Entering his fourth season of Pro Late Model competition, Billy Schwartzenburg is coming off a solid year which saw him place eighth in the year-end APC Auto Parts United Late Models of Ontario Tour points standings with four top-10’s, including a season-best third at Flamboro Speedway.
Before heading into the 2018 season opener at Sunset Speedway, the Team Spira Racing driver shared his thoughts with SHORT TRACK MUSINGS.
SHORT TRACK MUSINGS: What are your thoughts going into the 2018 season?
BILLY SCHWARTZENBURG: I’m thinking the 2018 season has some serious potential to be the best season yet. We have taken extra steps this winter to ensure that we have the best race car we possibly can. As a driver I am feeling more confident then ever. We are going into our 4th year of late model competition and things are looking good. The car counts are great and the talent pool is deep. Looking forward to diving in!
STM: What are your goals and expectations?
BILLY: I expect to be competitive every time we unload the car. We have an excellent team assembled and everyone wants to succeed. I know if we can keep on top of our weekly maintenance and setup changes. We have the rest of the puzzle pieces to put together a strong season of contention. My number one goal this season is to pick up an APC series win. That has been my number one goal since the very first race at sunset in 2014 and it will not change until we can check it off the list.
STM: What are your final reflections back on last year?
BILLY: Last year was a bit of a roller coaster; we had a good start to the year but It never really seemed to get better then that. We were able to pick up three feature wins at Flamboro Speedway which was awesome but we seemed to struggle on and off with APC. We had some damaged parts in the car that we were not aware of and I’m sure that is the cause of most of our struggle. Once we got the car back to where it needed to be, it started working really well again but it seemed to be too little too late. Definitely room for improvement after our last season!
STM: What do you feel you need to improve upon from last year to be stronger in 2018?
BILLY: Last season we bit off a little more then we could chew when we decided to run both Flamboro and APC with the same car. One change we have made for this season is to swing our focus more onto APC and dial our Flamboro schedule back to part-time only. This should be a tremendous help as we will have a lot more time between races to work on maintenance and setup as these aspects seem to be our biggest struggle when under a time crunch.
STM: What track are you most excited to get to?
BILLY: This is a difficult question for me simply because I’m looking forward to every track and every event but all for different reasons. Right now I’m looking forward to Sunset as it is the season opener and this race usually sets the tone for the whole season; you get to see what everyone is bringing to the table and how you stack up. I’m excited to get to Flamboro as we have turned a lot of laps there and I am confident in our overall Flamboro package. Sauble is high on my list as it is the Spira Fire Protection 100 and it would be awesome to land in victory lane. Jukasa is also a track I can’t wait to get back to; we struggled a lot there last year and we will be looking for some serious redemption.
STM: What are your thoughts on the state of the Pro Late Model division now?
BILLY: I know the division is stacked and there is a wide array of possible winners at every event. As a competitor this makes me extremely excited and I’m just happy to be a part of it. We will find out how good it really is this Saturday at Sunset Speedway.
This year is made possible for Schwartzenburg and team by: Apollo Valves, Cambridge Source for Sports, Dominion Sure Seal, Erb and Erb Insurance Brokers, Fleet Image, Guelph Wish Fund for Children, Gunk, Hy-Grade Steel Roofing Systems, Inspired Graphics and Design Center, Lucas Oil Products, National Fire Equipment, Northern Ice, Nuco, Plasti-Kote, Schwartzenburg Haulage, Spira Fire Protection, TSS Top Shops Auto Body Supplies, Victaulic, Vinnies Mr.Fix it, and Wix Filters.