Five races in the books this season. Five feature victories under his belt. Needless to say, Kevin Cornelius is having the dream Dickies OSCAAR Outlaws Presented by London Recreational Racing season.
“Things are going way better than I ever could’ve expected,” he commented on Saturday. “We’ve had a bit of luck on our side. The guys have put a stellar effort like they always do. Mike McColl’s abilities with the chassis and Leitch (Performance Engines) horsepower have just – and the fact that we’re not having the bad luck that we have had the past couple of years – really shown that we can come here and compete and be on the podium.”
The KDR Motorsports driver started off the year by winning the season opening Lucie Alywin Memorial despite having to go to the back of the field after an early race incident. On lap four, Cornelius went for a spin after running three-wide with J.R. Fitzpatrick and Charlie Gallant. Restarting at the tail of the field, he made his way back through, taking the lead at lap 17 and not looking back.
In the second event of the season at Sunset, he would out-battle Derrick Tiemersma on a restart with eight laps to go to take the victory.
“To come here to Sunset and win is always great because it’s like our home track, and it’s got that home feel to it,” he commented.
He would then make his first trip to Delaware Speedway, and inherited the lead with 20 laps to go after Shawn Chenoweth ran into mechanical problems. He then held off Jesse Kennedy on a final restart to score the win. He commented that the Delaware win was a huge surprise.
“I didn’t think even think we had a top-five car,” he admitted. “When you bring guys like Jesse Kennedy and Rob Clarke and those guys in there, I was blown away that we won that race.”
That would then be followed by a fourth win at Peterborough Speedway, after grabbing the lead with seven laps to go. Cornelius stated that it meant a lot to get “that one off our backs at Peterborough” due to their luck in the past.
“We’ve been going out there for a few years and to get that one and taken care of, that was pretty big,” he added.
With the victory in the Chase for the Colors event, the driver of 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 will go to Peterborough in October with the pole for the Autumn Colors Classic. Last season, the ACC didn’t go as planned as electrical issues sent him behind the wall in the early laps.
“That’s awesome. Autumn Colors – going out there has never been good to us,” he said. “We usually bring it home in a basket so looking forward to it. Pole is huge at Peterborough – it’s single groove. We’ll have J.R. on our outside – he’ll be quick I’m sure – but hopefully it’s a good weekend, and hopefully we’re sitting in a good position points wise that we don’t need to worry about anything but racing. Looking forward to it.”
He would then return to Sunset Speedway this past weekend, taking the lead on lap 21 and leading the rest of the way en route to scoring the victory in the Bruce Gowland Memorial.
With the five victories thus far this season, Cornelius currently holds a 44-point advantage over Kelly Balson with four races left in the season. To those who regularly follow the tour, the success hasn’t been much of a surprise as Cornelius won three races last season en route to finishing second in points to Andrew Gresel.
Now this weekend, he heads to a track that he has yet to race at before – Flamboro Speedway. The event will hold a lot of prestige as Flamboro will play host to the Don Biederman Memorial. Cornelius picked up the win in the event last year at Sunset.
“I think Flamboro realistically for us, if we go in, a top-five would be a win for us,” he commented. “Never been there – I’ve seen the track once and that was on a rain-out, and it looks tight and looked pretty difficult to get around.
“I don’t want to say never because Delaware I didn’t think we have a chance either, but I think it’ll be tough at Flamboro.”