Patrick Freel wins Ontario Pro Challenge Season Opener at Sunset Speedway

Photo Credit: Ashley McCubbin

In the season opener for the Ontario Pro Challenge Series, it’d be Patrick Freel taking the victory for his first ever Sunset Speedway win.

The action started early in the first heat as Owen Smith went around in turn two, courtesy of contact from Chris McIssac. Freel went on to take the win ahead of Josh Nicholson, Justin Billington, Tim Shanahan, Dale Wilson, Ken Lillycrop, Smith and McIssac.

Tim Norris won the second heat ahead of Kyle Batty, Dennis Thomson Peter Hattin, the 13, Mike Westwood, the 33 and the 6.

When it came to feature time, it’d be Freel starting on pole ahead of Nicholson, Billington, Shananhan, Wilson, Lillycrop, Norris, Batty, Thomson, Smith, McIssac, Hattin, the 13, Westwood, the 33 and the 6.

The action started right away on the opening lap as Smith got loose and slid up into Norris, resulting in contact with Norris and Shananhan. The pair wrecked with Shananhan receiving significant front end damage while Norris lost the rear window and most of the sheet metal off the rear of his car.

Once they got restarted, Freel was able to grab the lead ahead of Nicholson and Billington. Problems would strike Billington as he lost power on lap seven, leaving Thomson having nowhere to go and spinning Billington around.

Freel was able to get another good solid restart and pull ahead of Nicholson with Batty now running third ahead of Wilson, Westwood and Smith. After being put the rear of the field, Thomson began his climb immediately, moving into seventh by lap 10. The third caution then flew two laps later for the 33 spinning around.

Freel once again got a good restart and kept Nicholson and Batty behind him while Thomson made his way by Westwood for fifth at lap 15. Thomson then passed Wilson for fourth at lap 20, before moving past Batty for third.

At the front, though, it was all Patrick Freel as he drove to victory lane ahead of Josh Nicholson, Dennis Thomson, Kyle Batty, Dale Wilson, Owen Smith and Mike Westwood. McIssac finished eighth, followed by Lillycrop, Shanahan, the 13, Hattin and the 33.

About Ashley McCubbin 3102 Articles
Joining OnPitRoad.com mid-2013 season, Ashley McCubbin is now the Managing Editor and contributes to each racing division as needed. Since studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber, Ashley has published articles on a couple of different websites, while serving as a public relations representative for different short track teams. Born in North York, Ontario, Ashley currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area. She has spent her entire life at the short track level, falling in love with the sport at the age of five. Beyond her love of short track racing, she also has grown an interest for both NASCAR and the IndyCar Racing Series. She also enjoys taking photos and working on websites, while playing a couple rounds of Candy Crush afterwards.

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