With each season that comes up in the Ontario short tracks, there is always a list of drivers that everyone is keeping an eye on with each other division, wondering how they’re going to perform.
When the fans and fellow competitors were asked about the Mini Stock class, there were ultimately 34 names that came up throughout the discussions – bringing us to this point. Each of those drivers have been ranked, with their final position on the list being determined based on a combination of 40% fan vote, fellow competitor vote, and success last season.
As always, be sure to comment with your thoughts – whether positive or negative, and enjoy getting to know these competitors a little more.
7. Cole Quinton
2021 Ranking: 8th
2022 Plans: So far we don’t have a clear schedule planned out. One thing we do know is we want to be at every big special for the Ontario mini stocks this year. Between those dates, well we’ll see what happens.
2022 Goals: After coming off of last year the team knows we’re capable of running up front, and we would like to put up an even better year by staying their. Ultimately, we’re gonna try and make the most out of what we have each week and to hopefully be one of those guys to watch up front, no matter what track we go too.
Drivers to Watch: Coming off of last year, we can obviously see Josh Bullen will be a threat yet again. Josh showed good speed weekly and only got better as the year went on. Cole Burrows improved so much in his rookie campaign; going into this year, he’s only gonna get stronger. Matt Boyes showed tremendous speed throughout the year and it’s easy to say he’s only gonna get quicker with more laps. Eric Yorke established that he’s the guy to beat despite only running a few races last year. Chris Pendlebury looks to be returning back to Flamboro which are his roots. I think this could suit him better and maybe show more of his true speed.
Most Memorable Moment: My first win. The first win being on memorial night made it that much more special, and on top of that Flamboro had one of its best crowds that night. Having the whole Spira Racing crew their for my first win was also great, felt like the timing couldn’t have been any better. After that win it made me realize that the work and dedication is worth it in the end, and since then I and the team have only wanted to push harder for more.
Battling as a rookie last year, Cole Quinton quickly established himself as a driver to keep an eye on. He scored three wins, 11 top-five’s and 19 top-10’s in Flamboro Speedway weekly competition, and a top-five at the year-end Frostoberfest event. He also backed it up with a top-10 at Sunset Speedway’s Fall Velocity despite starting at the tail of the field.
6. Karl Sault
2021 Ranking: 16th
Despite not running consistently every week, Karl Sault put together performances when he was at the track worthy of being placed on this list. You don’t just run up front at Peterborough Speedway’s Autumn Colours Classic by accident. You also don’t win Frostoberfest at Flamboro Speedway for the second time in your career for the same reason, either. Combined with three wins and nine top-five’s in weekly competition, it’s easy to see why he’s on the list.
5. Jeremy Kelly
2021 Ranking: N/A
2022 Plans: Some phat lefties at the toughest third mile.
2022 Goals: Continue the fun, help other drivers, including my bro, maybe sneak away with a W.
Drivers to Watch: Brock Baker, Ember Junkin, Ryan Edward Kiss, Chris Tubman, Rob Crick.
Most Memorable Moment: Just getting to carry grandpa’s racing torch and win a couple races, titles in his memory, seeing my brother do well in racing.
Big accomplishments is the only way to crack the top-five on this list, and that’s exactly what Jeremy Kelly did in winning the Peterborough Speedway Mini Stock Championship by a single point over Ryan Oosterholt with four wins and four feature top-five’s including a victory on the last night of the season. He also proved his standing against the best in the province by running up front at Peterborough Speedway’s Autumn Colours Classic.
4. Gillian Hils
2021 Ranking: N/A
A consistent front runner on a weekly basis, Gillian Hils did what she needed to be the 2021 Flamboro Speedway Mini Stock Champion with four wins and only one finish (10th) worse than fifth in 21 races.
3. Thomas Wunsch
2021 Ranking: 22nd
2022 Plans: I want to travel around to more tracks to get more exposure for my sponsors in 2022. It is a lot of fun going to different tracks in the Mini Stock Division. My Sponsors for the 2022 season are Landshark Lager Canada #FinsUp, Johnathan Schwemler Racecars, Dave Scholten Flooring, and Dippel’s Family Garage.
2022 Goals: To improve each time I get in the car. I want to be a contender at each track I travel too.
Drivers to Watch: Eric Yorke – we pitted beside him at Sauble Boss of the Beach and he was a really nice guy. Jeff Laflamme because he is always out there trying hard. Any of the Brian Wilson Cars, Mitch Wilkin, and Isaac Dippel are ones to watch at Full throttle.
Most Memorable Moment: Winning the 2021 Mini Stock Championship was the highlight of my career. I was trying hard all season. Every time I am in my car is a good day. I love my car. My favorite is when you are in side-by-side racing that is a lot of fun. I like high car counts.
With a field that includes some of the veterans of the class and other young guns spotlighted on the list, it’s easy to recognize the tough competition Thomas Wunsch faced. Despite all this, the teenager was not intimidated en route to being crowned the 2021 Full Throttle Motor Speedway Mini Stock Champion.
….Stay tuned to meet your top-two drivers….