As the racing season is fast-approaching, the news is coming fast and furious from the Ontario short track scene. In this edition of the Inside Track Motorsport News Short Track Update, Spencer Lewis updates the pre-season plans for many top drivers, including OSCAAR’s Rob Clarke, Justin Demelo, Jason Witty, Branden Bullen, Todd Delisle, Brad Corcoran, Matt Robblee, Samantha Shaw, Ryan Fraser and the legendary Stompin’ Tom Walters, among others.
OSCAAR president Dave Gainforth has announced that 5-time tour champion ‘Magic Shoes’ Rob Clarke will return to the tour fulltime in 2013. The London, ON veteran appeared in 7 OSCAAR-sanctioned events in 2012, including a (above) victory at his home track of Delaware in August, in addition to a trio of runner-up finishes in Sunset Speedway’s North Toronto Auction 50 and Velocity 50 as well as Kawartha Speedway’s Don Biederman Memorial.
The 2-time Autumn Colours Classic champion will once again pilot an FLF Chassis for JBM Motorsports, with support from London Mechanical Plumbing & Heating, J.B.M Leasing, Cars by Clarke, Milwain Chassis, Rob Clarke Auto and Leitch Engines. Watch for Clarke to make his 2013 debut, alongside Brandon Watson, Glenn Watson, Jesse Kennedy and Rookie of the Year candidates Kevin Cornelius and Andrew Gresel when the OSCAAR tour kicks off their season at Sunset Speedway on May 19th.
Here’s our first look at Delaware Speedway Late Model regular Justin Demelo’s ride for the 2013 season. The former Open Wheel Modified standout will compete for the Delaware championship alongside fellow regulars Matt Pritiko, Jay Doerr and Shawn Thompson. Demelo has also confirmed that he will appear in a select number of OSCAAR Modified Tour events throughout the season, with sponsorship support for both cars coming from EMCO Waterworks, JNF Ready Mix, Demar Aggregates, Sifton Properties and Ground Masters.
Sunset Speedway Limited Late Model fan favourite Jason ‘Bam Bam’ Witty has confirmed that he will debut a 2013 McColl Racing Enterprises chassis when the Innisfil, ON oval kicks off its season on Saturday May 4th. Witty’s family-run team is currently in the process of putting the finishing touches on the new ride, and will be debuting the new look on the Inside Track Motorsport News site in the upcoming weeks.
Here’s our first look at 2013 OSCAAR Modified Tour Rookie of the Year candidate Branden Bullen’s groundpounder. The third-generation competitor purchased a former Stephen Richmond-piloted chassis at the conclusion of the 2012 campaign, debuting it at Sunset Speedway’s Velocity event with a respectable 11th place finish.
Bullen plans to run the entirety of the OSCAAR Modified tour, which will bring him back to his former hometrack of Sunset 5 times throughout the season, while providing him with the outlet to make his debut at Delaware, Barrie, Sauble, Peterborough, Flamboro, Kawartha and Varney throughout the summer. The team will be racing in memory of family patriarch Fred Bullen, Branden’s grandfather, all season long. Bullen’s 2013 efforts will enjoy marketing support from RB Graffix and Alliston Transmission.
Autumn Colours Classic podium finisher Todd Delisle has solidified his plans to race weekly at Peterborough Speedway in 2013. The Port Perry, ON veteran has acquired a McColl Racing Enterprises chassis over the off-season from former Delaware Speedway competitor Scott MacGillivray. Delisle will also engineer an extensive touring program throughout the season, planning a schedule that already includes Sauble Speedway’s Beat The Heat 150 on August 4th, Delaware Speedway’s Great Canadian 200 on August 31st, Barrie Speedway’s Garry Reynolds Memorial on September 21st and Sunset Speedway’s 4th annual Velocity weekend on September 28th and 29th. Delisle’s 2013 marketing support will come from Control Panel Systems, T & C Small Engines, NAPA Auto Parts of Port Perry and Sign Works.
Multi-time Flamboro Speedway feature winner Brad Corcoran has confirmed his 2013 plans to follow the entirety of the JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour. Corcoran will join fellow countrymen Marc & Jaxson Jacobs on the tour, campaigning a Hamke chassis purchased from current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ryan Blaney.
Corcoran will enjoy support from Lancaster Tire Discounters, NAPA Auto Parts of Burlington and Jack Astors Restaurants. Corcoran’s Jeff & Art Lancaster-led team will debut with the rest of the tour at Springport Motor Speedway in Michigan on Sunday April 28th. The Milton, ON veteran has also outlined plans to compete sporadically throughout Ontario when not focusing on his tour commitments.
2012 Delaware Speedway Super Stock championship runner-up Matt Robblee will return to fulltime competition in 2013. The Dorchester, ON based driver was part of a 4-way championship battle including Steve Smith, Paul Fothergill and eventual champion Jeff Showler that waged all season long, eventually culminating on the final night of competition.
The second-generation competitor also hopes to appear in several events with the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup tour, alongside fellow Super Stock regulars Darrell Lake and Devin Jarvis. Robblee’s 2013 sponsors include London Autopro, Vapezilla.ca, Dorchester IDA Pharmacy, Grover Signs, T Top 6 and Ultimate Performance Fibreglass.
Here’s our first look at Flamboro Speedway Mini Stock championship contender Samantha Shaw’s ride for the 2013 campaign. The second-generation driver is looking for a strong follow-up to a 2012 season that saw her earn her first career Mini Stock feature triumph.
The teen will donate a percentage of all winnings to the Guelph Wish Fund for Children. Shaw’s fulltime Flamboro efforts, in addition to a touring schedule that will include visits to Sunset, Sauble and Peterborough will be supported by longtime sponsor Spira Fire Protection, Lucas Oil and Artik Ice. Shaw will open her season at Flamboro on April 27th.
2012 Hurricane Midgets champion Ryan Fraser will compete fulltime with the Lucas Oil TQ Can-Am Midgets in 2013. The 16-year old will driver for car owner Rob Neely for the entirety of the tour, in addition to a number of appearances with the Hurricane Midgets. Fraser will carry sponsorship from Neely Auto, Finish Line Painting & Restoration and Action Optical.
The Waterloo Regional Kart Club graduate enjoyed a rookie season in 2012 that saw him capture 8 victories in 14 starts with the Hurricane Midgets. Fans can keep up with Fraser’s busy season through his Twitter account @rfracing1494.
Newmarket, ON’s Knightworks Designs have put the finishing touches on defending Sunset Speedway Limited Late Model champion Stompin’ Tom Walters’ 2013 entry. The 30-time titlist will return to action on May 4th, when he looks to defend his crown against one of the most stacked rosters in Sunset history, including 2012 runner up Mike ‘Lights Out’ Bentley, 2012 Autumn Colours Classic champion ‘The Bully’ Dwayne Baker, 7-time Sunset champ ‘Mr. Excitement’ Chris Morrow, multi-time Sauble feature winner ‘The Instant Classic’ Andy Kamrath and Canadian Vintage Modified trailblazer Gary Elliott.
By Spencer Lewis