Seven feature wins, a runner-up finish and a single DNF in nine races of the season is certainly close to perfection, and something to be proud of. That was the making of the season for the 2015 Dickies OSCAAR Outlaws Presented by London Recreational Racing Champion, Kevin Cornelius.
Coming into the season, it was predicted that Cornelius would be one of the championship contenders after a runner-up performance last year. He proved those predictions would probably be true right out of the gate at the Lucie Alywin Memorial at Sunset Speedway. Despite having to restart at the back of the field due to an early race spin on lap four, he was able to quickly make his way back to the front, taking the lead at lap 17 before leading the rest of the way en route to victory lane.
The positive momentum continued to the second event of the year in June at Sunset Speedway, when 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 battled side-by-side with Derrick Tiemersma in the final laps en route to victory lane.
Going on the road outside of Sunset Speedway, there was a bit of skepticism as to whether the good momentum would continue as Cornelius had yet to race at Delaware Speedway in his career. However, that was quickly answered as he found himself running inside the top-five in the early laps of the event. He would then inherit 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.
The positive momentum would continue on the road, followed by a victory in the Chase for the Colours at Peterborough Speedway after taking the lead with seven laps to go. The month of August would then continue with a third trip back to Sunset Speedway for the Bruce Gowland Memorial. The Orangeville, Ontario native would take the lead on lap 21, leading the rest of the way. The month of August would finish off with Cornelius’ first ever trip to Flamboro Speedway, with him leading the majority of the feature en route to scoring his second straight victory in the Don Biederman Memorial.
He would then return back to Peterborough to kick off September, finishing second to J.R. Fitzpatrick. The month of September would be complete with a return trip to Sunset Speedway in the form of another dominating victory.
With the season of success, all Cornelius had to do was start the final race of the season to clinch the championship, As mentioned, virtue of winning the Chase for the Colours event, he would start the Autumn Colours Classic from the pole. Unfortunately after leading the first 33 laps of the race, his race ended with rear-end mechanical issues.
Despite things ending on a less than stellar note, the season will certainly be remembered as a great season put together by Kevin Cornelius, Dick Launspach, Jeremy Noon, Grant Mitchell, Ron Quesnelle, Keith Maiato, Laurie Melson, Jim Locking and the entire KDR Motorsports team. It certainly hits a special mark after announcing partway through the year that the 2015 season would be the last one.
“Not the way I wanted to end it, but we came for the big prize and that’s what we’re taking home,” Cornelius commented post-race at Peterborough. “We wouldn’t be here without all these guys hard work week in and week out and the effort that they put in, and Mike McColl and Gary Leitch. It’s just a collaboration of good equipment and a good team, and just so proud. So proud that we won the championship and that we’re going out on a high.”