2nd In Super Late Model Points: Kevin Cornelius

After having his rookie season shortened due to outside circumstances, Kevin Cornelius came back this year stronger, having a solid season en route to finishing second in points.

The season didn’t start off as hoped, though, as a pre-season motor issue would force Cornelius to run a pro late model for the season opener at Sunset Speedway. Despite the setback, he was still able to post a top 10 finish, finishing eighth. Heading to Kawartha Speedway, Cornelius brought out the super late model for the first time on the season, poised to have success. However, bad luck would follow as a power steering issue with seven laps to go forced him pit side, handing him a 14th place finish.

Going into the third event of the year at Barrie Speedway, the KDR Motorsports team was looking to turn their luck around. They would get their wish in the biggest way possible – a win. Cornelius would out-duel Andrew Gresel in the final laps of the 50 lap feature to score his first career OSCAAR Super Late Model victory.

The driver of the No. 17 Halton Crushed Stone, Lee Sand and Gravel, TripleCrete, Hanson Pipe, Alliston Transmission, Sandbox Tech Child Care, Ed’s Automotive and MacMaster Pontiac Buick GMC Super Late Model would carry the momentum into the Don Biederman Memorial a couple weeks later, hoping to better a second place effort from last season.

He would start off the weekend solidly, posting a second place finish to Dwayne Baker in the first of the two features. He would then come back on the Sunday night, leading the majority of the feature en route to scoring the victory. As a result of his average finish over the two nights, Cornelius would be crowned the 2014 Don Biederman Memorial Champion.

“This is the Superbowl of Super Late Model racing in Ontario, and this is an incredible feeling,” Cornelius said post-race. “I’m so honoured to have our team on this trophy. My guys work nonstop on this car, trying to make it better; this is for all of their hard work. They earned this.”

The second half of the 2014 season would bring a mix of success, and a couple poor finishes.

The eastern swing of the province – Kawartha and Peterborough Speedway – presented the biggest issues for Cornelius. He had the speed at both tracks and was able to put himself in contention to win, but would find bad luck in each of the events.

The first event at Peterborough saw Cornelius have to pull pit side out of the lead after power steering issues, while a mid-race spin in the second event in August saw him fighting back to finish fourth. The season finale at Peterborough wasn’t much kinder, with electrical issues forcing a DNF, resulting in a 22nd place finish. Meanwhile, the August trip to Kawartha saw Cornelius running in the top-three till a flat tire brought him to pit road, resulting in a seventh place finish.

Outside of these two tracks, though, it seemed that the pieces fell together as Cornelius and team would’ve hoped. The summer featured a pair of thirds with one at Sauble Speedway, and the other at Sunset Speedway in the Bruce Gowland Memorial.

The final trip to Sunset Speedway of the season would bring forth one of the strongest performances of the season. Despite the power steering letting go early in the race, the sophomore driver pushed forward, taking the lead just before halfway to dominate the rest of the feature and score his third victory on the season.

With three victories on the season and speed shown across the province, everybody is already looking towards Cornelius being a championship contender for the 2015 season. If he can have everything fall in place each weekend, it could very well easily happen.

By: Ashley McCubbin

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