Each week, this will be the column that takes a look at a division’s past weekend of racing, combined with the week ahead to highlight what should be on the minds of all race fans.
Sunset Speedway has got three weeks of Mini Stock competition in the books, with two of those being invitational events.
Shawn Taylor (ranked 11th pre-season) led flag-to-flag on Sunday after scoring a third the week prior. Johnny Paradzinski, meanwhile, won the week prior, and has a pair of runner-ups to go with it. Which of those was more impressive? Ultimately, Paradzinski felt heat through the duration of his so for standing up to pressure, he has to be someone to watch.
2021 Sunset Speedway Champion Josh Bullen (ranked 1st pre-season) won the opening night, and was the driver who was giving Paradzinski all the pressure to deal with on the second night of competition. It seems he has not lost a beat during the winter.
Cole Quinton (ranked seventh pre-season) showed the potential to score the victory on Sunday, but an early race spin saw him fighting back for a third instead. Combined with a fourth and a third the other two weekends, and a third to kick off 2022 at Flamboro Speedway, he’s easily meeting the potential seen pre-season.
Cameron McGlashan will be someone to watch, as he has not ran a full feature since his issues on opening night that saw him drive Curtis Stewart’s car instead. He was solid, though, with a third-place finish. A past division championship has to put him into the conversation.
Flamboro Speedway has put seven features in the books over the course of four weeks, seeing the same individual lead the way the entire time. Bobby Mercer has been untouchable, essentially making his way to the front no matter where he starts, and driving away from the field.
His ranking on the power rankings, though, should reflect the success – except for the question whether competition each week there ranks as highly as other tracks. The field has featured a couple past division winners, but not the same amount of past champions and checkered flag holders as say Sunset or Full Throttle Motor Speedway.
It’ll be interesting to see how long he can keep the strangle hold going.
Mike Thomson and Matt Young each showed progress on Saturday night with their strongest runs of 2022, each playing the role of second fiddle to Mercer. Thomson scored four straight fifths to start the year, followed by a fourth, second, and third since then. Meanwhile, Young went through mechanical issues the first couple of weeks, but has scored a pair of runner-ups and a third in the last three events.
Full Throttle Motor Speedway put their first event of 2022 in the books, which saw Issac Dippel (ranked 13th pre-season) and Thomas Wunsch (ranked third pre-season) score a trip to victory lane – to no surprise, both being past consistent winners. Wunsch placed second in the first feature, while Dippel was third in the following affair. Early indications are the pair will battle for the title all year.
Mitch Wilken (ranked 12th pre-season) may also play a factor, considering he was the other driver joining them on the podium for both races with a second and a third.
- Johnny Paradzinski (victory, pair of runner-ups)
- Josh Bullen (a win and a second)
- Bobby Mercer (seven wins in a row)
- Shawn Taylor (a win and a third)
- Thomas Wunsch (a win and a second)
- Issac Dippel (a win and a third)
- Cole Quinton (three podiums)
- Mike Thomson (seven top-five’s)
- Cameron McGlashan (third)
- Matt Young (a pair of runner-ups and a third in last three races)