With a feature victory and 28 top-fives last year, it’s safe to say that Allie Ditner had a great season at Flamboro Speedway in 2017. The No. 61 will be back in 2018, and Ditner offered some thoughts to SHORT TRACK MUSINGS on what is shaping up to be an even better campaign.
SHORT TRACK MUSINGS: What are your thoughts entering the 2018 season?
ALLIE DITNER: Going into 2018, without the help of my calendars, I wouldn’t believe I’m about to enter my 20th season as a driver. It is going to be interesting as we have a lot going on right now. If everything works out as planned, I’ll be dividing my time between at Flamboro Speedway driving my usual Toyota Celica Mini Stock, and a Pro Late Model for owner Al Bowman.
STM: What are your goals entering the season?
ALLIE: I’d like to win a few features with the mini stock; I would be disappointed if we went winless. I want to develop the Celica to run a sub 18-second lap and figure out how to develop the Late Model into a competitive package again. Most of all, I want the cars I develop to be an honest threat on any given night and to give the fans the show they want.
STM: The big talk right now has to be the “STOCK” Car Nationals. What are your thoughts?
ALLIE: It is going to be a really big deal! Over the last decade it has been depressing to see what has become of my beloved sport, so I’m really happy to see the momentum being generated going into 2018. Must attend events like this can really create a lot of enthusiasm and motivation for everyone: sponsors, teams, track owners and most importantly race fans.
STM: What are your thoughts as you look back on last year?
ALLIE: 2017 was our most competitive year yet, I think given the size and extremely limited resources our small team has to draw from, we over-achieved. That said I can identify some places where we fell short. We were late to finish the car off in April. It was in the paint booth on practice day and had some mechanical issues that plagued us towards the end of the year – the part of the season that overlapped with my college schedule.
STM: What’s the biggest thing you’re carrying with you from 2017 into this year?
ALLIE: Confidence. I think the main takeaway is that when I trust in myself to engineer and drive the car, we succeed. I’m my own worst critic.
STM: How did you get started in racing?
ALLIE: I got started in racing through my dad; he had run enduro bikes and wanted to run me in a go-kart with the WRKC. He started me in on a converted lawn mower in a parking lot and eventually was given a vintage kart chassis and traded a bottle of liquor for an engine and we raced that. Those were our humble beginnings.
STM: What’s been the most memorable moment of your career?
ALLIE: I think my first feature win would have to be it. After over a decade and a half being winless, we passed Clark Hartman on the last lap on the OSCAAR Don Biederman Memorial Night. It was so surreal; how can anything beat that?