STAYNER, ON- Following a brief two week reprieve from Ltd. Late Model competition, former Sunset Speedway champion ‘The Bully’ Dwayne Baker will be back in action this weekend – with intentions of securing victory in Sunday night’s 125-lap Canadian Late Model Nationals.
“If it were up to me, we’d race 100-laps every week,” says Baker when probed about the challenges presented by the race’s extended distance. “That’s more my style of racing. I like being able to settle into a rhythm and find a groove before making a run to the front. These Saturday night shows are a lot different. It’s a completely separate style of racing. 35-laps in these cars is over before it starts, almost”
A veteran of extended-distance competition – Baker is a two-time winner of the vaunted Autumn Colours Classic – ‘The Bully’ knows that equipment preservation is likely to play a significant role in who will play a factor on Sunday night.
“The trick is going to be managing to log some laps early on, without being caught up in anything,” explains the soft-spoken champion. “I think you’re going to see guys try and push the pace early, and they’ll be the ones that make the mistakes and cost people some damage. The winner at the end of this deal will be the driver that you didn’t even notice for the first 75-laps. They’ll be the one that just rode, saved their equipment and had a plan for the last 50-laps”
With 125-laps ahead of him, Baker insists that patience will be a virtue once the green flag drops for the second annual ‘Nationals’.
“Sunday is going to be a marathon. That’s the way I look at it,” shrugs the Stayner, ON-based competitor. “A 35-lap feature on a Saturday night is a dash to get to the front before you run out of laps. That’s not the way to approach a 125-lap race. Our goal is to put ourselves in a good position after qualifying, and be close enough to the front that we can be one of the cars that sets the pace early”
“We aren’t too concerned with seeing how many laps we can lead,” continues Baker. “I mean, it would be nice to be out front for all 125-laps – but we’re not going to come out and abuse our equipment just to prove a point. We’ll take whatever comes our way early, so long as it means we have a fighting chance at being there when things start to matter.”
Visit www.SunsetSpeedway.ca for details – including advance ticket sales – for Sunday’s 125-lap event.
Dwayne Baker’s 2015 season is proudly supported by Zancor Custom Homes, G.D. Coates Used Car Superstore, McGunegill Engine Performance, Four Valley’s Excavating, Clearview Heating & Cooling, Baker Performance Parts and Nisco National Leasing.
Fans can stay up to date with Dwayne and the rest of the team by visiting the official Dwayne Baker Racing page on Facebook.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)