Across the province, there were several Pure Stock drivers that made headlines with great performances, championships, and great debuts behind the wheel.
With some input from the readers, here are 10 drivers that were impressive in 2021. Feel free to share who you feel should also had been included.
Austyn Jennett went from ranked 28th pre-season in drivers to watch, to having a break-out campaign at Sunset Speedway. He scored a trio of top-five finishes, along with a pair of heat wins after failing to do last season.
Calvin Reesor did not let his rookie campaign phase him, even going through three different cars in the first month of competition due to various mechanical issues. He continued focus paid off with four top-five’s and eight top-10’s, including a pair of runner-ups to place second in points. He then showed the province what he is capable of at the Autumn Colours Classic with a top-five finish.
Connor Ellis was one of the fastest drivers in the province, despite being a rookie. Despite being ranked 43rd on drivers to watch pre-season, he ran up front weekly, falling just seven points shy of the championship at Full Throttle Motor Speedway. He was also successful around the province, with a pair of top-five’s at Delaware Speedway and a third-place finish at the Autumn Colours Classic.
James Houghton has already put himself in the championship conversation for 2022, and he is still classified as a rookie at Flamboro Speedway. He ran the final five regular features of the season, scoring two wins and no finishes worse than fourth. Oh, and he then went and dominated Frostoberfest to take home the prestigious igloo.
Kris Lawrence is known for his ability behind the wheel – as seen ranked third on the drivers to watch list pre-season, and rightfully so with success as multiple levels within the sport. He showed that once again with a championship at Delaware Speedway, along with two wins and seven top-10’s at Flamboro Speedway. However, he caught the eyes of everybody due to the size he has grown BT Racing’s involvement at the track. He maintained six various different cars, allowing a variety of drivers to get their feet wet in the division throughout the summer.
Ranked seventh on drivers to watch pre-season, Kyle Lucas is worth mentioning as he became a regular front runner at Flamboro Speedway this year, including 18 straight top-10’s which saw him hold the points lead for the majority of the season. Despite not reaching victory lane, it’s clear with his 10 top-five’s he is someone to watch.
Mark Merritt was ranked second on the pre-season drivers to watch list, and for good reason. He captured the championship at Full Throttle Motor Speedway, despite some adversity along the way. He was found to have some illegal parts mid-season, but went back to the drawing board to find the necessary speed to come out on top at year-end.
Megan Mitchell came into the year as the 18th driver to watch, but had everybody’s eyes on her when she reached victory lane on July 31. The rest of the year saw some ups and downs, but she has continued to improve with her skills behind the wheel to enter the converastion.
Ranked fourth in drivers to watch pre-season, Phil Givens proved he is no one-track jack as he was able to be successful across the province. He made stops at each of the venues, scoring victories at Flamboro Speedway, Sunset Speedway, and Full Throttle Motor Speedway. He then capped it off in style with a victory in the Autumn Colours Classic at Peterborough Speedway.
Reece Bourgeois could be your break-out star for the 2021 campaign with her success at Flamboro. Starting the year ranked 27th on drivers to watch, she was able to capture 12 top-10 finishes, though more importantly, her first two trips to victory lane. With growing confidence and venturing out across the province at times, those shouldn’t be the last time it happens.
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