By: Ashley McCubbin
With performance on his side, Darren Dryden has cemented himself as one of the Lucas Oil T.Q Can-Am Midget front runners on a weekly basis.
“After a strong 2016 Rookie season finishing third with our new car, we will be confidently entering the 2017 season in hopes of taking home the Championship,” he told Short Track Musings.
Dryden feels he’s ready to take home the championship, following consistent top-five finishes through the last five races of 2016.
“Our team hopes to take home many more wins in 2017 as we took home two in 2016 in just our rookie season,” he said. “With my mechanics John Dryden (father) and Wayne Gray, we always had a very strong car every race. We expect another top-three finish in the 2017 season points, but we are in hopes of taking home the Championship!”
While achievable expectations, it won’t prove easy with the competition growing on a weekly basis each season, as shown with eight different winners last season.
“There always is battles lap after lap with many bumper to bumper finishes,” he said. “Our drivers have a lot of respect for one another as demonstrated by our minimal cautions each race – quite a few races went green to checkered caution free. Majority of the club came from the Waterloo Regional Kart Club and we have raced against each other for years, which has allowed us all to develop a lot of respect for one another and our friendships. Everyone stays after racing and camps which also improves the bond between all of our drivers and team members. We definitely are a close club which shows on and off the track!”
The entire crop will get lots of time together in 2017, as the series released an action-packed schedule including eight different speedways, including a pair of United States dates. Though for the driver of the No. 12 DJD Graphics, NAPA Autopro, Sharpie Art by Darren Dryden, John Dryden Autobody, BJ Custom Finishes, Wix Filters, Retail Design Group, Epic Racewear Midget, the trip home to Flamboro Speedway is what stands out for 2017.
“I am most looking forward to Flamboro Speedway as it is my home track, and to support all my local sponsors and fans,” he said. “Flamboro has always been a strong track for our team as well.”
As noted, Dryden was able to have a lot of success last season with multiple visits to the podiums, including a pair of victories.
“Last year was for sure an interesting year for us as we purchased our own car after running part time for Mack Deman and Andy Mackereth in 2015 in their 43 car,” he said. “The past owner of our new car, Wayne Gray, decided to stick around for the season as our mechanic, ensuring us with a fast car week after week. We were sitting in 14th after the first four races due to fighting issues with our new car since it had been sitting for four years. After all the issues were diagnosed, we made the come back to a third place finish in the Championship! We were beyond shocked on how great our Rookie season turned out and we can’t wait to get back at it in 2017!”