With seven feature wins and a runner-up finish in nine races on the season, Kevin Cornelius would be crowned the 2015 Dickies OSCAAR Outlaws Presented by London Recreational Racing Champion last weekend at Peterborough Speedway.
The final race of the season, the Autumn Colours Classic, didn’t go as hoped as Cornelius would run into rear-end issues with about 15 laps to go after leading the first half of the event from the pole. Despite that, the season is certainly one to remember.
“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. “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.”
Looking back at the season, it seemed to have the picture perfect feel throughout the summer, with victories across the province for 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.
“There’s just so many good moments,” he said. “Probably just spending the time with the guys and knowing that this would be our last go around. There’s just so many good people in racing and there’s so many good things that happened.”
The KDR Motorsports driver started off the year by winning the season opening Lucie Alywin Memorial despite having to go to the back of the field after an early race incident. On lap four, Cornelius went for a spin after running three-wide with J.R. Fitzpatrick and Charlie Gallant. Restarting at the tail of the field, he made his way back through, taking the lead at lap 17 and not looking back.
In the second event of the season at Sunset, he would out-battle Derrick Tiemersma on a restart with eight laps to go to take the victory. He would then make his first trip to Delaware Speedway, and inherited 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.
“To go to Delaware and a track that I’d never been to before and get the win there was great,” he commented. “I thought we were a fifth place car at best.”
That would then be followed by a fourth win at Peterborough Speedway, after grabbing the lead with seven laps to go. It’ a win that ranks high on the season as Peterborough hadn’t been a track that had treated him well in the past.
He would then return to Sunset Speedway this past weekend, taking the lead on lap 21 and leading the rest of the way en route to scoring the victory in the Bruce Gowland Memorial. Cornelius would then make his first ever trip to Flamboro Speedway, 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, finishing second to Fitzpatrick. September would then finish off with a bang, scoring the victory in the Velocity 250 at Sunset Speedway.
Mid-way through the season, it was announced that the 2015 campaign would mark Cornelius’ last season with change on the horizon for the future. To be able to go out on top means everything, even with the issues in the final event of the year at Peterborough.
“It’s heartbreaking that we broke here tonight. We had a good car and maybe could’ve won it; I know J.R. was coming,” he commented. “It’s tough to go out that way, but to go out as champions makes it helluva a lot easier, and I don’t know if we’re quite done racing yet. Tyler is going to start racing so we won’t be right outta the game.”