Although Dylan Sharpe has been garnering a lot of attention in Flamboro Speedway’s Pure Stock division this season, that isn’t where everything began for him. Instead, though, his claim to fame began through drifting.
“I always found it cool to watch,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “I recall watching videos at school when I was in Grade 6, on yahoo webgroups. I do remember as a kid thinking how cool it was watching the General Lee from Dukes Of Hazzard counter steer around corners; guess it just stuck.”
Since then, he has been traveling the province, and even down into the United States, putting on shows that have left fans speechless. While it may look as though he’s out of control, he says that the control factor is actually at 98%.
“We set the cars up to understeer and have a ton of rear grip,” he explained. “I use the power and chassis setup to push the car past the grip threshold, which allows me to keep nearly complete control.”
The key to wowing the crowd with the performance, though, is making sure to get the car going slower than you’d expect with lots of angle, while “making sure the rear wheel speed vs. ground speed is far apart results in a ton of smoke and keeps people entertained.”
With the experience under his belt through both drifting and road racing, it was actually operating cost that brought forth the idea to join the Pure Stock division this season.
“The allure of running wheel to wheel, less than 30 minutes from home, for pennies by comparison was a huge factor,” he said. “I really like the structure from the rules. It promotes driving talent and bettering yourself as a driver, and learning to set up a car without spending money.”
Combined with the awesome competition level, it’s a decision that he isn’t set to go back on following through with either.
“There are a ton of front runners battling every week,” he said. “Dale Lucas has been a force to reckon with, even with the added penalty weight from all his wins.”
Sharpe has been successful to date, scoring the Gold Rush invitational victory after leading flag-to-flag, along with a series of top-fives on regular nights.
“I started a few races late into the season with a bunch of top-five’s,” he said. “I was able to lead flag to flag at the 50 lap invitational, which pumped some good money into my program which was a great help. I’ve recently tried to get the car working even better – trying different tires, alignment and ballast placement. I’ve learned lots, unfortunately I wish I would of stuck to the “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” way of thinking.”
Now entering the last couple weeks of the season, he is keeping the goals simple – winning back-to-back features, and beating his personal best lap time.
For someone looking to get into racing, he says his advice would be to get them to focus on bettering themselves as a driver.
“I think Flamboro Pure Stocks are a great “foot in the door” to racing without spending money like you would with drifting, time attack, or even karting,” he said. “The bang for your buck is hard to beat.”