With consistency each week, including coming very close to a victory on a couple occasions, Rich Schwartzenburg put together an impressive year at Flamboro Speedway en route to placing fourth in the year-end standings.
While the first part of CATCHING UP WITH…. spoke about Schwartzenburg’s efforts towards the “STOCK” Car Nationals this summer, we also got a chance to talk with Schwartzenburg about his year.
SHORT TRACK MUSINGS: You had a pretty good 2017 season yourself. What are some of your reflections?
RICH: Surprisingly yes, everything just came together for us last year. My car wasn’t even ready on opening night but Dave Mast, Ken Spira, and Randy Shaw managed to finish it up for the first race day and we did pretty good. After three-four weeks, we just kept better and and better and played it by ear as a far as point racing went. The top-five’s kept coming and I was up to third in points at one time during the season. While the rest of the crew was following the APC (Auto Parts United Late Models of Ontario Tour) effort of my brother Billy Schwartzenburg, Mark Dennis stepped up in a big way to get me through to end of year and fourth place points finish.
A huge thanks to Rick Robinson, the (No.) 42 at Flamboro who lent me his car for the second feature after I was involved in wreck in the first feature; that was a game changer for sure.
STM: What was your favourite moment of 2017?
RICH: There was three – having my racing idol Junior Hanley autograph my car, in my opinion having the Mini Stock race of the year with Shawn Taylor in the best door to door battle for a win I have ever been a part of, (and) probably the highlight was watching my brother Billy Schwartzenburg drive my car at Frostoberfest. You see, I qualified the car seventh in time trials on Saturday. While I was at work Sunday, I got a text saying the (No.) 86 late model had suffered an event ending part failure. I told him to take my car and go have fun. He had to start at the back but watching him wheel up to a second overall finish at Frostoberfest was incredible and very nice way to end the season.
STM: Where do you feel you could’ve even made your 2017 campaign stronger?
RICH: Simple answer in the shop over the winter. I didn’t prepare for full season. Dave Mast did a great job putting the car together and all the credit goes to him for the season (zero DNF’s). Had I known I would have raced as much as I did, I would spent more time improving on what we had over the winter.
STM: What is your outlook as we look ahead to 2018?
RICH: The team has already put more time into the car at this point than we did all last winter. Flamboro has great energy about it right now and intend to race there as much as possible. I am glad to see Sunset and Sauble working so closely together and formation of the Great Lakes Series, and will try to support that series if possible.
Most of all, circling June 10th on the calendar as I can’t wait to see all of everyone’s efforts come to fruition.