You can take the boy out of Peterborough, but it’s hard to take the ‘Peterborough’ out of the boy. With the biggest racing event of the year – the 20th Annual Autumn Colours Classic, presented by Lucas Oil Products at Peterborough Speedway – just days away, Josh Gruntz thinks it would be the perfect time to score the first open wheeled modified feature race win of his freshman season.
“I used to watch this race as a kid, but even though it’s my home town and the track is about 15 minutes from my house, I’d never raced there before this year,” said Gruntz. “It’s a tight little bullring and you really need to be on your toes. So much can happen in a hurry and when you’re running the modified in a close pack, you can easily get caught-up in someone else’s problem.”
The 30 year-old pipefitter’s rookie campaign in the new division has been split between the Techtonix Series, based at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and OSCAAR’s inaugural open wheeled touring shows. Events at the former Mosport oval helped Gruntz build his confidence and accumulate some solid set-up notes, while the road trips gave him laps at different tracks he’d heard about, but had never seen throughout the year. The driver says running with both groups wasn’t an easy choice to make, but was the best option for his development as a racer looking to gain experience with a new car.
“There was so much that I needed to learn. Getting experience, whenever and wherever I could was my primary goal,” said the driver of the #31 Maple Key Landscape/SB Cleaning Service/Ultimate Car Care machine. “About halfway though the season, I really started to feel comfortable in the car and managed to pick-up a qualifying event win at Peterborough Speedway Sunday, August 19th with the OSCAAR modified tour.”
The equipment Josh Gruntz will take into battle during the 3 day, late season extravaganza is a proven piece on the 1/3rd mile oval. At the end of last year, after 2 years running a Thunder Car at Kawartha, Gruntz purchased the machine that Tyler Hendricks steered to victory lane during the 2011 edition of the Autumn Colours Classic.
Peterborough Speedway owner/promoter J.P. Josiasse says that the pit area at the track will be open Thursday night (October 4th) for any teams interested in claiming a weekend spot. Pit gates open all 3 days at 10:00. Friday, October 5th, practice rounds start at 1:00 and racing at 6:00. Saturday, October 6th, practice begins at 1:00 and racing at 3:30. Sunday, October 7th is a full day of feature race action beginning at 12:30.
For more information on the 20th Annual Autumn Colours Classic – presented by Lucas Oil Products – October 5th, 6th and 7th at Peterborough Speedway, see www.peterboroughspeedway.com.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications