Interviews

Andy Kamrath Captures First Career Championship

Autumn Colours Classic. Frostoberfest. Spring Velocity. Fall Velocity. Countless invitational victories.

Throughout his career expanding over 30 years, Andy Kamrath has captured numerous victories in a variety of different cars. However, there was one thing that always eluded him – a championship. He was reminded about it regularly with many people bugging him over the years.

That will not happen anymore, though, as he earned the “very satisfying” moment in knocking the championship off the bucket list with the 2022 Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds presented by Just Foam It title.

“It’s a pretty cool deal for sure,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “We have been pretty dominant on the tour since we started with it but to finally put that last piece of the puzzle in place within this division is pretty cool to me.”

Kamrath put together an impressive season, highlighted by eight trips to feature victory lane and 14 heat wins.

“(My) favorite moment of the 2022 season had to be just finishing off the whole deal at Peterborough Speedway,” he commented. “I was done with 2022 going into that weekend. There was a lot of pressure going into that weekend to make sure we prepped correctly and then executed. Having that massive crowd in victory lane was pretty special as well.”

It was not all sunshine and roses, though, as Kamrath saw his season hit a snag at Delaware Speedway in July. After winning the first three races of the year, he looked to keep the momentum rolling at the half-mile. Unfortunately, a wreck on the opening lap ended his night early, and put the rest of the season in jeopardy.

“After that wreck, I was done with the season,” he explained. “I was ready to park the car and fix it when I had the time. I don’t do anything ‘half ass’ in my life and I wasn’t going to begin with that. But after Brandon Johnson and Kris Lewko drove through the night to go get Kelly Balson’s car for me the next day, there wasn’t a chance that I wasn’t going to at least try to get it fixed back up. It was a lot of late nights with the wife as well as a ton of help from Shawn Chenoweth and Mike Schmidt but we had it back together and in victory lane the very next event.”

The same group of people who helped him come out of that situation strongly, he also attributed back to the success they had through the year, including nine top-five’s and 20 heat top-five’s to compliment the wins.

“We go to the racetrack every weekend with fast cars and if we don’t, we work our butts off to make sure we do,” he commented. “Whether we win or lose, we are still trying to get better. Mike Schmidt has also been a big part of our program as well from all the amazing support and being in our corner whether it’s on or off the track. Making our program stronger is tough to nail down because we just continue the grind week in and out and continue to take notes.”

With the success, all eyes are on him to see what he does to back it up, and where he will be on-track across the province. Those plans, Kamrath admits are not set in stone yet for 2023.

“We will have to see what APC/OSCAAR does with rules changes etc. The Sunset Speedway deal also looks quite interesting as well,” he commented.” I can tell you one thing for sure, it won’t be racing over 13-15 times. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy away from my family on weekends and were gonna dial that back a bit. I’ll still be on the road helping Shawn Chenoweth out wherever I can and potentially jump back in one of his pros for a spot start. Motto for 2023 is less stress and more fun!”

Certainly some of that fun will also come from the next generation beginning to battle, as Kamrath has purchased a Jr Late Model for his son Rylan.

“He had his first test after the Colours and it was full of emotions from excitement to fear to nervousness on my wife and my end of things,” Kamrath shared. “We’re gonna keep him practicing throughout 2023 and if we feel he’s ready enter him in some races then. I don’t wanna push him along too fast. Also when I’m at the track and having him racing I want to be fully focused on him and if I’m gonna be racing I can’t do that. He did great at his test but see what the future brings.”

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