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 Pure Stock class, there were ultimately over 70 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 fan votes, fellow competitor votes, and last year’s success.
As always, be sure to comment with your thoughts – whether positive or negative, and enjoy getting to know these competitors a little more.
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13. James Houghton
2021 Ranking: N/A
2022 Plans: Travel a bit and hit the special events wherever we can. Sometimes it’s hard scheduling the weekends because of my circuit racing but we’ll get out to as many as we can.
2022 Goals: Win a Pure Stock race at every paved track in Ontario in 2022
Drivers to Watch: Naming five drivers is tough as I’m so new I don’t even know who I should be watching.
Most Memorable Moment: Definitely be winning Frostoberfest in our first event. The battle we had with Jo Lawrence was epic and I hope to race against him again in 2022.
If we did the list, and did not include the most recent Frostoberfest winner, that’d be incredibly wrong as that event always bring out the best in division, with a b-main required to set the field. James Houghton proved he was one to watch instantly with that checkered flag, and the only thing holding him back from being higher may be the lack of starts on the resume.
12. Nathan Dettwiler
2021 Ranking: N/A
2022 Plans: I am not going to let the 2022, full throttle championship, slip through my fingers this year! And also going to try out a dirt track this year.
2022 Goals: Start the season off strong and be able to carry that momentum on through the season.
Drivers to Watch: Mark Merrit, Micheal Peterson, Phil Givens, that young gun number 17 black cavalier – I can’t remember her name, and Richard Geerlinks.
Most Memorable Moment: Placing third in my first race of the night, then winning the next feature the same night of 2021, collecting my first win!
Consistently being a front runner at Full Throttle Motor Speedway allowed Nathan Dettwiler to shine through when the list was being put together, as he alluded to his most memorable moment. He currently sits third in the 2022 standings, 12 points behind Mark Merritt.
11. Megan Mitchell
2021 Ranking: 18th
2022 Plans: 2022 is going to be very different for me. We had plans to run my new G5, but due to family health emergencies, I won’t be running a full season. My plan is to run a few races at Flamboro and hopefully Sauble just for fun. On top of that, I want to continue to work with Lift The Visor, making a difference in the motorsport world for those who struggle with mental illness.
2022 Goals: Get more seat time, practice making passes and get comfortable in the new car. I just want to have fun on the nights I will be out and see if we can get the new car to a podium finish sometime.
Drivers to Watch: Chase Mitchell, Kyle Lucas, James Houghton, Victoria McLenon and Jonathan Vey
Most Memorable Moment: July 31, 2021. Lead every lap of the second feature and picked up my first win. I’ll never forget the restart that night, when Kyle Lucas and I were out front waving to each other before the green flag. To make it even more exciting, Reece Bourgeois won the first feature, which meant that two female rookies got their first wins in one night. Getting victory lane photos together was so cool and I’ll never forget that!
The progression of Megan Mitchell as a driver is not only shown on the list, but also behind the wheel. After a solid rookie campaign, her sophomore season allowed her to ultimately shine through with the aforementioned trip to victory lane. She also scored two top-10’s throughout the year.
10. Michael Peterson
2021 Ranking: N/A
2022 Plans: Run at Full Throttle and chase after the points championship
2022 Goals: Carry my momentum from last season and to continue improving as a driver
Drivers to Watch: Mark Merrit, Nathan Detwiler, Phil Givens, Eric Stewart and Spencer Riddell – a couple are known good competitors but i think the others are going to show they have what it takes to be consistent front runners wherever they unload
Most Memorable Moment: The OSCAAR invitational at Sunset Speedway where I won my first heat race first time ever being at that track and got the opportunity to take the back of the pack challenge
Last year saw Michael Peterson experience something for the first time – holding a checkered flag. It’s something he hopes to repeat this season at FTMS as he currently sits second in the standings, just four points behind Mark Merrit for the lead.
9. Jacob Kelly
2021 Ranking: 25th
His climb up through the rankings surprised no one over the off-season, courtesy of currently being ranked third in the Peterborough Speedway standings, just 13 markers behind Steve Finnegan. He also impressed last year with four top-five’s and six top-10’s.
Stay tuned to finally meet the elite eight.
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