Top-three finishers from the Canada Day Showdown at Merrittville,  from left to right: Liam Martin (2nd), Josh Hansen (winner) and Matt Farnham (3rd). (Photo by Dale Calnan/Image Factor Media).

By Clayton Johns

THOROLD, Ont. (July 1, 2019) – Josh Hansen wasted no time driving from his fourth starting spot to the lead on lap two and paced the final 19 laps to score his second Action Sprint Tour powered by win of the season in the Canada Day showdown at Merrittville Speedway on July 1.

“The track was perfect tonight,” Hansen said in Victory Lane. “It was smooth on the top and smooth on the bottom. I really enjoyed it.”

Paul Klager had the pole for the 20-lap Feature with Tonawanda, NY native Matt Farnham starting outside the front row. Farnham quickly darted to the lead on the opening lap while fourth-starting Josh Hansen quickly raced to second on the opening lap while Klager slipped to third. On the second lap, Hansen continued his torrid pace and took the lead from Farnham with the high line off turn two before dropping to the bottom in turn three.

Hansen opened a lead of 1.5 seconds before working into lapped traffic on lap seven. That lead was quickly eroded as Hansen was held up by a handful of slower cars and resulted in a side-by-side battle for the lead with Farnham in turns three and four. Then, on lap nine Liam Martin came out of nowhere and drove past Farnham for second.

Just after the halfway point was clicked off on the scoreboard, Dave McKnight Jr. brought out the first yellow of the race when he spun in turn one. He re-fired his No.70MM and re-joined the field. On the ensuing single-file restart, Hansen maintained his lead, but wasn’t able to drive away from Martin and Farnham until he worked into lapped traffic again on lap 15.

The leaders ran those five laps in single-file formation with the top runners preferring the outside lane in turns one and two before dropping to the bottom in turns three and four. In the midst of the action, Klager was able to use the outside lane to move past Steven Beckett for fifth, a move not many were able to make.

Hansen went largely unchallenged through traffic as Martin and Farnham were locked into their battle for second. The battle was halted by the second and final caution on lap 17 when Noelle Teal looped her No.14 in turn four.

The second and final restart gave Hansen the clean air he needed to maintain his lead for the final three laps and to hold off a strong last-ditch effort from Martin. Farnham maintained the third spot to complete the podium while Port Colborne, Ont. native Jacob Dykstra and Klager rounded out the top-five. Farnham, Jerry Hill and Klager won their qualifying heats to start the night.

The Action Sprint Tour powered by will return to competition for round 4 of the 2019 series on Sunday, July 14 at Humberstone Speedway in Port Colborne, Ont. For more information on the Action Sprint Tour, including a full break down of the Series’ 2019 point fund and race purses as well as series rules, visit


Action Sprint Tour powered by Race Report
July 1, 2019
Merrittville Speedway – Thorold, Ontario, Canada
Total Entries – 23

Entry List
No. Name – Hometown
08 Steven Beckett – Fonthill, Ont.
1eh Paul Klager – Beamsville, Ont.
3b Blaine Barrow – Welland, Ont.
5d Jacob Dykstra – Port Colborne, Ont.
7ny Matt Farnham – Tonawanda, NY
9c Brian Nanticoke – Ohsweken, Ont.
12 Brad Herron – Waterford, Ont.
14T Noelle Teal – Hagersville, Ont.
19 Allan Downey – Waterloo, Ont.
20 Johnny Miller – Six Nations, Ont.
22jr Al Gilletta Jr. – St. Catharines, Ont.
28 Jordan Hill – Ohsweken, Ont.
29 Liam Martin – Binbrook, Ont.
29w Tyler Ward – Woodstock, Ont.
43h Darren Dryden – Freelton, Ont.
49h Jerry Hill – Hagersville, Ont.
50LS Adrian Stahle – Kitchener, Ont.
52r Ryan Hunsinger – Caledonia, Ont.
70 Baily Heard – Niagara Falls, Ont.
70mm Dave McKnight Jr. – Brampton, Ont.
74 Rob Neely – Rockwood, Ont.
83 Spencer Davis – Scotland, Ont.
88h Josh Hansen – Beamsville, Ont.

A-Feature (20 laps – No Time)
Finish. #-Name, [Starting Position]
1. 88h Josh Hansen, [4]; 2. 29 Liam Martin, [3]; 3. 7ny Matt Farnham, [2]; 4. 5d Jacob Dykstra, [7]; 5. 1eh Paul Klager, [1]; 6. 08 Steven Beckett, [5]; 7. 49h Jerry Hill, [6]; 8. 28 Jordan Hill, [10]; 9. 70 Baily Heard, [9]; 10. r52 Ryan Hunsinger, [13]; 11. 9c Brian Nanticoke, [19]; 12. 20 Johnny Miller, [8]; 13. 12 Brad Herron, [15]; 14. 50LS Adrian Stahle, [12]; 15. 74 Rob Neely, [11]; 16. 83 Spencer Davis, [16]; 17. 3b Blaine Barrow, [14]; 18. 19 Allan Downey, [17]; 19. 22jr Al Gilletta Jr., [20]; 20. 70MM Dave McKnight Jr., [18]; 21. 43h Darren Dryden, [21]; 22. 29w Tyler Ward, [23]; 23. 14T Noelle Teal, [22]

A-Feature Lap Leaders – Matt Farnham 1; Josh Hansen 2-20
Hard Charger – Brian Nanticoke +8 (19th to 11th)

Heat Race No.1 (8 laps – Top 2 Redraw – No Time)
Finish. #-Name, [Starting Position]
1. 7ny Matt Farnham, [2]; 2. 08 Steven Beckett, [5]; 3. 5d Jacob Dykstra, [7]; 4. 28 Jordan Hill, [1]; 5. r52 Ryan Hunsinger, [6]; 6. 83 Spencer Davis, [4]; 7. 9c Brian Nanticoke, [8]; 8. 14T Noelle Teal, [3]

Heat Race No.2 (8 laps – Top 2 Redraw –  No Time)
Finish. #-Name, [Starting Position]
1. 49h Jerry Hill, [2]; 2. 29 Liam Martin, [8]; 3. 20 Johnny Miller, [1]; 4. 74 Rob Neely, [7]; 5. 3b Blaine Barrow, [3]; 6. 19 Allan Downey, [4]; 7. 22jr Al Gilletta Jr., [6]; 8. 29w Tyler Ward, [5]

Heat Race No.3 (8 laps  – Top 2 Redraw –  No Time)
Finish. #-Name, [Starting Position]
1. 1eh Paul Klager, [2]; 2. 88h Josh Hansen, [3]; 3. 70 Baily Heard, [5]; 4. 50LS Adrian Stahle, [4]; 5. 12 Brad Herron, [7]; 6. 70MM Dave McKnight Jr., [6]; 7. 43h Darren Dryden, [1]


2019 Action Sprint Tour Schedule

Mon. May 20 – Merrittville Speedway – Thorold, Ont. – Winner: Josh Hansen
Sun. June 2 – Humberstone Speedway – Port Colborne, On – Rained Out
Sat. June 8 – Southern Ontario Motor Speedway – Merlin, Ont.  – Winner: Liam Martin
Mon. July 1 – Merrittville Speedway – Thorold, Ont. Winner: Josh Hansen
Sun. July 14 – Humberstone Speedway – Port Colborne, Ont.
Tue. July 23 – Ohsweken Speedway – Six Nations, Ont.
Sat. July 28 – Merrittville Speedway – Thorold, Ont.
Sun. August 11 – Humberstone Speedway – Port Colborne, Ont.
Sat. August 17 – Brighton Speedway – Brighton, Ont.
Sat. September 14 – Ohsweken Speedway – Ohsweken, Ont. – Canadian Sprint Car Nationals

Twitter: @ActionSprints

About the Action Sprint Tour: The Action Sprint Tour is a travelling Winged Sprint Car Series based in Ontario, Canada. The cars on the Action Sprint Tour are powered by GMC 602 Crate Motors modified specifically to fit a Sprint Car chassis. The Series ran its inaugural season in 2018 and in 2019 will run 10 races at five different Ontario tracks. Drivers will compete for a point fund and bonuses totaling $10,000. For additional information, including rules, event purse and series point fund, visit the Action Sprint Tour official website at

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