It was certainly bittersweet, and there were some tears shed along the way, but the OSCAAR Super Late Model drivers and teams got together for the final time together on Saturday, February 3, to honor everybody for their accomplishments this past season.
It was announced at the end of this past season that the super late models would no longer run under the OSCAAR banner, set to head a new direction as they will be led by a committee including each of the track promoters under the Ontario Super Late Model Series. OSCAAR wishes the directors, drivers and teams the utmost success.
“I still think you guys put on the best high-speed racing action out there,” OSCAAR President Dave Gainforth said. “People like to bug us about the car count, but you guys are still awesome.”
Gainforth went on to remind everybody that OSCAAR was originally founded 27 years ago with a foundation of “sanctioning super late model racing.” He also spoke about the fact the series has featured different presidents, including himself, who “held that special passion for super late model racing.”
“If you look back at the history of this series, the drivers that have competed in OSCAAR, they’re the top drivers and names in Ontario racing,” he continued. “If you’re lucky enough to be one of the few that added their name to the championship trophy, you understand the hardwork and determination to achieve that goal.
“We all know that in 2018, the supers will no longer be a part of OSCAAR. I will personally ensure that the race fans will never forget the history of the division, and I truly value the friendship – and yes, I made some enemies along the way – but it was a true privilege to work with each and every one of you. I personally wish the drivers and teams the best of luck going into 2018. I thank you for so many great years of racing, and I look forward to watching some more, great, exciting super late model racing in 2018.”
With three heat wins and five feature victories, it was Glenn Watson leading the way for his fellow drivers over the year en route to being crowned the series champion. He was also awarded the Best Appearing Award at the year-end banquet.
“It’s been a lot of fun racing OSCAAR, and I am truly going to miss it,” Watson said. “Thank you to all the OSCAAR people who have helped out through the years; it’s very appreciated. First off, I have to thank all these beauties sitting here. They put a lot of hard work in on this car all throughout the year, and we couldn’t do it without them. Thanks to the wives and girlfriends for letting us do this, and supporting us; the same for everybody here that lets our significant others do this thing that we enjoy doing so much.
“It’s been really great to be a part of OSCAAR. It’s disappointing that we had to come to this, but hopefully super late model racing can continue and flourish in years to come. Hopefully all the guys that still have their cars come out and race, and we’re looking forward to that. Thank you all so much. It’s been a great time so far, and look forward to next year.”
As the highest finishing rookie in the year-end standings, it’d be Jamie Richardson picking up the Rookie of the Year Award.
“I can’t say anymore about how awesome this year has been with our family racing team,” Richardson said. “When my father-in-law gave me the wheel for a super late model, that was a dream come true for any driver, really, when you come from a four cylinder. I said, ‘Are you sure you’re gonna do this?’ and he said, ‘Yep.’ We bought the car, and we finished the car in three months or so, and the thing was fast. He took it out for the first drive, and it’s probably the best car that he’s driven ever.
“I just want to raise a glass to my father-in-law Dave Taylor because if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be standing up here. He’s just an awesome guy. He started with OSCAAR, and it’s awesome. So I also want to give a shout-out to the 40P team over here. We’ve become close friends, and it won’t stop.”
The final season for super late models in OSCAAR saw a familiar name for fans in relation to the high-paced action honored.
“The Hawn family has been a part of racing in Ontario for close to 40 years – probably more,” Gainforth said. “This year, the racing community lost the patriarch of that team. Don throughout his racing career, raced hard, had fun, and most of all, with the respect of his fellow drivers. With his two sons Tyler and Daniel started their racing career, the first thing he did was instill those values on his sons. With the loss this summer, Tyler and Daniel continued to race and made their dad proud. Even when most would’ve stayed home, they raced, they succeeded. The family wanted to do something to ensure their dad’s name would be remembered by OSCAAR, and all the fans in Ontario. So OSCAAR proudly changed the name of this award to the Don Hawn Sportsman of the Year Award.”
In a fitting manor, it was Tyler Hawn picking up the honor for the 2017 season.
“I want to thank my crew,” Hawn said. “Obviously, this year was a really tough year for us. My brother really took on a huge responsibility and taking over the set-up on the super late. Endless hours on the internet, googling everything – whatever he learned, it obviously worked as we fought right to the end for second place. I got to thank Steve Fox, Darryl Stephenson – if it wasn’t for any of you guys, we wouldn’t be here. This one is for you, Dad!”
Gary Elliott took time to present his Ironman Award, which is presented to “the driver that overcame and faced adversity throughout the year to always be at the race track.” The requirement is you must have 100% attendance, and never give up despite any adversity faced. The award was given to Charlie Gallant, who was also awarded the Most Improved Driver Award for the 2017 campaign following a pair of feature wins.
Be sure to stay tuned to the OSCAAR website for details leading into the season.