Archive | Features

Sad News From Mitch Brown Racing

Sad News From Mitch Brown Racing

Harold “Little Ben” Brown Passes 

Mitch Brown, his brother Jake, Doug Brown and his sister Sue along with the entire Brown racing family today mourn the loss of their grandfather, father and friend Harold Brown who passed away Sunday, July 13 after a lengthy illness.

Harold was a long-time Brantford businessman and noted stock car racing competitor who competed in  motorsports from the early 1960s through the mid-1980s.

During his early racing career he was known as “Little Ben” running Supermodifieds under the popular number 1-10 at such tracks as Bridgeport Speedway (Kitchener), Toronto’s CNE, Nilestown and Delaware speedways in the London area, Flamboro Speedway(Hamilton) and later ran two seasons at Oswego Speedway in upstate New York.

It was during the mid-1970s he switched to Late Model racing where he enjoyed much success at Flamboro, Delaware and Cayuga speedways running the popular number 10.

During his Late Model career he also ventured into New York, Ohio and Michigan for selected events against some of America’s best short track competitors.

His son Doug carried on the Brown racing tradition in 1995 through 2009 and in turn handed the racing reigns to his sons Mitch and Jake. The third generation drivers are now continuing the Brown family racing tradition by competing full time in the open-wheel Sprint Cars.

Harold Brown passed away July 13th 2014 at the Stedman Hospice in Brantford. He was in his 80th year.

He was predeceased by his wife of 53 years , Gloria who left us on May 27th, 2013.

Complete details regarding his funeral arrangements will be released late Monday.  Notice of his passing will be posted in the Brantford Expositor http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ on Tuesday July 15th, 2014

Posted on behalf of Doug, Sue, and grandsons Mitch, Jake, Ben and Aiden.

Ken Spencer

Posted in Features0 Comments

Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo – March 13-15, 2015 – T.O.’s International Centre

Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo – March 13-15, 2015 – T.O.’s International Centre

MOTORAMA CUSTOM CAR & MOTORSPORTS EXPO

March 13, 14 & 15, 2015 at Toronto’s International Centre

TORONTO, ON (CANADA) • Inside Track Communications – publishers of Inside Track Motorsport News, Inside Motorcycles, MX & Off-Road and the producer of the Canadian Motorsports Expo – is now the owner / promoter of the traditional hot rod / classic car / motorsports show held in mid-March at Toronto’s International Centre, adjacent to Toronto’s Pearson Airport.

Known over the years as Motion Custom Car Show, Performance World and most recently MegaSpeed, the new show will be called the MOTORAMA Custom Car & Motorsports Expo. According to International Centre officials, this ‘show weekend’ traditionally attracts tens of thousands of automotive enthusiasts each year.

The inaugural MOTORAMA show will take place March 13, 14 and 15, 2015. It will fill approximately 225,000 square feet of the newly configured Halls 1 and 2 (formerly Halls 1, 2 and 3) at the refurbished International Centre.

MOTORAMA will be a three-day celebration of automotive culture and motorsports, featuring high quality hot rods, custom cars, racing vehicles of all kinds, classics, exotics, trucks, tuners, rat rods and more.

The new show will retain the popular qualities that made the Canadian Motorsports Expo (CME) so successful, and will expand that model out to incorporate all of the other parts of the automotive spectrum that will make up MOTORAMA.

These include: celebrity appearances, interesting and informative seminars and forums, awards ceremonies, car clubs, racetracks and series, showcar prizes, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, collectibles vendors, demonstrations, industry announcements and press conferences, and more.

In addition to the team that produced the CME, MOTORAMA’s management group includes some of the most respected names in the Canadian hot rod and classic car community. As was the case with the CME, MOTORAMA will be promoted via aggressive public relations, advertising and social media campaigns – all starting almost immediately – to let Canadian car and motorsports fans know about the new show.

“We’re honoured that the International Centre has given us the opportunity to assume the reins of their mid-March hot rod and classic car show,” said ITC’s David Weber. “Our goal with MOTORAMA is to restore this show to its past glory, while making sure that Canadian racing has the same high profile that it had at the Canadian Motorsports Expo. For the racing community, the mid-March date is better for them because it’s closer to the start of their season. And we’re looking forward to working with the many individuals and companies that are passionate about hot rods, custom cars, classics, tuners, etc. to make this show the best it’s ever been.”

Stay tuned for more news about MOTORAMA in the coming weeks and months. For info on becoming a show sponsor or exhibitor, please contact us at (416) 962-7223 or email info@motoramashow.com. The show’s website is www.MotoramaShow.com.

ABOUT THE MOTORAMA CUSTOM CAR & MOTORSPORTS EXPO: The inaugural MOTORAMA Custom Car & Motorsports Expo takes place March 13, 14 & 15, 2015 at the International Centre, adjacent to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. With a footprint of almost a quarter-million square feet, the show will be Canada’s biggest late-winter celebration of automobiles and motorsports. For information about the show, including sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, schedules and more, call (416) 962-7223, or email info@MotoramaShow.com. The show’s website is located at www.MotoramaShow.com, on Twitter @MotoramaShow, and Facebook at /MotoramaCustomCarAndMotorsportsExpo.

# # # # # # # # # #

GREG MACPHERSON • MOTORAMA Custom Car & Motorsports Expo
DATE: March 13, 14 & 15, 2015 • VENUE: International Centre (Toronto) • WEB: MotoramaShow.com • TWITTER: @MotoramaShow • PH: (416) 962-7223 • EMAIL: greg@MotoramaShow.com • FAX: (416) 962-7208
A Brand New Show on a Weekend You Know!

Posted in Features0 Comments

Wheel to Wheel: Restarting Involved Cars

Wheel to Wheel: Restarting Involved Cars

Monday, June 30th, 2014 – The topic for this edition of Wheel to Wheel comes from reader Wayne Bratton in Stoney Creek, Ont. Caution-free races are rare in short track racing. Most races feature at least one caution. Generally there are three types of reasons for a yellow flag. One is for debris or fluids on the track. The second is for a single-car spin.

The third, which is the subject of this edition, occurs when two cars make contact and at least one spins to cause a caution. In this scenario, should the involved cars both go to the back? Or only the car that initiated the contact? Both systems are commonly used at tracks around North America. Which rule is correct? You decide. Let’s go wheel to wheel.

GIVE IT BACK

by Clayton Johns
It is hard to believe that short track racing enables a rule that punishes the victim. Maybe the legal terminology is a bit heavy. Regardless, it’s quite common for tracks to restart both cars at the back of the field when two cars are involved in a caution. Even when one car is only considered involved as the result of contact from behind.

Consider this situation. A driver could be racing for the lead when, unexpectedly, the driver behind him misses his breaking point (we’ll assume it wasn’t intentional). He slams the leader’s rear end and sends him spinning towards the infield. Both cars are able to return to racing, but where? At the rear of the field of course. The driver who spun is punished because of his competitor’s mistake. Where is the logic in this?

We do not give the extra two minutes in penalties to the player who starts bleeding as a result of his opponents high-stick. The batter is not ejected for being in the batter’s box when he is intentionally hit with a pitch. So why punish a driver simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time? It simply doesn’t add up.

Short track fans are fortunate that most rulebooks have avoided adopting NASCAR’s rule for involved cars on cautions. Not in every case, but NASCAR often penalizes the car that spun with no consequence to the car who initiated contact. In effect, penalizing the bank owner instead of the thief.

If a driver spins at no fault of his own, it doesn’t make sense to penalize him for another’s error or anger. As in our example, the driver should be able to retake the position he earned prior to the incident. With the amount of money invested in a racecar and prize money at a premium, a driver doesn’t deserve to be cheated out of an earned finishing spot.

SEND THEM BACK

by Tommy Goudge
Contact between two (or more) race cars which can be blamed entirely on just one driver is rare. There are at least two sides to every story and each driver has one, especially when it comes to crashes. This leaves the difficult task of assigning blame on the shoulders of officials, who have to make a judgement call.

How often have you seen a crash and jumped to a conclusion based on what you saw in a split second, only to see something completely different when the incident is replayed, especially in super slow motion?

How often have you been watching a race, and the person sitting next to you has a completely different view of an incident?

The answer to both those questions – if you’re being honest with yourself – is all the time.

So why do some racing rule books give officials the power to make a split-second judgement, and allow some drivers to get their spots back, and send others to the back of the field, or worse?

Decisions like that can often lead to the wrong driver being penalized. Rules like this lead drivers to play all kinds of games, such as brake-checking, or cutting across the nose of the car behind them lap after lap. Race car drivers are skilled at what they do, and have lots of methods of making it look like it was the other guy’s fault.

Judgement calls give rise to all kinds of conspiracy theories. A skeptical fan will say officials are playing favourites, watching something completely different than what they’re watching, etc…

Black and white rules without grey areas give officials, race tracks, and sanctioning bodies credibility, and remove judgement calls which often turn into no-win situations for everyone involved.

Which side of the debate are you on? Share on Facebook or Twitter and tell us what you think! Have a topic you would like to see Tommy and Clayton debate? Send your idea to news@ondirtracingnews.com and we’ll considered it for a future edition of ‘Wheel to Wheel’.

Posted in Features, Wheel to Wheel0 Comments

Beyore Steals Top-Five at Barrie

Beyore Steals Top-Five at Barrie

WHITBY (June 18, 2014) – Mike Beyore evaded a last lap incident to earn a fifth-place finish at Barrie Speedway on Saturday night. It hasn’t taken Beyore long to regain success with the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour in 2014. The Whitby, Ont. native’s top-five finish comes just two weeks after he finished seventh in his season debut at Kawartha Speedway.

Beyore fought a tight racecar throughout the 50-lap main event at the Oro Station, Ont. track. The car handled less than perfect, Beyore said, but he is happy with the result.

“We brought the car home and it only had a couple of marks on it. Everything ran well,” explained Beyore. “We finished fifth and I can’t complain.”

The No.54 rolled from the eighth starting position and Beyore immediately began to battle for a top-five spot.

In the early laps, Beyore felt he had a car to contend for a podium finish. A caution just after the halfway point of the race changed the handling, Beyore said.

“At about halfway, I was starting to make up time, but then all of a sudden we had a caution,” he said. “After the caution, I had a bad push. I had a left front tire going soft. I fought it most of the time.”

In the final 20 laps, Beyore was engaged in a three-car battle with Jesse Kennedy (No.10) and Corey Jones (No.82) for fifth. Beyore settled in seventh as he watched Kennedy and Jones go wheel-to-wheel. His patience was rewarded in the end.

“They got in to each other on the last lap. When they got together, I went around on the outside coming off four to the checkers,” said Beyore of the minor incident.

“I thought I was going to get squeezed, but they all seemed to stay to the bottom. I came out of there like nothing.”

The last corner pass pushed Beyore in to the top-five for the first time this season. In addition to fighting the handling issue, Beyore was amazed at the difficulty Barrie Speedway presents, particularly in turn four.

“If you’re off a bit you’re done,” he said. “Coming off of four, I touched the wall a couple of times.”

After a pair of top-ten finishes, Beyore is happy with where his program is heading for the 2014 season. More importantly, Beyore has not dealt with the carbon monoxide poisoning he had in 2013.

“I haven’t felt sick in the car or anything,” said Beyore, following the Barrie event. “It’s a big change for me. Usually the next day I’ve felt like crap also, but I’ve been feeling really well.”

Beyore debuted a new paint scheme for his No.54 Stemac, Millenium Crane Chevrolet for the 2014 season at Kawartha. The new design features the same white car with much brighter numbers.

“I had to change it up. I went back to the all-white colour with the yellow interior and the fluorescent green numbers. I just did that for something to do,” he said.

Beyore will return to action with the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour for the two-day Don Biederman Memorial event at Sunset Speedway on June 28 and 29.

Follow Mike Beyore’s OSCAAR Super Late Model campaign online all season long on Twitter via @54buck and at www.beyoreracing.ca.

Mike Beyore’s 2014 OSCAAR tour is supported by Stemac, Millenium Crane, CNC Custom Machining, Praxair, MGS Performance, Mayhew Graphics, Vista Engineering Corp., Lesco Industrial Restoration Inc., and Metals Plus.

By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)

Photo Credit: Dan Little Jr.

Posted in By Clayton Johns, Team Releases0 Comments

Dale Wilson Finishes Fourth At Sauble

Dale Wilson Finishes Fourth At Sauble

WATERLOO (June 16, 2014) – Momentum continues to build for Dale Wilson as the 20 year-old pilot finished fourth with the Ontario Pro Challenge series Saturday night. Round three of the 2014 tour took Wilson and the AW Millwrights, Rite Way Mechanical team to the Grey-Bruce Peninsula and Sauble Speedway. Wilson earned his third consecutive top-five finish this year.

“It was nice to finish well at Sauble, especially because my longtime sponsor Riteway Mechanical just opened a new location near the track in Owen Sound,” said Wilson. “It was nice to race well for them.”

Wilson started the night off with a good run in his heat, finishing second to Josh Nicholson (No.66) after starting inside the second row.

The feature race invert placed Wilson eighth in the starting lineup. He did not waste any of the 30 laps at his disposal, quickly moving through the field.

“I had to make a few moves early on that got me to fifth,” said Wilson.

A trio of cautions in the middle of the race gave Wilson the opportunity to contend for the lead.

“The cautions definitely helped me work my way up to second,” explained Wilson. “On one restart, I almost went from fifth to first before the first corner.”

In the latter half of the race, Wilson advanced in to the top two. He ran second and began to track down eventual race winner Justin Billington (No.24). In the closing laps, Wilson looked to have sewn up his first podium finish of the year. However, a slight bobble with two laps to go saw him fall to fourth.

“I was running second for a few laps. With two laps to go, the experienced veterans got the better of me,” said Wilson.

Series mainstays Dennis Thomson (No.02) and Tim Norris (No.88) slipped beneath theNo.3 in the centre of the corner. The mistake is a learning experience for Wilson.

“I’ve definitely got to hold my line a little better going in to the corners,” he said. “I got in a little loose on the entrance and that let Tim Norris get underneath me.”

After a successful trip to ‘the Beach’, Wilson eagerly awaits a return visit to the Hepworth, Ont. track.

“I would love it if the Pro Challenge would go back to Sauble twice a year like we used to. I love going there, because no two corners are the same.”

Wilson’s AW Millwrights, Riteway Mechanical team, spearheaded by Dale’s father, Stephen, will have two weeks to prepare for their second trip to Sunset Speedway on June 28.

The June 28 event marks the beginning of a stretch of four races in four weeks, which includes two trips to Flamboro Speedway and a return trip to Sunset. Wilson has enjoyed the extra preparation time provided by a bi-weekly schedule to this point. He is looking forward though to the heart of the 2014 season.

“Racing every second week is nice, but sometimes it’s nice to race a few weeks in succession.”

Dale Wilson’s 2014 racing season is supported by Warren Leis of AW Millwrights and Greg Toneguzzo of Rite Way Mechanical. The entire Wilson Motorsports team would like to thank the sponsors for their continued support.

Follow Dale Wilson’s 2014 season with the Ontario Pro Challenge tour on Twitter, @dale_wilson3.

Media Contact: Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)
claytonjohns@hotmail.com

Posted in By Clayton Johns, Team Releases0 Comments

A Cool Saturday Night Produces Some Hot Action at Peterborough Speedway

A Cool Saturday Night Produces Some Hot Action at Peterborough Speedway

With summer set to arrive in just a week’s time, it was the final fling for spring Saturday, June 14th at Canada’s Toughest 3rd of a Mile Paved Oval. The TQ/Can-Am Midgets joined the hometown favourite Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun, Peterborough Hyundai Mini Stock, Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car and Parry Spring Service Renegade Truck teams for the 5th event on this year’s schedule.

The first heat race action on the night belonged to the Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun squad, with Ray Schroer, Griffen Powell, Matthew Vanderbelt and Brandon Feeney taking the checkered flags. Tyler Junkin, “The Show Stopper” Danny Benedict, James Townsend and last week’s feature winner Ryan Babin took the Peterborough Hyundai Mini Stock qualifying rounds.

Former CASCAR Super Series driver Rob Neely and Adrian Stahle took the TQ/Can-Am Midget heat races. Paul Smith won the ‘B’ main last chance qualifier.

Jack Dallin – the division’s only feature winner this year – took both Parry Spring Service Renegade Truck heat wins, with Anthony DiBello, Dan Price, Andrew Swindells and Howie Crowe claiming the Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car qualifiers.

Willow Barberstock and Brandon Feeney followed the Sound Off Signal pace truck to the green flag for Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun main event. Barberstock jumped out to an early, with Ray Schroer chasing her back bumper. With as much as a half a track length’s advantage, the popular teenager from Stirling, Ontario claimed her second win of the season over Schroer, Tiffany Vanderbelt, Matthew Vanderbelt and Griffen Powell.

Dan Demers and Henk Mulders occupied the front row starting spots for the 20 lap Peterborough Hyundai Mini Stock feature tilt. It didn’t take long for James Townsend to move to the front of the field and with a dozen laps in the books, he was working through lapped traffic when the #45 of Henk Mulders was sent spinning through the infield grass after being hit by Ryan Oosterholt. Mulders made hard contact with the pit lane wall, but exited the car on his own. After an extensive yellow flag to put a displaced safety block back into position, the field set off for an 8 lap shootout to settle the score. Tyler Junkin got a jump on Townsend on the re-start, with Townsend facing a challenge from Ryan Babin, but it was the #41 who earned a trip to Dart Heating and Air Conditioning victory lane. Townsend, Babin, Brandt Graham and Kevin Strutt completed the fast 5.

Josh Milwain and Andy McCann brought the Parry Spring Service Renegade Truck pack to the stripe for their 15 lap feature. Coming from deep in the field, Jack Dallin pushed his #07 to the runner-up spot and ran side-by-side with defending track champion Bill O’Hara for a number of laps. The pair waged a tight battle, with Dallin taking the lead with a dozen circuits complete. Dallin claimed his 4th consecutive win, over O’Hara, Jeff Vanderbelt, McCann and Stephen Bierworth.

With 20 laps on the agenda, Brad Lavalle and Tom Podd filled the front row positions for the Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car ‘A’ main. With a handful of laps complete, Anthony DiBello was in control of the field, with Stu Robinson Jr. and Andrew Swindells giving chase. Working through lapped traffic allowed Robinson and new 3rd place runner Howie Crowe to close on the leader, but there wasn’t enough time to take the win from DiBello, who became the first repeat winner in the Thunder Car division. Robinson, Crowe, Dan Price and Craig Scott followed the leader across the line.

A 25 lap feature event for the TQ/Can-Am Midgets wrapped-up the night’s action, with 15 starters taking the green flag. The ultra-quick winged rockets delighted the crowd with some excellent action and after a couple of early yellow flags and a red flag with 9 laps complete for a spin and single car rollover by Ryan Fraser on the backstretch that also involved Tyler Turnbull and Daniel Bois, the race ran green until a spin with 17 circuits complete by Adrian Stahle, who was running in second position. Lucas Smith brought the field back to green flag racing and took the win, over Rob Neely, Mack DeMan, Todd Cresswell and Darren McLennan.

Bullring Bullet Points: The Peterborough Shrine Club 50/50 draw paid close to $400 to the father of TQ/Can-Am Midget driver Chris Holman. Ironically, the driver of the #16 crashed out of the ‘B’ Main…Omemee, Ontario’s Craig Scott made his first start of the season in a re-tooled #69 Thunder Car. Stu Robinson Jr. – a former OSCAAR Super Late Model and NASCAR Canadian Tire Series runner – took over the controls of Donny Beatty’s #40 Thunder Car. With the Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Model teams enjoying a week off, 2013 track champion Craig Graham climbed behind the wheel of his son Brandt’s #12 Mini Stock for some laps during practice…Willow Barberstock and Anthony DiBello joined Jack Dallin in becoming Peterborough Speedway’s only 2014 multiple feature race winners…At intermission, the kids bicycle races were won by Brody Kyle in the 9 and under age group. Darien Kyle, in the 9 to 11 grouping and Brandon Adams in the class for 11 to 13 year olds.

Saturday, June 21st action returns to the tight, tricky bullring on Mount Pleasant Road, west of the Liftlock City, with the Parry Spring Service Renegade Truck, Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car, Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Model divisions, the second 2014 appearance by the Hurricane Midgets and a 100 lap endurance event. Pit gates open at 3:00, grandstands at 5:00 and the first green flag at 6:00.

Fans can always find the latest news at www.peterboroughspeedway.com or by following the track on Facebook or Twitter. You can also download the free Peterborough Speedway app on your Smartphone.

Photo attachment: Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media
1) The taste of winning is sweet. Willow Barberstock made her second trip to Dart Heating and Air Conditioning victory lane after claiming the Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun win – Saturday, June 14th – at Peterborough Speedway.
2) Ennismore, Ontario’s Tyler Junkin made a strong effort pay off with a Peterborough Hyundai Mini Stock feature win – Saturday, June 14th – at Peterborough Speedway.

Prepared by: Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media
clarkemotorsports@hotmail.com
613.968.6410

Posted in by Jim Clarke, Peterborough Speedway0 Comments

Andrew Kamrath Wins Inaugural Mini Stock National at the OSCAAR Summer Rush

Andrew Kamrath Wins Inaugural Mini Stock National at the OSCAAR Summer Rush

By Eric Uprichard

FRASERVILLE, Ont  -  Andrew Kamrath (no.35k ) was the class of the Mini Stock division as he walked away with the checkered flag during the first ever, highly anticipated OSCAAR Summer Rush at Kawartha Speedway Sunday afternoon.

After running away with his first heat race of the night, Kamrath battled from sixth place on the starting grid and fought off two and three-wide battles en-route to the front of the field. It didn’t take long for the Limited Late Model veteran to get settled in and turn some quick laps. Neil Hannah (no.9) and Doug Butler (no.10) battled late in the race for second spot as Kamrath drove his way to Victory Lane.

Unofficial Top 3 – Mini Stock Nationals ( 30-laps )

1)      (no.35k) Andrew Kamrath

2)      (no.9) Neil Hannah

3)      (no.10) Doug Butler

 

Jamie Bound (no.83) was able to work his way through the pack in the 12-lap Hurricane Midget Feature to claim the checkered and the Summer Rush Jacket. Bound was able to make his move around Jessica James (no.2) on the front stretch just before the half-way mark as he was able to drive untouched to the finish.

Unofficial Top 3 – Hurricane Midgets ( 12-Laps)

1)      (no.83) Jamie Bound

2)      (no.2) Jessica James

3)      (no.84) Richard Woodland

The Hurricane Midgets are back in action next Saturday at Sunset Speedway.

 

The OSCAAR Modifieds were back in action after a two week break for their 25-lap affair. Qualifying would prove to be critical with only one set of heats. Gary McLean (no.8) bounced back from a disappointing start at Sunset Speedway for his first feature win in 2014.

“Was kind of simple where I was,” said Mclean smiling in Victory Lane. McLean started outside pole and lead right from the drop of the green.

Unofficial Top 3 – OSCAAR Modifieds ( 25-laps)

1)      (no.8) Gary McLean

2)      (no.91n) Max Byore

3)      (no.26) Terry Baker

The OSCAAR Modified’s are back in action on Saturday June  14, at Barrie Speedway.

 

Defending 2013 Kawartha Speedway race winner Andrew Gresel (no.81) was once again on rails as he drove back through the entire field on Sunday afternoon to earn the team’s first feature win of 2014 in the Super Late Model division.

Gresel experienced some rear end damage in an early race altercation, and was forced to pit. Shane Gowan (no.39) was collected in the lap-one may lay and suffered the most damage. He did not continue.

Kevin Cornelius (no.17) had a stint at the front until he found himself under attack by Jesse Kennedy (no.10) and Gresel on a restart. Gresel set sail and was unchallenged for the remainder of the race.

“I love this place,” exclaimed the two-time Kawartha winner. Look for Gresel to be back for the sweep on July 13th when the Super Late Models return for their second visit in 2014.

Absent from the feature was Derrek Tiemersma (no.7) after a scary wreck in qualifying. Tiemersma was battling with Ethan Courneyea (no.71c) when the two drivers touched going into turn one, sending Tiemersma into the fence before bursting into flames. Tiemersma was ok; however the car suffered major damage.

Unofficial Top 3 – OSCAAR Super Late Models (50-laps)

1)      (no.81) Andrew Gresel

2)      (no.10) Jesse Kennedy

3)      (no.70) Jeff Hanley

 

The OSCAAR Super Late Models are back in action on Saturday June  14, at Barrie Speedway.

For more information on the second round of the Summer Rush ( July 13th ) at Kawartha Speedway, please visit www.summerrush.ca for details.

Posted in At The Track, Hurricane Midgets, Kawartha Speedway, OSCAAR Modifieds, OSCAAR Super Late Models0 Comments

Steve Matthews and Brady Greer Announced As Fast Eddie Racewear ‘Search For Speed’ Winners

Steve Matthews and Brady Greer Announced As Fast Eddie Racewear ‘Search For Speed’ Winners

UXBRIDGE, ON- After weeks of online voting, the final tallies have been calculated. Close to 10,000 votes poured in from fans across Canada, to crown the first winners of the inaugural Search For Speed contest. The brainchild of Fast Eddie Racewear co-founded Jamie Hakonson, the contest gave Mini Stock competitors across the country the opportunity to vie for a chance to join the Fast Eddie team.

“The response we received from drivers, teams and fans from all over Canada was unbelievable”, said Hakonson upon announcing the winners. “We got to know competitors at Speedways from Ontario to Atlantic Canada. Some of the stories we heard were so impressive that we’re already in the process of developing new ways for us to interact with the division as a whole”

The contest winners earn a roster on the Fast Eddie team, complete with a $500 sponsorship, vinyl package, team apparel and a custom Crew Shirt to commemorate their win.

“We would’ve been ecstatic welcoming any of the finalists to our team”, explained Hakonson. “There were so many applicants that caught our eye. I couldn’t be happier with the way this contest worked out. The Mini Stock division is very much a culture unto itself in this sport, and its more than deserving of the spotlight”

Scotia Speedworld representative Steve Matthews won his spot on the team by 10 votes, narrowly edging Petty International Raceway competitor Patricia Taylor in the final hour of open voting. The Atlantic Canada winner will be joined on the Fast Eddie team by Brady Greer. A Brighton Speedway front-runner, Greer more than doubled the final vote count of his closest pursuer, winning the Ontario division by an impression margin.

“The entire Fast Eddie team is excited to welcome Steve and Brady”, said Hakonson. “We can’t wait to work with our newest members to develop new ways to showcase the Mini Stock division and help grow the Fast Eddie Brand across Canada”

www.FastEddieRacewear.com will continue to feature exclusive Mini Stock news, videos and weekly rankings throughout the season, while @WearFastEddie will provide Twitter followers with exclusive offers and information that you can’t find anywhere else.

About Fast Eddie Racewear:
Founded in 2002 as a partnership between Jamie Hakonson and Tony Paton, Fast Eddie Racewear has grown to become one of the industry leaders in concept, design, manufacturing and distribution of motorsports and corporate wear. A ‘one stop shop’ for all things motorsports, Fast Eddie Racewear also stocks a full line of Simpson and Impact Safety Gear, including helmets, head and neck restraints, gloves and driving boots. Contact Fast Eddie Racewear at (800)-383-4940 and be sure to visit the brand new www.FastEddieRacewear.com

Posted in Features0 Comments

At The Track: Elliott Wins 100 Lap Thriller at Flamboro Speedway

At The Track: Elliott Wins 100 Lap Thriller at Flamboro Speedway

By Eric Uprichard

MILLGROVE – David Elliott (No.37) held off a hard charging Shawn Chenoweth (No.89c) in the final laps to claim victory in round one of the Pro Late Model APC 100 on Saturday night at Flamboro Speedway.

Qualifying kick started the evening with time trials for the Pro Late Models. Chenoweth was quickest of the healthy 20-car field, but rolled a 10 for the invert, placing the fast cars mid pack. Jay Doerr (No.43) started on pole for the drop of the green flag.

Delaware Speedway regulars were the story early on, with Doerr, Jamie Cox (No.22) and Matt Pritiko (No.21) all having their shot at leading the 100-lap affair. It wasn`t until Flamboro Speedway regular Dale Shaw (No.83) drove from ninth place on the starting grid to take the lead from Pritiko mid-way through the race that the locals made their presence felt. The two young drivers battled side-by side for several laps swapping the lead, until Pritiko was able to wrestle the top spot away from Shaw once again.

Elliott took the lead on lap 68 and was able to withstand the pressure from Chenoweth despite a few late restarts in the final stage of the race. Elliott draws first blood for Flamboro Speedway in the six race Delaware vs. Flamboro, Late Model mini-series.

Unoffical Top 5 – Pro Late Model APC 100

  1. (No.37) David Elliott
  2. (No.89c) Shawn Chenoweth
  3. (No.21) Matt Pritiko
  4. (No.3) Mark Watson
  5. (No.22) Jamie Cox

 

Tim Norris back in Victory Lane

Tim Norris (No.88) was able to overcome his troubles at Sunset Speedway a few weeks earlier for his first feature win of 2014 on the Ontario Pro Challenge circuit. Norris battled Justin Billington (No.24) all evening, jockeying for the top spot throughout both their qualifying heat and the feature.

The 30-lap race was filled with passing, including several lead changes. Dennis Thompson (No.02) was able to split the ongoing battle between Norris and Billington late in the race for a second-place finish.

Heat winners included Billington and Kyle Batty (No.38)

Unofficial Top 5 – Ontario Pro Challenge Feature

  1. (No.88) Tim Norris
  2. (No.02) Dennis Thompson
  3. (No.24) Justin Billington
  4. (No.3) Dale Wilson
  5. (No.91) Mike Westwood

 

Mike Holmes wins Mini Stock Feature

Mike Holmes (No.13) put his Chevy Cavalier in victory lane in the Mini Stock division after taking the lead away from Russ Aiken (No.71) part way through the event. The two drivers battled hard for the trophy, getting together a couple times.

“That’s his job,” said Holmes, referring to the late race hounding he received from Aiken

Last week’s Mini Stock winner Chad Corcoran (No.50) drove his way through the pack after starting deep in the field for a solid third-place finish.

Holmes was also able to pick up a heat win, along with Ken Stenhouse (No.5)

Unofficial top 5 – Mini Stock Feature

  1. (No.13) Mike Holmes
  2. (No.71) Russ Aiken
  3. (No.50) Chad Corcoran
  4. (No.44) Steve Simmons
  5. (No.26) Mark Klotz

 

Kevin Gallant top dog again

Kevin Gallant (No.31) found himself in Victory Lane in the Thunder Car Division. Gallant was in a good position when Bob Chenoweth (89c) and Brad Collison (No.13) tangled on the back stretch coming out of turn two, forcing Collison to pit, and Chenoweth to retire from the action.

Gallant was able to race his was past Dave Baily (No.49) and set sail for his second feature win in as many weeks.

Heat winners included Chenoweth and Shawn Arnott (No.76)

Unofficial top 5 – Thunder Car Feature

  1. (No.31) Kevin Gallant
  2. (No.27) Kevin Albers
  3. (No.02) Mark Burbridge
  4. (No.13) Bard Collison
  5. (No.49) Dave Bailey

Posted in At The Track, Flamboro Speedway0 Comments

Wheel to Wheel: Lapped Cars – Move ‘Em or Leave ‘Em

Wheel to Wheel: Lapped Cars – Move ‘Em or Leave ‘Em

Friday, May 23rd, 2014 – Welcome to the first edition of Wheel to Wheel. Over the racing season, we’ll debate popular issues you’ve probably already discussed (or yelled about) at the racetrack over the years. There may be more than two sides to some issues, but we’ll pick two and lay out the issue for you to decide.

We’re open to discussing just about any topic from tire rules to point systems. Have an idea? Send us an email at news@ontariooval.com.

This week, Tommy Goudge and Clayton Johns battle on the issue of lapped cars. There’s no race fan anywhere that wants to see a lapped car decide the winner of a race. But where do you put them on a restart to give a fair finish? Keep them in line? Or at the back? Let’s go Wheel to Wheel.

MOVE ‘EM

by Clayton Johns
Lapped traffic is inevitable in any race. Dirt or asphalt, oval or road course, at some point lapped cars will factor in to a battle for the lead, top-five, or top-10 position. No driver, crew member, or race fan has ever contested this issue (how a slower car races the leaders is another story).However, there are still several racetracks and series where lapped cars remain a factor for a restart because they lineup between lapped cars. The second place car can lineup directly behind the race leader or six cars back. The deciding factor is the cars’ position on the track when a caution is thrown.

The result is a chaotic restart and a serious advantage for the race leader. This is especially true in dirt Sprint Car racing where drivers are forced to stay single-file until they pass a cone near the start-finish line. As the field accelerates out of turn four, contending cars are at the mercy of the speed of the lapped cars. The leader, meanwhile, runs at full speed as the challengers navigate lapped traffic in at least turns one and two.

The casual race fan is forced to multitask between watching the track and glancing at the scoreboard in order to follow along. In the current entertainment marketplace of a million choices, short track racing can’t afford to leave the casual fan scratching their head at the end of the night. Die-hard fans are deprived of a battle for the lead – at least for a few laps – between the top cars on track. The excitement comes from the creativity of lead lap cars maneuvering past slower competition, not a battle for position. It can be exciting at times, but improving the chances of putting the top two cars wheel-to-wheel seems inherently more attractive. Like this.

From the driver’s perspective, they’re forced to waste time, and tire wear on meaningless passes. Maybe time isn’t a factor in a 100-lap or longer asphalt Late Model, or dirt modified race. But in a short 30-lap local event or Sprint Car feature a one-second lead can be almost impossible to overcome, even for the most talented drivers.

The solution is to force lapped cars to restart at the tail of the field at all times. NASCAR made the change to this system in 2009, forcing cars to the rear with the ‘wave around’ and coupling it with a double-file restart. The reason they made the change was because of a declining TV audience for all of the reasons already mentioned. That’s not to say NASCAR always gets it right, and its every move should be followed by short tracks. It’s quite often the opposite, but in this case NASCAR hit the nail on the head.

LEAVE ‘EM

by Tommy Goudge
Race tracks are in the entertainment business. They need to make sure their product keeps their paying customers interested, but at what point are we sacrificing the integrity of the race for the sake of the entertainment?

Short track racing already has lots of methods of evening the playing field, including handicapping starting positions to have the fastest cars start towards the rear of the field. Being the leader of a race can often be the worst spot to be in. We hear the cliché all the time (because it’s true) that races are often decided in traffic. The leader is the first to catch the tail end of the field, and has to work the hardest to get through that traffic. Their reward for getting through traffic should be to have the cars they’ve lapped between them and their pursuers.

What about the drivers who have been lapped? What if they get lapped, but stay close behind the leader afterwards. Do they deserve to lose their track position and a chance to get their lap back, simply because a caution flag comes out?

Then there is the issue of team-mates. Even at the grass roots level, multi-car teams exist. Let’s say one of those team drivers is in second place with several lapped cars between them and the leader. There’s a lot of incentive for a team-mate to figure out a way to bring out a caution flag, isn’t there?

A rule moving lapped cars to the back of the field for a restart can often work against itself, too. Consider this hypothetical situation: A driver who has never won before is leading a race, and has a few lapped cars between themselves and the rest of the field. There are only a few laps to go, and a caution flag comes out. Lapped cars get moved to the back of the field for the restart, and now last year’s champion who started at the back due to handicapping is starting right behind (or even beside) the driver who would be a great feel-good story, if they won. Guess what fans hate more than a race that isn’t close at the end…That’s right, the same driver winning week after week.

We all spend too much time trying to figure out how to make every race a photo finish. We’ve lost sight of what makes races like that exciting in the first place – they are rare, and unique. Stop trying to make it special, and let the drivers make it special for you. They’re often pretty good at it.

Which side of the debate are you on? Share on Facebook or Twitter and tell us what you think! Have a topic you would like to see Tommy and Clayton debate? Send your idea to news@ontariooval.com and we’ll considered it for a future edition of ‘Wheel to Wheel’.

Posted in Features, Wheel to Wheel0 Comments

Fast Eddie Racewear ‘Search for Speed’ Finalists Announced

Fast Eddie Racewear ‘Search for Speed’ Finalists Announced

UXBRIDGE, ON- After reviewing dozens of applications from Mini Stock drivers across Canada, Fast Eddie Racewear has announced the finalists for the first ever ‘Search for Speed’ contest.

Sixteen racers from two regions have been selected, and will be voted on by fans at www.FastEddieRacewear.com. Voting will be open until May 26th, and the two regional winners will each earn a $500 sponsorship and a custom made ‘Crew Shirt’ from Fast Eddie Racewear.

“We couldn’t have been happier with the response”, says Fast Eddie co-founder Jamie Hakonson. “The energy and excitement generated by the Mini Stock competitors is contagious. We received applications from across Canada, from dirt and asphalt drivers, eager to join our rapidly expanding team”

“The original plan was to take only 5 drivers from Ontario, split between Dirt and Asphalt”, continues Hakonson. “But the number of applications we received, coupled with the quality of the applicants themselves made that near impossible. So, we’ve taken what we felt were the 11 best, and felt it was only fair to let the fans decide who should join our team”

Fast Eddie Racewear would like to congratulate its 16 finalists:

Ontario Dirt Finalists

Evan Curtis

This former ‘Best Appearing’ winner will compete at Merrittville and Humberstone Speedway fulltime in 2014. A Port Colborne, ON native, Curtis is a 9-year Mini Stock veteran, with numerous feature victories to his credit. 2013 saw Curtis tally 5 feature wins, whilst earning 4th overall in the final Mini Stock standings at Merrittville, and 2nd overall in final Mini Stock standings at Humberstone.

Jon Janssens

A former pavement standout, Janssens converted to dirt competition in 2009 and hasn’t looked back. The Woodstock, ON driver has an ambitious 2014 schedule planned, and will compete fulltime at Ohsweken Speedway in addition to a number of invitationals at Humberstone Speedway as well as Delaware’s ‘Open Four Cylinder Invitational’.

Justin Desrosiers

A Cornwall Motor Speedway regular, Justin got his start crewing for several competitors before making his divisional debut in 2012. ‘JD’ earned Rookie of the Year honours in his inaugural season, in addition to placing 3rd in the overall Mini Stock point standings. Desrosiers equaled that feat again in 2013, and enters the 2014 season with hopes of tallying his first career divisional championship.

Shelby Mills

This 22-year old Trenton, ON native has been competing at Brighton Speedway since the age of 17. A graduate of the entry-level Stinger division, Mills is entering his third full season of Mini Stock racing this year. After notching 6th place in points last season, this former winning of the ‘Most Gentle Person’ award is dead-set on a championship in 2014.

Brady Greer

A back-to-back ‘Best Appearing’ winner, Wellington, ON’s Brady Greer is set for his third season of Mini Stock competition at Brighton Speedway. With 1 career victory under his belt, Brady is entering 2014 hungry for more checkered flags. Brady is proud of his “100% dedication to the sport”, and has the scars to prove it – he once broke his knee in an on-track accident and returned the following week without ever missing a race!

Ontario Asphalt Finalists

Andy Kamrath

A longtime veteran of the Limited Late Model division, ‘The Instant Classic’ dropped down for his first foray into the Mini Stock division in 2014 citing budget restrictions. A competitor since the age of 9, Kamrath was a former Junior Late Model standout at Sauble Speedway, before graduating to a Limited Late Model career that spanned 5 seasons and 10 feature victories. Proud of his aggressive racing style, Kamrath is hoping for numerous wins at Sunset Speedway this season.

Kyle Jackson

A former winner of the ‘Most Sportsmanlike’ award, Sauble Beach, ON’s Kyle Jackson is ready for his third full season of racing at Sauble Speedway in 2014. The 27-year old has amassed a number of top-5s, and is hoping to knock down his first career Sauble feature win this season. The KMS Motorsports representative is confident that his team is a few strong performances away from a breakout campaign.

Mike Gettliffe

The 2013 Barrie Speedway champion will return to fulltime competition this season, intent on once again basing his program on dedication and sportsmanship. A 6-year veteran of both Thunder Car and Mini Stock competition, the Orillia, ON driver is one of the most experienced members of Barrie’s Mini Stock roster.

Billy Melenhorst

The self-proclaimed ‘weekend warrior’ has a full schedule in mind for 2014. With aims of racing for a championship at Sunset Speedway, the Stayner, ON driver will also compete at invitational events across the province. The 2008 Barrie Speedway ‘Charger’ division champion, Billy has 4 career feature wins to his credit, and hopes to add to that this season.

Samantha Shaw

A third-generation competitor, Sam has eeked out a very strong social media presence through her series of weekly video diaries uploaded to her Youtube account. A Mini Stock competitor since 2008, Shaw is a two-time winner of both the ‘Most Improved Driver’ award as well as the ‘Best Appearing’ title. A descendant of one of Southern Ontario Short Track Racing’s ‘first families’, Shaw’s program is steeped in tradition with grandfather Ron Shaw and father Randy Shaw both aiding in bringing Sam through the ranks.

Russ Aicken

A 5-year veteran of Mini Stock competition, New Hamburg, ON’s Russ Aicken is a weekly threat to win at Hamilton’s Flamboro Speedway. A regular supporter of Ronald McDonald House and Canadian Cancer Foundation charities, Aicken’s #71 can often be found at charity BBQs and community events. A former ‘Best Appearing’ winner, Aicken has not had a season without a top-5 finish in championship points since 2008.

Eastern Canada Finalists

Patricia Taylor

Patricia Taylor turned heads in her rookie season of Mini Stock racing at Petty Raceway.
Taylor, driving the #10 Honda at the high banked, River Glade, New Brunswick track, accomplished her main on track goal in 2013 by taking the Rookie of the Year Award in the Mini Stock class. She competed in all eight races that comprised the season, finishing sixth in the standings. In turn, she gained many fans in the run of her rookie campaign, as was displayed by winning the PettyFanChoice.com Most Popular Driver as the fan favorite in the Mini Stock class at Petty Raceway.
Away from the track, Taylor displays her car throughout the year at various businesses and charity functions throughout the Greater Moncton area. Her “Chase the Racecar” campaign, which can be followed through her Facebook page, gives fans a chance to follow her display around the city as well as win prizes from her marketing partners as well.

Chantel Ackles

Nicknamed ‘Hollywood’, Ackles has competed at speedways across Atlantic Canada. 2014 will mark Ackles third full season of competition, with plans of competing at Scotia Speedworld, Petty International Raceway, Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway, the CENTRE for Speed and Speedway Miramichi. With 20 scheduled events this season, Ackles’ dedication to the sport is evident – even more so when she notes that she once missed her high school prom to go racing.

Lisa Stewart

When it comes to racing at Oyster Bed Speedway on Prince Edward Island, Stewart Racing is a name you’ll hear on a few occasions throughout a card on the high banked oval. While she hasn’t been racing as long as Street Stock teammates Adam and Jamie, Lisa Stewart has made quite a name for herself in a short Mini Stock racing career. In a division where drivers rarely give an inch in the heat of the moment, Stewart has learned the race craft of the class quickly, mixing it up with the boys at the front of the field on a weekly basis. In 2013, she posted a top ten run in the point standings and was awarded the Mini Stock Favorite Driver award at Oyster Bed Speedway.

Scott Williams

If you roll into a race track in Atlantic Canada and “Mr. Honda” is within the gates, you know you are up against some stiff competition.A longtime divisional standout, he began his racing career at Riverside International Speedway in 2002. Upon moving to Halifax in the mid-2000s, he became a familiar sight at Scotia Speedworld, racing full time on the 3/10-mile oval. The 2013 season was his biggest as he went to victory lane in the Atlantic Championships Mini Stock 100 at the CENTRE For Speed, defeating a huge field of well over two dozen of the best Mini Stock racers from all three Maritime Provinces. When Williams is not on track, he is tuning on cars, lending some of his knowledge to his competitors. His technology went to victory lane with the likes of Drew MacEachern in 2012 and wound up on the top of the heap as Kyle MacMillan drove a “Mr. Honda” tuned car to the championship at Scotia Speedworld in 2012.

Steve Matthews

Those in the Atlantic Canadian Mini Stock world may not know Steve Matthews for his driving abilities (yet, at least), but he is a well-known name around racing circles in the region.
Matthews is a recognizable face in the pit area during Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour races as the spotter for the #98 of Jerome Kehoe. In past years, the Halifax native could be seen roaming the pits on a Friday night, lending a hand to teams who need it. In fact, Matthews got the bug to go Mini Stock racing after a pair of races in the famed Ken Zwicker owned #141 Neon in 2012 when their regular driver could not fill the seat.
While Matthews can count the amount of real world races he has on one hand, he is an accomplished iRacing driver on local circuits.

Applicants are encouraged to follow Fast Eddie on Twitter @WearFastEddie for further updates on the inaugural Search For Speed contest. Voting will open on May 12th and run until May 26th. The two winners will be announced on www.FastEddieRacewear.com on May 28th.

About Fast Eddie Racewear:

Founded in 2002 as a partnership between Jamie Hakonson and Tony Paton, Fast Eddie Racewear has grown to become one of the industry leaders in concept, design, manufacturing and distribution of motorsports and corporate wear. A ‘one stop shop’ for all things motorsports, Fast Eddie Racewear also stocks a full line of Simpson and Impact Safety Gear, including helmets, head and neck restraints, gloves and driving boots. Contact Fast Eddie Racewear at (800)-383-4940 and be sure to visit the brand new www.FastEddieRacewear.com

Posted in Features0 Comments

Baker Wins 100 Lap Pro Late Model Special at Sunset Speedway

Baker Wins 100 Lap Pro Late Model Special at Sunset Speedway

By Eric Uprichard / OntarioOval.com  STROUD ON – Dwayne Baker collected his first checkered flag of the season, and a huge payout in the highly anticipated APC 100 Pro Late Model Invitational at Sunset Speedway on Saturday night.

Time trials kick started the evening, as Sean Cronan, a Sunset Speedway Limited Late Model regular, was quickest of the 21 competitors clocking in at a 14.541, a fraction faster than Taylor Holdaway. Cronan would start mid pack after being relegated to tenth after the invert, placing Nick Goetz on pole for the start of the 100 lapper.

The field did run a B-Main, although all cars did make the field. 2013 NASCAR Modified Rookie of the Year, Cole Powell, was first across the line while Paul Maltese had an issue with his engine letting go heading into turn three on the final lap. Unfortunately Maltese backed it had into the wall ending his night pre-maturely.

The feature race was a spectacle; long green flag runs, lots of side by side battles that lasted several laps, and of course, the odd caution to keep things interesting. Nick Goetz, Chris Morrow and Steve Laking all had their crack at the front of the field early on, but Dwayne Baker was able to preserve his equipment and hold the lead for the better part of the race to capture his first feature win of the year, and a five-thousand dollar payday.

Unofficial Pro LM top five:

1)      48. Dwayne Baker

2)      19. Jason Witty

3)      9. Brandon Watson

4)       47. Tom Walters

5)      24H. Jason Hathaway

The Ontario Pro Challenge also ran an exciting feature to kick off their 2014 season. Patrick Freel was perfect on this night as he never looked back after starting on pole for the 30-lap affair. Freel was able to hold the point after a couple dicey restarts for the feature win.

Unofficial Ontario Pro Challenge top five:

1)      18. Patrick Freel

2)      66. Josh Nicholson

3)      02. Dennis Thompson

4)      38. Kyle Batty

5)      3. Dale Wilson

In the Mini Stock division, Warren Paxton was able to run the tables on the field and prove once again why he is the Sunset Speedway defending Mini Stock Champion. Paxton won his heat, with Miles Tyson and Andrew Kamrath also claiming trips to victory lane.

Samantha Shaw was able to cruise her way into victory lane in the B-Main, and Warren Paxton was able to find his way into victory lane in the dash-for-cash. Tyson, Kamrath, Swartzenburg and McFerran rounded out the top five.

Much like the dash-for-cash, the fast cars were front row centre for the feature. Myles Tyson started shotgun in front of a full field of Mini Stocks. Tyson was eventually passed just before a caution on lap 10, by the eventual race winner, Warren Paxton.

Unofficial Mini Stock top five:

1)      33. Warren Paxton

2)      49. Miles Tyson

3)      86. Billy Swartzenburg

4)      64. Brandon McFerran

5)      35. Andrew Kamrath

For official results and 2014 Sunset Speedway racing schedule, please visit www.sunsetspeedway.ca.

Posted in At The Track, by Eric Uprichard, Sunset Int'l Speedway0 Comments

Dale Wilson Equipped For New OPC Season

Dale Wilson Equipped For New OPC Season

By Clayton Johns – WATERLOO, Ont. – After four seasons of Ontario Pro Challenge competition, Dale Wilson is set to step in to a new ride for the 2014 season. Wilson acquired series veteran Ken Nicholson’s car over the off-season and will debut the new car in the series opener at Sunset Speedway on May 10.

The 19 year-old Wilson is one of the youngest competitors with the OPC, which forced him to earn the respect of his competitors in different ways. Now with four years experience to his name, mainstay drivers like Dennis Thomson, Kyle Batty, and Nicholson, still help the young driver off the track. But that all changes once the green flag drops.

“On the track, you have to race them clean, you have to race them smart, and you have to race them hard,” said Wilson, a second-year law student at Carleton University. “That is one of the ways to gain respect from the top guys in that series.”

Consistent top-five finishes is on Wilson’s 2014 checklist. After missing the second half of 2013 when his car was sold and to attend school, Wilson is anxious to get behind the wheel again.

But getting back to victory lane is the top priority. Wilson last took a heat win at Sauble Speedway last May and has not won a feature since July 2012 at Varney Speedway.

“I want to get some more feature wins than the one per season we’ve been able to establish,” said Wilson.

While the season starts on May 10, Wilson is also eyeing the series first trip of the season to Flamboro on May 24 for a victory.

“I can’t really put my finger on it,” explained Wilson. “Every time we’ve gone there everything seems to work and click.”

Wilson hopes his clean, consistent and economical driving style will help him win again. The Waterloo, Ont. native has a seriously superstitious routine he believes will help him achieve his goals.

“I’m a very superstitious person,” laughed Wilson. “I have to put my ear plugs in the same way, the tape has to be the right length, I have to put each belt on individually. And if it doesn’t work, you change it up.”

Longtime sponsors AW Millwrights and Rite Way Mechanical will support Wilson’s fifth season. Wilson says he likes the new look despite moving away from his retro Dale Earnhardt-esque paint.

“I actually really like the car, I think it looks great,” said Wilson. “Its more suited to the colours of AW Millwrights.”

The preparation of the new car and impressive paint scheme would not have been possible, Dale said, without hard work from Dennis Thomson, Ken Nicholson, and his father Stephen Wilson.  A full season is thanks to the support of AW Millwrights and Rite Way Mechanical’s Greg Toneguzzo.

Follow Dale Wilson and the 2014 Ontario Pro Challenge Series season at www.prochallengeracing.com.

Posted in By Clayton Johns, Exclusive Features, Features, Ontario Pro Challenge0 Comments

Fast Eddie Racewear’s ‘Search For Speed’ Contest To Offer Cash Prizes & Apparel To Mini Stock Drivers Across Canada 

Fast Eddie Racewear’s ‘Search For Speed’ Contest To Offer Cash Prizes & Apparel To Mini Stock Drivers Across Canada 

STOUFFVILLE, ON- Canada’s industry leader in safety gear, race apparel and corporate wear will offer a unique opportunity to a trio of Mini Stock competitors this summer, with the launch of the first ever nationwide ‘Search For Speed’ contest.

The contest will be open to drivers across the nation, split into three regions: West (British Columbia, Albert, Saskatchewan and Manitoba), Central (Ontario) and East (Quebec & The Maritimes).

“We wanted to design a contest centered around the drivers that best represent the grassroots level of our sport”, explains Fast Eddie co-founder Jamie Hakonson. “This contest is open to every one of these drivers across Canada. Dirt or Asphalt. They’re the lifeblood of our sport, and we’re going to give three of them the chance to join our team”.

The contest will launch on April 24th, and applicants will have two weeks to enter, with 5 drivers selected from each region to advance to the final round of voting.

“We’ll be looking for the racers to tell us a little bit about themselves, their racing career and what would make them a good fit for our team”, says Hakonson. “Get creative. We’re looking for the 5 drivers from each region that stand out from all the rest”.

All 15 finalists will receive a Fast Eddie apparel bundle and graphics package, with the 3 regional champions receiving a custom Fast Eddie Racewear ‘Crew Shirt’ and a $500 sponsorship for the 2014 season.

Applicants are encouraged to follow Fast Eddie on Twitter @WearFastEddie for further updates on the inaugural Search For Speed contest. The opening day of registration will coincide with the launch of the brand new www.FastEddieRacewear.com on April 24th. Registration will close on May 8th, with each region’s 5 finalists announced on May 12th.

About Fast Eddie Racewear:

Founded in 2002 as a partnership between Jamie Hakonson and Tony Paton, Fast Eddie Racewear has grown to become one of the industry leaders in concept, design, manufacturing and distribution of motorsports and corporate wear. A ‘one stop shop’ for all things motorsports, Fast Eddie Racewear also stocks a full line of Simpson and Impact Safety Gear, including helmets, head and neck restraints, gloves and driving boots. Contact Fast Eddie Racewear at (800)-383-4940 and be sure to visit the brand new www.FastEddieRacewear.com

Posted in Features0 Comments

Bennett Plans To Go Full Throttle At Varney

Bennett Plans To Go Full Throttle At Varney

By Clayton Johns - Big waves were made in the Ontario racing community when Gord Bennett announced his purchase of Varney Speedway Motorplex on Monday.

The news quickly spread on social media after Bennett made the announcement on his personal Facebook page. He confirmed the purchase to Joe Chisholm on Racetime Radio (RTR) Monday night.

Bennett is a veteran driver on both dirt and asphalt. He raced a late model at Flamboro Speedway and a sprint car with the Southern Ontario Sprints last season.

Varney’s former owner, Kent Nuhn, thanked fans, staff, and drivers on the track’s Facebook page for their support during the family’s two-year ownership of the track.

No financial terms of the transaction have been made public.

The track will be renamed Full Throttle Motor Speedway, based on Bennett’s marketing company, Full Throttle. The change represents a new chapter for the speedway, Bennett said.

The biggest news the Cambridge, Ont. resident offered was a $50,000-to-win, triple-50 Pro Late Model race on August 31. A driver will have to win all three segments to take home the payday, he told RTR.

Six divisions will race regularly at the ¼-mile bullring about 90 kilometres north of Guelph. Race night will switch to Friday from the traditional Saturday, a wise attempt to avoid conflict with nearby Sauble Speedway.

Drivers in all divisions will compete under the rule package from any other Ontario track, but cannot combine rulebooks. Utilizing rules already in place is a smart and necessary decision with just two weeks before most tracks open for the season.

The decision could be a step towards a common set of rules between the province’s asphalt short tracks. Asphalt promoters need to take that page out of the dirt handbook. Perhaps this is Bennett’s way of bringing his dirt experience to the other side.

Bennett also told RTR he is adding an extra lane to the bottom of the track’s tricky turn four for this season. But the fix appears to be temporary. The front-stretch of the track will receive a makeover at season’s end and will be moved back 12-feet, said Bennett.

Changes to the layout of the racing surface and rules structure are a positive step. But there are a number of changes Bennett should consider to solidify the track’s future, assuming the financial support is available.

The sand and gravel lined pit area is in serious need of improvement. There aren’t enough concrete pads. The outdoor technical inspection needs to be updated and brought indoors. Asphalt needs to replace gravel laneways. Bennett has the space to make Full Throttle’s pit area the envy of the province. And he should.

If reinventing the track’s front straightaway is part of Bennett’s plan, the change will be more than a new floor plan. Moving the retaining wall 12-feet means the spectator grandstand will need to be moved. Here’s hoping they are torn down and replaced.

The existing structures have served their purpose well, but are outdated. At the very least, they are in need of a major face-lift. New grandstands that better suit a change in track design will help improve the fan experience.

New washrooms and concession stands will be essential to entertaining new fans. It’s a racetrack, so nobody is expecting a crystal chandelier. But the current facilities feature chipped paint, ugly plumbing, and crooked stalls. They need to be replaced.

The track has an automated transponder scoring system, but lacks a (working) scoreboard to relay information to fans. A scoreboard is a necessity in modern sport. Short-track racing isn’t any different.

A lack of ambition certainly won’t be Bennett’s problem. A $50,000 prize proves he has plenty. But Ontario’s newest promoter will have to do more than throw money at drivers to put Full Throttle among elite tracks.

These changes won’t happen over night, and many will take between three and five years to achieve. The diehard and dedicated Varney fan and driver base will continue to stream through the gates. That’s not going to change.

But the experience and appearance matters to the casual fan, to the skeptical driver. Bennett needs to please that group if he hopes to be successful in his newest adventure.

Regardless, Bennett’s first steps are good news for racing in Ontario. His fresh ideas bring new life to a track that would otherwise be closed. The road ahead is tough, but Bennett has the ability and the will to succeed.

The opinions reflected herein are solely those of the above commentator and are not necessarily those of OntarioOval.com. Please direct comments or concerns to Clayton Johns @cjohnsmedia.

FULLTHROTTLEApril1614

Posted in Features, Varney Speedway Motorplex0 Comments