The months of anticipation and waiting for the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC, Scott Reinhart Trailer Sales Ltd. OSCAAR Modified teams is over as they will open their season at Sunset Speedway on May 18 and 19 with their Spring Velocity 40-lap feature presented by Bourque Transmission.
If anyone is going to win this weekend, they will probably have to find their way by multi-time OSCAAR Modified Champion Gary McLean. In the last 10 features at Sunset Speedway, McLean has been to victory lane – including last year’s Velocity 250 in September.
Gary Elliott should be a driver to watch this weekend. He ran up front throughout last season, scoring a top-10 finish in seven of the last eight features, including a victory at Sauble Speedway. Historically, Sunset Speedway has been a good track for him with three top-six finishes in nine starts, including a runner-up.
A.J. Emms enters this weekend with momentum following a pair of top-fives to close the 2018 season, including a podium at Flamboro Speedway. Consistency is the name of the game for him, with only four finishes outside of the top-eight in his past 19 series starts. The driver of the No. 14 Modified has had success at Sunset Speedway previously, scoring a track-best fifth last May.
Sault St. Marie native Mike Hearty hopes to break into the top-five following six top-10 finishes in 2018. In his last seven races at Sunset Speedway, he has posted six top-10’s, including a track-best fourth in September 2015.
2018 OSCAAR Modified Champion Cory Horner enters this weekend with confidence following just one finish outside of the top-six last season, in a year highlighted by a pair of feature victories. He knows his way around Sunset Speedway, posting five podiums in seven starts, including a victory on Canada Day weekend last year.
Luke Gignac enters this weekend with momentum on his side following eight straight top-six finishes, including a runner-up at Sauble Speedway. He knows his way around Sunset Speedway, finishing on the podium in the 2018 edition of the Velocity 250.
John Harper will be looking to start off his year on a solid note, following just two finishes outside of the top-four in 2018. He has been solid at Sunset Speedway in the past, posting no finishes worse than seventh with a track-best third in last year’s Spring Velocity.
Dale Reinhart hopes to not repeat last year’s Spring Velocity experience with a blown motor. Outside of that experience, the Innisfil, Ontario track has treated him well, with a runner-up finish at the Velocity 250 last year.
Jase Cornell hopes to keep the positive momentum going following a top-10 in eight of the last nine races, including a fifth-place finish at Sauble Speedway. Notably, his best finish at Sunset in 2018 was an 11th.
After closing the season with a top-15 finish at the Autumn Colours Classic, Wally Wilson hopes to be in the thick of the action this weekend. Notably, his best previous Sunset Speedway finish was 12th at the Canada Day Special in 2018.
Chad Strawn is a driver to keep an eye on, as he’s been successful at Sunset Speedway previously with a victory a couple years ago, to go with a third-place finish at the Canada Day Special last year.
Kelly Balson showed that he has good speed, with two top-five’s and three top-10’s in seven series starts last season, including a victory in the season-ending Autumn Colours Classic. He will hope to have a better run this time around after finishing 17th at Sunset Speedway’s Velocity 250.
Jason Keen knows how to get to Sunset Speedway victory lane, having done so in a Canadian Vintage Modified. He will hope to do the same behind the wheel of his OSCAAR Modified following a fifth-place finish in the 2018 edition of the Velocity 250.
Jason Bowden also knows his way around the Sunset Speedway, as showcased with a track-best ninth-place finish last year. He was solid through the 2018 campaign, with five top-10’s in his rookie campaign.
David Balych enters this weekend looking for a top-10 finish after scoring a season-best 13th-place finish last year. He has performed well at Sunset Speedway before, positing two top-nines in five appearances.
Mike Westwood will return to the series on a full-time basis in 2019, hoping to find success. Notably, he scored an eighth-place finish in the 2016 edition of Frostoberfest at Flamboro Speedway.
Shawn Chenoweth only made three starts last year, but he was able to score a top-10 finish in each of those events, including a seventh-place finish at Sunset Speedway’s Velocity 250.
Brad Pearsall will be making a part-time return to the series following a three-year hiatus. During his last season of competition in 2015, he visited victory lane at Sauble Speedway.
Craig Scott hopes to be part of the action on Sunday at Sunset Speedway after failing to qualify for last year’s edition of the Velocity 250.
Anthony DiBello showed speed last season, picking up a season-best ninth place finish last year in four starts.
The McLean family is no stranger to modified racing, and Brian McLean is set to showcase that he can still get the job done behind the wheel. Through his OSCAAR Modified career to date, the veteran has scored two victories and 14 top-five finishes.
The MavTV Canada OSCAAR Modified Rookie of the Year battle will certainly have everybody’s attention this season, with a mix of talented drivers hoping to walk away with the prize at year-end. The contenders for 2019 including Norman Newman, Bryan Batty, Jim Bowman, Ian Bourque, and Percy Newman.
Norman Newman is no stranger to the OSCAAR scene, as evident by a successful campaign in the Living Lighting OSCAAR Pro Sprints last year. Across the schedule, he scored six top-five and eight top-10 finishes.
Bryan Batty enters the OSCAAR fold following success in the Ontario Legends Series, highlighted by a heat victory late last season.
Jim Bowman and Ian Bourque have been part of the OSCAAR family for a long time, as evident by their tenures in the Super Late Model division. Notably, Spring Velocity at Sunset Speedway will mark the debut in the OSCAAR Modifieds for them both.
The racing promises to be action-packed with several strong contenders hoping to pick up the checkered flag. The qualifying heats will take place on Saturday May 18, with the 40-lap feature scheduled for Sunday May 19.
Be sure to keep up with OSCAAR by staying tuned to the series website at http://www.oscaar.ca. Also, make sure to “like” the official OSCAAR Racing Facebook page, while following both the Twitter and Instagram accounts (@OSCAARRacing) to keep up to date on everything you need to know.
OSCAAR’s 2019 racing season is supported by several dedicated partners including Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC, Knightworks Design, Living Lighting Canada, Scott Reinhart Trailer Sales Ltd., American Racer, and Grisdale Race Products.
By: Ashley McCubbin