All eyes will be on Flamboro Speedway on June 10 when they host their first ever “STOCK” Car Nationals, featuring the pure stocks, mini stocks and super stocks. Particularly, the Mini Stocks have garnered a lot of attention, thanks to the efforts by Rich Schwartzenburg to garner event, award, and lap sponsors to bring the purse to over $6800.
As we countdown the days until the start of the season, and particularly this event, here are five drivers to watch.
Flamboro Speedway regular Shawn Taylor proved his ability last season, as evident by scoring seven victories and 24 top-fives over the course of the season. The only wild card is mechanical gremlins plagued his efforts throughout 2017, slowing him down at the most unexpected of times. If not for that, he could’ve easily eclipsed the 10 win mark on pure speed.
If you’re going to talk about Taylor, then you have to talk about the man that bested him. Russ Aicken has won the track championship the past four years – easily making him the man to beat for this event. Last year, it was a path of 10 victories and 25 top-fives that led him to the success he was able to experience. But here’s a gem – crown jewel events haven’t treated him well to date. Will his fortunes change with a new event on the card?
Eric Yorke hasn’t gone to different tracks much in his career to date, but plans to following a touring schedule in 2018. He proved his ability at Sunset Speedway, taking home the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division III Championship, before picking up the victory in Peterborough Speedway’s Autumn Colours Classic. Now heading to another new venue to check off, the learning curve shouldn’t be steep and he should be contending for wins rather quickly.
If you want to pull for a youngster, look no further than Jake Gilbert. Gilbert had a breakthrough season last year at Flamboro, scoring nine wins and 18 top-fives during the year. Considering his mustang continues to get faster each week, you can’t count him out.
Erik Della Riva made headlines when he bought the No. 86 Mustang from Spira Racing, previously piloted to multiple crown jewel wins by Billy Schwartzenburg. Entering stock car racing for the first time, he was quick from the start, scoring two wins, 12 top-fives, and 14 top-10’s in 17 features. It wouldn’t be the first time that we’ve seen a rookie driver get a big victory.