In the April 16th edition of Spencer Lewis’ Short Track Notebook, we update you on a returning Peterborough Speedway champion, a Delaware Speedway rookie and a third-generation up-and-comer. We also give you your first look at Ron Quesnelle’s ride for 2014 and Tom Gibbons’ Limited Late Model and chat with Brandon Watson and Sean Grosman.
2013 Peterborough Speedway Ltd. Late Model champion Craig Graham has announced he will return to defend his title in 2014. The Orono, ON driver enjoyed a season-long battle with former Autumn Colours Classic winner Chris Mitchell throughout the entirety of the 2013 campaign, with the pair virtually deadlocked in the race for the championship entering the final night of competition. Graham joins Mitchell, Bryan Sudsbury and Matt Spence on a growing list of drivers that have committed to run the full season at Peterborough. Marketing support for Graham’s 2014 campaign courtesy of PJ Larkin Salvage, www.HotRodSwag.com, Motörhead Canada, C & K Fabrication, L.A. Signs, ImageFactor.ca and Clarke Motorsports Communication. Follow the team on Twitter @Graham_Racing.
Here’s our first look at Ron Quesnelle’s ride for the 2014 season. The Penetang, ON veteran has confirmed he will return to Sunset Speedway this year, after enjoying a bevy of success at neighbouring Barrie Speedway over the past several seasons, highlighted by a 2011 Barrie track championship. ‘RQ’ will make the switch to a McColl Racing Enterprises chassis this season, after the launch of his brand new ‘Smooth Racing’ team. The 30+ year veteran joins a Sunset roster layered with experience, including Hall of Famer Stompin’ Tom Walters, 2-time Autumn Colours Classic champion Dwayne Baker and 7-time Sunset champion ‘Mr. Excitement’ Chris Morrow. Quesnelle’s Sunset return will carry marketing support from Sunrise Toyota, Huronia Auto Glass, D and S Collision, Dave Wiggins Custom Exhaust, Wix Filters and Clear Choice Auto Inc. Fans can keep up with the team via their Smooth Racing Facebook page or on Twitter @SmoothRacin.
Former Delaware Speedway Truck division standout Brady Smith (above, by Delaware Speedway) is hoping to make an impact in the Pro Late Model division this season. The Coldstream, ON youngster has acquired a chassis from mentor Jesse Kennedy, and has planned a full schedule of competition at Delaware, with hopes of earning the 2014 Rookie of the Year title.
We recently caught up with Brady and asked his thoughts on the jump in equipment and competition. Brady had this to say.
“The truck and the Late Model are virtually night and day different. The Pro Late Model is almost 1000 pounds lighter than the truck, and really gets through the corners and handles alot better. It also puts a lot more power to the track. It’s an incredible machine to get behind the wheel of. I was fortunate enough to race it in the final 2 events of the 2013 season, so I have a bit of seat time in the car, but I think 2014 is going to be a huge learning experience”
Smith’s Rookie campaign is sponsored by Farmgate Market Deli & Fresh Meat, Mapleview Farms, DEKALB, Ray Williams Trucking, BASF, Lobo Agservices, Ferguson’s Fancy Beans, Straight Line Collision, Artworks by Grem, Pasto’s Grill and Action Trailer Sales. Visit the brand new Brady Smith Racing page on Facebook, and follow on Twitter @BradySmith39 to keep up with the team as they prepare for Delaware’s June 6th opener.
Third-generation driver Kyle Passer he sent along the first look at his ride for the 2014 campaign. The Innisfil, ON driver will compete fulltime in Sunset Speedway’s Limited Late Model division, in addition to a limited schedule with the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour. Passer purchased a Dan McHattie Racecars chassis from former Autumn Colours Classic champion Chris Mitchell at the closing of the 2013 season.
The Ltd. Late Model Rookie joins a crowded Freshman class, as Pro Late Model convert Mat Box, former Sunset Thunder Car champion Paul Maltese and Barrie Speedway expat Travis Hallyburton have all confirmed fulltime intentions in 2014. The campaign will be a homecoming of sorts for Passer, who debuted in a Four Fun at Sunset in 2008. Jenco Equipment will provide sponsorship for his #13 this season.
We caught up with 2- time OSCAAR champion Brandon Watson (above, by Thompson Photography) at Toledo Speedway’s Border Wars 150 on April 12th. Despite having a strong run ruined by an expired engine, Watson expressed high hopes for his 2014 campaign. Click here for the post-race interview and follow Brandon on Twitter @BrandonWatson15.
Sauble Speedway veteran Tom Gibbons confirmed he will return to ‘the Beach’ fulltime this season. The Southampton, ON driver has sent along an ‘in progress’ photo of his car, as his team prepares to put the final touches on the piece before practice day. With the re-addition of Gibbons, Sauble looks to have one of the deepest roster in the province, including 2-time track champion Scott McTeer, perennial front-runner Jason Parker, the returning Jason Tremble, former ALSTAR tour standout Tim Ellis among others. Gibbons will compete with sponsorship from Tom Gibbons Concrete Finishing, Saugeen Shores Transmission and McCulloch Tire of Port Elgin. Follow Tom on Twitter @Gibbons_10.
Here’s a previously unreleased interview with Sunset Speedway Limited Late Model regular Sean Grosman (above, by Thompson Photography). ‘The Frequent Flyer’ speaks about his short time spent in oval racing, his dedicated team and his position on the famed ‘Crate vs. Built’ debate. The video can be found here, and be sure to follow Grosman on Twitter @SMGMotorsports.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)