Photos by Dale Calnan/www.imagefactor.ca
By Tommy Goudge (September 9, 2021) – The Pinty’s Knights of Thunder 360 Sprint Car series and Pinty’s Action Sprint Tour Crate Sprint Car series are set for another doubleheader weekend. Both tours will race at Humberstone Speedway on Friday live on GForceTV, and then head in different directions on Saturday; the Knights of Thunder will compete at Merrittville Speedway, and the Action Sprint Tour will travel to Southern Ontario Motor Speedway.
Each series held a pair of races at Humberstone on Civic Holiday weekend during the track’s traditional All-Canadian Championship; Jordan Poirier swept the KoT portion of the weekend, while Jacob Dykstra did the same on the AST side.
The Turner brothers – Cory and Ryan – each scored a pair of top five finishes with KoT at Humberstone during the ACC weekend, while Travis Cunningham, Aaron Turkey, Jacob Dykstra, and Jim Huppunen had one top five each. Huppunen’s top five was almost a win, as Poirier snatched the victory in traffic on the last lap.
Allan Downey finished in the top five of both AST races at Humberstone, while Steven Beckett, Eric Gledhill, Brett Stratford, Curtis Gartly, Rob Neely, and Ryan Fraser had one top five each on ACC weekend.
MERRITTVILLE & SOMS SATURDAY
Merrittville has hosted two Knights of Thunder events already this season, both of which were claimed by Jordan Poirier. The Quebec driver won the July 10 opener at Merrittville with relative ease, but it was a different story on August 6 when Jim Huppunen nearly ended Poirier’s winning streak; Huppunen spun late the race in the midst of an entertaining duel for the win, and Poirier was able to claim what was his fourth consecutive victory.
Poirier is the only driver with top five finishes in both KoT races held this season at Merrittville, while Liam Martin, Jamie Turner, Cory Turner, Jim Huppunen, Mack DeMan, Aaron Turkey, Josh Hansen, and Ryan Turner have one top five each this year on the tricky one-third mile.
Meanwhile, more than two years have passed since the Action Sprint Tour last competed at Southern Ontario Motor Speedway. Saturday’s event will be the first AST visit to SOMS since the track formerly known as South Buxton Raceway underwent a transformation from a semi-banked D-shaped configuration to a high-banked oval.
The Knights of Thunder series visited SOMS in August and found the new layout to be well-suited to Sprint Cars. Shone Evans and Liam Martin scored victories in the two previous AST events on the old SOMS layout but both are now racing in the Knights of Thunder series, so a new name will join the win list on Saturday.
Jordan Poirier has been in the top five in all eight KoT races held in 2021 and opened the season with four straight wins, while Jacob Dykstra has won seven of the eight AST races and finished second in the other. They lead the championship standings in their respective series, but Poirier’s lead has dwindled slightly over the last few weeks.
Jim Huppunen has posted a pair of KoT wins at Brighton over the last few weeks, while DJ Christie claimed his first career 360 Sprint Car win at SOMS in August, and added another at Brighton last weekend. Poirier’s lead in the KoT championship standings now sits at 32 points over Huppunen, with Ryan Turner another 10 points behind. Travis Cunningham and Josh Hansen round out the current top five, while Christie, Holly Porter, Cory Turner, Liam Martin, and Jamie Turner hold top ten positions.
Jacob Dykstra has a commanding 74 point lead in the AST standings over Allan Downey, with Nick Sheridan another seven points behind. Eric Gledhill and Brett Stratford round out the current top five, while Jesse Costa, Lucas Smith, Rob Neely, Darren Dryden, and Dereck Lemyre hold top ten positions.
WHAT & WHEN:
-Friday, September 10, 2021 – Knights of Thunder & Action Sprint Tour @ Humberstone Speedway
-Saturday, September 11, 2021 – Knights of Thunder @ Merrittville Speedway
-Saturday, September 11, 2021 – Action Sprint Tour @ Southern Ontario Motor Speedway
1716 Main St E
Port Colborne ON L3K 5V3
2371 Merrittville Hwy
Thorold, ON L2V 3Y9
Southern Ontario Motor Speedway
20954 A D Shadd Rd
Merlin, ON N0P 1W0
Live broadcast Friday, September 10 – www.youtube.com/GforceTV
About the Pinty’s Knights of Thunder Sprint Car Series: Founded in 2021, the Knights of Thunder series is a traveling winged 360 Sprint Car tour based in Ontario, Canada. Each points-paying event on the 2021 schedule will pay a minimum of $2,000-to-win and $250-to-start, and selected events will be broadcast live on GForceTV. 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 Knights of Thunder Sprint Car Series is made possible with the support of Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Corr/Pak Merchandising, Stoneridge Specialty Insurance, Hoosier Tire Canada, Burger Barn, Nitro 54 Variety, Strickland’s Brantford Chevrolet, and EPIC Racewear. Visit www.knightsofthunder.com for more information.
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.