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Tom Huppunen Captures $3,000 in Ohsweken

Rich Vleck, OHSWEKEN, Ont. (July 3, 2009)- Tom Huppunen has been the top driver at Ohsweken all year long, but with a stout field on hand and a slew of lapped cars between himself and leader Bryan Howland in the waning laps, it seemed as if he would have to settle for second.

With just three laps to go, though, Howland’s front wing flipped up to block his vision and give “The Fenwick Flyer” the opportunity he needed to claim the Northern Summer Nationals at Ohsweken Speedway.

“Bryan definitely had the race in the bag,” stated the Fenwick, Ont. Driver after the race. “I didn’t even see him fall out but I figured out was out in front once I didn’t see him anymore.”

In an event supported by the Lucas Oil ASCS Patriots, Engine Pro ASCS Sprints on Dirt presented by ARP as well as the Southern Ontario Sprints, the weekly Corr/Pak Merchandising point leader at “The Big O” flexed his muscle to capture his first tour win of the year and his fourth of the season at the 3/8-mile.

Huppunen was given a seventh place starting spot for the A-Main in the “Outlaw Style Redraw”. The respect his competitors paid kept the Best Western Cairn Croft No. 12c at bay for the first half of the race, but as the race wore on, the bottom became the preferred line and Huppunen would start to climb through the pack.

At a lap eight stoppage for a flip involving Derek Jonathan and Brad Malloy, Huppunen was still in fourth. Three laps later he had moved up to fourth. It was not until he moved underneath early front-runners Bobby Breen and Dustin Daggett to get to second where he became a factor for the win.

Bryan Howland had a full straightaway lead when his front wing malfunction would cost the defending Patriot Champion a chance at his second straight Northern Summer National Win.

As Howland dropped out, Daggett tried to run Huppunen back down and would have to settle for second. The 2008 Friday Night Northern Summer Nationals Winner was strong early in the race but the car gradually faded as the race went along.

Glenn Styres was surprised to cross the line in third. The Ohsweken Speedway Track Owner had faded back as far as seventh, lost his brakes, yet found a way to round out the podium finishers.

Dain Naida would finish in fourth to be the first driver to cross the line with an ASCS Patriot start in 2009. This would give the Bellville, MI driver the top Patriot Points on the night.

Jared Zimbardi came up from 10th to round out the top-five and strengthen his point lead due in part to Howland’s issue.

Bobby Breen was in third with seven laps remaining when he looped his potent No. 9 in turn two. Miraculously, Breen kept his car under power and was able to run back up to finish in sixth. Incidentally, each of the top-six finishers has won at Ohsweken in the last two years.

Dave Dykstra had a solid seventh place showing in his No. 5d, coming back up through the pack late in the race. Blake Breen put his No. 8 in position eight. Defending SOD Champ Brett Mann and Rookie Travis Cunningham completed the top-10.

The Northern Summer Nationals was run with a unique qualifying format, including both heats and qualifiers to help set the 26-car field. Ryan Grubaugh finished dead last in a stacked Heat No. 4 but would come from last in Qualifier No. 4 to put himself in the redraw.

Tim Zack lightly tipped his No. 9jr in his qualifier and Bubba Broderick tumbled his No. 5 on the opening circuit of the 25-lap feature. He was set to rejoin wingless but came to the line a moment to late.

This event also kicked off the King of the Golden Horseshoe Series, with all drivers in competition earning points for this series of Southern Ontario.

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Lucas Oil ASCS Patriots Results: 7/3/09, Ohsweken Speedway, Ohsweken, Ontario.

Northern Summer Nationals A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Tom Huppunen (12c), 2. Dustin Daggett (2M), 3. Glenn Styres (0), 4. Dain Naida (6N), 5. Jared Zimbardi (35), 6. Bobby Breen (9), 7. Dave Dykstra (5d), 8. Blake Breen (8), 9. Brett Mann (0x), 10. Travis Cunningham (71), 11. Kyle Moffit (7), 12. Mike Stelter (36), 13. Kevin Job (21x), 14. Stan Zanchin (94), 15. Keith Dempster (5), 16. James Evans (90), 17. Ryan Hunsinger (77x), 18.. Scott Kreutter (52), 19. Bryan Howland (51), 20. Jim Huppenen (14h), 21. Louie Carufel (47x), 22. Ryan Grubaugh (00), 23. Derek Jonathan (81), 24. Brad Malloy (5m), 25. Kevin Loveys (18), 26. Bubba Broderick (5).

Lap Leaders- Breen 1-11, Howland 12-12, Huppunen 23-25

B-Main (12 Laps, Top 2 Transfer To A-Main)- 1. James Evans (90), 2. Scott Kreutter (52), 3. Wayne Ashton (3), 4. Jamie Collard (27), 5. Doug Bowman (57), 6. Brad Knab (38), 7. Devin Caron (24k), 8. Chris Durand (67), 9. Tim Zack (9jr), 10. Mikey Kruchka (01), 11. Jim Porter (F37), 12. Don Adamczyk (21), 13. John Burbridge Jr. (21J).

King of the Golden Horseshoe (Top-10)- 1. Tom Huppenen (150), 2. Dustin Daggett (146), 3. Glenn Styres (144), 4. Dain Naida (142), 5. Jared Zimbardi (140), 6. Bobby Breen (138), 7. Dave Dykstra (136), 8. Blake Breen (134), 9. Brett Mann (132), 10. Travis Cunningham (130).

Lucas Oil ASCS Patriot Points (Top Ten): 1. Jared Zimbardi 1,140, 2. Bryan Howland 1,124, 3. Bobby Breen 1,082, 4. Bubba Broderick 1,064, 5. Don Adamczyk 1,046, 6. Blake Breen 818, 7. Gary Troutman 796, 8. Chris Muhleisen 789, 9. Derek Jonathan 717, 10. Trevor Lewis 578.