Currently ranked fourth in the Qwick Wick T.Q. Can-Am Midget standings, Dominique Smith is having a solid season traveling across the province racing.
“This season has had some ups and downs,” she told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “We have had some great finishes and some not so good. It has been a lot of fun being able to compete in a full season after only being able to attend one race last season. I have had a lot more confidence in my driving abilities this year and it has helped me compete for the top spots.”
Ultimately, the highlight for her was capturing the victory at Sauble Speedway in dominating fashion after finding her way to the top spot on Lap 4. She noted the win mean a lot in seeing the hard work she, her dad, and car owner Cliff Walsh put in paying off.
“Our first race weekend of the year, we fell just short of a win at the Beach,” she added. “So this win meant even more. It proved that the results from race one weren’t just a fluke and that we came to be competitive this season.”
Now going into the final five races of the season, she is hoping to add another victory to her resume, while keeping the pressure on the points leader.
“This year has been a year of learning for me,” she commented. “In the past, I have not fully understood why certain adjustments are made to the car. It is something that I have been working really hard at this year. As a driver, I realize that it is important to understand how the car is handling and understand what adjustments I should be making throughout the race to make the car faster.
“I still have a lot to learn on that front and I think that the more I learn about it the more I will improve.”
Fortunately, as she continues to grow and learn as a driver, she is able to do so in a club that she feels has great racing, but friendly and approachable competitors.
“I love the Can-Ams because of how unique they are,” she explained. “They are able to drive hard and fast into the corners. It makes the racing fast paced and competitive. The can-am club is a great club to join. Everyone in the club is friendly and approachable. If someone needs help with their car, other members of the club are always there to lend a helping hand. It’s refreshing to participate in a club with such comradery.”
For Smith, she has been around the race track since she was a baby, beginning her career behind the wheel of a go-kart at the age of seven. After spending 15 years there, she transitioned into the Can-Am Midgets, having watched her brother run them. And no matter what she does from here on out, she will have a spot in the history books.
“My first win in the can-ams is definitely my most memorable,” she shared. “To be the first and only female in the 56 years of the club to have a feature win is something I am very proud of.”
Based on her experience gained through the years, she says her advice to someone starting out in racing is to be patient.
“Try not to get discouraged if you are not running with the top drivers right away,” she added. “There are so many components to becoming a good driver and they don’t happen overnight. Seat time and experience are the only ways to get better.”