Sometimes when you stick a microphone in front of a driver’s face, you have no clue what they may say and a couple of times you’ll hear something that surprises you or gives you a bit of a perspective.
Throughout the 2018 season, I had the opportunity to speak to a bunch of different competitors. During those interviews, there were some quotes that stood out. So it seems only fitting we take a glance back through the year at what was said.
“On dirt, you have so much room to make the pass and the margin for error is big; if you get into trouble you’ve got room to collect yourself and get straight. On asphalt, we’re so much closer that one little bobble, you can take half the field out with you. I found myself a few times trying to make a pass and costing myself positions and time not making them stick. I realize taking my time to make that pass when you are confident it will stay is better.” – Jonathan Ayrton
It was a whirlwind for me. I didn’t have any specific plans to go short track racing when the year started but I had always wanted to try it out and potentially make the switch from the road race divisions I was competing in. The timing was right to dive in and I consider myself extremely fortunate that Ken just happened to put the 86 Mini Stock for sale and I was able to meet him and everyone at Spira. I really had no clue what I was getting myself into and they were so gracious dealing with me from the moment I walked into the shop to see the car for the first time. – Erik Dalla Riva
Over the last decade it has been depressing to see what has become of my beloved sport, so I’m really happy to see the momentum being generated going into 2018. Must attend events like this can really create a lot of enthusiasm and motivation for everyone: sponsors, teams, track owners and most importantly race fans. – Allie Ditner
My most memorable moment is when I strapped into a racecar and lined up for my very first time. The lights, crowd, the excitement; there is nothing like it! .. Others are: my Rookie of the year award and of course carrying the checkered flag for the first time after a heat race win. Still looking for that feature; I think this is the year! – Kyle Istead
There was three – having my racing idol Junior Hanley autograph my car, in my opinion having the Mini Stock race of the year with Shawn Taylor in the best door to door battle for a win I have ever been a part of, (and) probably the highlight was watching my brother Billy Schwartzenburg drive my car at Frostoberfest. You see, I qualified the car seventh in time trials on Saturday. While I was at work Sunday, I got a text saying the (No.) 86 late model had suffered an event ending part failure. I told him to take my car and go have fun. He had to start at the back but watching him wheel up to a second overall finish at Frostoberfest was incredible and very nice way to end the season. – Rich Schwartzenburg
I am most comfortable being behind the wheel, it is almost an out-of-body experience for me. Being able to feel and understand exactly what the car is doing has allowed me to really slow everything down and be more precise and consistent. Being able to stay calm and 100% focused at all times definitely gives me an advantage in all aspects on the track. Now I’m working at bringing that same level of confidence to the rest of my life, which is easier said than done. – Shawn Taylor
“Last year honestly was an amazing year for me. Being my first year ever driving a race car and it was so successful and full of experience. I learned so much and grew as a person and a driver. It definitely is one of the best things that I’ve gotten into. By the end of the season, I finished sixth in points out of about 16-18 cars which also put me the highest rookie in the points so I won Rookie of the Year. It was a great way to end my first season.” – Kaitlyn Wallace
“The sport in general has had a couple rough years, but I finally think that all the tracks throughout Ontario are going in the right direction.” – Jake Watson