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.
30. Dale Millard
2022 Ranking: N/A
2023 Thoughts: Just bought one of the fastest mini stocks in the province for the last few years, hoping to continue the success with that car and have some fun.
2023 Plans: Focusing more on the big races than a points run. I want to travel to a few tracks to try some new stuff.
2023 Goals: To finish consistent but more to try different things with my car to help Kaitlyn Wallace (my girlfriend) with her car. Use it as research so to speak.
Drivers to Watch: Kaitlyn Wallace, Mike Thomson, Matt Young with his freshened car, Shawn Taylor and Dylan Sharpe.
Millard has shown speed in the division in the past – but that should be taken to a new level, given the success the mustang he will be driving has experienced across the province, courtesy of Cole Quinton and Erik Dalla Riva in recent years. That was already evident by teh early speed shown at Flamboro Speedway.
29. Austyn Jennett
2022 Ranking: N/A
2023 Thoughts: I have a lot of excitement. I am sure its going to be a lot of fun moving up to mini stock division at sunset with my new car. I know its going to be a lot of hard work as per usual but the team is excited.
2023 Plans: Gain experience in the new division, get a feel for my new car, learn how the rear wheel racing goes, and all around as a team to have a great season and take away something positive from each weekend and just continue to grow. I plan to still have my bone stock at the track most of the time, but I will be renting it out to others in the bone stock division to see how that will go. That shall be interesting but amazing to see. It’s a great car and its a fun little way to keep as many cars out there competing.
2023 Goals: Keep my car in one piece, be consistent, be able to show up every weekend and be a little better than the last, have some good racing with my teammates Doug and Andrew, work hard, get good outcomes and see how it goes.
Drivers to Watch: There really is so many people to keep an eye on. Everyone has good cars, fast cars and great driving skills. Its a tough competitive field – that’s for sure.
After finding his way to heat victory lane in the bone stock, Austyn Jennett is ready to tackle a new challenge in getting behind the wheel of a fast mustang mini stock at Sunset Speedway.
28. Andrew Shilling
2022 Ranking: N/A
2023 Thoughts: Entering the 2023 season is excitement. With my knowledge and experience from competing in the Bone Stock division, I am interested in experiencing a new form of racing with the ability to do upgrades and gain new speed unlike the class beforehand.
2023 Plans: Run a consistent season with what ever position I finish. After all, it’s a new learning curve and my rookie campaign in the Mini Stock Division.
2023 Goals: At least get top 10 finishes and to keep the newly built car intact.
Drivers to Watch: One of the drivers I am keeping an eye on is my father in law and mentor, Doug Wilman. His driving style is one to look at and racing against him is always fun. My other teammate Austyn Jennett will be a great watch; he has ran competitively in the Bone Stock Division. Although being a rookie driver like myself, I know he will do well, especially in his fast built car. The other drivers I am keeping my eyes on are of course the top-runners like Josh Bullen, Cameron McGlashan, and the D’Antimo team; they are all nice, helpful people, who have lots of skills and are great to watch when racing.
He mentioned it. This is his rookie season in the division after finding success last year in Bone Stocks at Sunset Speedway with a top-five points finish, a couple heat wins, and his first career feature triumph.
27. Doug Wilman
2022 Ranking: N/A
After spending last season on the sidelines to allow focus to be spent on his kids racing endeavors, Doug Wilman is set to return back behind the wheel – and race against his future son-in-laws at Sunset Speedway. There has been improvement each season the team has brought out the No. 14, and that should not change virtue of the upgrades the team has made.
26. Michael Kenny
2022 Ranking: 30th
2023 Thoughts: 2023 will be the best year we have had in a long time. We have had bad luck the past few years and I think this will be the year we make a come back!
2023 Plans: Still up in the air on what we will be doing there (as of February) will be an announcement in the next few weeks on what our plans will be for 2023
2023 Goals: To have fun and get as many wins or top fives as we can, and to keep improving every week we are at the track.
Drivers to Watch: Kaitlyn Wallace, Dale Millard, Shawn Taylor, Mike Thompson and Wayde Thorne
Michael Kenny has become a constant fixture in action, whether Mini Stocks or the Canadian Vintage Modifieds the past couple years. He found success at Flamboro Speedway in 2022 with five top-five’s and 14 top-10’s including a season-best third on August 13.
25. Doug Butler
2022 Ranking: 16th
2021 Ranking: 6th
2023 Thoughts: With the shortened Schedule for mini stock at sunset I am thinking of making an effort of a full season. But with the prices of everything and the business of life, not sure how that would will work out. Depending on the price of and timing of work, I’m hoping to travel a little bit this year, too.
The only reason Doug Butler is ranked this low on the list is simply due to not being out on the track as much as previous seasons, causing him to slip off everyone’s radar. He made four appearances at Sunset Speedway in 2022, scoring a victory and three runner-ups. If he continues to find that groove – and becomes more frequent as talked about, you will be talking about him a lot.
Categories: Flamboro Speedway, Mini Stock Top-10, mini stocks, Sunset Speedway
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