In the April 18th edition of Spencer Lewis’ Short Track Notebook, we visit with Lee Winger ahead of his aggressive 2015 season, take a sneak peek at Gord Shepherd, Griffin Murray and Chris Ryckman’s off-season prep and unveil the brand new look of Anthony DiBello and Branden Bullen’s rides for this Summer.
Former Barrie Speedway Ltd. Late Model champion Gord Shepherd sent along this ‘in progress’ look at his ride for the 2015 season. ‘The Smoke’ will chase the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Ontario championship at Sunset Speedway this year, alongside fellow Late Model heavyweights Dwayne Baker, Chris Morrow and Jason Witty. Shepherd and his Ridge Road Racing team will be in the field at Sunset on opening night May 2nd. Marketing support for Shepherd’s 2015 season will be provided by Progressive Waste Solutions, Krueger Electric, Puzzle Partner and Shelswell Racing. Fans can visit the team online at the official Ridge Road Racing Facebook page.
Ohsweken Speedway 360 Sprint Car rookie Lee Winger took the time to chat with us at last month’s Motorama show about his upcoming 2015 season. The Hagersville, ON product will compete in his first season of Sprint Car racing in addition to a full schedule of Thunder Stock racing. We ask Winger about his new ride, the pressures of jumping into such a deep division and his goals for 2015. Click here for the insightful 1-on-1 video and be sure to visit the team at their official Lee Winger Racing page on Facebook.
Here’s a look at 2014 Peterborough Speedway Thunder Car champion Anthony DiBello’s brand new look for the 2015 season. The second-generation star will be back fulltime to defend his weekly title, and will also look to put together an extensive touring program that will take him to speedways across Ontario. The Oshawa, ON driver earned his first career Peterborough championship on the final night of competition, after a season-long battle with Thunder Car veteran Howie Crowe. The triumph earned DiBello the Inside Track Motorsport News Breakout Star of 2014 award. DiBello will return to Peterborough with sponsorship from DiBello Towing, Langille’s Scrap & Cores, Race Toyota, Federal Wireless Communications, MBH Southern Iron, Giorgio’s Fine Dining, B&G Truck Repair, Kawartha Lakes Contracting, Nick Oram Auto Body & Country 105 FM. Fans can stay up to date on Anthony’s season-long title defense by visiting the official DiBello Racing page on Facebook.
Sunset Speedway freshman Griffin Murray is nearing completion of his ride for the 2015 season. The 15-year old will compete in the upstart MIGHTY division, targeted to novice drivers with the intention of preparing them for full-fledged Mini Stock racing. Griffin – the son of former Barrie Speedway Ltd. Late Model feature winner Shawn Murray – joins a roster dotted with multi-generation racers including Nick St. Onge (son of Barrie Speedway veteran Darryl St. Onge), Treyten Lapcevich (son of NASCAR Canadian Tire Series standout Jeff Lapcevich) and Melissa Bullen (daughter of former OSCAAR Super Late Model regular Phil Bullen). Murray will compete this season with support from Early’s Auto Parts, Gaunt Collision Center, Sandie Collin’s RE/MAX, GreenSteelRoof.ca, Cronan Motorsports and Redline Signs & Apparel.
Ohsweken Speedway Mini Stock regular Chris Ryckman has sent us an ‘in progress’ look at his Ford Mustang as he finishes up preparations for opening night on May 15th. Ryckman is one of 48 registered drivers in what is widely considered to be the toughest entry level division in Ontario. The Brantford, ON driver finished 11th in division points in 2014 as a freshman – earning runner-up honours in the race for Rookie of the Year. Marketing support for Ryckman’s sophomore effort will come from Adam Marshall RE/MAX of Brantford, Gales Auto Aftermarket of Ohsweken and Ultra One / Shine Co Cleaning.
After 2 seasons spent with the OSCAAR Modified Tour, third-generation driver Branden Bullen is set to return to Mini Stock competition in 2015. ‘The Bond Head Bandit’ has elected to pursue an ‘outlaw’ schedule, with the hopes of racing at a number of different speedways throughout the season as opposed to chasing a track championship. His family-run effort will field two cars this Summer, with Branden playing the role of teammate and driver coach to younger sister Melissa Bullen who will race fulltime in Sunset Speedway’s MIGHTY division. Bullen will race with support from The Canadian Grill, WIX Filters and Blissful Bloom Birth Doula. Fans can follow Branden on Twitter all season long @67BullenRacing.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)