After missing part of the schedule last year due to school, Curtis Stewart is ready to get back at it in 2019 at Sunset Speedway.
“I am very excited to get this mini-stock integra back on the track,” he commented. “Last year was a rough year for us as I was away at school for the first half of the year, and we had some complications with the car. I finished school, got the car figured out with the help of some great sponsors and had a fantastic finish to the season.”
In looking to put last year’s rough moments and apply for what he has learned over the past two seasons, Stewart feels he is capable of scoring a couple heat wins, and possibly picking up his first career feature victory.
“My goal is just to continue improving every week with the equipment that we have and I will be happy,” he said. “We don’t have the budget to build or buy our way to the front so it will have to come from setup and driving and that is what I plan on working on this season.”
While some may be quick to note that his goals seem more achievable with the shift of some drivers moving up classes in 2019, Stewart knows that everything doesn’t quite appear as it may seem.
“A lot of great drivers have moved on from the mini stock division at Sunset but there are many more great teams around and a lot of quick cars to beat,” he noted.
In the limited amount of races that he was able to participate in throughout 2018, Stewart showed that he is gaining speed, scoring three top-10’s with a season-best sixth-place finish on September 8.
“My most memorable moment so far in racing was last year when I first raced side by side with the front of the pack,” he said. “I was able to stay beside some of these cars that had blown the doors off my car on the way by in the past. It was exciting to see the progress that I made every week last year, passing cars that I was not able to in the past.”
Although focused on his own racing endeavors, Stewart is expanding his S2RT Racing outfit to enter a pair of entries in Sunset Speedway’s ever-growing Bone Stock division.
“My sponsor of five years, Corey Howden, will be running my #6 Toyota Celica; we are hoping to have him at every race and see how he does in points,” Stewart said. “My brother, Shawn Stewart, is building a Honda Civic. Shawn lives in North Bay and will only make it to a handful of events. Both Corey and Shawn are just excited to get some seat time and looking to gain some experience and confidence as they strive to see improvements while keeping the car in one piece.”
The expansions may lead some to wonder about the possibility of seeing Stewart at other tracks this summer, but that isn’t in the cards quite yet. He says the number one goal focus is running Sunset Speedway, with the chance of traveling to other places in 2020.
For Stewart, his interest in racing began at a young age through watching the action at Barrie Speedway as a kid.
“As I became older in my late teens and early 20’s I began to look into mini stock racing,” he recalls. “I did not have the resources to build or buy a car so I started with what I could afford which was demolition derbies. I did very well with that and earned several first place finishes and began figure-eight racing where I also took a couple of wins. Over the years I was able to build a team of sponsors which allowed me to buy my first mini stock car for the 2017 season. This is the same car I am still driving now.”
Based on the experience that he has been able to garner through the past couple of years, he says the key for anybody just starting out to remember to be patient, while getting as much as seat time as they can and listening to advice that is given from others in the pits.
“Not all advice that you get will work for your car or driving style, but if it makes sense, give it a try,” he commented.