Rich Vleck, OHSWEKEN, Ontario, (June 20, 2014)- Ever since 2008, when Ohsweken Speedway began racing spring cars on a weekly basis, Jared Zimbardi has ventured North to the 3/8-mile oval on multiple occasions with plenty of success. Until Friday Night though, Zimbardi had not been to “The Big O” in 2014; his lack of recent experience did not seem to matter.
Zimbardi, of Bradford, PA, took the lead on lap 2 of the 25-lap Patriot Sprint Tour Canada Feature from Alain Bergeron and then withstood late challenges from Todd Hoddick and Jason Barney to score his third PST win of the year.
“I love winning at Ohsweken,” declared Zimbardi in Victory Lane. “I just love racing at Ohsweken.”
Zimbardi started the first PST Canada feature of 2014 in fourth after qualifying for the redraw off a strong charge from 7th to 3rd in his heat race. At the start of the A-Main, “The Juice” soared around the outside and battled with Alain Bergeron for the lead down the backstretch. Bergeron would lead the first circuit but Zimbardi would lead the rest.
The race ran caution-free until lap 19, and in that time, it was Todd Hoddick who put on quite a performance. After starting on the pole, Hoddick drifted back to third on the start but got back in to second and began to apply pressure on Zimbardi for the lead. Hoddick edged ahead on lap 12 but would never officially lead a lap. Still, Hoddick, along with a hard-charging Jason Barney, diced through lapped traffic, keeping the finish in doubt.
“I expected the bottom to be good early on and have the top come in but I think it was the complete opposite,” Zimbardi noted after the race.
On the lap 20 restart, Barney, the winner of the 2013 Ohsweken PST race, took second place from Hoddick but would need another caution to have a crack at the win. Barney would end up getting two chances to take the lead, including one on the final lap.
On lap 22, Paige Polyak’s No. 19 stopped on the track while the Ohio driver was battling for a top-five spot. On the final circuit, Four Laps of Fame Dash Winner Steve Collins got turned around nearly tipped over, drawing a final yellow flag.
“It’s the worst feeling in the world to see the caution flag come out when you are coming out of turn four on the last lap,” noted Zimbardi. “My heart just sank.”
On the final restart, Barney made a strong bid for the lead on the bottom of turns one and two. The No. 87 drifted up the track in an attempt to block Zimbardi’s line, but left just enough room, deciding to run him respectfully.
“I saw Barney running on the bottom and I just hoped I could hold it on the top,” added Zimbardi, who with the win, his 15th in his PST Career, has moved in to sole possession of third on the all-time Patriot win list. “He got up real close and it made me nervous and I got up in the washed-out stuff but I never lifted and it worked out.”
After the wild excursion in turn two, Glenn Styres had a big run heading in to the final set of corners, Styres made an enormous drive in on the bottom of turn three to see what he can pull off and ended up sliding up right in front of the No. 87, only to have Barney get him back at the line for second.
Todd Hoddick was able to cross in fourth, completing an overall impressive run for the Cheektowaga, NY driver. Jessica Zemken made a quiet charge through the pack, driving up from 16th to finish fifth.
Kyle Patrick crossed in sixth, ahead of Alain Bergeron and Dave Dykstra. Mitch Brown and Don Adamczyk completed the top 10.
A total of 31 PST sprinters were on hand for the first PST Canada event of the season, the ninth Patriot race of 2014.
For more information, visit www.PatriotSprintTour.com.
Patriot Sprint Tour Canada Series Results: 6/20/14, Ohsweken Speedway, Ohsweken, ONTARIO.
A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Jared Zimbardi (35), 2. Jason Barney (87), 3. Glenn Styres (0), 4. Todd Hoddick (49), 5. Jessica Zemken (77x), 6. Kyle Patrick (33x), 7. Alain Bergeron (8B), 8. Dave Dykstra (5D), 9. Mitch Brown (10), 10. Don Adamczyk (21), 11. Jamie Turner (11), 12. Chris Jones (11J), 13. Paige Polyak (19), 14. Lee Ladouceur (51), 15. Shane Ross (3R), 16. Steve Collins (67), 17. Jim Huppunen (14H), 18. Havard Daniels (9nz), 19. Dale Gosselin (3), 20. Keith Dempster (5), 21. Justin Martin (7m), 22. Derek Jonathan (81), 23. Cory Turner (19T), 24. Chris Steele (80).
Lap Leaders- Bergeron 1, Zimbardi 2-25.
Provisional Starters- Dempster (PST), Martin (Corr/Pak)
B-Main (10 Laps, Top 2 Qualify)- 1. Lee Ladouceur (51), 2. Dale Gosselin (3), 3. Justin Martin (7m), 4. Kyle Fraser (01), 5. Shawn Sliter (71s), 6. Keith Dempster (5), 7. Stan Zanchin (94), 8. Jeremy Hughes (10J), 9. Curtis Gartly (6), 10. Conor Mahoney (5c), 11. John Burbridge Jr. (21J).
Four Laps of Fame Dash (4 Laps)- 1. Steve Collins (67), 2. Mitch Brown (10), 3. Jim Huppunen (14H), 4. Dave Dykstra (5D), 5. Havard Daniels (9nz), 6. Jamie Turner (11).
Heats (8 Laps, Top 5 Qualify from Each)-
Race 1: STYRES, STEELE, ZIMBARDI, JONATHAN, J. TURNER, Ladouceur, Zanchin, Hughes.
Race 2: HODDICK, ADAMCZYK, HUPPUNEN, DANIELS, C. TURNER, Sliter, Fraser, Mahoney.
Race 3: BARNEY, PATRICK, BROWN, POLYAK, ZEMKEN, Gosselin, Gartly, Dempster.
Race 4: BERGERON, COLLINS, DYKSTRA, ROSS, JONES, Burbridge, Martin.