By: Ashley McCubbin
Even though there is only two nights in the books for the Pure Stocks, it doesn’t mean there aren’t smiling faces throughout the pits. Just ask Mark Thorne.
Right off the bat opening night, he proved he was fast by scoring the victory in the first feature of 2017, marking his inaugural trip to victory lane.
“It’s been a great start for me with two wins and two top-fives already this season,” Thorne told Short Track Musings. “I’ve never had such a strong start before. I just hope we can keep this roll going.”
With having accomplished his initial goal of snagging a win, the focus is now on the title chase.
“My second goal is to have one of the Thorne Racing Team’s three cars in contention for a championship,” he said. “My third goal is to just go out and have fun, because that’s what it’s all about.”
The ability to have fun seems simple when it comes to the pure stocks, who always put on a show at the Hamilton, Ontario-based oval with three-wide racing throughout the field as they bang wheels crossing the finish line.
“It’s a very competitive class,” Thorne said. “It may look like chaos, but that’s because we have such a strong car count in the Flamboro Speedway Pure Stock Division every week. There’s a good mixture of rookies and veterans and just about any one of them could win at anytime.”
For Thorne, he got his start in racing through Demolition Derbies at the Fall Fairs, competing for 20 years with his first one back in 1987.
“I got involved with crewing for my buddy Kevin Heist and his No. 43 challenger car from 1990-92,” Thorne recalled. “Then I got behind the wheel for one race in 1992. In 2005, I bought my first race car, the No. 113 Mini Stock, to race at Ohsweken Speedway and ran it for four seasons. Now I get to continue doing what I love and hand down the tradition by helping my son and friends get into this great sport.”
With lots of experience, Thorne says his most memorable moment of his career so far was his first enduro event on Labour Day weekend in 2015 at Flamboro Speedway.
“I ran my Herbie McQueen No. 95 Volkswagen Bug and I ended up finishing sixth out of 48 cars and I did 246 laps out of 250,” Thorne said. “I also earned the Best Appearing Award that day. But the best part was being able to run with my son, Wayde, and his best friend, Adam Nigh. It was a great day that will remain in my memory forever.”
For their support, Thorne thanks his sponsors Simington Automotive, Budget Tire, APC Automotive – Simcoe/Port Dover, Springview Farm Golf Course, Buchwald Landscape, Mark Thorne Trucking, A&A Auto Parts, Partimer Signs, Southern Smoke Barbecue House, Peter’s Paint & Body, Beach Road Steel, Arbonne – Laurie Nigh, Consultant, Thirty-One – Lisa C. Thorne, Consultant, and Scentsy – Lisa De Leeuw, Consultant
“Special thanks to my wife, Lisa C. Thorne, and all our drivers/crew: Wayde Thorne, Kevin Heist, Ashton Reekie, Aidan Nigh, Zach Buchwald, Ben Buchwald and Steph,” Thorne added. “The Thorne Racing Team is dedicating this season to the memory of Adam Nigh.”