Photo by Shelby Olmstead/Rockdog Pictures
By Tommy Goudge
MERLIN, Ont. (September 11, 2021) – Darren Dryden won his first Pinty’s Action Sprint Tour A-Main and took the first dirt track victory of his career on Saturday night at Southern Ontario Motor Speedway.
Dryden and Curtis Gartly made up the front row for the first AST A-Main at SOMS since 2019, and first on the new high-banked oval layout. A rough, challenging track surface greeted the drivers and led to some breathtaking moments. Dryden ultimately led all 25 laps, while a pair of heavy crashes took out contenders Nick Sheridan and Jacob Dykstra. Both drivers were uninjured, but suffered rare DNF’s.
Dryden became the third different winner on the AST trail this season, while Lucas Smith moved up from row four to finish second. Eric Gledhill continued his breakout season by taking the third spot from row six, while Allan Downey finished fourth for a second consecutive night, and Derek Miller rounded out the top five. Gartly persevered to finish sixth, followed by Rob Neely, Dale Curran, and Dereck Lemyre. Steven Beckett rounded out the top ten after starting 20th, and took hard charger honours for a second straight night. Heat race wins were claimed by Dykstra, Sheridan, and Lucas Smith.
Brett Stratford’s car suffered extensive damage after a vicious flip in his heat race. Fortunately Stratford emerged relatively unscathed, but the same could not be said for his BS39 machine.
Dykstra’s lead in the Pinty’s Action Sprint Tour championship standings took a hit due to his crash and subsequent 22nd place finish, but he is still ahead of Allan Downey by 47 points with five races left on the 2021 schedule. Nick Sheridan, Eric Gledhill, and Lucas Smith make up the remainder of the current top five.
The Action Sprint Tour will next be in competition on Friday, September 17 at Merrittville Speedway. Visit www.actionsprinttour.com for more information.
Pinty’s Action Sprint Tour Crate Sprint Car Series
Race Report – Saturday, September 11, 2021
Southern Ontario Motor Speedway
Merlin, Ontario, Canada
08 Steven Beckett – Fonthill, Ontario
2M Steve Murdock – Georgetown, Ontario
5D Jacob Dykstra – Port Colborne, Ontario
7 Eric Gledhill – Thamesford, Ontario
12DD Darren Dryden – Freelton, Ontario
14 Larry Gledhill – Thamesford, Ontario
19D Allan Downey – Waterloo, Ontario
20 Johnny Miller – Six Nations, Ontario
26 John Verney – Salmon Arm, British Columbia
26X Terry Baker – Ancaster, Ontario
31 Dale Curran – Bowmanville, Ontario
38 Derek Miller – Six Nations, Ontario
BS39 Brett Stratford – Wainfleet, Ontario
45 Nick Sheridan – Mount Brydges, Ontario
45L Curtis Gartly – Thamesford, Ontario
48 Lance Erskine – Brantford, Ontario
48M Andrew Marshall – Dorchester, Ontario
49C Cody Smith – Delhi, Ontario
49L Lucas Smith – Brantford, Ontario
56 Dereck Lemyre – Hamilton, Ontario
70MM Dave McKnight – Brampton, Ontario
74 Rob Neely – Rockwood, Ontario
77E Ashton VanEvery – Ohsweken, Ontario
77T Tyeller Powless – Ohsweken, Ontario
94 Ryan Fraser – Rockwood, Ontario
Heat Race 1 [Started] 8 laps
1. 5D-Jacob Dykstra; 2. 19D-Allan Downey; 3. 56-Dereck Lemyre; 4. 45L-Curtis Gartly; 5. 14-Larry Gledhill; 6. 49C-Cody Smith; 7. 77T-Tyeller Powless; 8. 77E-Ashton VanEvery; 9. 20-Johnny Miller
Heat Race 2 [Started] 8 laps
1. 45-Nick Sheridan; 2. 74-Rob Neely; 3. 12DD-Darren Dryden; 4. 31-Dale Curran; 5. 2M-Steve Murdock; 6. 26-John Verney; 7. BS39-Brett Stratford; 8. (DNS) 94-Ryan Fraser
Heat Race 3 [Started] 8 laps
1. 49L-Lucas Smith; 2. 48-Lance Erskine; 3. 38-Derek Miller; 4. 26X-Terry Baker; 5. 7-Eric Gledhill; 6. 08-Steven Beckett; 7. 70MM-Dave McKnight Jr; 8. (DNS) 48M-Andrew Marshall
A-Main [Started] 25 laps
1. 12DD-Darren Dryden; 2. 49L-Lucas Smith; 3. 7-Eric Gledhill; 4. 19D-Allan Downey; 5. 38-Derek Miller; 6. 45L-Curtis Gartly; 7. 74-Rob Neely; 8. 31-Dale Curran; 9. 56-Dereck Lemyre; 10. 08-Steven Beckett; 11. 48-Lance Erskine; 12. 26X-Terry Baker; 13. 2M-Steve Murdock; 14. 70MM-Dave McKnight Jr; 15. 77T-Tyeller Powless; 16. 20-Johnny Miller; 17. 14-Larry Gledhill; 18. 49C-Cody Smith; 19. 77E-Ashton VanEvery; 20. 48M-Andrew Marshall; 21. 26-John Verney; 22. (DNF) 5D-Jacob Dykstra; 23. (DNF) 45-Nick Sheridan; 24. (DNS) BS39-Brett Stratford; 25. (DNS) 94-Ryan Fraser
A-Main Lap Leaders – Darren Dryden 1-25
Hard Charger – Steven Beckett +10
Friday, September 17, 2021 – Merrittville Speedway – Thorold, Ontario
ACTION SPRINT TOUR MEDIA
About the Action Sprint Tour fueled by Pinty’s: Founded in 2018, the Action Sprint Tour is a traveling Winged Crate Sprint Car Series based in Ontario, Canada. Action Sprint Tour cars are powered by GM 602 crate engines modified specifically to fit a Sprint Car chassis. The championship winner will be rewarded with $5,000 and a Pinty’s VIP package for the 2022 Bristol Dirt Race, while 10th place in the championship standings will pay $1,000. The 2021 Action Sprint Tour is made possible with the support of Pinty’s Delicious Foods. Visit www.actionsprinttour.com for more information.