Across social media, there has been hype building about the 2019 OSCAAR Hot Rod Series season with photos being displayed of builds in progress. However, there was still a little bit of left-over business from this past year. The drivers and crews gathered together on Saturday, January 12 to celebrate everybody’s accomplishments.
Since their inaugural campaign, the OSCAAR Hot Rods have been a fan-favourite with fans enjoying the different styles of cars that the drivers and teams have built.
The 2018 campaign saw numbers hit some new record-highs, with 29 different competitors running at least one event over the course of the year.
“I’m very confident that we’ve began our path, and it’s going to take awhile, but we’re going back to being the biggest and best series in Ontario,” series president Dave Gainforth said at the banquet. “The competition continues to grow each year.”
With nine heat wins and four feature victories, it was Tyler Hawn leading the way for his fellow competitors over the past en route to this second straight series championship.
“If it wasn’t for this hot rod series, my racing career would’ve been done,” Hawn admitted. “That super late was way too much stress as everybody at that table knows how pissed off at that super late. This Hot Rod Series definitely brought back that fun for me, a lot less money; I don’t have to work 90 hours a week to make the track.
“All the guys that we race with are great; everybody always has a smile on their face. I have to thank my sponsors. Steve Fox couldn’t make it here tonight. If it wasn’t for him; he foot the bill for this car and he just has as much fun as we do. He will come down through the pits with tears in his eyes after that Archibald race – the race of the year. I have to thank Watson’s Garage, Top Shops Auto Body, 400 Transmission.
“I have to thank my crew, Daniel, for all the hard work and yelling at me. Iain, all the guys for coming and helping my brother and myself. It’s hard when we’re at two different tracks because we only have a couple guys but we seem to get it done. I have to thank Shawna for helping me through my bad days, and making me happy when shit goes on at the track, and poking the bear when shit goes on with Archibald. Thanks everybody.”
Hawn wasn’t the only driver to visit victory lane, with four different drivers scoring a feature win throughout the course of the season. As a result, there were a lot of awards to hand out at the banquet for everyone.
There was a tie for Rookie of the Year, with Billy Alderson Jr. and Steve Book sharing the honor for 2018.
Tyler Hawn was also honored with the Don Hawn Sportsman of the Year Award for the second year in a row.
Nick Clarke was the recipient of the IronMan Award, which goes to “the driver that overcame and faced adversity throughout the year to always be at the track.” Clarke finished fifth in the year-end standings with eight top-10 finishes.
“Thank you Dave for letting us come out each and every weekend,” he said. “Thank you Andrea for letting me do this. All the competitors – thanks for the great season. A great bunch of guys not tearing stuff up every week. It’s been a good year. Looking forward to 2019.”
The Best Appearing Car Award would go to Brad Martin for his Dodge that has been generating buzz since being unveiled at the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo last year in March.
Douglas Fischer certainly didn’t have the year he was looking for, which led him to being given the Hard Luck Award.
“Mike Tyson said it pretty simply – everybody has a plan until we get punched in the mouth. I walked away with a fat lip and a smile on my face,” Fischer said.
On the flip side, Steve Book improved throughout his rookie campaign, scoring the victory at Brighton Speedway. As a result, he was given the Most Improved Driver Award.
“I’d like to thank all the Hot Rod OSCAAR staff first; they’ve been very welcoming and easy to race with,” he commented. “The first race we showed up, it was kind of a rush to get there and went to draw a number, ran through the pits at Sunset, and they said are you ready to go? I told him I wasn’t unloaded yet and he said, ‘Well get ready to go as you’re in the first heat. They’re lined up now’. Right out of the gate we were running, but the guys have been all great. I’d like to congratulate all the guys, especially Tyler and Hawn Motorsports. That was an awesome year. You were very helpful. All the guys are great. I want to thank my crew, my family, as they give me all the support that I need. Hopefully next year we can do equally as well.”
With a solid season in the books, OSCAAR is now putting the full focus forward the upcoming 2019 campaign, which should be filled with great racing, lots of competition, and run across the entire province of Ontario based on early indications.
Be sure to stay tuned to OSCAAR’s website for details leading into the season.
By: Ashley McCubbin