After a solid second half of the year with his new ride, the confidence is there for James Stanley and team entering the 2018 OSCAAR Pro Sprint season.
“I think this season will be a good year for us,” he said. “We learned a lot from a lot of good people and the car is only going to get faster. A few tests before the first race and I will be confident to say the car will be capable of winning most nights.”
Entering the year, he would like to be on the podium each night.
“With all the work that I’ve put in on the car I’m hoping to win a few features this season and put up a good fight for many more,” he said. “It’ll be another crazy battle for the championship this year and I’m planning to be a part of it. With us being a three-car team this year I’m hoping to get all three cars in the top-five each night.”
The Pro Sprint season will kick off at Sunset Speedway on May 19, and that is fine by Stanley, as it’s the track he’s looking forward to the most this year.
“It’s wide and high banked so these cars fly around there,” he said. “Also because it’s the first race and it’s the closest to home.”
Excitement is high not only from Stanley’s perspective, but the series as a whole entering their third season.
“I think this season is going to be a huge year for the pro sprints, with a lot more crate engines coming out and I believe 11 new drivers, the car count will be high and the competition higher,” he said. “You’ll have to be on your A game every night if you want a top 5. It will be some of the fastest, tightest, cleanest and hardest racing you’ll see this year on track.”
Looking back on 2017, Stanley put together a solid season en route to ending the year ranked fourth in the standings.
“I think last year really turned some heads with the car counts and speeds of these cars,” he said. “The series is really taking off quickly. As for my car I think we could’ve been more competitive if we had my new car out all season, things really picked up the last six races. 2017 was a good learning year for me and I had a lot of fun.”
Stanley completed the year with a heat victory and five top-fives, including an impressive podium at Peterborough Speedway to close out the year.
“The most memorable moment from my 2017 season was probably passing with two to go at Autumn Colours for third,” he said. “I’ve been so close to a top three for so many years at this race but it’s never went our way until this year, which I was super excited about.”
As Stanley notes, it wouldn’t have been the season it was without support from sponsors like BIGG DAWG Haulage, Evolution chassis and TXM race engines, as well as his team.
“Special thanks to the people who got their hands dirty making this car the rocket ship it is,” he said. “My Dad (Shawn Stanley), Glen Blaker, Ted Greenwood, Brad Holmes, Tanner Holmes and last but not least the Hawn Motorsports crew.”
Before the year kicks off, though, Stanley will have his car in the OSCAAR booth at the upcoming Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo. Taking place at the International Centre from March 8 through the 10th, the event brings together some of the best looking cars and racecars for fans to look at, along with industry experts available for autographs and stage discussions.