CHESLEY, ON- Sauble Speedway rising star Josh Stade appears en route to a career year in the perennially competitive Ltd. Late Model division. The second-generation driver already has feature wins at Sauble and Sunset, and is set to enter the second half of the Sauble schedule atop the championship points standings. On July 11th, Stade will look to add another accomplishment to his resume – as he attempts to claim victory in Sauble’s ‘Battle at the Beach’ invitational.
“This has been a dream season so far – both of our cars are working better than they ever have,” beams Stade. “I would spend every night of the week racing these if I could. This is the season we’ve been working towards for three years”
After a largely disappointing 2014 season, Stade has worked quickly to establish himself as a province-wide contender in the early months of his 2015 campaign.
“There’s really no shortcut in making these cars work. We’ve gone through a lot of setups and adjustments that didn’t work in order to find the ones that do,” continues ‘Primetime’. “There were a ton of Saturdays last Summer where it would have been incredibly easy to quit. It felt like nothing we did made a difference. The car wasn’t working and we were just beating our heads against the wall – spending time and money and getting nowhere”
“And then, all of a sudden, we got a little bit better. And then every night at the track was more successful than the one that came before it”
Stade has worked extensively with setup expert Brian MacDonald, and notes a late-summer feature win in 2014 as the turning point for his family-run program.
“Once we won that feature in August, it immediately started to feel like all the struggle was worth it,” says Stade. “Now, it’s just all about keeping our program pointed in the right direction and doing all that we can to lock up our first championship”
When asked about Saturday’s ‘Battle at the Beach’, Stade is quick to note he anticipates nothing less than the stiffest of competition.
“I think this Saturday just might be the toughest test we’ve had at Sauble all season. The regulars around here are incredibly tough to beat, but when you open the door up to any Limited Late Model driver in the province, there’s no telling who might show up”
And if his newfound status as Sauble’s point leader is impacting his strategy – Stade is not inclined to show it.
“This is the first time I’ve been able to come into one of these deals as the points leader. It’s not really a different feeling – because our job is the same as it always is,” shrugs the personable star. “We have to unload, sort our stuff out, and figure out a way to beat these guys”
“There are a lot of drivers that are just now starting to look at us as one of the teams to beat. For us, that doesn’t make a bit of difference, because we’ve always thought we were a threat to win in this division,” continues Stade. “It’s nice to have the respect of some of the top guys in this division, but at the end of the day it’s all the same. We’re still hungry. And we’re still going to do everything in our power to end up under that flag stand at the end of the night.”
Details for Saturday’s ‘Battle at the Beach’ can be found at www.SaubleSpeedway.ca.
Josh Stade’s 2015 season is powered 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)