Flamboro Speedway

2023 Mini Stock Drivers to Watch Part 3

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 a lot of 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.

Part 1 /// Part 2

Wilson’s Photography

14. Scott Schlueter
2022 Ranking: 32nd
2021 Ranking: N/A

2023 Plans: Our plans for 2023 are still up in the air. We are still undecided whether to race part time or commit to a full schedule. Either way we have the Dave Wilson Memorial Race circled as well as the military night at Full Throttle. We had good results in those 2 races last year with a win on military night and 3rd in the Dave Wilson Memorial. We’d also like to make a trip to Sauble to race the combined 4’s, after trying it last year a few times.
2023 Goals: To compete for wins. The ministock field at Full Throttle is always competitive but I feel we have a car that can win.
Drivers to Watch: Thomas Wunsch, Brian Wilson, Brian Wilson Jr, and Mitch Wilkin are always top cars at Full Throttle and are guys to keep an eye on.

13. Mike Gilmour
2022 Ranking: N/A

2023 Plans: I will be running a full season at Flamboro Speedway running for the 2023 points championship.
2023 Goals: Last year won 2 features – this year we want to win at least 5 more.
Drivers to Watch: Mike Thomson, Bobby Mercer, Kaitlyn Wallace and Shawn Taylor

A regular at Flamboro Speedway, Mike Gilmour was able to do something he had wanted to do for several years in 2022 – win a feature. That is why the No. 33 Mustang is deserving of being apart of this list with two wins, 21 top-five’s, 27 top-10’s, and an average finish 4.14815 at Flamboro last season.

12. Jason D’Antimo
2022 Ranking: N/A

He may not have been flashy or collected checkered flags through the season, but Jason D’Antimo was the master of consistency at Sunset Speedway in 2022. That was all he needed, though, to capture the track championship with nine top-five’s and 12 top-10’s.

D’Antimo will return full-time to the Innisfil oval in 2023 as he told Short Track Musings in November, with a focus on becoming a regular top-three contender. He commented at the time, “I think we are close but need to work on our corner speed. We give up too much in the center and off the corner to the fastest cars, and it shows at the end of the straightway and on the stop watch.”

11. Josh Bullen
2022 Ranking: 1st
2021 Ranking: N/A

The fact Josh Bullen is not in the top-10 for the Mini Stock drivers to watch for 2022 is shocking to everyone. The only reason that could explain why he is placed lower in the standings than expected could be doubt about what he has in store for his plans in 2023. After all, the 2021 Sunset Speedway Champion scored four wins and a runner-up in his five appearances at the Innisfil oval, and was part of the conversation for the Autumn Colours Classic feature victory.

10. Mitch Wilken
2022 Ranking: N/A

9. Johnny Paradzinski
2022 Ranking: N/A

2023 Thoughts: I’m excited to try some new tracks that I’ve never ran before and hopefully always be a threat no matter which track I’m at.
2023 Plans: As of right now plans are to run specials at every asphalt track in Ontario at some point this year, with a few weekly races here and there.
2023 Goals: To try new tracks and really get a “playoff “ race win.
Drivers to Watch: Shawn Taylor, Bobby Mercer, Nolan Gould, Karl Sault, Blaise Shaw

It seemed no matter what track Johnny Paradzinski attended during the 2022 season, he was one of the drivers to watch in the mix for the victory. After all, he scored a runner-up on May 7 at Sunset Speedway, followed by a victory in August. Oh yeah, there was also his victory in the Mini Stock 35.

8. Cameron McGlashan
2022 Ranking: N/A

Short Track Musings caught up with Cameron McGlashan in January and asked him his plans for the 2023 season to which he replied, “I’m not 100 percent sure on the plans for next year yet but hoping to run as much as I can. If I can line up enough sponsorship I’d like to run the whole Sunset schedule again.”

Considering how close he came to winning the Sunset Speedway Championship with ultimately failing to start the feature one single night being the difference between hoisting the crown and not, there are many fans that would love to see the No. 83 mustang back out on-track in 2023. After all, he scored 11 top-five’s, including a victory on August 20.

7. Wayde Thorne
2022 Ranking: N/A

Wayde Thorne was approached when he made the list, confirming he will be partaking in Mini Stock competition only on the dirt side, while running a Bone Stock on the pavement. Though if he finds his way to asphalt, let’s just say you cannot count him out as evident by his runner-up at Flamboro Speedway in a one-off appearance on September 10.

6. Mike Thomson
2022 Ranking: N/A

2023 Thoughts: We hope to build on last seasons success for 2023.
2023 Plans: After having a great season including two wins and finishing second points, we hope to contend for the Championship this year. Our team has been working hard in the off season making some improvements. We also plan on running the specials this year including Velocity and Autumn Colors.
Drivers to Watch: Shawn Taylor. I’ll be interested in watching him on dirt and see what kind of success he can have. Randy Alway at Merrittville because I love watching his YouTube videos. He does a great job with promoting Mini Stocks. The others to keep an eye out for are Kaitlyn Wallace, Josh Bullen and Mike Gilmour. Mostly just can’t wait to get back to the track. The racing community is second to none. Looking forward to hanging out with some awesome new friends.

There were several drivers that had break-out campaigns in 2022, and Mike Thomson was no exception to that at Flamboro Speedway. He mentioned the wins and runner-up in points, which was joined by 23 top-five’s and 32 top-10’s for an average finish of 4.375 over the season.

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