Kenny Jacobs Uses Late Race Pass on Jeff VanDusen to Claim the Canadian Nationals at Ohsweken. OHSWEKEN, ONT. -- Easily the most recognized name in the field Saturday night for the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals presented by Glenn and...
Kenny Jacobs Uses Late Race Pass on Jeff VanDusen to Claim the Canadian Nationals at Ohsweken.
OHSWEKEN, ONT. -- Easily the most recognized name in the field Saturday night for the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals presented by Glenn and Tina Styres at the Ohsweken Speedway was Holmesville, Ohio's Kenny Jacobs. On lap 27 of the 30 lap, $5,000 to win event, Jacobs took his Mike Woodring prepared Maxim under race long leader Jeff VanDusen for the lead and on to victory in front of the largest crowd in the history of the picturesque facility.
The former All-Star Circuit of Champions title holder made his first ever start in the country of Canada and came away with a very popular victory in the open competition event for 360 sprint cars that boasted a stout field of 70 sprints. "I'll tell you, I wasn't real happy on how I drove that race. I almost didn't do what Mike (Woodring) told me before the start and that was to run this track hard--real hard!" noted the sprint car veteran. "I was just driving around staying in my groove and letting the laps go by."
"Finally I changed my line a bit and I just drove the car as hard as I could. We got under Jeff (VanDusen) there late and through the lapped cars but I think I made the race closer than it could of if I just listened to Mike. He knows this place and he just gave me a great car, I mean a great car, the driver just had to do his job a bit better."
The start of the 30 lap affair saw the top two point men of the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) on the front row with 2004 and '05 champion Lance Yonge on the pole with VanDusen along side. Right at the drop of the green lights it was VanDusen taking control and pulling out to a good sized lead. Yonge held firmly in second with Jacobs moving his #19 into the top five for the first time on lap eight. The top two held tight up front while Jacobs was making his moves to join the dual.
On lap 10 he moved into fourth and when then third place runner and current Patriot Sprint Group (PSG) point leader Bryan Howland looped his #51 out of third on lap 14 it put the Jacobs mount into contention. A red flag on a lap 14 restart kept the field tight with the final 16 laps going green to checker.
"I knew I was in third after the red but again, I just seemed to ride around and wasn't in a position to make any moves." Jacobs said on his race strategy. "Then I moved down in turns one and two and just ran hard way up in three and four and all of a sudden I got hooked. I could see those guys (Yonge and VanDusen) were getting loose as the race went on so I was able to close in."
On lap 25 he dove under Yonge going into turn three for second and coming off turn two under VanDusen for second to lead lap 27 were the wining moves. The final three laps were under Jacobs' control and he opened up a good sized distance for the historic win and another notch on a Hall of Fame career. "This was my first ever visit to Canada and it won't be my last, I'll be back here next year--you can count on that!" exclaimed the very happy winner. "This is just one great race track and everyone here just made me feel at home, I just can't believe how well the competitors, crews and officials treated you. This was a true pleasure."
While Jacobs' resume' is loaded with big victories, the one that could have boosted the young career of VanDusen fell just three laps short. "I was getting so loose at the end I was just waiting for someone to get by me. I just couldn't keep the car low in those last few laps." said the 22 year old from Otego, N.Y. who took home over $2,500 for his runner-up finish. "Hey, I just got beat by the best. When you lose to a guy like Kenny Jacobs we have nothing to be ashamed of. He beat me, he earned it, we will be happy with second but man, I wanted that win."
Yonge, who has seen victory lane six times in 2005 echoed the same statements. "I also got loose at the end. Kenny went with a little harder left rear than me and Jeff and I think that was the difference." Yonge explained. "I just couldn't keep my car tight and Kenny just knew what to do at the end. When you get beat by a driver as good as he is you can't be to upset. We will be back next year, this was a great event and I was proud to be a part of it. I'll just have to get two cars better that's all."
At the checkered flag it was Jacobs ahead of VanDusen and Yonge, who took home over $2,000 for third. Sprints on Dirt (SOD) top chauffeur Dustin Daggett thrilled the crowd with his rim running style and he came home with a fine fourth place finish just ahead of PSG regular Rich Swarthout. Rounding out the top ten were current SOD point leader Tim Norman, ESS runner Jeff Cook who came from his 17th place start and a lap 13 spin to record seventh and also take home the hard charger honors. Ohio's J.R. Stewart was eighth, SOD campaigner and fellow Canadian Kyle Patrick was ninth followed by PSG's Chuck Hebing with a Ford powered sprinter in tenth.
Laps 13 and 14 seemed to be what you would call the "jinxed" laps of the A-Main. It all started when Bobby Breen lost power in turn two on the 13th tour. Cook spun the restart while Kyle Moffit did the same on the second try. Howland did his spin on lap 14 and then Jared Zimbardi brought out the red flag with his flip on the back stretch.
Jacobs set a new track record in time trials with a lap of 13.377. Ironically he beat the mark set by Erin Crocker who was also in a Woodring prepared mount. Several preliminary events were used to set the 25 car field for the Nationals. Non Qualifiers Race #1 was won by Garry Evans while the second event was taken by Tommy Wickham. The four heats were copped by Zimbardi, Yonge, Kyle Drum and Howland. The two dashes to set the first eight rows were taken by Yonge and VanDusen. The C-Main was won by Chris Muhlheisen while the B-Main winner was Cook.
Earlier in the night Nick Mulheim won the 10 lap Village Pizza/Ohsweken Shootout in which he took home $500 for the popular victory, he beat Dan Kaszubinski and John Karklin Jr. to the line.
CANADIAN NATIONALS NOTES: While 70 cars officially took time, 72 were actually in the pits with Darren Long and Craig Downie failing pre-race tech--The total purse for the night topped $38,000 in cash (American funds) with added contingencies and the Shootout boosting the purse to well over $42,000--.The open competition event was also sanctioned by four different organizations, SOD, PSG, ESS and the Southern Ontario Sprints with provisionals given to each club with the highest runner in points for each club added to the back of the field. Ben Rutan (SOD), George Suprick (PSG), Kaszubinski (ESS) and Adam West (SOS) using the spots-- Fred Cade and Kaszubinski found their sprinters on their wings during heat competition--With the success of the event well beyond expectations, look for the Canadian Nationals again in 2006 and look for it to grow to even higher standards.
Engler Machine and Tool Fast Time -- Kenny Jacobs 13.377.
Grisdale Racing Products Canadian Fast Timer -- Kyle Patrick 13.455.
Village Pizza/Ohsweken Shooutout -- Nick Mulheim, Dan Kaszubinski, John Karklin Jr., Chuck Hebing, Kyle Patrick.
Signet Tools Non-Qualifiers Race #1 -- Garry Evans, Tom Huppunen.
Signet Tools Non-Qualifiers Race #2 -- Tommy Wickham, Davey Brown.
Kears Speed Shop Heat 1 -- Jared Zimbardi, Kenny Jacobs, Alain Bergeron, Dustin Daggett.
Sander Engineering Heat 2 -- Lance Yonge, Ray Preston, Rich Swarthout, Glenn Styres.
TP Wings Heat 3 -- Kyle Drum, Jeff VanDusen, Kyle Moffit, Chuck Hebing.
Village Pizza Heat 4 -- Bryan Howland, Tim Allison, Greg Norman, J.R. Stewart.
Kinser Air Filters/Saldana Racing Products C-Main -- Chris Muhlheisen, Dick Mahoney, Cory Seeling, Nick Bashford.
Hoosier Tire Canada Dash 1 -- Yonge, Zimbardi, Jacobs, Swarthout, Daggett, Preston, Styes, Bergeron.
Fisher Performance Dash 2 -- VanDusen, Drum, Hebing, Howland, Norman, Moffit, Stewart, Allison.
Dual Air Bags/Saldana Racing Products B-Main -- Jeff Cook, Kyle Patrick, Blake Breen, John Karklin Jr., Bobby Breen.
Sanction Provisionals -- Adam West, George Suprick, Dan Kaszubinski, Ben Rutan.
Did Not Qualify -- Fred Cade, Bubby Kerrick, Mark Broughman, Nick Mulheim, Warren Mahoney, Cory Seeling, Don Adamczyk, Dave Schulz, Keith Dempster, Steve Walsh, John Riegling, Gregg Dalman, Louie Carufel, Geoff Quackenbush, Brad Knab, Dick Mahoney, Nick Fratto, Chris Muhlheisen, Joe Middlemiss, Jim Porter, Nick Bashford, Rick Wilson, Kyle Wilson, Tom Huppunen, Bob Crawford, Garry Evans, Gary Evans, Tommy Wickham, Les MacMillan, Chris Pyle, Davey Brown, Ken Swan, Curt Sherwood, Willy Northcott, Jeff Daniels, Charlie McCann, Daryl Turford, John Watson, Larry Atkinson, Ralph Brakenberry, Joel Lehman, Ernie Kuehneman, Stephanie Christiano, Vic DeVries, James Whittaker.
A-MAIN -- KENNY JACOBS, VanDusen, Yonge, Daggett, Swarthout, Norman, Cook, Stewart, Patrick, Hebing, Blake Breen, Allison, Howland, Drum, Styres, Preston, Suprick, Moffit, West, Zimbardi, Rutan, Bergeron, Kaszubinski, Bobby Breen, Karklin Jr.
Lap Leaders -- VanDusen 1-26, Jacobs 27-30.