Several rookies were able to shine during the 2018 Living Lighting OSCAAR Pro Sprint season, one of those being Kevin Taylor. Like the other newcomers, he has also committed to returning for the 2019 campaign.
“I’m really looking forward to this year,” he said. “With last year being my first year in racing, everything that was going on around me seemed to happen in warp speed. I learned a lot last year so I need to take those learning experiences to make us a more prepared and competitive team for this year.”
Entering his sophomore campaign, he admits that he’s trying to not put a lot of pressure on himself, due to solely racing for the fun of it.
“Having said that though, I am very competitive and if I am going to commit the time to something, I do try be good at it,” he added. “Last year my goal was to learn the car, stay out the way of the other drivers, and do my best to stay on the lead lap. This year, I’m hoping I can challenge for some heat wins and some top-five finishes in the features.
“We recently purchased the No. 3 car from Ted Greenwood to run as our main car for 2019. So I expect that it will take me a few races to get used to the new car but I’m confident we’ll adjust quickly and be competitive.”
Although he enjoys all of the tracks on the tour with their unique challenges, he is most looking forward to getting back to Flamboro Speedway and Sunset Speedway after his success as those two facilities last year.
The rookie campaign for Taylor was successful, with seven top-10 finishes, including a pair of top-five’s along the way.
“I just need to keep educating myself on these cars,” he commented. “I need to be out practicing on practice days and playing with the car to see what works and what doesn’t. I hate not understanding how a certain component works so I spend a lot of time researching online to at least have a basic knowledge of its purpose and function.
“I’m also very fortunate to race with a bunch of racers who are willing to help out on race nights when I need it. Coming into racing from just being a fan is not easy. Some of these guys have been doing this since they were in diapers.”
While it is nice to be able to lean on some of his competitors for his advice, he knows they’re also bringing some tough competition.
“I think we’re in a good place,” he said. “We lost a few regulars from 2018, but at the same time, it’s my understanding that there are some new drivers coming into the series so I’m not concerned. I’ve watched all the features from 2018 on YouTube and there’s some great racing throughout the pack and I don’t see that changing for this year.”
Looking at his competition, he says the drivers to watch will be Ryan Battilana, Jaden Riddell, Tyler Cullen, and James Stanley, as well as the other two cars Stanley Motorsports will be entering.
For Taylor, his passion for racing developed by spending his childhood watching stock car racing at Westgate Speedway, which is now known as Peterborough Speedway.
“Stock car racing has always been a passion of mine as a fan, and last year I had an opportunity to purchase the #83 (Brody Rickwood) car so I couldn’t pass on the opportunity,” he said. “I purchased the car, told my dad and my wife to make sure they were available on weekends, and we went racing. I was a 47 year old rookie.”
Through his rookie campaign, Taylor was able to have several memorable moments, including a top-five at Flamboro Speedway in July.
“It was like a win,” he reflected. “A close second would be leading some laps in feature No. 1 at ACC (too bad we blew the motor). I really just enjoy the new friendships I have made, and the time I get to spend with my dad (crew chief) and my wife at the track.”
By: Ashley McCubbin