Photo by Dale Calnan/www.imagefactor.ca
By Tommy Goudge
PORT COLBORNE, Ont. (October 2, 2021) – Jordan Poirier needed only to take the green flag in Saturday night’s A-Main to clinch the inaugural Pinty’s Knights of Thunder 360 Sprint Car series championship, but he did much more than that; Poirier put an exclamation point on his championship season by completing a sweep of The Fall Classic at Humberstone Speedway.
Shone Evans and Josh Hansen drew front row starting positions for the final Knights of Thunder event of 2021. Evans got the lead when the green flag dropped, but the race was halted with one lap complete when Holly Porter’s car rolled over in turn two. Porter’s crew worked to replace the damaged top wing, but ran out of time before the race restarted.
Evans held the lead on the restart while Poirier quickly moved into the top three. Evans and Hansen were at the front of the field when the race was halted again for Scott Burk who flipped hard in turn three. Burk climbed out of his car uninjured, but done for the night. Poirier pounced on Hansen after the restart, and stalked Evans for several laps before making the winning move on lap 11. Several spirited battles developed as the green flag stayed out for the remainder of the race, and Poirier encountered heavy traffic.
Poirier was eventually able to get into clear track again and cruise to his eighth win of the season, while Evans fought off Hansen and the Turner brothers – Ryan and Cory – to claim the runner-up spot. Hansen settled for third, followed by Ryan Turner, Cory Turner, Jim Huppunen, DJ Christie, Aaron Turkey, Travis Cunningham, and Tyler Rand. Heat races for the season finale were claimed by Poirier, Huppunen, and Hansen, each earning $100 from the Friday Night Thunder TV crew.
Poirier finished 57 points ahead of Ryan Turner in the final championship standings, earning $5,000 for the title along with a Pinty’s VIP package for the 2022 Bristol Dirt Race and the coveted knight’s helm. The top ten drivers in points earned at least $1,000 from the 2021 points fund, including Ryan Turner, Jim Huppunen, Josh Hansen, DJ Christie, Travis Cunningham, Cory Turner, Liam Martin, Tyler Rand, and Jamie Turner.
Series officials wish to sincerely thank all drivers, teams, officials, track operators, sponsors, and fans for their support of the inaugural Pinty’s Knights of Thunder season. A total of 39 drivers participated in at least one Pinty’s Knights of Thunder event in 2021, with four drivers – Jordan Poirier (8), Jim Huppunen (2), DJ Christie (2), and Ryan Turner (1) – claiming at least one victor’s sword.
Make sure to visit the official website and social media pages of the Knights of Thunder for news and updates on the 2022 season!
Pinty’s Knights of Thunder 360 Sprint Car Series
Race Report – Saturday, October 2, 2021
Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada
0 Jim Huppunen – Fenwick, Ontario
1 Holly Porter – Dorchester, Ontario
5 DJ Christie – Beachville, Ontario
9 Liam Martin – Binbrook, Ontario
9B Scott Burk – Charing Cross, Ontario
11 Jamie Turner – Caistor Centre, Ontario
11J Chris Jones – Picton, Ontario
13 Cory Turner – Caistor Centre, Ontario
15 Dan Nanticoke – Ohsweken, Ontario
18 Mike Thorne – Caledonia, Ontario
27 Paul Ballantyne – Brantford, Ontario
28 Jordan Poirier – Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil, Quebec
46 Kevin Pauls – St. Catharines, Ontario
68 Aaron Turkey – Ohsweken, Ontario
70 Baily Heard – Niagara Falls, Ontario
84 Tyler Rand – Picton, Ontario
87X Shone Evans – Scotland, Ontario
88H Josh Hansen – Beamsville, Ontario
90 Travis Cunningham – Grimsby, Ontario
91 Ryan Turner – Dunnville, Ontario
Heat Race 1 [Started] 8 laps – 2:11.511
1. 28-Jordan Poirier; 2. 70-Baily Heard; 3. 87X-Shone Evans; 4. 84-Tyler Rand; 5. 11J-Chris Jones; 6. 11-Jamie Turner; 7. (DNS) 18-Mike Thorne
Heat Race 2 [Started] 8 laps – 2:09.297
1. 0-Jim Huppunen; 2. 5-DJ Christie; 3. 91-Ryan Turner; 4. 68-Aaron Turkey; 5. 1-Holly Porter; 6. 46-Kevin Pauls; 7. 27-Paul Ballantyne
Heat Race 3 [Started] 8 laps – 2:11.080
1. 88H-Josh Hansen; 2. 13-Cory Turner; 3. 90-Travis Cunningham; 4. 9-Liam Martin; 5. 9B-Scott Burk; 6. 15-Dan Nanticoke
A-Main [Started] 25 laps – NT
1. 28-Jordan Poirier; 2. 87X-Shone Evans; 3. 88H-Josh Hansen; 4. 91-Ryan Turner; 5. 13-Cory Turner; 6. 0-Jim Huppunen; 7. 5-DJ Christie; 8. 68-Aaron Turkey; 9. 90-Travis Cunningham; 10. 84-Tyler Rand; 11. 9-Liam Martin; 12. 11J-Chris Jones; 13. 11-Jamie Turner; 14. 15-Dan Nanticoke; 15. 70-Baily Heard; 16. 46-Kevin Pauls; 17. (DNF) 9B-Scott Burk; 18. (DNF) 1-Holly Porter; 19. (DNF) 27-Paul Ballantyne; 20. (DNS) 18 Mike Thorne
A-Main Lap Leaders – Shone Evans 1-10; Jordan Poirier 11-25
Margin of Victory – 8.565 seconds
Hard Charger – Jordan Poirier +4
KNIGHTS OF THUNDER MEDIA
About the Pinty’s Knights of Thunder Sprint Car Series: Founded in 2021, the Knights of Thunder series is a traveling winged 360 Sprint Car tour based in Ontario, Canada. Each points-paying event on the 2021 schedule will pay a minimum of $2,000-to-win and $250-to-start, and selected events will be broadcast live on GForceTV. The championship winner will be rewarded with $5,000 and a Pinty’s VIP package for the 2022 Bristol Dirt Race, while 10th place in the championship standings will pay $1,000. The 2021 Knights of Thunder Sprint Car Series is made possible with the support of Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Corr/Pak Merchandising, Stoneridge Specialty Insurance, Hoosier Tire Canada, Burger Barn, Nitro 54 Variety, Strickland’s Brantford Chevrolet, and EPIC Racewear. Visit www.knightsofthunder.com for more information.