HAMPTON, ON- Former Grisdale Triple Crown contender Kelly Balson will hope to be a factor in Saturday’s OSCAAR-sanctioned ‘Don Biederman Memorial’. The event will mark Balson’s first career appearance at the facility behind the wheel of a Super Late Model.
“This is one of those races where I anticipate having to really work for any spot we plan on picking up,” admits Balson. “We’ll be unloading on Saturday morning with a clean slate, because we’ve never raced this car at Flamboro”
“We have a list of things that we’re hoping to try throughout practice. But, as far as a base setup goes, we’re starting from the ground level. Hopefully we can figure things out in a hurry”
The race will carry a special significance for Balson, with Flamboro Speedway being the home track for primary sponsor Mike Schmidt’s London Recreational Racing team.
“Mike has been such a huge supporter of our program, and Flamboro is his home track, so obviously we want to perform well for him,” says Balson. “But it’s nothing more than vanity to think we don’t have our work cut out for us. There are a lot of guys that’ll be in the pit area on Saturday that have a ton more laps under their belts at Flamboro than we do”
One of OSCAAR’s lauded ‘Triple Crown’ events, ‘The Biederman’, historically, draws some of the top Super Late Model racers from across the province – a fact not lost on ‘The Crowd Pleaser’.
“I expect JR [Fitzpatrick] and [Shawn] Chenoweth to be perfect,” explains Balson when asked about the level of competition he anticipates on Saturday. “They have a ton of laps at Flamboro, and have been putting in test sessions to maximize their cars output”
“I expect Andrew Gresel and Kevin [Cornelius] to be the absolute monsters that they are every time that we see them. These are the challenges we have ahead of us this weekend – and we’re looking forward to it”
And although an appearance at Flamboro is likely to draw Balson outside of his comfort zone, there is light on the horizon for the Hampton, ON-based wheelman – as the tour will return to his home base of Peterborough on September 5th.
“The travel and the exposure to places that you don’t typically spend a lot of time at is one of the most fascinating parts about following a tour,” offers Balson. “We’re going to do everything in our power to turn in a respectable performance at Flamboro, and then get ready to come back to Peterborough the following weekend where we’re the ones with the advantage”
“A top-5 finish – with no damage – this weekend would be fantastic for us. Anything to keep our momentum up,” continues the tour sophomore. “Because we’re pretty confident we can roll into Peterborough with a package that will be hard to deal with for just about anyone on this roster.”
For information regarding this Saturday’s event, visit www.FlamboroSpeedway.ca.
Marketing support for Kelly Balson’s sophomore tour campaign is provided by London Recreational Racing, Cochrane Automotive, Brandon’s Landscapes, Castrol Edge, Bennett Chevrolet of Cambridge, GTA Racing Design and Wake Work Race Clothing.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)