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 Mini Stock class, there were ultimately 34 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.
11. Mike Nelson
Plans for 2021: Unfortunately due to my job – working as a crew chief / mechanic for BC Race Cars in the Trans Am Series – I won’t be able to compete full-time but I will be out every weekend I’m home.
Goals and expectations: I think everyone s goal is to win and be competitive. I’d like to get back to victory Lane but I wanna keep my part-time schedule as fun and stress free as I can.
What makes Mini Stocks fun? I love the mini stocks because they are sum what affordable, and over the years we’ve seen a lot of talent cycle back into the division.
Drivers to Watch: I think Casey Cavanah will be one to watch. We are currently building him a car in our shop. And I think the normal group of players – Ryan Oosterholt, Nolan Gould /Ryan Babin.
While not a familiar name to some of the newer faces in the division, Mike Nelson has certainly left his mark with his performance through the years – including multiple feature wins between Peterborough Speedway and Kawartha Speedway.
10. Brian Wilson
2021 Plans: Well as we all know, 2021 could be a different normal but I’d really like to run all the “special” events in the area – Varney, sunset, I will think about Flamboro; we will be see how it goes this year. I expect to have some fun with friends and family within the racing community but most importantly getting my development driver a mini win!
Goals and Expectations: Enjoy what we can do as much as we can. I never expect to win but I work to be competitive when that trailer opens.
What makes Mini Stocks so much fun? The amount of things you can do and use your “imaginations” in the build. The build and weekly speed improvement is the real fun part. “We won this in the shop I just drove the thing here” really means something to me. Shop time can be leaning on it filling the float bowls and thinking or messaging friends and saying hey what do you think about.
Drivers to Watch: It’s tricky; there are lots to watch when traveling. At our home track, well, my other cars are a threat lol I really just go do what I can.
I can’t do any of this with out my family support my Dad did anything for us to go racing, My beautiful wife who will buy tires and free up time for my “hobby” Jay helps make these cars go daily and finds speed, Tommy comes and swaps engine the night before a race, Cory at Caldecott Millwright Services supported our team I have people that just enjoy doing this. All in all I’d watch turtles race if they had friendships like I do watch out for someone you can maybe offer advice or parts to and you will likely have a friend at the track. Enjoy Folks you will never know when the last lap is!
A regular front runner throughout the invitationals across the province, you can never count out Brian Wilson when he rolls into the track. While a top-five contender at every track in the province, his knowledge shines most with multiple victories at his home base in Varney Motor Speedway.
9. Matt Boyes
2021 Plans: I plan to get as many events in the Mini Stock as possible and have the opportunity to compete with the best drivers in the division. I think we have the tooling to put together a strong season in both divisions.
Goals and Expectations: My expectations for Mini Stock are definitely aimed at driver improvement, honing my skills as a driver and building from there. We know we have the speed to compete at the front, and we’ll hope to string together some strong finishes. In an ideal world, my goal would be to put together some heat wins, and hopefully a race night checkered flag!
What makes mini stocks so much fun? We specifically chose to purchase a Mini Stock over any V8 purely based on the variety of platforms. Watching some cars be quicker down the straights, and some cars corner better, and FWDs and RWDs, makes it some of the best racing in Ontario in our eyes. No other division in my opinion offers the same kind of competition.
Drivers to watch: 4. At Sunset, I’ll have the privilege to race with some of the best in the division. Samantha Shaw shows up every week with a strong racecar, a level head, and the talent and experience to get it done. Ty Seaboyer has put together a strong points run, and night after night shows his car can run at the very front. When travelling, I look forward to running with Will Gibbons, who proved without a doubt with his 2020 strength to be one of the best cars to beat on the track.
After proving his talent behind the wheel of a Pure Stock with quick success in multiple feature wins in his rookie campaign, Matt Boyes is definitely ready for the next step of his racing career. He also surely becomes a threat to watch as if he can up to speed quickly behind the controls, we know the car is fast – having purchased Andy Kamrath’s Honda Civic.
8. Cole Quinton
2021 Plans: Our plans will vary depending on how the next few months go during the pandemic. However, our plans for the 2021 are to run full-time at Flamboro Speedway, and on off-weekends we plan to race all around Ontario. This again is all depending on the pandemic as staying safe is the number one priority right now. Although whenever it is safe to go to the track, we will be there.
Goals and Expectations: Whatever we can accomplish. I don’t have an exact goal in mind but I do know we can go achieve more then we ourselves think we can. The No. 51 team has already worked hard towards our next race season to ensure that whenever we hit the track we are going to fight for checkered flags.
What makes the Mini Stock division so much fun? The division is one of the more welcoming divisions in Ontario racing so starting in the mini stock division was a no brainer. It is an affordable class and a great class to learn about short track racing. The mini stock division is also such a close competitive division. With everyone so tight in the 2020 season we saw how great the racing can be.
Drivers to Watch: There is a lot of wildcards coming into the 2021 season. One person that stands out to me though is Chris Pendlebury after his great performance in 2020. Another is Samantha Shaw after her strong performance at Frostoberfest after having limited time in the car before then. There are so many people to watch for the 2021 race season and it will definitely end up being an exciting one.
Cole Quinton has impressed behind the wheel of a go-kart at Flamboro Speedway since starting, so his jump into full-size stock-car competition is one of the most anticipated across the province. Knowing he will have knowledge behind him in working with Spira Racing, it also should not take him long to get adjusted.