In the November 24th edition of Spencer Lewis’ Inside Track Short Track Notebook, we profile the latest Sauble Speedway Thunder Car rookie, chat with OSCAAR Rookie of the Year Kelly Balson, check in with Peterborough Speedwau Four Fun champion Willow Barberstock and ask Billy Schwartzenburg his thoughts on his 2014 Sauble Speedway Mini Stock title.
Multi-time Sauble Speedway Mini Stock feature winner Kevin Bridge has confirmed he will be moving to the Thunder Car division fulltime in 2015. The Kincardine, ON veteran has acquired a chassis from former Barrie Speedway champion Jim Beleskey and will compete for Rookie of the Year honours in Sauble’s perennially talented division. Bridge is in the process of making upgrades to his newly acquired ride to have it ready to debut later on in the offseason. Marketing support for Bridge’s 2015 campaign will come courtesy of LiUNA, Huronview Insurance, Spira Fire Protection, Timber Mart, Saugeen Shores Transmission, Bridgehaven of Angus, NGK Spark Plugs, Castrol, Vortex Brake Pads, DEI and Optima Batteries. Fans can keep up with Kevin via his Kevin Bridge Racing page on Facebook and @BridgeRacing on Twitter.
Hampton, ON’s Kelly Balson (above, by Ashley McCubbin) earned the OSCAAR Super Late Model Tour Rookie of the Year title in 2014. Here’s a previously unreleased interview with Kelly filmed in 2013 just after he acquired his No. B10. ‘The Crowd Pleaser’ offers his view on where the tour is headed and what drivers he looks forward to racing alongside. Click here for the 1 on 1 video and follow Kelly’s off-season activity – along with the rest of the London Recreational Racing team – via the @LondonRecRacing Twitter account.
Peterborough Speedway Four Fun champion Willow Barberstock has announced she will step up to the Ontario Modified Racing Series in 2015. The Stirling, ON driver – at just 15-years of age – became one of the youngest champions in Peterborough Speedway history after earning a trio of feature victories in 2014. The 62 Racing representative will campaign a Modified for the Warnes Racing team, at speedways across Ontario, with support from Vinyl Kreations, Bella Ever After, Torque Builders and RB’s Auto Recyclers. Fans can follow Willow via her Willow Barberstock athlete page on Facebook.
We recently had a chance to chat with Sauble Speedway Mini Stock champion Billy Schwartzenburg (above, by Dan Little). The Guelph, ON driver collected his 2nd divisional championship in 3 seasons, and impressed all season long whilst racing in a deceptively tough Sauble division. Schwartzenburg had this to say about his 2014 efforts:
“The #86-Spira Race Team did not start off this season racing for points and fortunately, winning the 2014 Sauble Speedway Championship just fell into our lap. Unlike the 2012 championship that we won at Flamboro Speedway, where we worked hard and stayed focused on the points every week, this year and last year, was all about having more fun and racing for our charities by getting as many wins as we could, or at least finishing in the top three in order to get the most prize money for the Guelph Wish Fund for Children and Victim Services Wellington. I am very fortunate to be involved with the Spira Racing Program that Ken Spira has structured to teach everyone skills, work ethic and the discipline that is needed to be successful in the sport of racing. Racing for those less fortunate, provides me with the feeling of victory at every race as I know that I am racing for them as well as myself. The focus and intensity involved in our 2012 championship at Flamboro Speedway took away some of the fun factor and with a great crew that we have involved with the #86 on a weekly basis, our focus this year was more to travel together, do the best that we could, but overall have some fun. Everyone in the crew had a great year, we did lots of traveling, met plenty of people and made lots of friends, traveling to tracks throughout Ontario as we ran 37 feature races at eight tracks and it was a blast. We raised well over $6,000.00 this year that will be distributed equally between Victim Services Wellington and Guelph Wish Fund for Children and this is the true victory for our race team with winning the Sauble Speedway Championship is an added bonus. Without our many sponsors, especially Ken Spira and Spira Fire Protection, I would not be able to do what I love to do, and that is to race. I need to thank our many sponsors as they all play a big role in making this happen”
Schwartzenburg’s 2014 season was made possible thanks to Apollo Valves, Artik Ice, Chetty’s Hot Sauce, Cambridge Source for Sports, Dominion Sure Seal, Erb & Erb Insurance, Fleet Image, Gunk, Lucas Oil, Mackay Enterprises, Miknar Machine, Nuco, Plasti-Kote, Process Group, Pro-Treadz-/Tire Craft, RNR Cycle, Roof Trusses & Components, Sloot Construction, Wix Filters, Wolseley Mechanical Group and Victaulic.
Follow Spencer Lewis on Twitter @itsspencerlewis