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Author Topic: Dylan Westbrook Caps Dream Season With Southern Ontario Sprints Championship  (Read 1301 times)

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Dylan Westbrook Caps Dream Season With Southern Ontario Sprints Championship and Win At Merrittville

 

OAKLAND, Ont. – September 12, 2016 – Dylan Westbrook finished off a dream rookie season with the Southern Ontario Sprints (SOS) with a win at Merrittville Speedway and officially claimed the 2016 series championship. The win was the 11th of the season for the 17-year-old from Oakland, Ont. and his seventh with the SOS – all in his first full season of 360 Sprint Car racing.

 

“All of the support I got for everyone is just awesome. To get seven wins out of 11 races with the SOS, I never dreamt that would happen,” Westbrook said.

 

Westbrook also won four races at his home track, Ohsweken Speedway, for a total of 11 this year. The teenager is talented, both on the track and off. He graduated from Assumption College School in Brantford as an honour roll student in June and is now working as an apprentice to pursue his mechanic’s license. On the track, he knows he’s alone behind the wheel, but it takes a team to put him at the front.

 

“With everyone helping out, my crew chief Steve Moulton and my dad (Dan Westbrook), they’ve been around a lot and know how to setup the car,” Westbrook explained. “ I have to thank Glenn Styres for supplying the car too. I’ve learned a lot and everyone has come together to get the car setup well.”

 

This summer was Westbrook’s coming out party. He started a couple of races in 2015, but focused primarily on the lesser-powered Crate Sprint Car on Friday nights at Ohsweken. It paid off, as he won the track championship, but Westbrook believes getting his feet wet in 360 racing last year went a long way towards his 2016 success.

 

“I think it helped me get used to the speed and how the 360 cars handle differently from the Crate cars,” Westbrook explained. “Coming in to this season I had a little bit of experience, but still had to learn about the different tracks.”

 

The Crate Sprint Car class was created three seasons ago at Ohsweken to help drivers like Westbrook advance through the Sprint Car ranks without wrestling the wheel of a 700 horsepower vehicle right away.

 

“Running the Crate Sprint Cars beforehand helped. They handle pretty close (to the same), so it was a really good training ground before I moved up to the 360s,” Westbrook said.

 

This season, Westbrook has faced his nay-sayers head-on. Critics have been quick to point out Westbrook drives for the well-funded Glenn Styres team with top equipment as the reason for his success.

 

“You can have the best equipment ever, but if you can’t drive it you’re not going to win,” Westbrook says in response. “The equipment definitely helps, but you have to learn how to drive it and set it up.”

 

No doubt Westbrook has blown away pre-season expectations set by his team and outside observers.

 

“Coming in to the year we thought for our rookie year we would go out, have fun and try not to wreck any equipment,” he said. “We wanted to get a base setup for next year and learn. Nobody on the crew expected this to happen.”

 

Perhaps most impressive is that the first of Westbrook’s 11 wins didn’t come until July 2 with the SOS at South Buxton Raceway near Chatham. Since his first win, Westbrook has won 10 of 15 starts. Most rookie drivers battle through the growing pains, but Westbrook skipped right to the fun and glory.

 

“I think everyone had fun. Winning is definitely a lot of fun, but just the opportunity to run the car was a blast. I couldn’t have asked for more from this season,” he said.

 

Westbrook is now set to make his second career start in Canada’s biggest annual Sprint Car race. The $12,000 US-to-win Canadian Sprint Car Nationals at Ohsweken Speedway take place this weekend on September 16 and 17.

 

Westbrook competed in the event last year where he qualified for the 35-lap main event and finished 22nd against a field of 65 cars in just his third 360 Sprint Car start. He hopes that experience will put him in contention for a win this year.

 

“Last year I was real nervous because it was one of my first races in a 360. This year I won’t be as nervous. I’ll be able to focus a lot more on hitting my marks and my lines while I’m racing,” Westbrook said, adding a top-10 finish would make him happy.

 

“I think we have a pretty good shot at a decent finish with the experience I’ve gained.”

 

At the very least, he’s one to keep an eye on come Saturday night. His dream season might just hit another high.

 

FOLLOW WESTBROOK

Keep up to date with Dylan Westbrook on Social Media!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WestbrookRacing

Twitter: @Westbrook47x

 

Dylan Westbrook’s 2016 360 Sprint Car season is supported by several dedicated and generous sponsors, including: Bradshaw Fuels, Ohsweken Speedway, Sovereign Fusion, Arrow Express, Kool Kids Ice & Water, Corr/Pak Merchandising, O’Neil’s Farm Equipment, Case IH Tractors, Metal Works, Slade Shock Technology, Extreme Design and Maxim Chassis.

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