For most teams, it’s a big enough challenge to win a single title in a season. Now try doubling down with a pair of championships at Kyle Neumeister accomplished that feat in 2018. Victories across the province of Ontario would allow him to be crowned the inaugural Bone Stock Champion at Sunset Speedway, along with picking up the Bone Stock title at Grand Bend Speedway.
“I am obviously thrilled to be able to accomplish this all in one season, but it wasn’t just one person who those championships belong to,” Neumeister told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “My dad played a huge role in conquering the Grand Bend one, as well as my Crew, Brad Booker, Alex Smith, Doris Neumeister, Lindsay Otten, Chevy, John Gray, Janelle Priebe, Nathan Hawkins, Jake Middlebrook, Heather Middlebrook, Shane Querin. The list goes on!”
Although it may seem to be challenging in watching a team compete at two different tracks on a single weekend, Neumeister says the crew behind him makes it easier.
“I think sometimes it can be a lot of a challenge dedicating their weekend to do something I love,” he said. “The travelling really wears on you and when you gotta work on Monday; I feel guilty I am the reason they go into work on Monday tired. Luckily we have one of the best crews to be around; its always a lot easier when everyone’s laughing and carrying on.”
While his own success was memorable, it actually doesn’t stand out as the biggest moment for the 2018 campaign. Instead, it was seeing other drivers be able to accomplish their race winning dreams this season at Sunset Speedway.
“Brandon Burnett winning his first ever feature at Sunset Speedway in his rookie year – nothing compares to a racers face the first time they get out of the car after conquering a checkered flag,” Neumeister commented. “The other was Nathan Hawkins win in August at Sunset speedway, I couldn’t be there for that but the pictures Ashley and Eric (Uprichard) capture really show their true feelings coming out. Those moments only happen a few times a season and those are the most memorable.”
For an inaugural campaign at Sunset Speedway, it appears the division has turned some heads after starting the year with 10 cars at Spring Velocity, and seeing a steady five to eight drivers compete weekly.
“I think the track should be pleased with that outcome,” Neumeister commented. “When we started watching the Bone Stocks initially start at Delaware Speedway, it started with four-five cars and grew into a 70-car field over time. Like anything new, it takes time and taking care of your drivers, making them want to come back week in and week out. Sunset Speedway has a good grasp on what it’ll take for that to happen.”
Moving forward, though, Neumeister says the key will be building consistency with the division by allowing just bone stock cars and enforcing penalties.
“From what I hear, all racers really want is consistency among a division as simple as the bone stocks, which is hard to police at times because of the wide range of vehicles to choose from,” he said. “I think they are headed in the right division; as they wanted to have some car counts for the fans to watch this season, they allowed a wide range of cars to partake. I know next season will be different.”
As the track looks at what direction to go next, the Neumeister Racing team is doing the same as there are discussions in moving up to the Mini Stocks on a limited basis in 2019.
“We’ve learned a lot about the current car we are driving, which is a Chevrolet Cobalt and we believe it would be a great platform for a Mini Stock,” he shared. “With all the Honda’s and Mustangs dominating small track ovals lately, we wanted to see something different take off. Its never the right time to choose a change, but I have the best people backing me and they are as eager as me to try new things for 2019, So we plan to continue to help others in the bone stock division and start 2019 off with a bang.
“I think our goals will be to win a race in 2019 in the mini stock class and if they continue the Great Lakes Concrete Series, we plan to partake in each of those events and possibly go for a traveling championship.”
A new direction may seem like it’d produce challenges for a team, but Neumeister doesn’t see it that way due to knowing he has the right people behind him, along with transportation, enthusiasm, and experience on his side.
“One thing that always gets in the way is the funds, but we were in a great situation last year to develop some sponsorships that we hope to continue to have in 2019,” he added. “John Gray came on board last season and took the marketing campaign to a whole new level! Huge props to him. He only tells me 2019 is gonna be bigger and better!”
For now, though, the focus will be finishing off the 2018 campaign “with a bang” as he has nothing to lose, and that means fulfilling the playoff schedule. He will partake in the Velocity 250 at Sunset Speedway, followed by Frostoberfest at Flamboro Speedway and the Autumn Colours Classic at Peterborough Speedway.