The cars are starting to take to the track, and in this episode of the Inside Track Ontario Short Track Notebook, Spencer Lewis offers updates on several short track racers including Gehrig Halliday, Dave Bailey, Brad Collison, Scott Simmons, Russ Aicken, Jake Watson, Doug Butler, Derek Frohlich, Brad Corcoran and others.
Two-time Flamboro Speedway Thunder Car champion Brad Collison (main image above) will return to the Hamilton-area track this season in search of a third title. The Cambridge, ON driver will compete alongside fellow top-tier drivers Steve Perry and Kevin Gallant, in what promises to be a hotly-contested points battle.
‘The Iceman’ made his first start of the season, alongside the rest of the Flamboro Thunder Car division, on April 27th, and sent along this sneak peek of his ride. Sponsors for Collison’s 2013 campaign include London Recreational Racing, Graybar Canada, Castrol Edge, Hitman Hotrods, Cochrane Autobody and Bennett GM of Cambridge.
Sophomore Mini Stock pilot Scott Simmons sent along this photo of his 2013 entry. The karting graduate enjoyed a solid rookie season in 2012, and returns to Flamboro fulltime this season in search of his first career full-bodied championship.
The youngster will be supported in his campaign by Spira Fire Protection, Conestoga Roofing, Cambridge Source for Sports, Eastside Auto Service and Klotz Auto Repair and Engine Shop. The Cambridge, ON-based driver will also enjoy a touring schedule that will take his team to Sauble, Sunset and Peterborough Speedway throughout the summer.
In what’s sure to be an early-season contender for ‘Best Appearing Car’, Mini Stock veteran Russ Aicken debuted this immaculately prepared ride at Flamboro Speedway’s season opener on Saturday night. The New Hamburg, ON driver will drive for Mike Schmidt’s London Recreational Racing team once again in 2013, with additional sponsorship from First Class Fleet Service, Automotive Truck & Tire and Bennett GM of Cambridge.
11-year old karting stand-out Jake Watson will compete for Flamboro’s 2013 Mini Stock Rookie of the Year crown. Watson, cousin to OSCAAR Super Late Model champions Glenn and Brandon Watson, will debut as the youngest fulltime Mini Stock competitor in the province.
The second-generation star made his first career start at Flamboro’s Frost Fest event in 2012, and will join Ken Spira’s powerhouse Spira Fire Protection-sponsored stable this season. Jake will follow in his father Wade’s footsteps, replacing the family patriarch on the team, joining 2012 Flamboro champion Billy Schwartzenburg, 2012 Flamboro feature winner Samantha Shaw and up-and-comer Scott Simmons.
Two-time Sunset Speedway Mini Stock champion Doug Butler will compete fulltime at Barrie Speedway through the 2013 season. The New Lowell, ON native has not raced a full season since 2010, opting instead to pick-and-choose bigger Mini Stock events throughout the province. The 2012 season saw Butler collection championship honours in Sunset Speedway’s MRE Pro Series, after cataloging a number of dominant performances through the 4-race Mini Series.
Butler’s Nissan 240sx will be in action at Barrie on May 4th, when the 2013 season kicks off. The veteran becomes an instant championship contender, joining an already talent-laden field boasting names such as defending track champion Charlie Smith, veteran Dean Curry, multi-time feature winner Ryan Toon and up-and-coming second generation star Justin Holmes.
Former INEX Legends Series star and 358-Winged Sprint Car regular Derek Frohlich will compete for the 2013 Sunset Speedway Limited Late Model championship. Frohlich, a Toronto native, will compete in a McColl Racing Enterprises chassis previously fielded by Sunset front-runners Stompin’ Tom Walters and Kevin Cornelius. The chassis, dubbed ‘The White Rabbit’ by the Walters crew in 2010, has won 2 track championships in 3 seasons with its previous owners.
Frohlich enters the Sunset season with the distinction of being the only Canadian to have won 7 consecutive state championships in an INEX Legends Series car – in addition to a national championship. The 23-year old competed on both oval and road courses as a Legends Series competitor, before switching to a 358-winged Sprint Car at a number of heralded Pennsylvania dirt tracks, including Williams Grove and Lincoln.
We broke the news of Brad Corcoran’s fulltime move to the JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour earlier this week. The Corcoran squad has sent along photos of their Hamke chassis. The Lancaster Tire Discounters, NAPA Auto Parts of Burlington and Jack Astor’s Restaurants sponsored car will join Marc and Jaxson Jacobs and Dominique VanWieringen as the Canadian representatives on the Midwestern-based Pro Late Model tour.
Here’s our first look at third-generation Mini Stock competitor Gehrig Halliday’s ride for the 2013 season. The teenager will enter his second full season of competition in search of his first career Mini Stock feature victory.
Halliday, grandson of Sunset Limited Late Model competitor Gary Elliott and nephew of former Grisdale Triple Crown champion David Elliott, cut his teeth in the karting ranks before debuting in a full-bodied car in 2012. Halliday will run the entirety of Sunset’s schedule, with marketing support from Quaker State, JDS Insurance, Creative Edge Graphics, Open Doors and Scripture Union.
Four-time Flamboro Speedway Mini Stock champion Dave Bailey has sent along shots of his latest entry. Bailey’s Nissan 240sx will carry a special ‘Maple Leaf’ inspired number, in honor of Bailey’s uncle Randy Slack and childhood hero Joe ‘The Jet’ Plazek and their inductions into the Flamboro Speedway and FOAR Score Hall of Fames, respectively.
Bailey, one of the innovators of the modern day Mini Stock division, will be considered a favourite for a record 5th track championship, but will have to go through a number of strong competitors including 2012 Oktoberfest champion ‘The Astronaut’ Brandon McFerran, multi-time feature winner Sarah Woolsey and Spira Fire Protection teammates Samantha Shaw and Scott Simmons.
By Spencer Lewis / @itsspencerlewis