Following a successful rookie campaign, it’s no surprise that Brad Holmes is excited for another season on Living Lighting OSCAAR Pro Sprint competition.
“Looking into 2020, I’m extremely excited,” he commented. “Stanley Motorsports had one of its most successful campaigns and we plan to improve on it. We plan to come out with a new car which is also exciting as it presents a new challenge for all of us. It should be interesting for sure.”
Despite having a year under his belt, Holmes is keeping his expectations in check for 2020, as they will remain the same as they were for his rookie campaign – to simply improve from each week to the next.
“The only real difference is we have a baseline of what we know can be accomplished,” he explained. “As for specific goals, a higher points finish is going to be the big one. We fluctuated a lot in the overall points last year being as high as fourth and as low as 10th. Ending up seventh was satisfying for a few weeks, but I don’t think it really reflects the season we had. Along with that is the obvious things, grabbing another heat win , and being able to improve on the lone top-five.”
With a year under his belt, Holmes also notes that he’s excited about getting back to Peterborough Speedway and Sauble Speedway this season.
“I was thrilled to be returning to all the tracks I once knew and loved,” he said. “My Autumn Colours re-debut didn’t go as well as I had hoped; we had a really good run there in August and were hoping to back it up, which didn’t happen. So I’m looking forward to going back and re-writing that one. Although our lone date at Sauble was a short and very rough one for me, I have that track circled in my mind.”
As previously noted, his rookie campaign in 2019 was successful, as Holmes ranked seventh in the year-end standings with one heat win and 11 top-10 finishes.
“Like I mentioned, the overall points finish was slightly disappointing,” he reflected. “I truly don’t believe that is a reflection of how good we were. It’s all overshadowed of course by winning Rookie Of the Year, which is amazing. It was the main goal of the season and we won it by a large margin, so looking back I’m thrilled with how it turned out for me. It was also a highlight moment to get to see James (Stanley) win his first Pro Sprint feature.”
Although it was his first year behind the wheel of a midget with suspension, it is worth noting that he previously ran as part of the Hurricane Midgets without suspension. In comparing the two, he notes that he was surprised at how well the drivers have improved.
“Midget/Sprint classes have known to have their fair share of moments of endless yellow flags and pointless crashes,” he explained. “We as a series had more than a few Green to Checkered races which although boring for the fans sometimes , is an extreme relief for drivers. Everyone stepped up to keep the racing tough and entertaining, but also safe.”
The year included a ton of several memorable moments from Holmes, with the biggest highlights being the Rookie of the Year Award and Stanley’s first win at Peterborough Speedway.
“There is little moments like getting to have family and friends come see me race,” he added. “If I had to narrow it down, I would probably choose the entire Victory Lane celebration at Peterborough, seeing the look on James face, seeing Daniel congratulate him, having Sam and Tanner to celebrate with. It was a really cool family moment with Stanley and Hawn Motorsports teams.”
Now with eyes focused on improvement for 2020, Holmes says the key will be being more aggressive.
“We raced a lot of races with the mentality ‘We only need to beat the 93 (Dylan Little)’ or ‘we need to stay one spot behind the 62 (Rob McCall)’ , which arguably hindered our overall finish some nights,” he commented. “So we are going to run every race as whoever is leading is the one we need to beat. We won’t be running for ROTY next season so every position will count.”
As Holmes enters his sophomore campaign, there will certainly be a new crop of rookies chasing the elusive ROTY award. To those drivers, Holmes advises them to ask any questions that they have.
“There’s no one who won’t help out when asked,” he said. “We all come from different backgrounds and we all have knowledge in different areas. The second piece of advice I would offer is surround yourself with a good team. It’s impossible to even think you’re going to compete without a great team. Without guys like Tanner, James, Sam, Dan, Norm , Adam, Tyler, and Ryan I wouldn’t even have made it past race number two.”
Be sure to keep up with OSCAAR by staying tuned to the series website at http://www.oscaar.ca. Also, make sure to “like” the official OSCAAR Racing Facebook page, while following both the Twitter and Instagram accounts (@OSCAARRacing) to keep up to date on everything you need to know.
OSCAAR’s 2020 racing season was supported by several dedicated partners including Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC, Knightworks Design, Living Lighting Canada, Scott Reinhart Trailer Sales Ltd., American Racer, and Grisdale Race Products.
By: Ashley McCubbin