Ready to embark on his third campaign in the Living Lighting OSCAAR Pro Sprints, Tyler Cullen is ready to improve upon his success the past two years.
“This season, I’m looking optimistic even though the last two seasons have been a little rough for us,” he commented. “I think this year will be our year to shine, hopefully. Got a new engine coming in, and I think this year will be a better year overall than we have had and hopefully some of the bad luck from other years will turn into good luck this year.”
Entering the season, the teenager is keeping his goals in check, hopeful of being competitive on a weekly basis, while scoring some podiums and possibly his first career feature victory.
If you’re looking to predict a track that he will run strong at, then be sure to circle Sauble Speedway on the calendar. The beach is the track that he is most looking forward to with Flamboro Speedway unfortunately falling off the schedule in 2020.
“Sauble (Speedway) is like Flamboro, and that’s a track that I’ve always liked racing at,” he commented. “It can compare to a lot because it’s fast and a great track to drive with a smooth surface. It basically has the same racing line as Flamboro, that’s why I am looking forward to it.”
This past season, Cullen placed sixth in the year-end standings with six top-five’s and 12 top-10 finishes.
“Last season was a consistent year with top-five finishes,” he reflected. “Sometimes we didn’t have the pace to run up with the front guys, but we were either slowest of the fast, or fastest of the slow. But I think last year was a pretty good year, and step-up from going from eighth in the standings to sixth.
“As we move forward, we’ll make notes on what we did well last year and what we need to improve on next season.”
Through the 2019 campaign, there were several memorable moments, but Cullen says the battle for sixth at Peterborough Speedway’s Autumn Colours Classic stands out.
“I was battling three other cars for sixth or seventh,” he commented. “At the last lap, last corner, the car in front of me spun out and I almost hit that car – and somehow got sixth out of it. A fun – well, a scary way – to end off the season as it’s fun to look back on that moment.”
Moving forward, Cullen says that he needs to focus on adapting himself to the ever-changing track conditions.
“I think I just need to adapt myself with my driving skills and not be afraid to push myself to that limit, but not over push the limit in a sense,” he added.
As Cullen hopes to expand on his success, he will have heavy competition with several returning favourites, combined with a new rookie crop. The driver of the No. 43 Pro Sprint advises those drivers to not push themselves to the limit in their first few races.
“Find your feet and get used to the car at first, and then as you get more comfortable in the car, then you can start pushing yourself more and more,” he commented. “That’s what I did in my first few races. I think the first race that I did, I didn’t push myself as much; I mean I wasn’t going 100% but still going as fast as I really needed to. But as you get settled in the car more and more, you’ll get a feel for the car and end up going faster than previous time as you’ll keep improving yourself as you go.”
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