Although the season was shortened for the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods presented by Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Park, it was not without a lot of action. The competition seemed to increase with a bunch of competitive new faces allotting for four different winners across the four races.
The classic cars that everyone loves kicked off their season in a big way, heading to Jukasa Motor Speedway for their first event of 2020. The time trial session saw a familiar face at the top of the scoreboard, with Steve Book continuing his dominance at the crown jewel after winning there in 2019.
Although Book drew eight for the invert, he did not say stuck in traffic for long. He moved up into second on Lap 5, before utilizing a restart to take over the lead. Stretching it out to a healthy advantage by the halfway mark, it was an easy road to victory for him.
Trevor Thompson was smart in his approach to his first race in the series, following Book through the traffic to the front of the field. It paid off en route to a runner-up ahead of fellow rookie Tom Walters. For Scott Beatty, it was a slower climb to the front in comparison to his competitors, but it paid off with a fourth as Jay Doerr rounded out the top-five. The heartbreak, though, went to Ed Bowlby in watching his top-five run fall apart in the final stages.
While several new faces were finding their way to the front, you could not turn your back on the old guard as we learned as Sauble Speedway for the second event of the year. Reigning champion Tyler Hawn showed his speed once again, laying down the quickest speed in time trials ahead of Walters and Bowlby.
Ultimately, the invert helped set the stage here with rookies Walters and Rob Bromley pacing the field to the green flag. They battled early, and it seemed as though it’d go down to the final stages, but that did not materialize with Walters running into mechanical issues. Bromley wasn’t left off the hook, though, as Adrian Foster was there to challenge.
It was not totally clean to the checkered flag, as the pair traded a couple bumps through the final three laps. Bromley would have enough speed, though, holding off the challenge from Foster to score his first career victory. Book, meanwhile, kept his consistency going as he made his way back through the field to finish third despite a mid-race pit stop. The rest of the top-five was also comprised of familiar faces, with Hawn and Paul Senior taking up fourth and fifth.
The third event of the year would see a slight change in pace, with heats being utilized to set the starting grid at Sunset Speedway instead of time trials. The format played into Walters’ favour, with his multi years of experience at the 1/3-mile oval allowing him to sweep both of his heats.
Despite starting eighth on the grid through the invert, Walters also wasted no time in making his way forward, getting alongside Billy Alderson Jr. for the top spot on Lap 16. From there on, a couple restarts late in the event couldn’t slow the progress with the veteran picking up his first career OSCAAR Hot Rod Series checkered flag.
Thompson fighting through the learning curve and making progress with each lap paid off for him as well, as he managed to squeak by Alderson in the final laps for second. Senior also was able to find some speed, as he snagged third to bump Alderson back to fourth. Scott Beatty, meanwhile, showed why he used to be strong at Sunset in a late model as he rounded out the top-five.
The last event for the series saw them return to the crown jewel, with a trip to Jukasa once again. Being able to visit a track for the second time in 2020 paid off for Thompson, as he laid down the quickest lap in time trials.
Although he drew sixth on the invert, he would not avoid the battle for the lead for long. The second half of the event would showcase why the Hot Rods are the fastest growing series in the province with Walters, Thompson, Hawn, Book, and Foster unable to get away from each other, stacked all together battling side-by-side for positions.
Thompson’s speed paid off, though, as he was able to take over the top spot on Lap 20 and lead from there on for the victory. Walters wrapped up his rookie campaign on a high with a second, with Hawn proved he can still run with the best in third. Steve Book and Adrian Foster rounded out the top-five.
As shown through the season, familiar faces are still able to battle up front and challenge for wins, with Book even reaching victory lane. However, the competition just continues to get stronger and closer as evident by three rookies picking up checkered flags.
With 10 drivers scored at least one top-five this year, it makes you wonder just how many others could have joined those four in victory lane if a full schedule would’ve been together. It also makes you happy in thinking about what could be possible in the battle for the championship in 2021.
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