Each week, I am going to try and put together five thoughts on something in relation to short track racing based on what happened on track. Some of these will be positive, and others will be….well, not as pretty. Hopefully there is lots to talk about this year.
With top of the shelf racing across their multitude of divisions, OSCAAR has become one of the premiere racing divisions in Ontario for competitors who are looking for that extra bit of competition. This year is no different, with a wide variety of success so far in 2017. With that in mind, here is the first edition of Five Thoughts dedicated solely to OSCAAR.
Familiar Faces at the Front
Thus far this season for the OSCAAR Super Late Models, it’s been a flew of veterans at the front of the field, showing the way for the youngsters of the division. Following this past weekend’s Don Biederman Memorial, Glenn Watson holds a 25-point advantage over fellow series veteran Charlie Gallant.
Watson has been near flawless this season, boasting an average finish of 2.11 across nine feature events, highlighted by five victories. Notably, he has only placed outside of the top-four once this season, which was at Flamboro Speedway in June. Heading to Peterborough Speedway this weekend, he could very well add a sixth victory as he posted a win last season at the patch.
Meanwhile, Gallant has momentum on his side, having posted his first feature victory of the season this past weekend at Flamboro Speedway. He has an average finish of 3.55 with only one finish outside of the top-five in nine features. He could very well carry forward the momentum at Peterborough, following a fifth-place finish in last year’s Autumn Colours Classic.
Youth Tops Modifieds
While experience is the name of the game for the supers, the OSCAAR Modifieds are all about youth at the top of the points standings as Cory Horner leads AJ Emms by just two points entering the Chase for the Colours.
The pair have been evenly matched so far this season, going back and forth on statistics. Horner holds the advantage when it comes to victories, having won a pair of features and five heats compared to no features yet this year for Emms and three heats. However, Emms has been more consistent with boasting a series-leading average finish of third with no finishes outside of the top-five compared to Horner’s 3.5.
The waves could change this weekend, though, as Emms won the last event at Peterborough Speedway – Autumn Colours Classic in October – following a strong Chase for the Colours performance. However, Horner should be right there with him, given that it’s his home track.
While youth rules the roost, there may be a different tune to sing in a couple weeks as veteran racer Luke Gignac isn’t far behind, just seven markers behind Horner following a feature victory and five top-five’s in six events.
Can Anyone Stop Hanna?
The OSCAAR Pro Midgets include some of the most diverse drivers, but so far this season it seems one competitor has found a sizable advantage over his competitors – Jordan Hanna.
In the four features this season, Hanna has been victorious each week, and making sure to take home the checkered in dominating style each week. He also has scored six heat wins, allowing him to build a 29-point advantage of Daniel Hawn in the series standings.
Can he make it five in a row at Peterborough? There seems to be nothing slowing him down thus far this season, and he was victorious there in May.
That said, don’t let this take away from the level of competition as the wide range of talent has been interesting to watch thus far this season from week-to-week. After debuting in last year’s finale,
Daniel Hawn ran tit-for-tat with Hanna through the first three races, runner-up each week, before a problem on Lap 7 this past weekend resulted in a 12th-place finish. Adrian Kemps also proved that he can run right there with them, currently ranked third in points with a pair of top-fives. His team knows what it takes to win at the patch, too, as Brent Kemps took the No. 31k to victory lane last October in the Classic. Craig Pitchell posted a third-place finish in his series debut at Flamboro, while Cassidy March is always a threat for a top-five if he can avoid issues.
So with all this said, while the cars may be small, they know how to put on a show.
Already Showing Uniqueness
From a belmont, to an impala, to a nova, the OSCAAR Hot Rods are already showing their potential despite just being five events into their debut campaign.
Certainly progress has been slow with some races only featuring three cars, while others have seven, but the other discussed works in progress show promise for the division ahead of their events to close out 2017 and head into next year.
You could also say competitiveness is there already, too, with four different feature winners already had. Tyler Hawn won the inaugural event at Kawartha Speedway, followed by Adam Misener at Flamboro Speedway. Hawn returned to victory lane for a second time at Brighton Speedway on the dirt, while Dan Archibald took the second event at Kawartha. Nick Clarke then became the latest winner this past weekend at Flamboro Speedway.
The only advice from here on out? Be on the look-out for style because they will bring it…..
Return to Sunset Speedway
OSCAAR knows how to put on a stellar show with side-by-side racing for positions throughout the field. Now just imagine if you combine that with one of the premiere facilities in the province. Just announced on Wednesday, the OSCAAR Modifieds and Hot Rods will take part in Sunset Speedway’s Velocity 250 invitational weekend in September.
It marks the first time for the open-wheel division back at Sunset Speedway since 2015 when Gary McLean worked his way through the field in September, one position at a time, picking up the victory with a late-race pass on Cory Horner for the lead. Meanwhile, it will be the Hot Rods first appearance at the Innisfil, Ontario oval.
Putting some of the best open-wheel competitors on-track on a weekend alongside some of the best drivers from across the province racing for pride in the other classes, it’s bound to be an action-packed weekend and certainly now circled as a must-see on the 2017 calendar.