After pitting for a friend through the 1980’s, Bob Franks got his chance behind the wheel in the thunder car division.
“I raced around Ontario until 2004, and I ended up with a limited late model at the end,” Franks said. “With two kids going off to school – one to university, one to college, that ended my racing budget. So I got out of it, and I always said that I would like to get back into it.”
With having always been a fan of the open-wheel Modifieds, two years ago Franks purchased one for himself and is set to partake a limited Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modified schedule this year.
The veteran will be making his 2019 debut at Jukasa Motor Speedway in June, while trying to “get to as many races” as he can following that. He hopes to be able to run at least one OSCAAR event at Sunset Speedway, Flamboro Speedway, and Peterborough Speedway this season.
For his first race of the year at Jukasa Motor Speedway, Franks is hoping to have a respectable showing.
“That’s a big track,” he commented. “We’ll have to see how things go. I would hope to finish in the top-15 at Jukasa. But as far as Sunset and Peterborough, probably top-eight.”
Being a part of OSCAAR was an easy decision for the veteran, in seeing the positive outlook for the series moving into the future.
“Car count is up and they’re really good, quality cars, and good racing,” he commented. “I think OSCAAR is doing well.”
In looking at five competitors that he thinks will be up front on a weekly basis, he said that Cory Horner, John Harper, Kelly Balson, John Baker Jr., and Anthony DiBello make his short list.
“If we can keep up with them, we’d be doing good,” he said.
Being successful is no strange feeling for Franks as he was able to win championships at Peterborough Speedway and Mosport Raceway previously. But beyond those titles, there’s been other great moments as well.
“There was a lot of really close and hard racing back then with all those guys,” he said. “They were all hard racers and we raced night after night wheel-to-wheel, and we just had a great time. A lot of memorable moments there, even, outside of winning championships – just good hard racing.
“It sometimes can be a bit disappointing, but it’s a good feeling sometimes after a hard battle and finishing second to someone.”
With the experience he has under his belt, he says the key for the next generation of racers to not try and overdrive their car.
“They get themselves and other competitors into trouble,” Franks commented. “So if I had to say one thing, drive your car to the capability that it has and strive each week to improve on your car and the handling, and then you will get better and quicker. By doing that, you’ll get the respect of the other drivers and the fans.”
By: Ashley McCubbin