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.
50. Keith Parkes
Sometimes experience can pay off, and that’s what Keith Parkes is hopeful for this season. The veteran knows what it takes to get the job done, as evident by picking up some checkered flags at Peterborough Speedway.
49. Shiann Wilman
After getting her feet wet in Mini Stock competition, Shiann Wilman has elected to move into the Pure Stock class for her next season of competition. The move makes sense – as it will allow her to race against her teammates, while leaning on them for advice as she gets used to everything about being behind the wheel.
As she said last year, “I want to have fun and improve each and every race. I think it will be fun having four out of many cars on our team in the same race every weekend, and giving my dad back his Mini.”
48. Karlie Wilman
With seven top-10’s behind the wheel through her rookie campaign at Sunset Speedway in 2019, Karlie Wilman proved with experience the potential is there for success. Last season saw her take on the new track in Flamboro Speedway, but speed was shown despite some adversity along the way with a couple incidents. Another season behind the wheel getting used to the car along with returning to familiar territory may be what the doctor ordered.
47. Richard Geerlinks
2021 Plans: I want to race in fun stocks and have fun racing against my teammate Luke Dippel
Goals: To have fun racing, and help out my teammate Luke Dippel as he moves forward in his racing career
What makes Pure Stocks so much fun? Racing with cars door to door is exciting, as well as racing with Luke Dippel because we push each other’s bumpers and have fun together.
Drivers to Watch: I think 01 Luke Dippel, 62 Mark Merritt, and 64 Roy Merritt are ones to be watched this year.
While his focus may be on helping his young teammate, you cannot take away from Richard Geerlinks’ ability behind the wheel. After all, he went to victory lane nine times in 2019 at Varney Motor Speedway.
46. Don Yorke
2021 Plans: I’m going to run select races at Delaware, Flamboro, Sunset for Coltin Eveningham and will continue my partnership with BT Racing and the Lawrence boys.
Goals: Win as much as possible running a limited schedule for other teams. There’s only one thing to do – win!
What makes Pure Stocks so much fun? The people! We are one big dysfunctional family. I help and know racers from nascar to pure stocks and nobody’s more humble then the pure stock drivers.
Drivers to Watch: Kris Lawrence, Jordan Morris, Coltin Everingham, David Rockwood, Craig Cole. it’s so hard to pin point a few as the division is so deep that 15-20 cars could win every night
45. Mark Thorne
2021 Plans: Full-time Mini stock at Ohsweken. Wayde and I are working on finishing up both cars. We still have a couple pure stocks so I will be getting behind the wheel a few nights this year. I don’t think I’ll be running for points as it’s a big commitment.
Goals: To be competitive again this year. The car is ready to go and it showed a lot of speed last year with Wayde driving it. I took 2020 off so hopefully I can shake the rust off quickly and get back the victory lane.
What makes Pure Stocks so much fun? The class has grown a lot since we starting in it. Also the competition has got to the point where you have to drive perfect and bring a well prepared car every week.
Drivers to Watch: I would have to say Gillian Hils and Leo Labarbera are always ones to watch. Kyle Lucas is also very competitive now and would definitely keep a eye on him this year.
While he may have taken 2020 off, Mark Thorne is a name that you should not have forgotten in the meanwhile. After all, he scored 24 top-five’s at Flamboro Speedway the year before, including three trips to victory lane for a runner-up finish in points.
44. Jimmy Hooper
2021 Plans: To really focus on getting the car to where we want it and to travel to more tracks to get more of a feel of other race tracks and different ways and types of driving to gain that experience that is needed.
Goals: To go out and improve on all areas because the last couple seasons haven’t ended the best but we’re going to keep working at it to be more of a top running team that we feel if we work hard enough for, we can be.
What makes Pure Stocks so much fun? More people are out there to have fun and everyone’s there for each other. When you break something in pure stocks there’s always people there helping you to get you back on the track or to get you to the next race, and that’s why pure stocks are such a great and growing class in Ontario.
Drivers to Watch: Reece bourgeois for sure. She gets so much better every time she goes out and is becoming such a great driver. Leo Labarbera – he’s great to watch because he can go from the back to the front in the race and does it so well that it’s just so great to watch. Also, any driver first coming into the class because watching them grow to be better drivers is exiting because you watch them the first and last race of the season and seeing how much they improve is just mind blowing.
As jimmy Hooper mentioned, this past season did not go as planned with a pair of 17th-place finishes in the features run at Flamboro Speedway. However, the potential is there as evident by three top-five’s in 2019, and being able to lean on family members with extensive experience behind the wheel.
43. Connor Ellis
42. Jordan Williams
41. Brent Pelley
2021 Plans: I haven’t made any definite plans as of yet, due to how unstable the world is right now. However if racing is to continue on as normal at all the tracks, I will be running weekly at Delaware Speedway, and running select invitationals at other tracks.
Goals: To be competitive, hopefully have the opportunity to run for a championship, and ultimately have fun.
What makes Pure Stocks fun? It’s one of the most economical way to race, and there’s a wide range of people within the division. The competition is fierce and if 2020 didn’t prove that with the car counts we saw in Varney and Flamboro.
Drivers to Watch: 2021 is going to be a great for racing (I hope) and be on the look out for people like Nic Ramsay who will be starting his rookie season with the Super Stocks and a few Pure / Bone stock races as well. Can’t leave out guys like Kris Lawrence and Jordan Morris who are always competitive. I’m going to be keeping my eye on Hailey McNicol who has the potential to really break out this season, and Nicole Stewart who is making a start this year. I’d also like to nominate Craig Cole, please.
Stay tuned for part three to meet more of the drivers from the division.