)
Margin of Victory – 6.377 seconds
Hard Charger – Jim Porter +10
Grisdale Racing Products Tire Draw Winner – Mike Ferrell

UP NEXT:
Brighton Speedway – Brighton, Ontario – Saturday, July 6, 2019

_________________

2019 SOUTHERN ONTARIO SPRINTS SCHEDULE
1. April 20 – Merrittville Speedway (Thorold, Ont.) – RAINED OUT (Spring Sizzler)
2. May 18 – Brighton Speedway (Brighton, Ont.) – POSTPONED
2. May 25 – Brighton Speedway (Brighton, Ont.) – RAINED OUT (rescheduled from May 18)
3. June 15 – Brighton Speedway (Brighton, Ont.) – WINNER: CORY TURNER
4. June 22 – Merrittville Speedway (Thorold, Ont.) – WINNER: DYLAN WESTBROOK (Gary Cunningham Memorial)
5. July 6 – Brighton Speedway (Brighton, Ont.) –
6. July 27 – Brighton Speedway (Brighton, Ont.) –
7. August 16 – Ohsweken Speedway (Ohsweken, Ont.) –
8. August 31 – Brighton Speedway (Brighton, Ont.) – (Labour Day Classic Weekend)
9. September 1 – Brighton Speedway (Brighton, Ont.) – (Labour Day Classic Weekend)
10. September 7 – Merrittville Speedway (Thorold, Ont.) – (SOS Championship)
NP. September 13 – Ohsweken Speedway (Ohsweken, Ont.) – (Night Before the Nationals)
NP. September 14 – Ohsweken Speedway (Ohsweken, Ont.) – (Canadian Sprint Car Nationals)

About the Southern Ontario Sprints: Founded in 1996, the Southern Ontario Sprints series is a traveling winged 360 Sprint Car tour based in Ontario, Canada. 2019 marks the 24th year of operation for the Southern Ontario Sprints tour. The 2019 schedule consists of 12 events at three different race tracks in Ontario; each SOS tour event pays a minimum of $1,200-to-win and $240-to-start. Visit www.SouthernOntarioSprints.ca for more information.

Website: www.SouthernOntarioSprints.com
Twitter: @SOSsprints
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/SouthernOntarioSprints
Instagram: @southernontariosprints
YouTube: www.YouTube.com/user/SOSsprints

The Southern Ontario Sprints would like to thank their 2019 partners, including Brighton Speedway, Merrittville Speedway, Ohsweken Speedway, the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum, www.ImageFactor.ca, and Grisdale Racing Products.