With consistency on a weekly basis, Tyler Betts was officially crowned the 2017 Peterborough Speedway Late Model Champion a couple weeks ago.
“When I look back a few years, I would never have thought a championship would be possible,” Betts admitted to Short Track Musings. “Three years ago, I put myself in a car that was capable of winning and that all had changed. The last three seasons we have been battling for the championship right up to the last night of racing but had not been successful. It was finally nice to be able to come out on top this year.”
In 2015, Betts finished runner-up in the points to Dave Morgan, missing out by just four markers. Last season, he placed third behind Rick Spencer-Walt and Chris Mitchell.
This year, though, he came out of the gate strong, scoring the victory in the season-opener. However, concerns mounted about what would happen following a 10th-place finish. Rather than let it get him down, though, he was strong the rest of the year posting nine straight top-five finishes, including three more wins.
While he admits that winning those events and the championship are a highlight on the season, Betts’ says the biggest memorable moments surround a new young fan.
“Near the beginning of the season, a little boy’s mom reached out to me on Facebook mentioning how much of a fan her five-year-old boy was of me,” Betts recalled. “After meeting him the next week with a hat for him, he has now become my biggest fan. Going forward from there (and) being able to give him the chance to come to victory lane for pictures multiple times and being able to give him a feature trophy one night, seeing the enjoyment of this young race fan was just incredible.
“Keeping kids interested in racing is what will grow our sport in the future. There were also many other kind words throughout the year from dedicated fans towards me. To me this is what racing is all about.”