Through OSCAAR’s 30 years of racing, certain families have been involved in the sport, leaving their mark. One of those being the Robinsons.
“It’s impressive that it’s lasted this long,” Stu Robinson Jr. said. “It’s got to be one of the longest running series in Southern Ontario, and very happy that it’s still going.”
The families involvement in the sport goes through generations, with Stu Robinson Sr. racing himself. Then it was Stu Jr.’s turn to get behind the wheel, beginning with go-karting for five years. After following that with three seasons of late model competition, it was time for the jump up into super late models.
“My dad and I raced late models for three years, but got tired of running every Saturday night at a home track and just doing some traveling series,” he commented. “So you’re running 35 races a year and by the end of the year, you were just wore out. So we looked to go to a traveling series that had anywhere from 10 to 13 dates, which was comfortable and a lot more enjoyable. So we went with the OSCAAR Super Late Model series.”
Once behind the wheel, Robinson learned why they are still one of the coolest cars in the province. As he noted, “they’re their own beast and once you have driven one, nothing else that you drive will compare.”
After winning Rookie of the Year in 1992, he continued to only improve from there and experienced lots of success through the 14 years with a pair of back-to-back championships in 2002 and 2003.
“When I look back on it, it’s very rewarding, humbling considering the fact that as a kid growing up and going to Cayuga, Flamboro, all the short tracks to watch the super late models growing up,” he said. “My idol was Junior Hanley and back in those days, you cheered for Hanley or Biederman as they were the two big days. As a kid, that’s what I dreamed of, not thinking it’d become a reality. When it did become a reality and managed to have some success and win a couple championships, it was a big thrill.”
The years brought forth many moments, including bonfires and fun times spent with his competitors away from the track.
“Back in those days, we all raced together and racing is one big family,” he commented. “But I know weekends that we raced at Sunset, I wound stand up at the driver’s meeting and say when we’re done racing, come back to our place in Holland Landing and we’d have a corn roast. Some years, we’d have two or three teams show up, others we’d have five or six teams show up.”
Although the championships and winning the Don Biederman Memorial were memorable, Robinson Jr. notes a victory while celebrating his parent’s anniversary stands right up there.
“We were having a big family reunion back when they lived in Holland Landing,” he recalled. “So everybody was there, we must have had a crowd of 40 or 50 at Sunset Speedway. So the weekend of the reunion, we celebrated a little at the house and then we all went to the races and managed to pick up a feature win. So that was probably one of the bigger highlights.”
Beyond the success on the track, the family’s involvement with OSCAAR stems further than that as his father partook in decisions with the board for a couple years, and his sister serving as the president for around eight years.
“Our family, as a whole, was a big supporter of super late model racing in Ontario for many years,” he commented.
Once his days behind the wheel of a super late model came to a close, Robinson Jr. stayed involved in motorsports. He introduced his stepson Dillon to JCAR Racing, traveling to Grand Bend Speedway and Sauble Speedway for several weeks. The trips in return allowed to become friends with another racing family in Robert and Connor James.
Robinson Jr. has spent the past couple of years working with the team, helping in Connor’s development as a driver behind the wheel. Though there is an opportunity that may see Robinson Jr. back behind the wheel, this time of a Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modified, in the coming seasons.
With his experience earned through the years, the advice from the past champion to aspiring racers is to never give up and always work hard on your craft.
“You only get out what you put in,” he commented. “Myself and my dad, and the guys on the crew back in the super late days, we were in the garage every night and the rewards came. Just to not give up and don’t be afraid to put in the hard work.”
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., Touchwood Cabinets, Sauble Falls Campground, The Fyre Place & Patio Shop, Ohsweken Speedway, American Racer, and Grisdale Race Products.
By: Ashley McCubbin