After taking on a new build through the winter, Scott Schlueter experienced in his own words, an up and down season, in 2019.
“We built the car last winter so we knew we had some work to do to get it to where we could compete for wins,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “It was a slow start to the year but each week we made adjustments and got better as the summer went on, and finished the year with multiple second place finishes.”
Over the course of the summer, the driver of the No. 73 MCR Advanced Collision Centres, Royal Engraving & Trophies, Parks Livestock, Milverton FoodTown, MAP Embroidery & signs, B&D Transport, and Stratford CMax Mini Stock was able to score 14 top-five’s and 28 top-10’s, including five podium finishes. The first of those – a second on May 25 – stands out for him looking back.
“My favourite moment of the year would have to be our first podium finish with the new car,” he commented. “It meant a lot, knowing all the work we put into it. This was the first car we built, as my previous cars were bought race ready.”
The satisfaction is being able to be successful comes from going up against a slew of tough competitors, as Schlueter says the competition level right now is unreal.
“I know we didn’t have the biggest car counts at times through the summer, but a number of cars could win on any given night,” he explained. “It was always good clean side by side racing, most nights would be caution free.”
As he look towards the new season, Schlueter will return to FTMS on a full-time basis, but isn’t sure yet if his team will be doing any traveling.
“I’d like to get to Grand Bend at some point,” he admitted. “I’ve never felt like I’ve had a car that could be competitive at other tracks, but I feel like we will have a really good car next year, so we may consider some of the big event races.”
To the rookies competitors who will be hopefully joining him on-track this year, his advice is to never settle with the car you have.
“Always try to make it better,” he expressed. “The top drivers out there put there work in during the week, always trying to make the car faster. Don’t be afraid to try new things. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”