After seeing their event at Sunset Speedway cut short, there’s no denying that the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modified teams are excited for the 40-lap feature at Jukasa Motor Speedway presented by Queenston Chevrolet on June 1.
It is worth noting that with the event at Sunset Speedway cut short, the bonus money put up by Bourque Transmission for Spring Velocity will carry over to this weekend.
The OSCAAR Modifieds made their inaugural appearance at Jukasa Motor Speedway last year, with Gary McLean reaching victory lane. With McLean currently not entered for this weekend’s event, it appears that the series will see a first-time winner.
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. He started off the year well at Sunset Speedway with finishes of pair of top-five finishes in his heats, and finished 12th last year at Jukasa.
Last year’s Jukasa Motor Speedway 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 started off his year well at Sunset Speedway with a first and third in his heats.
Sault St. Marie native Mike Hearty hopes to break into the top-five following six top-10 finishes in 2018. Notably, he finished eighth in his first trip to Jukasa last season.
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 has also started off the 2019 campaign, winning both of his qualifying heats at Spring Velocity to currently lead the points. Notably, he finished sixth last year at Jukasa.
After missing Jukasa last season, Luke Gignac is looking forward to getting on the big track with momentum on his side following eight straight top-six finishes, including a runner-up at Sauble Speedway. He started off the year with a pair of top-fives at Sunset in his heats.
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 finished both of his heats at Sunset Speedway in the top-five, and was fourth last year at Jukasa.
Dale Reinhart had a solid outing last year in his Jukasa debut, scoring a 10th-place finish. He’s no stranger to running up front in OSCAAR competition, finishing third in points last year after scoring his first career feature victory at Sauble Speedway.
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, he finished 16th in his first trip to Jukasa last season.
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. Wilson was in attendance last year at Jukasa, but saw his day cut short by an incident in practice.
Sunset Speedway heat winner Chad Strawn is a driver to keep an eye on, as he’s been successful in OSCAAR competition before, winning features at Sunset and Kawartha Speedway. Although he has yet to make a modified start at Jukasa, he was able to get in some laps through pre-event testing.
Kelly Balson showed the No. B10 Modified is fast via three top-10’s in seven series starts last season, including a victory in the season-ending Autumn Colours Classic. However, he won’t be behind the wheel this weekend. Instead, the team has elected to put J.R. Fitzpatrick will behind the wheel for his second career OSCAAR Modified start. The past OSCAAR Super Late Model Champion ran Autumn Colours a couple years ago, scoring a heat victory before getting caught up in an early wreck in the feature.
Jason Keen proved that he can battle with the best in the series in his rookie campaign with a top-five finish in the year-end standings. He also gave his new car a good introduction to the series, scoring a pair of top-five heat finishes at Sunset Speedway. Notably, he finished ninth in his first trip to Jukasa last year.
Jason Bowden also knows how to run well, finishing 11th in his first trip to Jukasa. As a whole, though, he was solid in his 2018 rookie campaign with five top-10 finishes.
Mike Westwood makes his return to the series, hoping to have a successful outing in his first trip to Jukasa Motor Speedway. He has done well previously in OSCAAR competition, scoring 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. He also debuted his new car in style, scoring a heat victory at Sunset Speedway. This will mark his first trip with the OSCAAR Modifieds to Jukasa, but he was able to gain experience last year behind the wheel of a Pro Late Model.
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. Notably, he was fast at Sunset Speedway with a top-five finish in both of his heats.
Craig Scott hopes to be part of the action on Saturday at Jukasa Motor Speedway. In his lone OSCAAR start last year, he scored a 17th-place finish at Kawartha Speedway.
Anthony DiBello showed speed last season, picking up a season-best ninth place finish last year in four starts. He will be a driver to watch in his first appearance at Jukasa.
Jeff Showler will be running a limited schedule this year, hoping to build upon the four feature top-five’s he scored in 2018. He was successful in his first trip to Jukasa Motor Speedway, scoring a heat victory followed by a third-place finish in the feature.
Chris Milwain also showed speed, finishing fifth in the feature at Jukasa last season. He had a fast No. 21 Modified at Sunset Speedway’s Spring Velocity, picking up a top-five finish in both of his qualifying heats.
Ken Hayward will hope to find the same speed that allowed him to lead laps at Sauble Speedway a couple years ago before a late-race wreck took him out of contention.
Bob Franks is set for a limited OSCAAR schedule in 2018, following his first career top-10 finish last season with a 10th-place finish at Peterborough Speedway.
Justin Demelo will make his first start with the series since 2016 on Saturday afternoon, hoping to build upon his previous success that led him to victory lane on a couple occasions. The last year he ran with the series, he scored a top-10 finish in each of his starts.
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.
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. He was strong in his modified debut at Sunset Speedway with a top-five in both of his qualifying heats.
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.
Josh Stade will be making his OSCAAR Modified debut behind the wheel of the second car for Newman Motorsports. Although he is new to open-wheel racing, he had been successful in late model competition as a past track champion at Sauble Speedway.
The racing promises to be action-packed with several strong contenders hoping to pick up the checkered flag. Also on tap for Saturday, June 1 at Jukasa Motor Speedway is the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods and the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
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