Although it’s been rough to get in a lot of racing thanks to Mother Nature, the Mini Stocks have certainly been creating buzz across the province with exciting races everywhere. Ahead of the fourth edition of the Ontario Mini Stock Rankings to be released on Wednesday, here are five thoughts to ponder.
1. Some Frosty Momentum
Through the 2018 season, Erik Dalla Riva was not a name that popped up on a lot of radars. However, he made everyone take notice by winning the year-end Frostoberfest special at Flamboro Speedway. It earned him a spot on the initial top-10 rankings entering the season, despite others debating whether he was deserving.
The continued critics are slowly being silenced with each performance that the past karter puts in the bank. Thus far at Flamboro Speedway, he has scored a top-six finish in each of features to date, including a pair of feature victories. It hasn’t been easy on him, either, with the No. 30 Mustang getting caught up in a pair of incidents the past two weekends of racing. He went from sliding through the infield to finishing fifth on May 26, followed by turning wall contact into a sixth on June 8.
The success is paying off in Flamboro Speedway’s points standings, as Dalla Riva and his teammate Rich Schwartzenburg hold the advantage at the top by a mere two points over Karl Sault.
2. Wilson’s Whipping
Full Throttle Motor Speedway currently boasts some of the top competition in the province with Cory Young, Doug Butler, and Cory McAllister among others. However, they all have one thing in common – currently kicking their butts kicked by Brian Wilson.
Through 10 features to date, Wilson has scored the victory on six occasions to go along with a runner-up and three fourth-place finishes. In short, he is currently on a dominant streak that does not appear to be slowing down, considering he’s won four of the last five features.
3. Championship Battle Brewing at Sunset Speedway
After watching Daniel Montanari take charge last season and not let go, it seems this year the G.D. Coates Used Car Superstore Mini Stocks at Sunset Speedway are going to have a points battle to talk about. There may only be a pair of features in the book, but those combined with last year’s success have everybody pointing towards Dylan Holmes, Tyler Seaboyer, and Samantha Shaw.
Holmes finished last season fourth in points, but entered the 2019 campaign with a lot of questions due to the car being owned by JNL Motorsports rather than his own family outfit. However, the No. 2 Mustang has the same speed he showed late last season as he dominated opening night, followed by a runner-up on night two.
Seaboyer came on strong through the back half of last season, with a couple victories late in the going. The momentum carried into this year with a finish of fourth on opening night, followed by a dominating victory on June 8. Whether he will remain a fixture at the top of the standings is yet to be seen as he talked about running just a partial schedule.
Shaw entered the season as the favorite for the championship, after finishing second in points last year with flawless consistency on a weekly basis. That carried into this year as she scored a runner-up on opening night. However, her title hopes took a hit when mechanical issues saw her not take the green flag in the feature on June 8. It won’t be easy to make up the lost ground, but anything is possible.
4. Holy Cars!!
There was a time when Peterborough Speedway was looked at as being home to the quickest cars in the province with the likes of Daryl Fice, Brad Martin and Ryan Babin leading the way. However, it somehow shifted to nobody paying attention to the division.
That is a tagline that should be forgotten this year as the track currently boasts the strongest field in the province, with 24 cars taking the green flag on June 8. Furthermore, the diversity of drivers who can win this year ranges right through at least the top-five. Ember Junkin and Nolan Gould have taken the checkered flag thus far, but you have to consider defending champion Ryan Oosterholt, Jeremy Kelly, Kent Missons, Neil Hannah, and James Townsend among the possible other faces to possibly visit victory lane this season.
5. Wilson vs Curtis
Although it appeared as though Brian Wilson Jr. had the advantage in the FTMS Kid Stock division, that was a line that was possibly written a little too early. Over the past three weeks of racing, Jeremy Curtis looks to be the dominant force, winning four of his last five features. As a result, the pair of youngguns are now tied with five wins a piece after 12 features have been run.
As we go through the summer and more experience is gained, it will be interesting to see whether the tide shifts again and how it plays out in the year-end standings. Curtis now currently leads the standings, 20 points ahead of Luke Dippel with Wilson in fourth (-81 points).