VANKLEEK HILL, ON Augist 11, 2020)- In typical seasons, Mini Stock teams would roll to the line in support of the home track’s premiere divisions. This year, the driver of a red Honda is making headlines and stealing the spotlight from its big buck racing brethren.
29-year-old James Clarke, a second year racer from Vankleek Hill, about an hour from Ottawa, opened the truncated 2020 schedule with three straight main event wins between his efforts at Brockville and Cornwall Speedways.
With COVID-19 affecting scheduling at each track, Clarke says he was pleased to get his season off to such a solid start.
“Every racer looks to be strong right out of the box and I guess this year it was our turn,” admitted the driver who was third in Mini Stock points and was named Cornwall Speedway’s top rookie in 2019. “My team and I worked hard on the car over the winter to make some changes and bring things up to speed for the new schedule. The pandemic delay threw us a curve, but its good to be racing again and having fun at the track.”
Competition at each track features some of the best equipment in the class and the Vankleek Hill Vocational Institute graduate, who owns and operates JML Customs, while lending a hand to many of the drivers he battles in weekly action, has made some lasting friends during his brief time at the controls of the machine that carries No. 2x in honour of his son Liam, who was born on the second day of the second month. Away from the speedway, Clarke says he enjoys fabricating new race car parts and participating in a variety of extreme sports.
“My first career feature win came with a last lap pass on opening night this year at Cornwall,” explained James Clarke. “I know that not all my victories will be like that but it made for great start to our 2020 season and an amazing celebration to share with my crew Jeremie Breton, Joel Bray, Richard Leblanc and everyone else associated with the team.”
The driver who lists Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty as his favourite racers and although spelled a little differently, shares a famous racing moniker with a legendary former world champion says he’d like to do some travelling to different tracks. Despite his prowess on the home front, he would like to visit some U.S. venues once the travel restrictions are lifted. His long-term goals include moving to a DIRTcar 358 Modified.
Behind the scenes, the team’s booster club includes the driver’s wife Myriam Bray and her parents Joel Bray and Chantel Maisoneuve. His own father Graham Bocking and friends Jeremie Breton, Richard LeBlanc and Mike Gaucher. Family, friends and fans can follow driver James Clarke during the 2020 season at Brockville Ontario Speedway, Cornwall Motor Speedway or by liking the Team 2x Racing page at www.facebook.com.
Prepared by Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media