By: Ashley McCubbin
As we continue to approach the 2017 season, this series will take a look at some storylines to watch in different series and tracks this season. Feel free to add what you’re hoping to see via commenting on the post, facebook, or twitter.
Flamboro Speedway was not known to have the best reputation a couple years ago. However, a recent surge in the driver line-up, combined with some changes, it appears things are on the upswing. Looking across the board, each division adds intrigue with the players at bay. So without furtherado, here we go………
1. The Gold Rush
While Frostoberfest is Flamboro Speedway’s signature event, the Gold Rush has to be considered a close second after last year. The event saw a full field of Super Late Models (around 20) take the green flag in search of $5,000 – with Brandon Watson taking the drop from first to last in hopes of doubling the efforts. The fans got a show out of it, too. Andrew Gresel flat out dominated – no question, but eyes were on Watson as he drove up to fourth, while his uncle Glenn drove from the rear to second after time trial problems.
So what does the event hold for 2017? It appears it can only go bigger. A lot of the same suspects have expressed intent on returning, in addition to 2017 Flamboro Speedway Late Model Champion Shawn Chenoweth announcing he’ll be driving Kelly Balson’s super late model. There’s also been some phone calls from the United States to speedway officials, as well.
“Last year it was a great year for us,” track announcer Gary Colling said at the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo. “The Gold Rush – we had 3000 people in the main grandstand and probably double that amount pit side, and there were guys at the track that I hadn’t seen in probably 38 years. It’s been fun watching it grow the past couple of years.”
2. The Younger Collison
Brad Collison has been making a name for himself in the Thunder Car Division, capturing championships with some thrilling battles on track. Anybody recall the night he went back and forth with Shawn Arnott last year? However, it’s time for the next generation.
Justin Collison revealed his ride for 2017 at the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo, something that he’s been working on for months to make sure it’s in tip-top shape. We’ve seen him race before, capturing a heat victory in his previous car, a chevelle. However, that was a period of time that didn’t last long.
What does the future hold now? It can only be bright based on the genes.
3. Nagy’s Moving Up
The youth movement at Flamboro Speedway has certainly helped the divisions, and one family in particular has caught everyone’s attention – the Nagys. Hudson and Carson Nagy both have been racing a couple seasons now, and been impressive in their own rights with some highs. Last season, Hudson won seven thunder car events while Carson scored a couple top-fives en route to finishing eighth in the Mini Stock points standings.
This year, things are only going to get bigger for the boys, as they both move up a division – Hudson in a Late Model, Carson in a thunder car. The adjustment period will be interesting to watch for them both, and whether success can happen quickly.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Carson told Short Track Musings. “I think it’ll be a fun new experience for my brother and I this year moving up a class.”
“It’s going to be different,” Hdson told Short Track Musings. “Going from a thunder car to a late model is a big jump, with competition, the way it drives, the way it handles, how fast you go – everything, really. Your equipment is so much more. It’s hard to explain, but it’s so much more than the car that I was driving last year. So it’s going to be a wild and crazy experience, but we’ll get through it.”
4. Welcome Home Watson and Elliott
With everything on a high, it’s nice to see some familiar faces returning to the line-up this year.
After spending a couple years focused on his OSCAAR Modified full-time, Gary Elliott will be running the full late model schedule this season in hopes of finding success.
“I’m really looking forward to this year; I’m pumped,” he said. “I’m really honored to have the sponsors and people working on our car. We’re going to try our best to be competitive at Flamboro Speedway. We’re doing everything we can to get our car right.”
Meanwhile, Jake Watson will return to Flamboro Speedway in his Mini Stock after spending the past couple seasons at Sunset Speedway. Last season, the second generation racer put together an impressive campaign, scoring 11 heat top-five sand 12 feature top-10s throughout the year.
“Our goals for 2017 are to get as many checkered flags as possible, along with the championship,” he told Short Track Musings.
5. Late Model Championship Battle
While the Thunder Cars and Mini Stocks are going to be full of competition, the Late Models seem to be where it is at. Last year, Shawn Chenoweth took the championship – but only by a mere two points over David Elliott. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out this year, though, with Elliott not on the roster.
On top of that, it won’t just be them battling for the title as Chad Corcoran should impress in his sophomore season, while Matt Lockwood hopes to improve just a little from finishing third last year. If you add Kevin Albers, along with new addition Keith Temple, the field is looking stronger than ever – which is great to see. it was just a couple years ago, everybody was wondering about the future of Pro Late Models.