From a sweating season opener, to a crisp way to close the year, it was an exciting season for the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods with seven different drivers scoring a feature victory.
Everything kicked off at Sunset Speedway in July in a big way, with a heavy-weight battle against a trio of veterans – Jesse Kennedy, Amanda Balson, and Tyler Hawn. Although Balson held the advantage early, it’d be Kennedy taking the top spot at Lap 22 and not looking back en route to victory lane. Balson held off Hawn for second, followed by Steve Book and Trevor Thompson.
While the first event of the year at the Innisfil, Ontario oval ran relatively cleanly, the same couldn’t be said when the series returned two weeks later. The 40-lap feature saw a lot of contact between competitors, with several having to overcome adversity to find their way back to the front.
Kyle Fetterly avoided all of the contact, and it paid off, as he was able to lead the second half of the event en route to victory. Hawn rebounded from contact at halfway for second, in front of Kennedy, Rob Bromley, and Thompson.
There was no time to breathe and relax, as the stars of the classic car division got a little dirty a week later, making their yearly appearance at Brighton Speedway. While Paul Senior and Balson found themselves out of contention early due to contact, Steve Book found the smooth way around, pacing the field across the finish line for victory. Brandon Crumbie finished second in his yearly fill-in role for Jeremy McLean, followed by Kennedy, Hawn, and Ryan Cowan.
Although some were glad to clean off the dirt and head to the beach, Sauble Speedway was not for the faint of heart. There were several drivers who found themselves fast enough to challenge for the win, but ultimately fell short due to mechanical issues, including Balson, Marty Monette, and Kennedy.
Bromley led 34 laps of the feature, only for the Javelin to stall on the late-race restart with issues. Hawn took advantage to score the victory in front of Book, Billy Alderson Jr., Cole Weber, and Adrian Foster.
Hawn then showed why he is a three-time series champion, carrying the momentum to Peterborough Speedway a week later for another victory in front of Jaeger McMaster, Book, Dave Waite, and Foster.
The heartbreaks continued for competitors, though, with Balson missing out on her home track’s feature event due to breaking a driveshaft in qualifying. Jeremy McLean also found himself with significant left-side damage following contact with McMaster; thankfully, his team fixed the Chevelle enough to rebound for eighth in the feature.
With a season full of drama, the drivers certainly welcomed the couple weeks off before beginning a four-race stretch to finish the season at Sunset Speedway. Ultimately, the battle for the lead at the end of the event got messy. Walters made contact with Hawn in lap traffic, resulting in significant damage to both cars.
Paul Senior would not get by without damage of his own, but found his way to the checkered flag first to score his first career series victory. Book kept the Studebaker Hawk clean for a second, followed by Hawn, Thompson, and McLean.
Kennedy looked set to rebound from his mid-season issues at Delaware Speedway, as he dominated the feature at the half-mile oval. Unfortunately, he slowed on the last lap, handing the lead and victory to Book. Tom Walters kept his nose clean to second, followed by Dalen Martin, Hawn, and Weber, with Kennedy sixth.
With the Mustang having speed, Martin headed into Flamboro Speedway confident a week later. He was then able to avoid McMaster and Weber when they made contact in the closing stages to take over the top spot, and score the victory. Nick Clarke put in a season-best second, followed by Hawn, Book, and Thompson. Not everybody left the Hamilton-based oval with a smile, though, as Jaymee Adams and Cowan found themselves with damage following contact on Lap 1.
McMaster was then able to make up for his mistake a week later, capping the year off with a dominating performance in the Autumn Colours Classic at Peterborough Speedway. Hawn ran inside the top-five all race long to second, while Book capped off his championship campaign with a third. Herb Walters and Thompson rounded out the top-five.
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 20 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 Hot Rod season is sponsored by Knightworks Design and The Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Park Campground.
Be sure to keep up with OSCAAR by staying tuned to the series website at http://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