Since the inception of the OSCAAR Pro Sprints, the Stanley name has been running up front among the competitive drivers. Don’t expect that to change in 2019, as James Stanley confirmed at the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo the team will be fielding three cars for the 2019 season.
Although the complete driver line-up will be confirmed closer to the season opener, it is guaranteed that James himself will be behind the wheel of his familiar No. 57 entry, hoping to “chase down Daniel (Hawn) and get a better points finish.”
“I’d like to get a couple feature wins this year,” he added. “We were close last year. I think we were capable of doing it. We just need a little extra and we’ll be right there.”
Of the races across the Pro Sprint schedule, Stanley is quick to admit that he has circled the late addition of Sauble Speedway on August 31.
“I think I’m excited for Sauble,” he said. “We weren’t originally going there, but it was a late addition to the schedule. But I’m excited to get back there as it’s one of my favourite tracks.”
Last year, Stanley ran up front on a weekly basis, scoring 10 top-five finishes including a heat race win. He feels with the work put in during the winter, he can be the next driver to reach feature victory lane.
“We had a lot of electrical problems last year that set us back the first half, so we were unable to play with the clutch and that,” he admitted. “The set-up was on point with Daniel helping us there, but I feel we’ve done a lot of maintenance over the off-season that we figured out the electrical problems from last year. A couple more changes, and we’ll be right there.”
That said, Stanley knows it won’t be easy as the competition will be tough as several drivers have confirmed they’re returning.
“It’s going to be tight,” Stanley commented. “There’s a couple new cars coming, and everybody is stepping up their game here. Daniel set a high bar last year, so everybody is hoping to be on their A-game to catch him.”
For Stanley, he got his start in racing through Brad Holmes and the Woodland brothers.
“His dad raced Hurricane Midgets,” Stanley recalled. “When Brad was old enough, his dad got him one and Brad raced it for a couple years. The Woodland brothers put me in a car in 2012 near the end of the season, and then I went out and bought a car over the off-season in 2012 for 2013.
“Been here ever since, and now put shocks on them in 2016 – not going back.”
While there have been several memorable moments through the years, Stanley admits that his first career victory at Sauble Speedway stands above the rest.
“That has always been a favourite track of mine, even in the Hurricanes,” he said. “I mean, Grand Bend this year was really good race for us with getting second both nights. The car was a rocket; it just didn’t go in our favor. I had a blast there, though. Dad was on the podium so that made it special, too.”
By: Ashley McCubbin