It’s time, finally…….
But first, I must say thank you once again to everybody who provided data so this list could be as accurate as possible. It really helped in putting this list together. That said, it bears repeating, even with every bit of data that you could imagine. it’s been difficult to put together the list. However, I do feel confident in this top-10 and the exact order they are placed in via their statistics.
As the lists are revealed, I am encouraging everybody to comment with their thoughts. Who am I missing? Who should be ranked higher? Who should be ranked lower? Who shouldn’t be on my list? Ultimately, who do you feel rightfully deserves the top spot? This is why I am doing this – to create conversation, while recognizing the accomplishments that are sometimes forgotten.
With that said, if you missed the first part of the list, you can read it by clicking here – 30th through 21st. If you missed the second part of the list, you can read by clicking here – 20th through 11th.
10. Anthony DiBello
Years of Experience: 8
Biggest Accomplishment: Winning 3 Peterborough Speedway Championships
2021 plans: They are up in the air right now.
Who do you think should be No. 1? John baker Jr. was always a front runner and great to run against
Being able to win a single championship takes a lot of effort in-between winning and consistency. Though able to repeat the feat on three occasions at the track known as the toughest in the province in Peterborough Speedway? It leaves no doubt that DiBello deserves a place on this list.
The only argument that lies is whether he deserves to be in the top-10 or not, and that depends in how you weigh championships against big event wins. If you could add an Autumn Colours Classic or Frostoberfest to his resume, it certainly would make things much clearer. Though in the same respect, it is worth noting he has come close to grabbing a win in October previously.
9. Rick Spencer-Walt
Another multi-time champion in his right, Rick Spencer-Walt put together a pair of back-to-back seasons at Barrie Speedway with dominance laced within to score a pair of championships. Of course, the season-ending battle with Dave Doucette will always go down as one of the biggest moments in division history for several reasons – from pure grits and determination, to contact and having everything you want in short track racing.
Beyond the home track success, Spencer-Walt was able to showcase his abilities across the province, as evident by winning the Autumn Colours Classic in 2011. Combined with strong showings at Sunset Speedway, it was crystal clear before jumping into late models he could get the job done.
8. Treyten Lapcevich
Years of experience: 1 full year in Super Stock, spotty throughout the last 3 years. 11 years of experience in total.
Biggest Accomplishment: Winning the Autumn Colours Classic
Most Memorable Moment: Finally grabbing the Frostoberfest win after a few years of coming so close, had a lot of family and friends there to see it close to home!
2021 Plans: At this point they’re very undecided, not a whole lot going on yet.
Who do you think should be No. 1? I haven’t been around watching and being part of it for a super long time, but I’ve always thought Kenny Grubb was easily one of the best. I’ve yet to see Kenny struggle somewhere regardless of the track; he’s always up front battling for wins and has always races me with tons of respect.
The youngest driver to make the top-10, Treyten Lapcevich has been quick since he set behind the wheel of a super stock, proving talent runs deeps in the family. No matter which race track his family visited, he was part of the discussion for the win at the front of the field. It paid off as he was able to secure a crown jewel at three different tracks in the province – 2017 Autumn Colours Classic Champion at Peterborough, 2018 Fall Velocity winner at Sunset, and 2019 Frostoberfest Champion at Flamboro Speedway.
If you were comparing years and numbers of races ran to the numbers put up, there could easily be an argument for him to appear in the top-five, if not higher. Though combining numbers straight up, alas a respectable appearance in the top-10 is where we land.
7. Lane Zardo
Biggest Accomplishment: 2019 Canadian Short Track Nationals
Most Memorable Moment: Matt Bentley thought he won the first young guns race, started doing burn outs until he saw me pull into victory lane / One time Cayden Lapcevich got me more sideways than a Dirks Bentley song for the lead
2021 plans: Make the most of every opportunity. Unsure of Sunset’s Pro Late or APC. Race Kenny Grubb’s Super Stock any chance they ask because that thing is badass
Who do you think should be No. 1? Randy Rusnell or Matt Bentley. Randy was who I learned off of – my biggest competition and who I was able to learn off. I knew I was making a mistake by how he was able to capitalize. Matt is the biggest hard head racer I know. He hates to loose and if he has an opportunity to get the best of you, he will. Saying that, he’s a live by the sword die by the sword kind of racer.
If you’re going purely on driving talent alone, you could easily possibly place Lane Zardo in the top-five based on what he has done through the past 10 years. There are several moments (and sideways photos in my collection) that display every ounce you could ask for. However, when you break down the numbers, just missing the top-five is where he lands.
This is no knock against him, though, as he has put together a solid portfolio of his own in Super Stock competition, Prior to moving onto late model competition, he put the division on notice at Sunset Speedway in 2011, in both the championship and Fall Velocity in the same season. Recall, that was when the competition was right up there being the second year after the repave with several strong foes spread through the field, including others on this list.
He then proved he could get it done recently, as noted with the 2019 Canadian Short Track Nationals. As we’ve already noted, any win at Jukasa Motor Speedway ranks highly in the respect given in that being the biggest jewel of them all.
6. Frank Davey
Through the course of a decade, there’s been a familiar sight in Super Stock competition, and that was seeing the famed No. 49 run up front with Frank Davey behind the wheel. Whether he was battling for wins at Sunset Speedway or Barrie Speedway, success was the name of the game with multiple championships between the tracks. If you want to go best of all-time, easily you could place him in the top-five with those titles along with podium points finishes through his entire career.
Though shrink the portfolio to the past 10 years, and he still proves to be part of the conversation. He won the title at Sunset in 2009, before taking a break from the division to go Late Model racing. However when he returned, it was proven he had not missed a beat as evident in being back in the conversation right away once again. A couple checkered flags initially to offer a reminder, followed by a 2019 season to remember in a big way – another Sunset Speedway title to go along with the 2019 Autumn Colours Classic Championship.
Announcing his retirement from full-time competition on the front stretch at Sunset, you could say that Flyin’ Frank went out as any driver would have hoped – on top. But also, fans are hoping that he still remains part of the conversation longer.
5. Jordan Howse
Years of Experience: 6 all together in stock cars now – 2 years Mini Stock, 2 years Super Stock, 1 year Super Late Model, 1 year part-time Pro Late Model
Biggest Accomplishment: Sunset Speedway Championship and winning both Velocity’s in the same year
Most Memorable Moment: Winning the classic my rookie year in Super Stock
2021 plans: Full-time Pro Late Model at Sunset. Excited to return to a track where I have my most experience at and where I have been successful in other divisions
Who do you think should be No. 1? This is going to be a hard one for me because I grew up almost only at Flamboro and haven’t raced against guys like Zardo. But my top 10, not exactly in order – Randy Rusnell, Kevin Albers, Herb Walters, Lane Zardo, Joe Adams, Frank Davey, Matt Bentley, Stan Coe, Ryan Semple, and Cayden Lapcevich
When Jordan Howse announced he was moving up to Super Stock from Mini Stock, there was high anticipation to see what the second-generation racer was capable of after seeing a couple checkered flags in his hand during the four-cylinder days. For many, he shattered the expectations they had.
His initial season at Sunset Speedway in 2016 was not as flashy, but there were some highlights throughout. However, he then capped off the year in style with an Autumn Colours Classic. It seemed as a good preview for what the competition would expect in the year to come, as he went on a terror in winning the Spring Velocity, Fall Velocity, and Sunset Speedway Championship all at once. In total, he scored eight feature victories and and 16 heats wins to accomplish the feat – easily dominance.
He could easily be given the same argument as Lapcevich – numbers of years involved compared to success should seed him higher, but overall picture of success compared to others and alas, here we are.
4. Brad Collison
We have discussed the importance of a single championship throughout this list, along with the how big it is when you can repeat the feat. Brad Collison has been able to do that more than once, scoring four championships through the years at Flamboro Speedway. It is also worth adding in the years he did not hoist the crown, he was part of the discussions for wins every night those seasons and top-three in points at year-end.
He has also proved capable of getting the job done against the best in the province, as evident by winning Oktoberfest in 2009, along with Frostoberfest in 2018. The only thing holding him back from possibly being higher – and also the subject of debate by everybody, is lack of success outside of his home track in comparison to others on the list.
3. Shawn Chenoweth
Years of Experience: 7-8 yrs on and off
Biggest Accomplishment: Honestly, I’ve won all the big stuff but I’d say my run at Jukasa (Motor Speedway) two years ago – didn’t win but definitely put on a show
Most Memorable Moment: They all seem memorable but building a car and watching my dad win with it multiple times
2021 Plans: New Super Stock, Pro Late and OSCAAR Mod
Who should be No. 1? I’d say me but don’t think that’s okay so probably looking at Super Stock stuff only – Lane Zardo first one the jumps out just overall talent and ability to adapt to any track quickly, but that’s a loaded question there is so many.
While known most recently for his Late Model success, Shawn Chenoweth is easily one of the best Super Stock competitors in this province, as reminded during conversation about the forthcoming list with him having scored over 40 feature victories through a small span.
The success he has been able to accomplish begins at his home track, as evident by securing the track championship in 2015. But that is not what stands out – it is the three Frostoberfest igloos that are currently in his collection. This is an event that always brings out the best in province, and it seems no matter the circumstance, Chenoweth has managed to rise to the occasion and be part of the conversation at the front of the field.
He has also been very successful outside of his home track, winning the Autumn Colours Classic in 2014 and the Battle at the Beach in 2012. Combined with other significant feature wins across the province including Delaware Speedway, anybody could make an argument for him to leapfrog those names yet to come.
2. Cayden Lapcevich
When Cayden Lapcevich made his debut, a lot of people wondered just how well it would go combining racing experience with age. However, he quickly proved you cannot judge someone based on those factors in finding his way to the front and part of the conversation right from his rookie season, only to be beat out by one of the best sets of competition at Sunset in Zardo, Matt Bentley, and Randy Rusnell.
That said, the years that followed allowed him to continue earning experience and time behind the wheel, bringing forth success that few would dream of. His dedication at Sunset Speedway, even despite partaking in other racing endeavors, paid off with a pair of Super Stock Championships. He then proved he was not scared when the out of town drivers showed up, scoring a pair of Fall Velocity wins and pair of Spring Velocity victories.
Though as he continued to build his resume, the success only built more when he went on the road. He scored the Frostoberfest victory at Flamboro in 2013, followed by the Autumn Colours Classic in 2015 – proving his talent just didn’t rely back on a single track, either.
Since his Super Stock days, he has gone on to add more accomplishments to his resume, including a NASCAR Pinty’s Series title. Though one has to wonder if his time in Super Stocks matched those of others on the list what numbers could easily be possible here.
1. Randy Rusnell
There was a period of time in the province where you either were a fan of the Rocket, or you were on the flip side of the coin for various reasons. Though regardless whether you agreed with everything, there is one thing not deniable here – the talent that Randy Rusnell has displayed through this years in the division.
While being able to accomplish the feat of winning multiple championships at a single track is highly regarded, this is something he has done at two different facilities. Over the past 10 years, he has scored four championships – two at Sunset Speedway, and two at Flamboro Speedway. Go look through the rosters as those tracks through the span of those titles – several names that have previously appeared on this list battled against the No. 72 but were unable to beat him.
His dominance at Sunset Speedway in 2012 and 2013 will go down in history, as he became the first driver to sweep both crown jewels (Spring Velocity and Fall Velocity) with a championship in the same season. It seemed no matter what night you were attending the track, he was climbing the fence in celebration, despite racing against past track champions Matt Bentley, Lane Zardo, and Cayden Lapcevich, among others those nights. Oh, and he won the biggest invitational of that span in the Dilley Dog 50 as well.
He also proved he could get the job done outside of his home tracks, taking down the best of the best in dominating fashion with the 2013 Autumn Colours Classic.
The only drawback on the file is not seeing a Frostoberfest or Jukasa victory to his name, and we both know how highly those are both regarded. So as debates commence in the days ahead, please feel free to discuss that merit among other things.