With each season that comes up in the Ontario short tracks, there is always a list of drivers that everyone is keeping an eye on with each other division, wondering how they’re going to perform.
As always, be sure to comment with your thoughts – whether positive or negative.
When it came to discussing dirt Mini Stock competitors across the province, Justin Jodoin (pictured above) got the most mentions. It’s easy to see why, after winning the Cornwall Track Championship in 2019, followed by Applefest this past year. With lots of heat and features win already under his belt, you are bound to battle with him if you want to win, no matter which of his two cars show up at the track.
Though if someone could challenge him for wins, it’d probably be James Clarke as he dominated at both Cornwall and Brockville last season, making him the driver to beat entering 2021.
Brandon MacMillian should also factor into the equation, despite being a relatively new face at the front of the field. Although he just got his first win recently, it seems the trophies are ready to begin piling up with momentum on his side and a new car set to roll out of the shop.
Thomas Bailey knows something about being new to the scene, with just two seasons under his belt. That said, don’t overlook him when you see him roll through the gate at the next event. In just a season and a half of competition, he has amassed 11 feature victories and countless qualifier wins – easily equaling the numbers of the veterans surrounding him.
Curtis Lindsay could easily be the next driver reaping in the career numbers, as he got stronger throughout his rookie campaign, capping off the year with a strong showing at Cornwall.
Ian Reid is also part of that conversation, following a second-place finish in one of his most recent starts. Continuing to get stronger, combined with the car showing potential to get better ensure you will not want to look away for long.
Another driver to watch is Jarrod Galway, who has always been strong and looking good en route to wins, top-five’s and top-10 performances. The next thing to add to his resume, and easily could happen, is a champion at Brockville.
Jamie Larocque is hopeful of joining the conversation for a little redemption, as it is known he had a rocky 2020 campaign.
Pierre Picard should be able to run up front with the bunch, as he has a new car on the horizon courtesy of a partnership with Richard and James Clarke. Experience, combined with talent surrounding him, should produce some checkered flags.
For Marc-Andre Voyer, it could be a scenario of the experience finally paying off. After all, he just got his start in 2019, followed by his rookie campaign a year later. Continuing to get closer to the front – could this finally be the time for wins?
Or how about looking for someone with experience? That’d bring you to Matthew Moore, as he won a Mini Stock Championship in 2019 with eight feature wins, and a top-10 placing in the Duel on Dirt standings.
In speaking of past champions, don’t forget about Devon Kippen, whom tasted championship glory at Brighton Speedway and has many feature wins under his belt. It also doesn’t hurt he has good equipment underneath him that can win no matter whose behind the wheel.
Tyler Lamarche may have something to say about the checkered flags continuing for the past champions, though, as he has been getting stronger on a weekly basis with victory just seemingly around the corner.