From the drop of the first green of the season at Sunset Speedway to the last checkered flag at Peterborough Speedway, the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds presented by Just Foam It was not without any action. A couple familiar faces found their way to victory lane, while some new faces joined the fray.
The open-wheel stars kicked off the season with back-to-back weekends at Sunset Speedway, which saw each race have a different attitude of its own.
The opening weekend at the end of July saw rookie Steve Lyons show speed in pacing the field till Lap 10, with Dale Reinhart emerging ahead of the field on the restart in front of T.J. Edwards. In the closing stages, Edwards was able to close the gap, with a bit of contact with two laps to go sending Reinhart for a spin.
A.J. Emms, who had started tail of the field due to missing qualifying as a result of getting married the day before, got the lead on the restart, pacing the rest of the way en route to winning. Kelly Balson finished second, followed by Lyons, Jason Keen, and Coltin Everingham. Unfortunately, not everybody was as lucky, with Mike Hearty, Luke Gignac, and Norman Newman all running into issues during the opening laps.
The return to the Innisfil, Ontario oval a couple weeks later, though, would give a preview of the roller coaster season that everybody was set to head down. The dramatic moment of the weekend would come in qualifying, with a car stuck on the wall. Keen pushed Emms up on the frontstretch off of turn four, resulting in the No. 14 getting into the outside wall, before climbing it. Emms would ride the full frontstretch wall on his side, with Keen beneath him. Thankfully, both drivers would be uninjured in the wreck.
Andy Kamrath, whom missed the season opener due to blowing a motor in practice, started on pole for the 40-lap feature. He would then lead flag-to-flag en route to winning, ahead of Edwards, Balson, Newman, and Reinhart.
The momentum for the No. 89c carried it’s way to Sauble Speedway two weeks later, even with qualifying being cancelled due to weather. Kamrath was forced to start 13th, though was able to make his way to the front by the halfway mark in the feature. It was a break-out performance for Newman, as he finished second after pacing the first half of the feature, in front of Keen, Edwards, and Everingham.
The Modifieds would return to Sunset Speedway as they kicked off their four-race stretch to end the season. Kamrath looked to be set to continue the dominant stretch, until mechanical issues took him out of the lead and the event at the halfway mark. Marshall Schrenk took control, pacing the field the rest of the way en route to his first career victory in front of Edwards, Reinhart, Chad Strawn, and Keen.
The prestigious event saw several heavyweights fall out early, with issues on the opening lap for Emms and Jeff Walt, as well as contact midway through for Newman and Everingham.
Unfortunately, the following week at Delaware Speedway started off on a messy note with a wreck on the opening lap involving Downey, Newman, Reinhart, and Schrenk. Kamrath would inherit the pole for the restart, and was able to dominate by leading the full distance en route to winning in front of Edwards, Emms, Keen, and Chris Milwain.
The momentum carried to Flamboro Speedway a week later for Kamrath, who turned a third-place starting spot into leading every single lap of the feature en route to winning. Edwards finished second in front of Reinhart, Keen, and Ryan Dick. Not everybody was lucky as Kamrath, though, as Downey and Ken Hayward tangled up together on the opening lap.
The season finale at Peterborough was the same story for Kamrath, in taking the lead on Lap 2 with a three-wide move, and pacing the field the rest of the way en route to winning. J.R. Fitzpatrick caught Kamrath in the second half of the event, though was not able to find a way by, as Emms finished third in front of Edwards and Reinhart.
Despite not scoring a feature win, consistency was ultimately the secret for T.J. Edwards all season long as having just one finish outside of the top-five all year handed him the 2021 Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds presented by Just Foam It Championship.
Edwards was also able to take home the Living Lighting Rookie of the Year honors, and the John Harper Hard Charger Award.
As shown through the season, familiar faces were able to find victory lane – however a couple new faces emerged at the front of the field. It just means the competition is getting stronger with each race put in the books.
With 14 drivers scoring at least one top-five this year, it shows the diversity of competition is strong and the fight for the championship in 2022 will definitely be close right from the initial green flag to the final checkered.
The 2021 OSCAAR Modified season is sponsored by Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC, Just Foam It, Scott Reinhart Trailer Sales Ltd., The Fyre Place & Patio Shop, American Racer, and Grisdale Race Products.
Be sure to keep up with OSCAAR by staying tuned to the series website at https://www.oscaar.ca. Also, make sure to “like” the official OSCAAR Racing Facebook page, while following both the Twitter and Instagram accounts (@OSCAARRacing) to keep up to date on everything you need to know.
By: Ashley McCubbin