PREVIEW: Dickies OSCAAR Outlaws presented by LRR Bruce Gowland Memorial at Sunset Speedway


For the second year, the stars of the Dickies OSCAAR Outlaws Presented by London Recreational Racing will pay tribute to one of their own, as they run the Bruce Gowland Memorial this Saturday night at Sunset Speedway. With a successful 25th anniversary thus far for OSCAAR, this weekend promises to deliver in excitement.

So far this season, Kevin Cornelius won each of the four events across three different tracks. Notably, the pair of wins at Sunset Speedway this year had their own touch of excitement to them. Following an early race spin in May, he made his way back through the field, taking the lead at lap 17 and never looking back. Then at the beginning of June, he was able to make his way by Derrick Tiemersma with eight laps to go to seize the victory. In his six races at Sunset Speedway, Cornelius has finished inside the top-three, including victories in the Don Biederman Memorial last June and Velocity 250 last September to go with the pair of wins this year. Cornelius’ strength at Sunset Speedway has been constant throughout his entire OSCAAR career to date as he has yet to finish an OSCAAR Sunset Speedway event outside of the top eight.

Kelly Balson is hoping to repeat the success that he’s had in the first two races at Sunset Speedway this year, as he finished second in the Lucie Alywin Memorial in May, followed by a third in June. Balson has steadily gotten better with each start at Sunset, posting a top-five last year in the Don Biederman Memorial second feature. He is also the only driver other than Cornelius to have finished each of the four races this far in the top-five, posting a fifth at Delaware Speedway and a third at Peterborough Speedway.

Another driver hoping the early season momentum continues is Todd Campbell as he impressed a lot of folks with a third place finish in the season opener, and then backed it up with a sixth place finish in June. Campbell is a veteran of the tour, though, and sometimes experience is key to survive and do well.

The last event for the series didn’t go as Mike Beyore hoped, with his night ending after heavy contact with the wall. If he is able to get it repaired, he could be a driver to watch. He finished second in June and was leading early at Delaware before mechanical issues took him out of the running. He has also had success at Sunset Speedway in the past, though, with a pair of previous sixth place finishes.

Glenn Watson is hoping to score his fourth straight top-five finish on the season after finishing fifth at Peterborough. Watson has been on a roll since blowing his motor in the season opener, and is hungry for a win after being shut-out of victory lane last season. He has been successful at Sunset in the past, posting 12 top 10s in his last 16 Sunset Speedway starts, including three runner-up finishes.

J.R. Fitzpatrick has shown speed in each of the events thus far this season, and finally he was able to lock down his first podium finish of the season with a second-place finish in the Chase for the Colors. With momentum on his side, he could run well this weekend, if the pieces stay together for him.

Roy Passer will be making his comeback to the tour after missing Peterborough following a hard-wreck at Delaware Speedway last month. Passer had a good run going in the Lucie Alywin Memorial, but fell out of the race in the closing laps with a rear-end failure.

Speaking of Passer, keep an eye on Gary Passer this weekend. He continues to work at getting his program stronger, and posted a strong seventh place finish in the season opener.

Corey Jones came out of the box strong in the season opener, posting a fourth place finish. He then backed it up with a pair of top-10 finishes. Hopefully he can continue the string of success, but Sunset hasn’t always been nice to him in the past, handing him a slew of issues last season.

Derrick Tiemersma will look to make his third start of the season this weekend, and perhaps looking for some redemption in the process. He dominated the feature in June, holding a half-a-straightaway lead at one point, before falling out of the race with an electrical issue in the final 10 laps. The past series champion has finished on the podium in the past at Sunset Speedway, so it’d be no shock if he does it again this weekend.

Sean Grosman debuted with a lot of speed in the season opener, winning a heat and taking the spot as top qualifier on the night. However, a mid-race incident in the feature took him out of contention. He bounced back solidly in his second Sunset Speedway appearance with an impressive fourth place finish. Coming off of a fourth place finish for the SMG Motorsports team at Peterborough Speedway, Grosman will hope to keep the positive momentum going  at a track where he has visited victory lane previously in a limited late model.

Paul Howse made his OSCAAR debut last month, and despite going for a spin and being involved in a couple incidents, he finished the 53-lap event in the eighth spot. He’ll be looking for a cleaner race this time around after redoing the body on his ride. Ethan Cournyea and Rob Gibson will also be making their second starts of the season this weekend, looking to bounce back from the mechanical issues that plagued them in June.

Shane Gowan ended off the 2015 season on a high, scoring a fifth place finish in the Autumn Colors Classic. This year didn’t start off as he would’ve hoped, though, as he blew the motor in his primary car. He ran the back-up car for the season opener, finishing ninth after a mid-race incident. He then finished 10th in his second Sunset Speedway appearance in June. Though perhaps he has totally turned things around as he posted a sixth place finish at Peterborough.

If Charlie Gallant was able to get a new power plant, expect him to be back this weekend after blowing the motor at Delaware Speedway. He had a strong outing in the season opener, finishing fifth.

With a strong line-up of drivers on the docket, this event is a do-not-miss for fans. Details about the event can be found via http://www.oscaar.ca and http://www.sunsetspeedway.ca, with the ability to purchase tickets in advance via Sunset Speedway’s website.

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