Interviews

Robertson & Co. Racing Turning Over New Leaf with OSCAAR Hot Rods

Robertson and Co. Racing has been involved in motorsports for a long time, and anybody with experience in motorsports knows what there are ups and downs. Last year, unfortunately, was the later for the group.

“As you know, we didn’t have a good season last year, and it led to some frustration,” team owner Brandon Robertson admitted. “We’re not putting any less effort than anyone else, and when you have a tough year, it effects you.”

While initially thinking of taking a year off, Robertson took a look at the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rod Series. After discussions within the team and realizing it was the right fit for the program, they made the decision to take part this season.

“It’s more of a gentleman division,” Robertson commented. “Guys are racing hard, but a little less aggression, and that’s something that we decided would be better for us.”

Although they won’t be ready for Spring Velocity this year in May, Robertson and the team plan to be in attendance to check out the series and competition – which he expects to be strong.

“I’m glad to see that he stuck with it, and it’s now starting to show that people are really interested,” Robertson expressed. “It’s less money, and you can re-purpose the old chassis which is excellent. Even though we haven’t gotten to race with those guys yet, from what I could see with the rules, it’s pretty equal.

“The good guys will always be the good guys – no matter the division they run. But from what I could see from the rules and what we looked at, as the division gets more mature and brings extra guys in, I think you’re going to see the competition this year be very close, more so than last year.”

The team is planning to make their 2019 debut at Jukasa Motor Speedway, with Brandon Robertson behind the wheel. They then place to run the balance of the schedule, minus Brighton Speedway, with the driving duties being split between Drew Robertson and Jager McMaster.

Race fans have been following the team’s progress on Facebook as Robertson and Co. Racing prepare a Ford Torino for the season.

“The Torino has a huge story,” Robertson commented. “As you know, Donny drove all the way to Manitoba to pick up the one that we’ve got – and then we found another one that I picked up today one concession over from the Speedway. Donny spent five days driving in a Blizzard to get this Torino. We got it out of a driveway where it’d been sitting for 20 years. So in a roundabout way, we saved it because it was going to scrap yard.”

The decision to run a Ford Torino came naturally for Robertson, as he and his brother have always been Ford guys, set to run a Ford chassis and power plant whenever possible in the series they enter.

“We started looking at bodies, and sure, the obvious choice would be a Mustang,” he said. “But we wanted to build a car that looked like a Cup car. It will look like a 70’s Winston Cup car when it comes out of the garage and that’s the look that we want to portray. We didn’t really get carried away with fender flares, the tires are tucked in nice and neat under the fenders, and I like all the looks that the guys have – but we wanted to have a car that just came out off of 1975 from a NASCAR track.

“We have lots of pictures from the way guys prepped those cars. We’re kind of working on a paint scheme that’s a reminder of that era. So when the car rolls out and other than knowing that it’s not a Cup car from a distance, it’s going to really have that look because I think that was the one of the best eras of NASCAR racing. The cars were gorgeous. They all looked different and looked like real care; like, we didn’t cut this car up.

“We had to change some of the dimensions a little bit, obviously to fit the wheel-base, but we tried really hard to maintain the factory body lines so when you look at it, you know it’s a Torino. Even with where we’re at, I bet you that we have 150 man hours in putting this body together to make sure the body dimensions don’t look off.”

Robertson feels the uniqueness of their body will fit right in with the current series manta in having a variety of cars for the fans. He notes that was one of the original eye-catching details that focused his attention on the series, specifically the No. 3 Nova that Douglas Fischer has drove the past couple seasons.

“I saw that car at Sunset two years ago, and I was walking around it and it’s beautiful,” Robertson said. “That was one of the cars that when we talked about doing this that we said, Guys, we’re going to do this right.’ All of the guys around here seen that car up close and really appreciated how good of a job that they did on the body of that car. It’s gorgeous, so we decided when we did what we did, we were going to try to be as good when it came to fit and finish.

“Now, everybody in the series has picked something a little different, and done it a different way. All of the cars look different so depending on your mindset for racing, that’s something that super stock has lost. Nothing against it – but now the cars don’t have their individual personality as much as they used to.

“So with the product that (series president) Dave (Gainforth)’s putting out, it gives you something different to look at and for some people, that’s all they need. They just want things to look different, and the series definitely provides that by a long shot with all the different body styles and how people are putting them together, some painted, some wrapped. It’s pretty awesome, I can say that.”

Once they have the car ready to go and are on track, the goal is simple – win a couple of races throughout the season.

“We’re going to have fun and we’re going to be less aggressive than we’ve been in the past, but we’ve circled three or four races on the calendar that I’m not going to say we expect to win, but expect to be in the front,” Robertson commented. “Both Flamboro races, we definitely expect to run up front for that. Jager will run both of those shows. He has lots of laps there now and we have a set-up that works really well for us there.

“I’ll be honest – if we don’t win any other races this year and just one, it’d be Autumn Colours. With what Dave has for a schedule this year, there’s quite a few really big shows alongside big series and the exposure is going to be great. All of the shows are going to be awesome.”

As previously noted, Robertson and Co. Racing has been involved in racing for a number of years, dating back to 1997 in the Outlaw Thunder Car division. Through the past 22 years, they have ran every year, sometimes not at a full-time capacity, chasing after wins.

Notably, they have yet to win a championship, but there are discussions if this year goes well that they will chase the 2020 OSCAAR Hot Rod title.

By: Ashley McCubbin

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