Interviews

“They Said What?” OSCAAR Hot Rod Edition

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.

“We started looking at bodies, and sure, the obvious choice would be a Mustang. But we wanted to build a car that looked like a Cup car. It will look like a 70’s Winston Cup car when it comes out of the garage and that’s the look that we want to portray. We didn’t really get carried away with fender flares, the tires are tucked in nice and neat under the fenders, and I like all the looks that the guys have – but we wanted to have a car that just came out off of 1975 from a NASCAR track.

“We have lots of pictures from the way guys prepped those cars. We’re kind of working on a paint scheme that’s a reminder of that era. So when the car rolls out and other than knowing that it’s not a Cup car from a distance, it’s going to really have that look because I think that was the one of the best eras of NASCAR racing. The cars were gorgeous. They all looked different and looked like real care; like, we didn’t cut this car up.

“We had to change some of the dimensions a little bit, obviously to fit the wheel-base, but we tried really hard to maintain the factory body lines so when you look at it, you know it’s a Torino. Even with where we’re at, I bet you that we have 150 man hours in putting this body together to make sure the body dimensions don’t look off.”

Brandon Robertson on why they went with a Ford Torino. 

“My cousin was getting married and we were all going down to Mexico for his wedding, and we were sitting in my barn in the garage. I told him that I had to get him drunk in Mexico as he was the only person that I knew that had a car, and I wanted to drive one more time. So that was the big joke, and we all started laughing and joking about it.

“A couple weeks later, my cousin and I were sitting at the barn and he says, ‘Why don’t we go watch Bob race?’ I told him ‘naw,’ and he said that we should go as they’re just at Sauble Beach. So we ended up going to – and that’s how it all started. I got hooked right in it again. I jumped in both feet, and two weeks later, I started building this car.”

Leroy Robinson

“I think the series is great. I’ve told this to Dave (Gainforth) before that OSCAAR is run very well. The tech guys are great, the officials are awesome. All the drivers are kind and helpful; whenever you have a problem, there’s always someone there asking if you need something. I think the series is an amazing idea because the cars look awesome, and like I said, everybody is so good with each other. We’re not out there to crash each other, but have a good time and Dave monitors it very well.

“I think the series is going to take off that much more, considering there were six cars last year, and now it’s stepped up to about 12. Hopefully next year we’ll have about 20-something through the year because I can see a lot of guys interested in the series, and it’s worth getting into.”

Brad Martin

“After three nights in his car, my girlfriend said we should own one of these. We met each other around at the race track, and got together 20 years later. But this time she said that she wanted to be an owner. Three weeks later, I bought one.”

Derek Henderson

“I think this series is the coolest series in Ontario racing and I hope everyone remembers to have some fun with it and not drive up the cost . I think (series president) Dave (Gainforth) has put together a good rules package and is trying to make it affordable which is what racing needs.”

Steve Book

“I figured to race you had to be someone special,” he said. “Then I found out pretty much as long as you have a car, you can show up and go racing. I looked online for cars and at the time, I saw the Voltzwagen that was winning all the time at Sauble. So being young, I thought if I bought a Voltzwagen I’d be fast too, but that wasn’t the case. I bought the car, but I wasn’t too fast at the beginning – but I learnt over time.”

Tim Van Oostveen 

“I think next year there will be a lot of big time hitters show up every week. With new competition coming into the series and guys working on getting faster for next year will surpass what we had this year. It’ll make for some of the best racing in Ontario for sure.

“I think this series is going to blow up and become one of the biggest followed racing series in Ontario. Having cool old school race cars traveling over Ontario to put on a great show. Its only going to get bigger and bigger. It’s bringing back the grassroots of short track racing.”

Dalen Martin

“It feels amazing. Three Championships in a row is no easy task. And this year it was the hardest one yet. The 47 Team (Bok) was on us all season and finished under 20 points behind us. That was too close for comfort. We will have to step it up if we want a fourth in a row next year, for sure.”

Tyler Hawn

“The current growth and competition in the Hot Rod Series is amazing. 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.”

Nick Clarke

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