It seems with each season, tracks and series continue to step up their game in trying to market to fans and attract racers to their speedways. 2018 is no exception to the rule, given the amount of big events already announced.
Although five of the largest were spoken about in the first article, it just touches the surface for what you should be excited about. So without further-a-do, here are five more events that you should think about attending in 2018.
As with the first list, feel free to comment on Facebook, twitter, or the website on where we’ll find you this season.
Flamboro Speedway may have made headlines with their new “STOCK” Car Nationals, but you can’t forget about one of their most famous staple year-end events – Frostoberfest. Like the year-end events you see at every speedway, it has a little bit of everything. Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks, Super Stocks, Late Models, Legends, Pro 4 Modifieds, OSCAAR Modifieds, OSCAAR Hot Rod Series – you get the idea. But, there is a reason why you would want to be at this event versus others.
If you walk away with a victory, you are awarded a hand-crafted stone igloo as the trophy. Since being debuted by Mike Schmidt and London Recreational Racing, it has been one of the most sought after trophies because of how unique it is compared to other places.
The format is also unique, in that it is not simply a single long distance feature crowning your winners. The Mini Stocks and Super Stock each run double 30-lap events, with their average finish determining the final rundown. For the Pro Late Models, it’s one step above that – three 50-lap features to determine your Grisdale Triple Crown winner.
Last year, each of the divisions saw full-size fields on-track, and it was certainly packed with action. Just search youtube for highlights and you’ll see that it had a bit of everything, from hard racing to those over the top excitement moments. Recall the super stock winner was decided by a late race pass in the second feature.
Kawartha Speedway was thought to be closing and done with on the Ontario racing scene. That all changed last year when OSCAAR announced they would be hosting a pair of events, including their divisions, along with the Canadian Vintage Modifieds and Ontario Legends Series. Both of those were a success, which brings us to this year.
OSCAAR will once again host a pair of evens – June 2 and July 13. Oh, did we mention the second is on a Friday. So yes, we’re racing on Friday, July 13. Cue the superstitious minds right about now because we know the gears are turning. For the record, it will not be a full moon according to the astronomers.
Both of these are certainly going to be must-attends, given that they are Friday night events so they do not interfere or clash against most of the tracks across the province. Both of those will also include the Ontario Legends Series, OSCAAR Modifieds, and OSCAAR Hot Rod Series.
Now, this by itself on paper could get anyone excited – but the fun doesn’t stop there, as July 13 is going to be talked about for the coming months, and probably the weeks that follow behind.
The OSCAAR Hot Rods will partake in double features, before heading to Brighton Speedway the next night for their lone date on dirt. The driver who scores the best average finish across all three events will be given a nice bonus from the sanctioning body. On top of the bragging rights, just think about the possible championship implications.
It has also been announced that the first-ever INEX Canadian Asphalt Nationals will happen in July, in a unique two-day, two different tracks format. The event will kick off at Kawartha, followed by the second day taking place at Peterborough Speedway on the Saturday. It’s the perfect combination as both tracks are located within 15 minutes of each other, and it will offer the perfect challenge with a pair of totally different tracks. While Kawartha is known for being wide and fast at 3/8th-mile in length, compared to Peterborough being tighter with a size of 1/3 of a mile. Did we mention that there is over $25,000 guaranteed to be given out over the course of the weekend?
“I think that event is going to very big this year,” Kevin Foisy told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “There’s going to be a lot of teams that are going to come out, especially if they get the fifth-place qualifying position for (the Nationals in) Vegas; that would be huge. There’s good prize money – over $25,000 in purse, and US Legends is talking about putting up an engine. So I think we should see 70, 80 cars for that event.”
Now if you combine that with the fact that the OSCAAR Modifieds should be expecting about 20 cars every event in 2018, with a possible 25 due to special guests at Kawartha – then you can see why we had to put this event here.
Jukasa Motor Speedway was highly spoken about in the first edition of five events due to their Canadian Nationals. However, dubbed the Canadian Crown Jewel, it is known that every event the track hosts will be a big one each season.
The OSCAAR Modifieds will get their first taste of the new asphalt, as their inaugural event at the half-mile will take place on June 16. Known for their close side-by-side open-wheel racing, combined with car counts being at an all-time high, it will certainly be an evening filled with lots of door-to-door action.
If that wasn’t enough to excite you to be there that day, the NASCAR Pinty’s Series will be the main show that night for their first of two stops at the speedway in 2018. They have proven that they can put on a show there, as evident by Cayden Lapcevich’s charge through the field and late-race bump-and-run on D.J. Kennington last season.
While big events are nice, though, getting rid of the winter blues is going to be enough for fans. Certainly you have to talk about the season-openers as they are the first taste of fuel and rubber we get all-season. Typically, Sunset Speedway and Flamboro Speedway both open their gates first, hosting an event the last weekend of April. Other tracks, meanwhile, have shown later start times. Peterborough Speedway has their opener in May, with Sauble Speedway holding back until June.
Each track’s opener is always intrigued with attention, as it is the first time you will see the cars all done up for the year – and perhaps the only time they may look perfect before tire marks begin to form. Why do you think photographers end up filling memory cards that night?
Sunset Speedway’s season opener will be filled with a touch of history, too. The track will be celebrating their 50th year running, and will have the OSCAAR Hot Rod Series there as part of the celebration alongside their normal divisions. Not a bad way to say goodbye to the snow.
As much as we love the start of the year at Sunset, the end of the season is always big with the Velocity 250. The 2018 edition will be no different, despite being changed up a little differently.
The two-day event will be highlighted by the season finale for the Great Lakes Concrete Series. If you missed the details on that, please see the first five events piece as we break it down. Basically, you’re going to be doing some traveling between Sauble Speedway and Sunset to see Limited Late Models, Super Stocks, and Mini Stocks in action.
On top of that, you will also see the OSCAAR Modifieds, Ontario Pro Challenge Series, Lucas Oil T.Q. Can-Am Midgets, Trailer Park Eastern Ontario Legends, Series, OSCAAR Hot Rods, Outlaw Midgets, and Ontario Super Late Model Series. Then continuing to build on the action, this year will mark the first time the Pro Mini Trucks, Jr. Late Models, and Bone Stocks have been on the card.
Previous seasons have seen the car count range from 150 to 200 across the divisions. Now if you add the anticipation that we’re seeing ahead of 2018, the number is certainly going to be one that will leave fans smiling.