Cornelius, McLean and Bound take the feature wins at Velocity Weekend

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With the fourth and final Dickies OSCAAR Outlaws Presented by London Recreational Racing event of the season at Sunset Speedway in the books, it’s a complete sweep for Kevin Cornelius. On Sunday afternoon in what is set to be his final race at Sunset Speedway, Cornelius held off J.R. Fitzpatrick on a late race restart en route to scoring the victory in the Velocity 250 presented by McColl Racing Enterprises.

“Man, that was an emotional day,” Cornelius commented in victory lane. “We’ve had a lot of success here and had a lot of good times and made a lot of friends here. It’s – man, I don’t know what to say. It was emotional. I was pretty nervous getting into the car. I wanted to end on a good note here.

“I got to thank everybody that has cheered for us and allowed us to come out every week and put on a show. Couldn’t be here without Mike McColl and all the hard work that his guys put in. My guys put in a lot of work so we can come out on top every week  – Grant (Mitchell), Ron (Quesnelle), Keith (Maiato), Jim (Locking), and my father-in-law Dick (Launspach) who funds this deal. It’s been a fun ride. It’s been great.”

For the current series points leader with only one race remaining on the calendar, it marks his seventh victory on the tour in the eight races thus far this season. It also marks a complete sweep of the Sunset Speedway events as he won each of the four events this season. Notably in the past eight races at Sunset, Cornelius has finished in the top-three, highlighted by six victories, including the last five in a row.

2014 OSCAAR Champion Andrew Gresel started off the afternoon in victory lane as he won the first heat ahead of Shawn Chenoweth, Gord Shepherd, Dwayne Baker, Rob Gibson, Tyler Hawn and Glenn Watson. Kelly Balson had a good run going, but broke something mechanical and pulled off track.

Kevin Cornelius won the second heat ahead of J.R., Fitzpatrick, Corey Jones, Sean Grosman, Todd Campbell and Roy Passer.

Roy Passer won the third heat ahead of Campbell, Gibson, Gresel, Chenoweth, Baker, Watson, Gary Passer and Gowan.

J.R. Fitzpatrick won the fourth and final heat ahead of Jones, Balson, Grosman, Cornelius, Shepherd and Hawn.

Following the heats with the invert, it’d be Rob Gibson starting the No. 3 D.C United Roofing SLM on pole ahead of Sean Grosman, Todd Campbell, Shawn Chenoweth, Kevin Cornelius, Corey Jones, Andrew Gresel, J.R. Fitzpatrick, Kelly Balson, Tyler Hawn, Glenn Watson, Shane Gowan, Gary Passer and Gord Shepherd.

The drop of the green flag would see Grosman put the No. 29 For Your Eyes Only of Toronto, The Landing Strip Gentleman’s Club of Toronto, Flagship Properties, SL Promotions and Rylex Glass & Mirror SLM out front into the lead ahead of Roy Passer, Cornelius, Gresel and Balson.

Cornelius would then get by Passer to move up into second, bringing Gresel through with him. Passer would now run fourth as Fitzpatrick and Balson battled for fifth. Fitzpatrick would get by Balson for fifth at lap four, followed by a pass on Roy Passer for fourth a lap later. Roy now ran fifth ahead of Balson.

At the front of the field, Cornelius would track down Grosman for the lead, getting alongside him at lap six. Cornelius would then put the No. 17 Shane Michaels Sales/Sandbox Tech Child Care/Triplecrete/Ed’s Automotive/Hanson Pipe/J.D. Smith Carpentry & Renovations/Fierce Wraps/McColl Racing Enterprises SLM out front on lap eight.

Grosman would solidly slot into second ahead of Gresel, Fitzpatrick and Balson. Gresel would then get by Grosman for second at lap 11, bringing Fitzpatrick through with him. Grosman now ran fourth ahead of Balson as Chenoweth and Roy Passer battled for sixth. Chenoweth would get the spot on lap 13 ahead of Passer, while Jones ran eighth ahead of Watson and Campbell. Watson would then get alongside Jones for eighth at lap 17, but was unable to complete the pass. Instead, Jones would get alongside Passer for the seventh spot.

With 14 laps on the board, Cornelius would lead ahead of Gresel, Fitzpatrick, Grosman, Balson, Chenoweth, Jones, Roy Passer, Watson, Campbell, Shepherd and Gowan. Fitzpatrick would then get by Gresel for the second spot at lap 24, as Watson got alongside Passer for eighth; Watson would then complete the pass a lap later.

With the laps continuing to count down, it seemed that the race would run green to checkered without a caution. However, that didn’t’ end up being the case as the caution would fly with six laps to go for Campbell spinning in turn four. With six laps left on the board, Cornelius led Fitzpatrick, Grosman, Balson and Chenoweth as Jones, who was running sixth, got the lucky dog to get back on the lead lap.

Kevin Cornelius would choose the outside for the restart, and it’d work out in his favor as he was able to lead the rest of the way to the victory. Post-race, he stated that he was concerned about the final restart as the car had started to go away with about 15 laps to go.

“We started to get real loose,” he commented. “Put some wedge into it and it seemed to pick up a little bit; but when that caution came out, I thought we were done. We managed to hold them off for five laps so it was good enough, I guess.”

J.R. Fitzpatrick would hold off Andrew Gresel to finish second, which marks his fifth straight top-two finish.

“We knew that we had to be aggressive,” he commented. “We knew we had a good car on the long run but I broke a left rear rotor off, so pretty scary last 10 laps. Thankful, we brought it home in one piece. I mean, it broke the rotor right off so I’m not really sure what to say but thankful it’s in one piece.”

Fitzpatrick added that the broken rotor was why he was loose through the final portion of the race, and why he made the decision to run the top line for the second half of the race.

“I started running the top so I could use the top with less brake and started catching Kevin (Cornelius),” Fitzpatrick commented. “Then I started bouncing off the wall and stuff, and that rotor is completely gone. It’s pretty wild.”

For Gresel, it marks his first podium finish in only his second start of the season as he finished fourth last month at Flamboro Speedway. Reflecting back on his race, getting around the lap cars wasn’t something that worked out for him.

“The guys were high, low – not really moving out of the way,” Gresel commented. “J.R. (Fitzpatrick) kind of got us there with that lap car. It didn’t work out in our favor, that’s for sure. All in all, it was a good run for us today. We’ve only run this thing one other time this year. We’ve been spending all of our time on the other car in the APC Series so I was pretty happy with it. I wish I would’ve had more for him at the end, though.”

The Sauble Falls Racing driver was also satisfied as he missed practice earlier in the day due to having to fix a broken panhard bar.

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Starting mid-pack, Gary McLean carefully picked his way through the traffic en route to scoring the victory in the Velocity 250 presented by McColl Racing Enterprises.

“These guys are running hard and they want it bad,” McLean told Race Time Radio post-race. “It’s Velocity – everybody wants one, and we kind of get ourselves in a position when we do the invert all the time that we have to start that far back. But you know, we keep working and driving to the front and these guys give me a really good car so we can pull it off.”

For McLean, it marks his third straight victory and seventh on the season. It also marks his 12th victory at Sunset Speedway in 17 starts.

For the Hoosier OSCAAR Modifieds, they would qualify for the 40-lap feature on Saturday afternoon, which saw four different drivers visit victory lane.

Rookie John Baker Jr. won the first heat ahead of Brad Pearsall, Gary McLean, Cory Horner, A.J. Emms, Chris Milwain, Terry Baker, Matt Barton, Brent McLean, Monty Kelly and Ryan Dick.

The second heat would see Gary Elliott get sideways off of turn four, with Davey Terry making contact with him after the effect. In the aftermath, Dan Price and John Harper would get into the inside retaining wall. Dustin Jackson picked up the win ahead of Mike Hearty, Chad Strawn, David Balych, Brian McLean, Terry, Duane Cinanmon and Adam Hagen.

John Harper won the third heat ahead of Strawn, Baker, Pearsall, Brent McLean, Milwain, Balych, Elliott, Emms, Dick and Cinnamon.

Matt Barton won the final heat ahead of Gary McLean, Brian McLean, Horner, Baker Jr., Jackson, Price, Terry, Hearty, Kelly and Hagen.

Following the invert, though, it’d be Cory Horner starting the No. 79H Custom Forming, The Truck Shop Safety Inspection, Bonsma Brothers Concrete Pumping Modified on pole ahead of John Harper, Dustin Jackson, Brad Pearsall, John Baker Jr., Chad Strawn, Gary McLean, Matt Barton, Brian McLean, Mike Hearty, Terry Baker, David Balych, A.J. Emms, Chris Milwain, Brent McLean, Davey Terry, Gary Elliott, Monty Kelly, Dan Price, Duane Cinnamon, Ryan Dick, Rob Di Venanzo and Adam Hagen.

The drop of the green flag would see a battle for the lead between Horner and Harper, with Horner grabbing the advantage on lap two ahead of Harper, Pearsall, Jackson and Strawn as Baker Jr. and Barton battled for sixth; Barton would get the spot on lap five.

Meanwhile, Di Venanzo went for the spin on lap one in turn three, but was able to get it back going before the caution was waved.

Barton then continued his climb to the front, getting alongside Strawn for fifth at lap six. He was unable to complete the pass, falling back in line ahead of Hearty. He would try once again to make the pass, but the caution would fly for Price spinning in turn three and four, collecting Emms in the process. There was then debris laying on the track, which was hit by both Baker Jr. and Strawn, forcing them both down pit road. With 32 laps to go, Horner led Harper, Pearsall, Jackson, Barton, Hearty, Gary McLean, Brian McLean, Baker and Balych.

The restart brought forth another battle for the lead between Harper and Horner, with Horner grabbing the advantage on lap 14 ahead of Harper as Hearty and Jackson battled for third. Hearty would get the spot on lap 16 ahead of Jackson, while Pearsall completed the top-five. Brian McLean would then pass Pearsall for fifth on lap 17, with Gary McLean following suit two laps later. Pearsall now ran seventh ahead of Baker, Barton, Terry and Baker. The caution would then fly on lap 21 for Price slowing in turn two. Under caution, Brent McLean, Emms and Strawn headed down pit road.

Horner would get a good restart to keep the lead ahead of Harper as Hearty and Jackson battled for third ahead of Gary McLean. The pair would battle till the third caution flew at lap 24 for Price going around in turn two grass, while McLean spun in turns one and two. Strawn would catch a piece of it, punching a hole in the radiator, ending his feature.

Horner would get another good restart to keep the lead ahead of Harper once again with Hearty running third ahead of Jackson. Brian McLean would then get alongside Jackson for fourth, completing the pass at lap 27, with Gary McLean following suit for fifth. Gary would then get alongside Brian for fourth, with the pair running side-by-side till the caution flew for Elliott spinning on the frontstretch.

Another strong restart for Horner would allow him to keep the lead, with Gary McLean moving into the second spot ahead of Jackson. Gary would then get alongside Horner for the lead with nine laps to go, putting the No. 8 McLean Industrial Design and Fabrication Ltd./McLean Farms Modified out front a lap later. Gary sounded off post-race that being on the outside for the restart was the key.

“That’s where I wanted to be for the restart,” he said. “Some days you can be on the inside and get it going. I knew that Cory was going to get it done on the outside. John Harper was a little tight on the bottom coming off so he had to lift. So I said to myself that I got the opportunity so I have to get up beside John (Harper) and get that lane and then I thought we’d see. I thought (Cory) Horner was really fast, but we got lucky as he pushed up off of two.”

Horner would now run second ahead of Jackson as Harper and Hearty battled for fourth. Hearty would get the spot with six laps to go with Baker trying to follow suit. Baker was unable to follow Hearty through, though, as he fell back in line in sixth behind Harper.

Brian McLean would run seventh ahead of Pearsall and Barton as Baker Jr. and Terry battled for 10th with two laps to go. Brian would then get alongside Baker for sixth on the white flag lap.

At the front of the field, it was all Gary McLean as he led the rest of the way to the checkered. Gary McLean commented post-race that it was tough in the beginning to make his way through the field as there wasn’t any place to go.

“We were kind of just hanging out and seeing the way guys were racing,” he commented. “I knew by the way the cars looked that it wouldn’t be long before they started pushing, little worse, little worse and I figured we’d just save our tire and bide our time. If the hole opens up, we’ll go for it but if it doesn’t, I guess that’s the way it ends up.”

The second place finish will bode well for Horner in the rookie standings, as he entered the weekend with a two-point lead over John Baker Jr. following Delaware Speedway.

“We were really looking hard for our first win of the season,” he commented. “Right now, we’re just battling hard for rookie points so second is still okay for us.”

Horner added that the car was good at the beginning of the race, but fell off in the final five to 10 laps of the 40 lap feature. The runner-up marks fifth top-five and eighth top-10 of 2015.

For Jackson, it marked his second top-six finish in his second start of the season as he finished sixth at Sunset Speedway back in August.

“The car wasn’t working as good in practice or as in the heat races; it was a little tight,” Jackson told Race Time Radio post-race. “I managed to get on the outside and get lucky on the restart. “I’m happy with third.”

Jackson would go on to add that running the outside groove paid off late in the race due to having a tight car.

“When you have a tight car, in the middle of the corner if there’s a guy outside of you, you have to let off a little bit more or you’re going to slide up into them,” he explained. “On the outside, you can just hammer on the gas and get a good run off the corner.”

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After grabbing his first victory at Full Throttle Motor Speedway, Jody Bound didn’t look back when the series took to Sunset Speedway on Saturday, September 26 as he scored his second straight feature victory.

The afternoon started off with David Campbell running into problems on lap five of the heat. Richard Woodland picked up the victory ahead of Mike Bradley, Brian Woodland, Adam Carrothers, Shawn Stanley, Shawn Stones, Brian McDonald, Kevin Spiez, Raynor Vickers, Ryan Brown and Wally Wilson.

The second heat would see Paul Draganoc run into mechanical issues on the seventh lap. Jody Bound picked up the win ahead of Jamie Bound, James Stanley, Owen Elliott, Shawn Gardner, Steve Lassman, Wayne McKibbon, David Gallinger, Paul Dermo and Katherine Summers. Rob McCall would finish last after spinning on the last lap.

Jamie Bound won the third heat ahead of Jody Bound, James Stanley, Elliott, Bradley, Brian Woodland, Shawn Stanley, Spiez, McDonald, Gallinger and Katherine Summers.

The first lap of the final heat would see contact in turn one involving Stones. Then on the restart, Nigel Buttivant would stall in turn two, with Draganoc stalling in turn two. The third caution would then fall on lap five for Richard Woodland slowing in turn one, with Dermo making contact with Vickers on the restart. The final would then fall on lap seven with Dermo spinning in turn two.

Adam Carrothers picked up the win ahead of McCall, Gardner, Rob Summers, Lassman, McKibbon, Stones, Lawson, Dermo and Brown.

Come feature time, Richard Woodland would take the early lead ahead of Owen Elliott and Jody Bound. Bound would move into second on lap two ahead of Elliott, as Mike Bradley and Jamie Bound ran side-by-side for fourth. On lap three, Jody Bound would take the lead ahead of Woodland and Jamie Bound.

Jamie Bound would then move into second the next lap ahead of Woodland and Elliott. Jamie’s strong run would unravel quickly after, though, as he would have problems going into turn one, done for the night; Nigel Buttivant would also run into problems in turn one.

Jody Bound would get a good restart to keep the lead ahead of Woodland, Elliott, James Stanley, Mike Bradley and Rob McCall. Woodland’s run would unravel on lap seven as he ran into mechanical issues, pulling off of the track. Elliott would move into second ahead of Stanley and Bradley. Stanley would move into second on lap 10, with Bradley moving up to third a lap later.

The theme of the night seemed to be trouble for front runners, as Elliott would go around in turn four, bringing forth the caution. With 14 laps to go, Jody Bound led James Stanley, Bradley, Rob McCall, Adam Carrothers, Brian Woodland, Shawn Gardner, Shawn Stanley and Rob Summers.

Jody Bound would get a good restart to keep the lead ahead of Bradley, James Stanley, McCall, Carrothers, Brian Woodland, Shawn Stanley, Summers, Brian McDonald, Gardner and Wayne McKibbon. McCall would then make the move to get by James Stanley at lap 17 to move into the third spot, while Woodland would pass Carrothers with six laps to go to move up into fifth.

Jody Bound would lead the rest of the way en route to scoring the victory.

By Ashley McCubbin

Photo’s by Dan Little Jr Photography and Ashley McCubbin

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