Sometimes when you stick a microphone in front of a driver’s face, you have no clue what they may say and a couple of times you’ll hear something that surprises you or gives you a bit of a perspective.
Throughout the 2019 season, I had the opportunity to speak to a bunch of different competitors. During those interviews, there were some quotes that stood out. So it seems only fitting we take a glance back through the year at what was said.
On top of Samantha Shaw’s success behind the wheel, she is also helping to spread awareness about the ladies involved in motorsports through the “Ladies of the Oval” facebook page.
“I have to thank Randi (Seguin) for bringing me on board to help her with the project,” she said. “We have some great plans for the page and calendar and I can’t wait for everyone to see what we’ve been working on! Our main goal with the whole thing is to encourage a more supportive group. There’s enough drama around racing without the few girls that are there tearing each other down too.
“It’s always been strange to me, being thought of as a role model. I just don’t see myself that way. But if we can get more girls out here kicking all the guys’ butts, I can live with the role model status.”
“My favorite moment of the year was the second last night, where in the feature I went toe to toe with Eric Yorke. “It was fun, which was a nice change. I finished an extremely close second, but it was the after race moment which is my favorite. It was cool having the people I always looked up at the track, waiting for me in tech, complementing me on my performance and that it was one hell of a race. That was the moment I knew I gained there respect as a driver and that beats the trophy any day.”
“I think I grew a lot last year as a driver. I was seeing that myself, but then having people like Mike Schmidt, Brian Todish, Frank Casale telling me that they saw that growth because they’re people that have watched since I started in the mini stock. But hearing it from people that are so successful and have been watching me, it means it’s not just me feeling it but them seeing it as well.
“So I personally think I have grown a lot compared to when I started. I was at the back of the pack, getting lapped every lap of every race, to now being in the top-10 consecutively on a weekly basis.”
“I laugh and smile. I say if you have a dream and you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. I look at myself and I don’t see the wheelchair; I’m just another race car driver and don’t want special treatment.”
Morgan Robson Jr.
“The division grows and improves every year as times just get faster and faster. The 81 (Samantha Shaw) & 23 (Tyler Seaboyer) looked pretty fast at practice and (Dylan) Holmes was a threat last year, so should be an exciting year to watch.”
“The biggest thing that stood out to me with having a lot of different day/ nights spent in the car was whether it was practice or race time, was having to adjust to the car always changing. Whether it was a different time in the day or temperature in general, it was crazy to me how fast the car could feel so different.”
“The competition level at Sunset is all over the map with people that can come out and stomp the field in the first three laps, to people that you can lap in the first three laps because it’s their first year racing. So the competition is everywhere and this year it is hard to say where the majority of it will be, especially with the rumours going around about who’s running full time.”
“I was hooked on going as fast as possible. In my early 20’s, I got the speed bug again and drag raced for a few years. But I was always a stock car fan, going to the track with family and helping whenever I could. Then I met Shawn McGlynn on a job site in Barrie and now I’m where I am today getting ready for my rookie season at sunset Speedway this 2019.”
“Our most memorable moments this season were the times at the track on practice nights making the car faster. We had a couple of other great drivers including Cameron McGlashan to help us out.
“I’m doing my best not to even think about that. I’m there to race, and have fun. ‘Points racing’ is never my focus. If you run well, everything else figures itself out. It’s certainly different being looked at as the car-to-beat, and it’s not a feeling I’m at all used to. But dad and I have worked hard to earn that reputation.”
“It’s my getaway. The track is unlike anything else and just has always felt like home. It’s something I look forward to the moment I leave to the very next weekend.”
“To be in a male dominant sport, it’s hard. And a lot of girls have mixed emotions about this because it’s either it doesn’t affect me because I’m as competitive as everyone else, or it does affect me because I am being treated differently. I think I’m not as competitive as everybody else, but I feel I have enough respect in the community that I am not looked at as oh that’s girl, that’s a girl driver. I would like to think that I’m looked as a driver like everyone else.
“But obviously to fans outside, I am that female. I’ll be the first one to admit that I get more publicity because I am a female, but I am using that to make a difference. I think being a female in motorsports – if I was a male doing this right now, I wouldn’t be as successful. I will forever be grateful that I am a woman, forever.
“I’m glad to have woman like Kendra Adams, yourself, my mother, Sandra (Todish) who owns Sunset, and Carol (Slaughter) – I have amazing woman surrounding me that are pushing me to do better that are business woman who know what it’s like to struggle and work in the industry that I want to go into. Even speaking on the educational panel at Motorama, having those three girls together and hear the different stories, and knowing they succeeded, it’s another thing that fuels me because it’s hard for woman in any career to succeed. Knowing I have this great group around me, I know I will succeed.”