After showing that he could run with the front runners on a weekly basis in 2019, there’s only one thing on James Stanley’s mind as we enter 2020 – the Living Lighting OSCAAR Pro Sprint Championship.
“I’ve had my eyes on it for many, many years and I feel we finally have the right package to complete that this coming season,” he commented.
He knows making that happen will take a lot of dedication, noting the Pro Sprints can be very time consuming to work on due to being custom built and requiring a lot of maintenance.
“I’ve heard guys who have switched from these cars to full size cars say that these are surprisingly more work,” he commented. “Honestly I probably spend 30-40 hours a week on my car and I would spend even more time if I wasn’t working 70+ hours a week. The biggest thing that people don’t see is the behind the scenes time that is put in to run a series; it is honestly crazy.”
Last season, the hard work paid off as Stanley was able to run inside the top-three every single week, en route to ranking second in the year-end standings.
“Looking back on the season, I would definitely call it a huge success,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “We made major improvements and really showed the strength of this car with only missing the podium one night this whole season due to a chain failure. In 2018, we struggled badly all season long to even just make laps, so this season being able to run up front with (Daniel) Hawn each week was a huge accomplishment.”
He was also able to get his first career series feature victory at Peterborough Speedway, after making his way through the field after a mid-field starting spot to take the top spot, leading through the majority of the feature.
While that moment comes to mind first when speaking of his favourite moments, he notes that there were a lot of other great memories made, too.
“From racing Hawn wheel to wheel for the lead and messing with him on the restarts, to Brad (Holmes) winning rookie of the year, to camping at Autumn Colours with my friends and family,” he commented. “I have a blast every single second I am at the racetrack.
“This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had in a race season. All week that’s what I’m looking forward to, loading up and heading to the track. There are so many really good people I’m surrounded by that I get to call my close friends and family. Towards the end of the season, I was giving Daniel more of a fight and I think that made it a lot more fun for the both of us, just having to work that much harder. Having Brad in my dad’s car was a blast. Watching the rookie battle from a different perspective was definitely fun.
“Even just the bench racing on our way to the track, to the August Peterborough race where we were both in the top 3. These guys really make it enjoyable. I can’t forget Sam, Tanner and my dad, it wouldn’t be the same without all these guys.”
The time that Stanley has spent around his fellow competitors, including those at Hawn Motorsports and Newman Motorsports, has given him a closer look at OSCAAR’s other two divisions. Although he is focused on the Pro Sprint right now, he has not put that out of the equation for the future.
“For beyond, I have looked into moving up into a big car and I would love to try one,” he commented. “But I would need a full crew each week and life is just too busy; these smaller cars are easy enough to show up and race by yourself. For now, I am going to run my car and help out Newman Motorsports and Hawn Motorsports.”
With the right people alongside, it appears that the goal he has set seems attainable, but everybody within the series knows it will be tough with the current level of competition, and potential rookies joining in the fray in 2020. Stanley’s best piece of advice for the newcomers is to read up and ask lots of questions.
“These are hard cars to wrap your head around,” he explained. “The earlier you get a full understanding on them the better your season will go. Also when you’re on the track, just be predictable.”
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