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.
When the fans and fellow competitors were asked about the Pure Stock class, there were ultimately 61 names that came up throughout the discussions – bringing us to this point. Each of those drivers have been ranked, with their final position on the list being determined based on a combination of 40% fan vote and 60% expert – the fellow competitors – vote.
As always, be sure to comment with your thoughts – whether positive or negative, and enjoy getting to know these competitors a little more.
- Dale Lucas
2021 Plans: It’s just going out and racing and having fun and being able to race with my son Kyle.
Goals: To win some races and finish in the top 10 for the season.
What attracts you to the pure stocks? It’s one of the most fun classes on regular Saturday night racing because it’s fun to watch and fun to be a part of. You never know who is going to take a win, can be rookies or seasoned drivers!
Drivers to Watch: I think there are a lot of talented drivers in this class, and it is fun to watch and mentor the newer, younger rookies. Obviously I am biased and think people should watch out for my son, Kyle. He’s fully able to compete for a championship. But the seasoned drivers like Leo Labarbara and Andy Weller are also going to be ones to watch. Finally drivers like Reese Bourgeous, the Mitchell siblings and Jimmy Hooper – they are all getting more experience and could definitely win some races.
A past division champion, Dale Lucas proves to be a constant threat in the Pure Stock events he enters in-between his involvement in the Canadian Vintage Modifieds. Most recently, his limited aspirations in the series saw him up front inside the top-five with the front contenders.
- Keith Parkes
One of the older gentleman of the division, Keith Parkes is often overlooked in favor of some of the younger, flashier talent that has been growing. However, it should not be a common practice as he easily could score a couple heat victories, and possibly be a darkhorse for the features.
- Jordan Owen
“I think I’m really excited and nervous at the same time,” he told STM last month. “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.”
A relatively new face in the division, Jordan Owen enters the world of stock cars after gaining experience, and championships, behind the wheel of a go-kart. While the learning curve may be steep and take a little bit, he could become someone to watch as we enter the second half of 2021.
- David Tolton
Plans: I will be running full time at full throttle Speedway, and running as many invitational and endurance races at others. I want to put as much experience and room for growth in my first season as possible.
Goals: Rookie of the Year and be the most sportsmanlike. I was hoping to be a runner for best appearing but I think that one’s going to be a real competition. I’d like to average top 5 in finishes and to have a blast doing so.
What attracted you to pure stocks? Pure stocks is a place where veterans and rookies can both participate without the stigma of money makes a racer. We’re there to learn, have fun and build memories. And that’s what pure stock is all about.
Drivers to Watch: Anyone in the Mazdas will be worth watching on the straightaway that’s for sure, but I think Alex Cole will be surprising some people this year. My focus is on the other rookies that’s where my eyes are focused.
- Jared Bodnar
A consistent competitor at Flamboro Speedway, this may be the season everything comes together and sees Jared Bodnar be one of the drivers in victory lane this season. While the 2020 campaign was shortened, the previous year saw him score 12 top-five’s and 29 top-10’s across the season.
- Spencer Riddell
Plans: Our plans for the 2021 season is to run for points at Flamboro (Rookie of the Year as well); if points aren’t held this year, we will be travelling around.
Goals: To just log some laps and finish races and most importantly have some fun along the way. First time racing in any division so our bar isn’t set high…yet.
What attracted you to the pure stocks? I’ve always been a fan of the pure stocks. Can run any line on the tracks and make passes. Always exciting to watch and cant wait to be a part of.
Drivers to Watch: The competition is stout. Leo Labarbera, Jordan Morris, Gillian Hills, Phil Givens are just a few that stand out every time I got to take in a race. I’ve watched these drivers for years working at Flamboro – can’t wait to be the one racing against them now.
- Brandon Steele
Running a limited schedule last season, Brandon Steele has already showed speed and ability behind the wheel to put the No. 55 into the discussions. Not many drivers can say they have a checkered flag, but he can do so in scoring a victory at Full Throttle Motor Speedway this past year.
- RJ Croteau
2021 Plans: Our plans for the season are still evolving giving the covid situation. Since I will be racing for Mike Kenny out of Kenny Racing, we are looking at making Flamborough our home track, but mostly plan to get out and have some fun at a number of tracks.
Goals: To be running up front and get some wins this year. Given the guys I’m with and the car, we are feeling confident going into whatever this season brings.
What appeals to you about pure stocks? Pure Stock is a fun class because of the vast array of driver’s and cars that compete in it.
Drivers to Watch: I will be watching out for if we race Flamboro full time, Leo Labarbea and Gillian Hils who are always fast, Kyle Lucas who had an off year last year but has shown speed in the past and Dale Lucas if he decides to race his car this year. I don’t really know much about the racers that travel and race other tracks.
Potential could be the word to describe RJ Croteau, as his limited campaign at Flamboro in 2019 saw him run six races, with three top-10’s including a season-best eighth.
- Trevor Critchley
While set to embark on his rookie campaign in Pure Stock, Trevor Critchley is not new to competition at Varney Motor Speedway. He will enter the division with experience in Crazy Trains, Thunder Truck, and Street Stock.
- Logan Jeffrey
- Roy Merritt
While a lot of people may want to focus on Mark, you cannot forget about Roy. Experience is the name of the game here, and we know he’ll be looking good after winning the ImageWraps.ca Pimp My Pure Stock contest to earn the first victory of 2021.