Interviews

Paul Pierik Excited Ahead of Ontario Legends Series Campaign

With excitement building within the series heading into 2020, it’s no surprise to see Paul Pierik joining in the hype.

“I am excited about this year,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “A lot new faces are joining many of the old faces coming back. Our series is growing faster then I have ever seen since I started in 2007 mostly due to the new management team lead by Jeff Drimmie.”

Going into the year, Pierik is hopeful of improving upon season’s best, aiming for a couple more heats and couple top-three finishes, but mostly importantly, being able “to drive the car into the trailer after every race.”

The 2020 schedule will see the Ontario Legends Series cross the province throughout the summer, with a lot of people eyeing the Canadian Legend Nationals at Peterborough Speedway at the end of August. Not only is Pierik is excited for that particular event, but the other races at the facility being his home track.

“You feel more comfortable when the track crew all know you and make you feel at home,” he added.

A good solid season would be a nice change of pace after experiencing a trying campaign in 2019 where Pierik was dealt a lot of bad luck in “being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“We had to replace the chassis and several bolt on pieces after a hard hit at Sauble Speedway,” he recalled. “Missing a double header at Peterborough, poor handling at Grand Bend and some contact at the Nationals (at Sunset Speedway) pushed us backwards in the standings. Thanks to Kevin Foisy and Can Legends for being at the track most weekends and ordering parts quickly, we were able to bounce back to an eighth overall and second in the Masters points standings.”

To ensure improvement for this year, Pierik says there will be a focus on getting some more practice, and learning these “tricky” cars.

“With a new engine and new tires this year, we will have to learn faster then we did in the past as its completely different for us,” he commented. “Learning how to qualify further to the front is going to be our biggest challenge this year.”

For Pierik, he caught the racing bug by crewing for a Players GM car through the late 80s, before getting behind the wheel of the arrive and drive go-karts in the mid-90s.

“But in 2007, I traded a boat for a Legend Car and the racing bug grew roots,” he reflected. “I played with Late Models for a couple seasons but needed a crew to make it work. I returned to Legends where every competitor and crew will always offer a hand if you’re in need!”

Although he experienced his best result in 2011 with a third-place overall finish, his says his most memorable time behind the wheel was racing against his sons for a full campaign.

“The Legends series is a racing family and a place we met so many people we now call friends,” he commented.

For their continued involvement in his program, Pierik thanks his sponsor Hastings Marine Service and his wife who keep the wheels turning.

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