HILLSBURGH, ON- When second-generation star Jordan Howse took to Sunset Speedway for the first time in April of 2014, few could imagine how quickly he would come up to speed in the wildly competitive Mini Stock division.
“There wasn’t really any pressure coming into this season, because we didn’t have any idea of what to expect,” admits Howse.
The soft-spoken 16-year old made the jump from a fulltime Karting schedule to full-bodied stock car racing with less than a handful of practice sessions to his credit.
“My whole family had been talking about this for a long time, so we knew it was coming,” explains Howse when asked about the step-up. “We had the car for a couple of years, and were just waiting for the right time to bring it out. I had been in it a couple of times before we brought it to Sunset, but I was still pretty fresh when we unloaded there for the first time”
The Hillsburgh, ON youngster immediately took a liking to the 1/3-mile oval, running within the top-tier of the division before the mid-way portion of the 2014 season.
“The first laps I laid down at Sunset, I absolutely fell in love,” smiles Howse. “In my opinion, it’s the best track in Ontario. The facility is incredible, the people are fantastic and the racing is second to none. Any time you can come out and put up a top-5 in the Mini Stock division at Sunset, you know that you’ve done something”
Howse was no stranger to impressive outings this year, rattling off a number of podium finishes en route to claiming the 2014 Rookie of the Year title and finishing 3rd in the overall Mini Stock point standings.
“What we were able to do in our first year in the division was more than I could have ever dreamed of,” says Howse. “It just acts as motivation now. All I can think about is coming out next year and trying to one-up myself. As long as I’m improving, I’ll be happy”
Howse sent shockwaves through the division in the final event of the Sunset Speedway season, when he bested a field of 51 cars to become the first rookie to claim victory in the lauded Velocity 250 invitational.
“In a lot of ways, the Velocity was an entire season worth of work put into a single weekend,” says Howse. “Towards the end of the Summer, we were so close to our first win every week and just couldn’t seal the deal. To be able to clinch it in our final race – against the caliber of competition that was there that weekend – was one of the most incredible feelings in the world”
The family-run operation have already started preparing for the 2015 season, with Jordan intent on returning to Sunset for a run at his first career division championship.
“There wasn’t a single weekend this year that we didn’t learn something,” says Howse. “Hopefully, we can apply everything we learned in our Rookie year, and put together a run for a championship. Right now, Sunset’s division is as good as anywhere in Ontario, so I know it won’t be easy. But, I have the best team, the best family and the best equipment I could ask for – so I look forward to trying”
Jordan Howse’s Rookie of the Year campaign was made possible thanks to the support of Glenn Windrem Trucking, Finish Line Painting & Restoration, Paul Howse & Associates, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Bray Auto, Fierce Wraps and Howse Automotive.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)
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