As Jordan Owen got ready to graduate Senior Kindergarten, he stood before a gymnasium full of people said seven words – I wanted to be a racecar driver. Now older and three Canadian Karting League Championships under his belt, his dream becomes a reality.
“I’ve held onto that dream and passion ever since,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “I love everything about racing. Everything. Whether it’s the sound of the cars, or the atmosphere on race day, or being the first to the checkered flag – just everything. There’s nothing that I don’t like about racing.”
Owen will be one of the many rookies at Sunset Speedway this year, partaking in the ever-growing Pure Stock division full-time.
“I think I’m really excited and nervous at the same time,” he commented. “This is my very first season. It’s been my dream ever since I was a kid to be a racecar driver, actually. I’m really excited to live that dream this season, and I’m really hoping for a good season, a couple feature wins. But as of right now, just getting used to the car being my first year, so I’m going to just stay back, learn a few things – but yeah, I’m really excited for this year. I’m really, really hoping to have a good time.”
With a focus on his home track this year before traveling to different facilities in 2022, Owen is hopeful of earning some checkered flags in 2021, and perhaps a championship in the years that follow. There’s also the possibility of that opening the door to eventually moving up to Mini Stock or beyond.
But Owen isn’t just like any other racer on the track, as he’s set to become the first driver ever to be racing at Sunset who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Raising awareness about Autism has always been part of the Innisfil, Ontario oval’s DNA, featuring a night to raise money for charity through a 50/50 and many drivers having carried the puzzle piece on the car previously.
For Owen, being able to get behind the wheel and possibly inspire others with his story means a lot.
“It’s a good way to show that you’re for diversity,” he expressed. “It’s amazing how it just goes to show you it doesn’t matter who you are, whether you’re female or male, black or white, you can do whatever you feel that you want to do – and having that passion to always strive to do better and follow your dreams. It’s especially important that other children with autism as well see somebody before their own eyes whose actually racing and is autistic. It’s really something. It goes to prove you can do anything if you put your mind to it and just go for it.”
Inspiring a legion of fans, and being someone whom is looked up is something Owen knows all about, having grown up a huge Jeff Gordon fan as a kid.
“I first became a fan of his when I watched him with the 2005 Daytona 500 and from that moment on, I was a diehard Jeff Gordon fan,” he said. “Another driver I was fan of is Michael Schumacher. I grew up hearing his name a lot and I watched part of his career and the years he was racing.”