Nick Clarke – “This Season was a step in the Right Direction.”

Battling up front through the season, Nick Clarke put together a solid Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rod campaign en route to placing third in the year-end standings.

“This season was definitely a step in the right direction from last year,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “A lot less mechanical issues, and much better results on track.”

Through the year, the driver of the No. 86 Matteo’s Pizzeria and Café, John’s Towing, P.W. Auto Sales, Moonlight Design, Artic Clear Water, Kenilworth Auto Recyclers entry was able to score five top-five’s and eight top-10’s, with his season-best performance coming at Jukasa Motor Speedway.

“I think my favourite part of the year would have to be our third-place finish at Jukasa,” he commented. “We were so close to a win.”

The success has not come easy, though, as Clarke notes that his team can spend anywhere from 15 to 20 hours per week in the shop car, and with more time possible “depending on the events that had happened at the last event.”

The series also gave him a unique opportunity to race against both his dad and Bob Parsons, with Bill Clarke scoring a heat victory at the Autumn Colours Classic at Peterborough Speedway.

“Family is definitely a huge part of our racing,” he commented. “I enjoy racing against my Dad, and Bob. I honestly think it pushes me a little harder to improve every week, and to try and beat them on track.”

Parsons, meanwhile, took home the Rookie of the Year honors for 2019, besting out one of the strongest rookie classes that the series has boasted since it’s inaugural campaign.

“The current growth and competition in the Hot Rod Series is amazing,” Clarke said. “It’s absolutely wild to be one of the teams to see how far this has come in such a little amount of time. The teams that keep showing up are getting stronger and stronger every time, and it pushes everyone else to try and be that much better.”

Now entering the 2020 campaign, the focus is simple for Clarke – keep improving, and “hopefully come out this spring stronger than ever with both of our cars.” It won’t be easy, though, as the competition is expected to grow once again with more rookies on-board.

“I think I would tell the potential rookies not to get discouraged if they have bad luck, and work through it,” he said. “The harder your team works the better your results will be.”

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