CAN: Ontario Pro Challenge Sunset summary

Thomson takes opener! Dennis Thomson clean sweeps opening night SUNSET SPEEDWAY - DriveFit, Young Drivers of Canada Ford Taurus driver Dennis Thomson left no doubt that he's serious about collecting his third straight Ontario Pro Challenge...

Thomson takes opener!
Dennis Thomson clean sweeps opening night

SUNSET SPEEDWAY - DriveFit, Young Drivers of Canada Ford Taurus driver Dennis Thomson left no doubt that he's serious about collecting his third straight Ontario Pro Challenge Series Championship in 2004. Thomson, with a dominating performance at the 2004 season opener held at Sunset Speedway on May 15, won both heats and the final, and has the points lead.

"This is a good way to start off the season," Thomson said. "A lot of teams have really stepped up their programs over the winter. The DriveFit, Young Drivers of Canada Taurus was good tonight, and we'll keep working hard to stay up front for the rest of the year."

Behind Thomson, the second and third place drivers were the same in each heat and feature. Kevin Crowhurst's O'Connor's Distribution Inc. Intrepid captured all three-second places, while Melitta of Canada Monte Carlo driver Thane Woodside was third in each race.

Fourth in the Feature was International Truck and Engine Grand Prix driver Ken Nicholson. Nicholson had and eventful night. Nicholson had a mechanical problem in the first heat - where he lined up on the pole. He then got together with CARSTAR Monte Carlo driver Russ Bond on the first lap, which sent both to the back of the pack. In the feature, Nicholson - with his problems fixed - moved from sixth to fourth in a very good drive through the pack. "It was a long night for sure," Nicholson said. "To leave here with a fourth is surprising, given the way the night started."

Fifth in the feature, and top rookie was Dodge Intrepid driver Tim Norris. "We put a new set of tires on after the first heat, and that made a big difference," Norris said. Sixth went to NU GRO Wipe Out Intrepid driver Josh Nicholson. Bond came home seventh, followed by rookies Danielle Wilson in her Da-Light Systemsearch Monte Carlo. Rounding out the field was Robert Wickens in his Shift, Cameron Motorsports Ford Taurus.

It was a very entertaining night of racing as series official Garry Shortt pointed out. "There was a lot of passing and two wide action," Shortt said. "I think the fans that showed up in the cold weather really got their money's worth. Each year, the show these drivers put on for the fans gets better and better."

After the first night of racing, Thomson leads the points championship with 68 points. Crowhurst is second with 61, Woodside with 56, Bond with 49, and Josh Nicholson is fifth with 48. Leading the rookie standings and sixth overall is Norris with 48. Seventh overall is Wilson at 45 points, then Wickens with 40 and Ken Nicholson is ninth with 37 points.

The series now takes a weekend off before hitting 'the Beach', Sauble Beach on May 29th.

Ontario Pro Challenge Series Fast Facts;
The Ontario Pro Challenge Series (www.prochallengeracing.com) is in its third season in Canada. The Pro Challenge Cars are spec 3/4 scale, tube framed Nextel Cup styled cars powered by sealed Kawasaki Ninja 1100cc engines. The 12 race series travels throughout Ontario's oval racetracks during the summer.

-bond-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Robert Wickens