After a solid second season in the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds, Jase Cornell is hoping last year’s pair of checkered flags were the first of many.
“I feel like 2019 is going to be the year of the OSCAAR Modified Tour,” he commented. “The series is gaining tons of attention all across the racing community. I feel very privileged to be part of such a great organization.”
Last season, Cornell was able to place sixth in the year-end standings, following a heat victory at Sauble Speedway and b-main win at Sunset Speedway’s Velocity 250.
“Picking up our first heat race win at Sauble Speedway last year was such a huge win for us,” Cornell expressed. “Getting that first checkered flag under our belt was such a great feeling. We celebrated as though we had just won the Daytona 500.”
Now moving forward, Cornell says the key will be improving their qualifying heat races this year “significantly” so they can start better in the features.
“Last season we never really paid a lot of attention to our qualifying efforts, but looking back I think that really hurt us overall,” he said. “Also, with a bunch of new teams expected to come out this season, qualifying well each week will be even more important than ever.”
Cornell went on to add that 2019 is going to be about building upon what he’s been able to learn over the past two seasons in OSCAAR competition.
“Towards the end of last season we were really coming together as a team and kept getting faster every week,” he said. “We are looking forward to contending for some feature wins this season, which should help us secure a top-five spot in the championship point.”
Out of the tracks on the 2019 calendar for OSCAAR, the return of Delaware Speedway for the modifieds certainly has Cornell excited.
“The track has a lot of history and has played an integral role in building racing as we know it in Ontario,” he commented. “I’m looking forward to having an opportunity to trying my hand at mastering it’s unique surface. Being there with the ISMA Super Modifieds is also a huge bonus.”
Seeing Delaware Speedway return to the schedule is among the highlights, as OSCAAR welcomes on-board a new series sponsor with an ever-growing field of drivers.
“The OSCAAR Modifieds are in such a great place right now,” he said. “The series is attracting some of most talented and recognized racers in Ontario. The competition is going to be unbelievably tough this year, and fans can expect to see some of the tightest, most action packed racing at every event on the tour.”
With a wide variety of competitors, Cornell admits it’s tough to narrow it down to just five guys to keep an eye on this season.
“My first pick would be Cory Horner,” he commented. “He’s a super competitive guy with a championship to defend. “Second guy would be Dale Reinhart. Dale and his team really figured things out last year and I expect them to come out strong this spring. Third would have to be John Harper. He always manages to find his way to the front, and I’m sure he’s extra hungry for the championship after having come so close last season.
“Fourth guy to watch would be Kelly Balson. Although he didn’t run a full season last year, he brings a wealth of experience to the Modified Tour, and one should never under estimate Kelly’s ability to get to the front quickly. My final pick would be Gary Elliot. Gary is one of the hardest working racers I know. His never give up attitude and unmatched love for the sport always serves him well at the track.”
By: Ashley McCubbin