Peterborough, ON- Some short track racecar drivers approach a new season with their plans carved in stone, while others are more willing to adjust as circumstances change.
After capturing the 2013 Thunder Car track championship at Peterborough Speedway, Donny Beatty faced the prospect of watching the 2014 campaign from the sidelines, with his on-track role reduced to a fill-in for other drivers. His #40 title-winning machine had been sold, but the Beaverton, Ontario veteran found the desire for competition was too strong and will not only run the full schedule at Canada’s Toughest 1/3-Mile Oval in a Thunder Car, he’ll also battle in the new Grassroots Racing Series at Kawartha Speedway and line-up in an open-wheeled beast with the Ontario Modifieds Racing Series.
“I was ready to run on a part-time basis but within days of making that announcement, I started to hear from family, friends and sponsors who wanted to see me with a full-time deal,” said the 49 year-old speedster, who works as a mechanic. “That level of support helped push me toward running a full season, but with opening night just a few months away, I knew we’d be burning the midnight oil getting one car ready, let alone two.”
Beatty started talking to some of his motorsports brethren and learned there was a quality Thunder Car chassis available close-by. A quick call to veteran campaigner Bryan Cathcart put the wheels in motion to acquire a machine former Kawartha promoter Derek Lynch had put together prior to the 2011 season. The open wheeled modified he’ll take into battle may be a little tougher to make race-ready, but Beatty and his team say they’re up for the challenge.
“Between the laps Dave Lynch turned at Kawartha and the times Bryan raced it at Peterborough, I think the Thunder Car chassis might have about 20 nights of action on it,” admitted the driver. “The mod is a different story all together. It was campaigned about eight seasons ago by Jim Horner at Mosport. Right now, it’s in pieces at my shop and there’s a ton of work to be done to get it to the track this year. It’ll be nice if we can get some seat time in both cars, but it could be a tough task.”
Beatty says his first order of business is getting the #40 Lakeside Property Maintenance/Nick Oram Auto Body/Dale’s Transmissions/SGH Mortgages/Junior Tire Service Thunder Car ready for Peterborough Speedway’s Saturday, May 17 season opener and the Friday, June 6 beginning of the upstart Grassroots Racing Series at Kawartha Speedway. The year’s first date for the Ontario Modifieds Racing Series, powered by TORQUE BUILDERS INC. is Saturday, May 10th at Flamboro Speedway.
“I’d love to put together another title run in Peterborough’s Thunder Car division, but anytime you come into a season as the defending track champion, you’re the man to beat,” said Beatty. “There’ll be some big names looking to take away the crown, so we’ll have to be ready to roll from the moment the first green flag waves.”
Prospective sponsors can reach him via www.facebook.com/donny.beatty or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media