INNISFIL, ON- Second-generation driver Josh Stade kicked off his 2015 campaign in the biggest way possible, securing his first career Sunset Speedway victory in his first start of the season.
The rising star outlasted a race-long battle with NASCAR Canadian Tire Series veteran Larry Jackson – eventually maneuvering past the former Late Model star with a power move on the outside to claim the lead and subsequent victory.
“This is such an incredible feeling. All off-season we worked on this car. This is exactly what we were aiming to do,” beamed Stade post-race. “We were hoping to come out here and just try to compete with these guys – getting to victory lane was an unbelievable feeling”
The win marked Stade’s first career triumph away from his hometrack of Sauble Speedway, and had the Chesley, ON-based driver considering a possible return to Sunset on May 9th.
“We’ve got some thinking to do for next weekend,” smiled Stade when asked if he would return for Week 2 of the Sunset season. “Originally, the plan was to follow the APC Tour as well as racing fulltime at Sauble this season. But, after how well the car performed tonight, we’ll have to have a team meeting this week and see if our plans have changed”
“Our Sunset program is something we’ve been working on for a long time now,” continued Stade. “This place is so tough to get around – and the competition that you’re up against is top notch. I was saying to my guys before we rolled off for the first feature that I don’t think I’ve ever raced against a field this deep”
“Winning at Sunset is an enormous accomplishment – but to do so by beating the level of talent that was here tonight is something I’ll remember forever”
When asked what impact the early-season victory will have on his family-run program, Stade was quick to explain just how much respect he has for the Sunset Speedway headline division.
“This win means the world to us. These drivers are the absolute best at what they do. To come into their backyard and perform the way that we did tonight, it’s a huge confidence booster. We put in a lot of late nights in the shop this Winter, and for it to pay off the way it did tonight, we know that it was all worth it.”
Marketing support for Stade’s 2015 season is provided by Upper Canada Title, FLO Enterprises, Nicol Insurance, Barclay Wholesale, Jim Cavil Fuels, MEI Paving, Bruce Service Sales and Rentals, APC and Kunkel Bus Lines.
Fans can stay up to date with Josh and team by visiting the official Stade Motorsports page on Facebook, or by following on Twitter @PrimeTimeStade.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)