Interviews

CATCHING UP WITH…… Dan Kviring

With nine feature top-10’s and 16 heat top-five’s, Dan Kviring put together an impressive rookie campaign with the Outlaw Midgets presented by Canadian Tire Innisfil en route to placing third in the year-end standings.

Short Track Musings recently caught up with him to get his thoughts on the season, Outlaw Midgets, and more.

What are your thoughts on how the 2022 Outlaw Midget season went for you?

It went really good. I was really surprised. Looking back at a whole season, I had a couple of trips up there in missing some heats races and my first couple races had a DNF, had a bad crash at Sunset (Speedway) on the opening lap and that pretty much wiped out the one car. But a week later, another racecar showed up – the orange and black one.

I was reluctant to get in it as I wasn’t sure how it would perform based on the guys had in it before – they were kind of up and down; I just didn’t pay enough attention to it. They just kept saying, “Get in the car, try this one, it’s different than yours.” Pretty much once I got that car, my performance got a lot better. The car was more comfortable for me the way it was situated and just learning from each race about set-up, maintenance, and really how to drive asphalt because up until this year, I haven’t raced asphalt other than way back in 2006 when I raced go-karts. It was definitely a learning curve and very pleased with the results.

What would you say was your most memorable moment of the season?

Oh my. Honestly, it came down to the last race. Going into that race as you know, the third, fourth and fifth positions were only one point apart. I think we all tried to manage the stress because anything could happen. At that point, I had Rookie of the Year tied up so I was just looking either hold fifth-place for a finish with Mike Bradley closing in on me, to say I had a top-five finish in my rookie year. But the racer in me, I went into that last race and knew I was going to put it all on the line and see what I could come up with. It worked out that I tied for third with Rob Hooligan.

When I came off the track, it was such a release from the stress and relief of winning – to me, it was a winning to be in a position that I aimed for the last couple races. Also to show fruit of all the hard work, late nights, the wrenching in the garage left right and center, talking to Mikey Homewood who lives close to me so we’re always working on the cars together, and just trying to find the last bit of speed as we improve on my driving. It came down to the most memorable moment being the finish of that race.

You got to try a couple different tracks with the way the schedule is laid out. What was your favourite to race at?

I actually have two. I really love Sauble (Speedway) and it goes back a bunch of years. When I was working up in Bruce Power as a contractor, we would always go to Sauble Speedway to watch the races. Then I got introduced to the Outlaw Midgets – I seen them there, but I had a friend call that works for Bruce Power and his buddy is Mikey. They said, “Hey, my friend is coming up to race. I don’t know nothing about racecars but he needs help and you used to race. Can you help him?” I said sure, and we went to the track and the Outlaw Midgets were there.

I was kind of thumbs at that moment not knowing what to do to help. Mikey just said, “Look, check over a couple things, tell me what you think, look for things that look odd.” So once I started helping Mikey that first time, I knew right away I was going to end up getting one of these cars. I like the speed at Sauble. I find my best performances can come at Sauble. It’s a track meant – it’s a little bit bigger I believe, and you get some good speed there.

I really loved Grand Bend for how small it was. It’s a fun track. It seems like you’re turning and we’re used about 17 seconds a lap. Well at Grand Bend, we’re doing it in 12 or 13 seconds. The first heat race and I came off the track, I finished third, and I went to Tom (Tyo) our president and I said, “Tom, what’s going on?” He asked what do you mean, and I said, “That was six laps.” He says no it wasn’t – it was 10 laps. I said, “Tom, I was in that car, it was six laps.” He goes, “I’m telling you right now, that was 10 laps. You’re turning 12 to 13 second laps. In your mind, you’re thinking of what a 17 second lap is and getting the same laps.”

So I said, “Okay Tom, I’m going to trust you, but the second heat, I’m going to count it.” I came off the track again and said to him, “Tom, that was six laps again.” He insisted it was 10 laps and made sure to double check and count them. That would be my two favourite tracks right now.

I’ve been to all the tracks, but Grand Bend. I haven’t made my way up there yet.

Honestly, the ownership there is awesome. Great people. We showed up there, I brought another dirt driver to jump in one of the cars whose never driven asphalt before and right from the get go, the ownership came to talk to us. He thanked us, he was super welcoming. We looked at the facility and they had stuff going on at the same time – drag racing, people on the motorcycle track going on. It’s a busy place, huge facility, and then to get on the track and just honestly how everything ran, it was so smooth.

They welcomed us with open arms, they gave us the time to race, we had some time for heats. We had a green-checkered race and as I was leaving, he said, “Hey, if you ever want to come back, you’re always welcome.” It’s a hike for a lot of people, and we tried to see if we could get a double header weekend for 2023 so people could camp. It won’t work out, but maybe people will go down early, camp, watch some of the drag racing, and then do our racing, and then maybe the next day take in more of the drag racing.

Well looking at the schedule, it’s the same weekend as their Rib Fest this year so that will defiantly make the trek worthwhile for everyone.

That’s huge up that way. We were up at Bruce Power and we’d always hear of Rib Fest down at Grand Bend. It’s an event. It’s worthwhile going. I can’t say enough good stuff about Grand Bend. I’m looking forward to it. I know 2023, I’m going to try and break up between the midgets and the dirt, but I’ve penciled that weekend in that I will be at Grand Bend.

 

Stay tuned for the second part of our interview with Dan Kviring

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