COLDWATER, ON- Late Model rookie Jordan Latimer is ready for his first career Sunset Speedway Late Model start. After an off-season’s worth of preparation, the third-generation driver is ready to kick his Rookie of the Year campaign into high gear.
“I think I’ve already ran about 1000 laps in my head,” laughs Latimer when asked about practicing his new ride.
“We’re hoping the weather starts to cooperate in a hurry. Opening night is coming up and our team is hoping to get me as comfortable as possible behind the wheel before we roll out for time trials on May 2nd”
At sixteen-years of age, Latimer will enter the 2015 Sunset Speedway season as the youngest driver on the Sauble Falls Tent & Trailer Park NASCAR Late Model roster. Though what he lacks in experience, he more than makes up for in a willingness to learn.
“This season is going to be all about adapting, that’s for sure,” offers the well-spoken high-school student. “Between figuring out where the car works best, learning about my competitors and getting used to a new speedway, there’s going to be a lot of new information to process”
“I learned so much last year racing in the Thunder Car division at Barrie Speedway, but moving up a class at a whole new facility is going to put us back at square one in a lot of ways”
“I’m ready for a huge learning curve. It’s not something that scares me at all,” says Latimer. “We had some really good runs at Sunset last year with our Thunder Car. The level of competition in the Late Model division is completely different, but I’m excited for the challenge”
Latimer’s Late Model endeavor is a product of a partnership between the youngster’s longtime mentor Gord Shepherd and Krueger Electric found Ken Semkin.
“Ken and Gord put this deal together shortly after the 2014 season ended,” explains Latimer. “Initially, we were going to chase the Rookie title at Barrie, but when the track shut down we had to call a bit of an audible”
“We’re taking things slow. I have a huge amount of respect for the drivers at Sunset. It’s a stacked field. I’m showing up on Night 1 ready to learn”
“I want to crawl before I walk,” adds Latimer with a laugh.
Latimer will once again work with Shepherd’s Ridge Road Racing effort in 2015. With Crew Chief duties being handled by returning team member Josh Lee, while arriving member Darrell Eacott will provide Driver Coach support for the freshman.
“Having the Ridge Road Team with us at Sunset is going to make a huge difference,” says the Coldwater, ON driver. “I’m really happy to have that familiarity – especially since we’ve changed so much of our program from 2014 to 2015”
“Gord [Shepherd] won’t be my formal driver coach this year, but I’ll definitely be leaning on him to get up to speed at Sunset. I plan on spending a lot of time behind him in practice trying to figure out the fast way around in these cars”
Though few would fault Latimer for being intimidated by his new surroundings and competition, the fan favourite is quick to note he’s elated to meet the challenge head-on.
“I’m counting the days, man,” says the teenager with a broad smile. “I have all the confidence in the world in my team and my family. There isn’t a person on this team that believes this is going to be easy – but we’ll get the hang of it together”
“There are more former champions on the Sunset roster than just about any other division in Ontario,” explains Latimer. “It would be easy to be intimidated by them, but I can’t think of any better drivers I’d sooner learn from.”
Jordan will make his 2015 debut – alongside the rest of the Sauble Falls Tent & Trailer Park NASCAR Late Model division – at Sunset Speedway’s season opener on May 2nd.
Details, including gate times and ticket prices, can be found at www.SunsetSpeedway.ca.
Marketing support for Jordan’s season is provided by KICX 106, 104.1 The Dock, Creechers Design, Kitchen Tire, Krueger Electrical Services, North River Motorsports, Tax Smart, T&C Construction & Welding, AC Electric, TSS Top Shops, HWY 400 Transmission, Shepherd Family Trucking, JRH Auto Body, EPIC Racewear and OnePromo.ca.
Fans can follow Jordan on Twitter @LatimerJordan and stay up to date on the team by visiting the official JLMotorsports page on Facebook.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)