After setting the bar high in Flamboro Speedway’s Mini Stock division over the past couple of years, Russ Aicken will be taking a step back in 2018, with only five dates on his schedule as of right now. The first of those was the Mini Stock Nationals on Sunday, which saw Aicken score a ninth-place finish.
“The MSN have bread new life into the province when in comes to the MS division,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “The money that has put together is mind blowing; it shows that the sport is making a strong come back at the grassroots level. I’m excited to say I’m running those events.”
It was a surprise to not see him further up front as over the years, Aicken became the man at Flamboro, winning multiple features en route to four track championships.
“Our team’s success comes down to hard work, time in the shop, doing homework and help from other teammates (Andy Kamrath has always been a guy I could lean on),’ he said. “Great sponsors played a huge role in our success as well. Plus a little luck helps too.”
While the Mini Stock Nationals have promoted a lot of buzz, the overall state of the division is improving, per Aicken’s perspective, with the recent rule changes.
“I think it’s going in the right direction with tracks implementing spec tires; the issue is tracks all run different tires,” he said. “The gaps that this, weights, and a few other small issues create still makes it tough to travel to other tracks. Promoters need to get their rules closer together. It will only help the division.”
For Aicken, his interest in racing was created through a fellow Flamboro Speedway competitor, Shawn Arnott, when he bought a Pro Late Model.
“I started crewing for him,” Aicken recalled. “A couple years after that he offered me a partly build MS. That’s all it took, the rest is 10 long summers of history.”
Through the years, he says there’s been a lot of memories that have made him smile, including the friendships and late nights spent at the track. Though if he had to single it down to a couple highlights, those include winning his first race, his first memorial night win, and the “four championships are kind of hard to forget about as well.”