So far this season, the Dickies OSCAAR Outlaws Presented by London Recreational Racing have ran five feature events. In each of those features thus far, Kevin Cornelius has scored the victory.
“When you’ve got guys like Glenn Watson and J.R. Fitzpatrick, you need luck on your side,” Cornelius said in victory lane. “We’ve been bitten for the last couple of years, and guys just have those seasons. You look at a guy like Chris Morrow – has a ton of talent, but can’t turn the wheel for the last couple or three years. We got it on our side, and hopefully we can continue this momentum and carry it on to the championship, hopefully.”
On Saturday night, the victory meant his first triumph in the coveted Bruce Gowland Memorial as Dwayne Baker won the inaugural event last season.
The first heat would see a quick caution for Derrick Tiemersma spinning on the frontstretch after contact from Robert Bickle when he got loose off of turn four. J.R. Fitzpatrick would pick up the win ahead of Kelly Balson, Tiemersma, Brandon Watson, Todd Campbell, Bickle and Rob Gibson.
Despite breaking rear-end in practice, Glenn Watson would bounce back to win the second heat ahead of Sean Grosman, Cornelius, Paul Howse, Roy Passer and Shane Gowan.
Kevin Cornelius picked up the win in the third heat ahead of Tiemersma, Balson, Roy Passer, Howse and Bickle.
J.R. Fitzpatrick went for the daily double, winning the final heat ahead of Grosman, Brandon Watson, Stickel and Gary Passer.
Come feature time, Glenn Watson would start the No. 22 Line-X Protective Coatings – Barrie/Race2way.ca/Rival Office Solutions/Williamson Uxbridge GM/TSS Top Shops Auto Body Supply/Klotz Canada/ERA Tours/Port City Race Cars SLM on pole ahead of Brandon Watson, Kelly Balson, Derrick Tiemersma, Kevin Cornelius, Sean Grosman, J.R. Fitzpatrick, Roy Passer, Shane Gowan, Ethan Cournyea, Todd Campbell, Robert Bickle, Gary Passer and Corey Jones.
Glenn Watson would jump out to the early lead ahead of Brandon Watson, Tiemersma and Cornelius. Tiemersma would then get by Brandon Watson for second on lap three, with Cornelius slipping past Watson for third two laps later. Fitzpatrick would then move into fourth, bumping Watson back to fifth by lap five. Behind him, Balson ran sixth ahead of Grosman and Campbell. Gowan would then get by Campbell for eighth on lap eight. Behind Campbell, Howse ran 10th ahead of Jones, Roy Passer, Robert Bickle and Gary Passer.
At the front of the field, Tiemersma would get alongside Glenn Watson for the lead, but was unable to take the spot as he slipped back behind Watson. Cornelius would then pull alongside Tiemersma, looking for the second spot, with the pair running side-by-side till the caution flew at lap 12. OSCAAR tour rookie Grosman would go for a spin in turn three, courtesy of contact from Brandon Watson.
On the restart, Glenn Watson would grab the advantage with Fitzpatrick getting alongside Tiemersma for second. Tiemersma would then get ahead, looking once again underneath Watson for the lead. Coming off of turn four, though, he would get loose and lose his momentum. Cornelius and Fitzpatrick both jumped at the opportunity, splitting Tiemersma down the frontstretch with Cornelius moving into second ahead of Fitzpatrick. Tiemersma now ran fourth ahead of Balson, Gowan, Campbell, Jones, Howse, Grosman, Roy Passer, Brandon Watson, Kyle Passer and Bickle.
At the front of the field, Cornelius would track down Glenn Watson for the lead, getting alongside him on lap 18. He 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 three laps later, just before the caution flew for Brandon Watson having problems.
Cornelius would get a good restart to keep the lead, as Fitzpatrick got alongside Glenn Watson for the second spot. Behind them, Tiemersma ran fourth ahead of Balson, Gowan, Jones, Campbell, Roy Passer, Howse, Grosman, Kyle Passer, Brandon Watson and Bickle. Jones would then get by Gowan to move into the sixth spot on lap 28. Back at the front, Watson cleared Fitzpatrick to keep the second spot, but Fitpatrick was able to get back to his inside just before the caution flew on lap 30 for Bickle spinning in turn four.
Cornelius would get another good restart to hold the lead, as Glenn Watson and Fitzpatrick continued to battle for second. Behind them, Tiemersma continued to run fourth ahead of Jones, Balson, Gowan, Campbell, Howse, Roy Passer and Grosman. Grosman would then get by Roy Passer on lap 38 to move into 10th, as Howse got alongside Campbell for eighth. Howse would then complete the pass with five laps t ogo for the spot.
At the front of the field, Kevin Cornelius would cruise to score his fifth straight series victory, and his fourth straight victory at Sunset Speedway.
“We wouldn’t be here without Mike McColl and his hard work and the chassis he builds. I don’t why anybody would go anywhere else,” Cornelius said. “Leitch Performance – he builds a helluva motor. He proves it week-in, week-out. All my guys that have worked their butts off. I’m just a small part of what goes on here and the success on this team. Those guys put in a lot more hours and work harder than I do, and it’s unfortunate that I get all the accolades and gets to hold the trophies. But, you should be talking to them really.”
After running side-by-side for 14 laps, J.R. Fitzpatrick was able to clear Glenn Watson with six laps to go finish second. Derrick Tiemersma and Corey Jones rounded out the top-five. Kelly Balson finished sixth, followed by Shane Gowan, Paul Howse, Sean Grosman, Todd Campbell, Roy Passer, Brandon Watson and Robert Bickle.