Interviews

Herb Walters Set To Build Upon Impressive Modified Debut

While attending the Fall Velocity at Sunset Speedway, Herb Walters was looking at a racecar to buy, when he came across a modified for sale.

“We were looking to do something that wasn’t going to be 30 nights or cost us an absolute fortune to get us going again,” he explained. “We have had to start from scratch again. I ended up selling everything after 2018 with the thought of never getting back into it – I definitely am sure we made the right choice.”

He would purchase the car, and make his OSCAAR Modified debut at Peterborough Speedway’s Autumn Colours Classic. Racing amongst the front runners throughout the 50-lap affair en route to a top-10.

“We weren’t sure how things were going to turn out,” he commented. “We were jumping into this completely blind not having any knowledge about this kind of chassis. Our main goal was to just turn some laps, get seat time to get used to how the car reacts. We definitely didn’t expect to come out of there with a seventh-place finish so it was surprising for sure.”

With his first race under his belt, Walters expressed excitement towards 2022 in relation to the competitiveness of the series, as well as traveling around the province.

“We have never been to Delaware to even watch a race so that should be a fun experience,” he said. “(But) just being able to get back into the car is probably what I’m mostly looking forward to.”

Entering the campaign, he is keeping the goals simple, focused on keeping the nose clean and aiming for many top-five’s as possible, while chasing Rookie of the Year honors. He added, “A win would be awesome but it can be pretty tough sledding to get to the front, (but) there are a lot of good cars that can make that difficult.”

Out of all the tracks on the schedule, Walters has Sunset Speedway circled, simply due to the amount of experience there including a past championship.

“It is my home track and I have logged a lot of laps there in everything I have driven,” he commented. “Hopefully that can help us out there with a good finish.”

Ultimately, it was the family of one of Sunset Speedway’s long-time staff members Steve and Carol Slaughter that resulted in Walters being bit by the racing bug.

“I moved in around the corner from them when I was a kid,” Walters recalled. “I hung out with (Steve Slaughter) Junior and my dad knew that cousin Tom (Walters) raced so I went to go watch him and the rest is history.”

Since then, Walters has put down several laps behind the wheel himself, with several victories earning him the nickname the Cheque Casher. Out of everything he has done, he says the most memorable moment of his career to date was battling Frank Davey for the Super Stock (then Thunder Car) Championship in 2009.

“We both fought hard all year long and it came down to the last lap having a lapped car block me in (turn) four coming to the checkered and losing the championship by one point,” he recalled.

Sunset Speedway has also been the sight of some tough moments of his career, including his scariest crash to date.

“There was a wreck coming out of turn and cars were scattering everywhere,” he explained. “I went up against the wall to try and avoid it and Karla Maxwell spun in front of me facing the wrong way. I hit her head on almost full throttle and there is nothing worse than getting out of the car and going to see if the other driver is ok and they are unconscious. That is something no driver should ever go through.”

The tough moments aside, here’s to hoping the 2022 campaign is full many memorable, good moments.

By: Ashley McCubbin

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