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.
Read the first part of the list by clicking here //// Read the second part of the list by clicking here /// Read the third part of the list by clicking here /// Read the fourth part of the list by clicking here
- Tyler Seaboyer
2021: Plans: Uncertain right now as I’m trying to secure other opportunities, but being a part of Sunset Speedway is where I’ll be for the most part. I would like to get out to Peterborough (Speedway) for some fun.
Goals: As reigning champion, it would be amazing to defend the title, but honestly I’d like to just see what happens. I wanna try some new ideas, different set-ups and new tracks. I’ll just give it my all and see what happens.
What makes Mini Stocks a lot of fun? They are extremely fun, especially if you get a good group of cars running together.
Drivers to Watch: The list is long but the ones on top are there because they have proven themself as a top contender. With Cory McAllister coming to Sunset both with the super stock and the mini, he has definitely caught my attention; hoping for some good races with him, but I know it’s not gonna be a walk in the park. Eric Yorke because our last full non-Covid season, we had an amazing race with back and forth action which put an amazing show on; he definitely knows how to dial a car in. Samantha Shaw, and she’s not to be underestimated. That yellow car is extremely hard to pass at times and she has a wealth of knowledge in her corner; that combination makes will always get her to the front of any field.
Although Tyler Seaboyer was not part of the action last season, there’s no way you can count out the No. 23. It’s obvious why five of his competitors brought his name up, as he was the 2020 Signs of Innovation Mini Stock Champion at Sunset Speedway with two feature wins, 13 heat wins, and eight feature top-five finishes. Being able to best some of the province’s best drivers on a weekly basis certainly grants you a spot on the list.
- Will Gibbons
Plans: We are coming out this year to give all we have for the championship at Flamboro Speedway. Finally at a point now we have a really good crew and I think we are a storm that can be heard.
What makes Mini Stocks so much fun? The way the cars have advanced over the year make it fun for me. Maybe not to most cost effective class out there, but the challenges that it gives you for the price are more of a addiction. That and the fact we have more support than any other division with people like yourself and Rich (Schwartzenburg) who have done so much for the division. It’s more than a race – it makes for a great weekend when it’s all hyped up.
Drivers to Watch: Scott McGregor will without a doubt be out and up front this year; I will make sure of it. Matt Boyes, as long as he can hang on to wheel.
Through the shortened 2020 COVID-19 season, Will Gibbons was able to prove one thing – his Honda had a lot of speed. He was a threat for the win in each of events at Flamboro Speedway, scoring a pair of wins with no finishes worse than fourth. Oh, and one of those wins was Frostoberfest which always draws out the best of the division.
When you align that with his statistics from the year before, a constant threat has everybody looking in their rearview for the No. 10, and why six of his fellow competitors put his name on the docket.
- Samantha Shaw
2021 Plans: My plans are even more up in the air than usual; you know my usual thing, we never PLAN to run full time – it just, happens. With the pandemic still showing no signs of slowing, it’s even harder to plan. I’m sure if it’s a normal race season, you’ll catch us at Sunset’s weekly series, plus invitationals at Jukasa (if there is one), Sauble, and Flamboro.
Goals: Be better than last year – I guess since we didn’t really race last year, I’d say be better than 2019.
What makes Mini Stocks so much fun? Just in terms of drivers, you get a lot of new/rookie drivers coming in and competing against incredibly talented “lifers” like Doug Butler, Eric Yorke, Warren Paxton, and I guess me (it’s weird thinking of myself in the same sentence as these guys), plus we get the added fun of these big-name late model guys strapping into cars to come play now and then. The other awesome aspect of mini stock is that the class is never stagnant – if you don’t constantly work on your car and get better, the class will leave you behind. It’s that constant push to find more and try new ideas that makes me love this class so much.
Drivers to Watch: It’s really hard to bet against guys like Yorke, Paxton, (Kevin) Bridge, Gibbons – the cars that are always at the front everywhere they go. In my opinion, it takes a very well-prepared driver and car to be up front at every single track. The wild card in this question is the rookies. Our own shop has Cole Quinton coming out, and we’re all pretty excited about his foray into stock cars; the guys said he showed a lot of promise in his first few test sessions. Sunset has Matt Boyes, who was very quick in his first attempts in the bone stock. He bought the Kamrath car, which is already proven to be very fast; that combination is definitely one to watch.
Being a constant threat at the front of the field throughout the province has made the No. 81 Mustang very recognizable, and it explains why 59 out of 350 fan votes swayed in her favor to give her the top spot. She only made a couple appearances last year, but the familiar speed was there – running well at Frostoberfest prior to some contact.
Though if you look beyond that, she has constantly been able to reach victory lane each season no matter the circumstances, and not just at one track either with weekly wins at Sunset Speedway, and an invitational win at Flamboro Speedway. With five feature wins, 11 heat wins, and 12 top-five’s in her last full campaign at Sunset, expect her to be a title contender if the season comes together as planned.