CAN: OPCS: Season opener preview

Ontario Pro Challenge Series kicks off fourth year this weekend at Sunset Speedway New drivers and established veterans ready to go BRANTFORD, ONTARIO The Ontario Pro Challenge Series will kick off its fourth year this weekend at Sunset ...

Ontario Pro Challenge Series kicks off fourth year this weekend at Sunset Speedway

New drivers and established veterans ready to go

BRANTFORD, ONTARIO The Ontario Pro Challenge Series will kick off its fourth year this weekend at Sunset Speedway on Saturday May 14th at Sunset Speedway, just south of Barrie. This year, the series expands with new drivers and new teams, along with some returning drivers that have new sponsors to show off.

Leading the 2005 charge should be three time champion Dennis Thomson. Thomson will be back in his Thomson Signs Ford Taurus, and he will be looking for his fourth consecutive Ontario Pro Challenge Series Championship. Second in the championship last year, Kevin Crowhurst will be back in his O'Connor's Transportation Dodge, as will third place (tie) Thane Woodside in his Melitta Canada Monte Carlo, and fifth place finisher in 2004 is back with his International Truck and Engine Pontiac.

The other third (tie) and sixth place drivers last year, Tim Norris and Russ Bond will both be back, but in newly sponsored cars. Norris signed Lucas Oil for his #88 Dodge for 2005, while Bond switches from a Monte Carlo to the new #1 F1-K/ MMG Financial Dodge Charger for 2005. Seventh last year was Danielle Wilson and she is back this year with new sponsor Adidas on board. Eighth was Josh Nicholson, and he's back behind the wheel of the all new paint-schemed NU-Gro Wipe Out Dodge. Paul Eggleton is expected to compete in the #44 Markham Driveline Monte Carlo.

Last year, Brad LeLiever did one race in the series, and this year he is in the series full time behind the wheel of the #81 Barrie Honda/Georgian Bay Pontiac Monte Carlo. Joining LeLiever is Austin Stegnar, who will pilot the #15 Ford Taurus. The final new driver for this year is Tyler Brown. Brown will be behind the wheel of the #91 Assante Dodge.

There is also another welcome addition for 2005. Racing Radios is Canada's leading supplier of racing communications. They have a proven reputation as the best in the business, and they have joined the series as an associate sponsor. They will provide a high quality communication system for the series and its officials. "As the series grows, we really needed a better communication system for the officials our first call was to Racing Radios," said series co-ordinator Kathy Nicholson. "They are the best in the business, and having them join us for 2005 is a big boost for the series."

Also new this year, is the implementation of a purse funded in part by Acadia Candle Company, who joins the series as an associate sponsor. "It's nice to be able to offer our drivers a purse this year," said series co-ordinator Kathy Nicholson. "A big thanks to Nick Scannell Acadia Candle for helping out this year."

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