INNISFIL, ON- ‘Prime Time’ Josh Stade showed marked improvement in his third Sunset Speedway appearance of the season, carving his way through a 27-car field after a pace-lap pit stop to torque a loose right rear wheel.
“I thought we were in for a long night when we had to come in before the green flag was even out”, admitted Stade post-race. “There was a little bit of a miscue when I left the pit pad for the line-up area, and the right rear wheel was left loose. I could feel it under pace laps and knew we had to fix it before something bad happened. We were fortunate to catch it when we did”
The Chesley, ON driver forfeited his original starting spot in order to make the trip to pit road, returning to the grid in the 14th row as the field took the green.
“It’s a little intimidating looking ahead of you and seeing nothing but top-tier drivers”, admitted Stade. “This is truly the toughest roster in the province. As soon as the green came out, the intimidation turned to motivation and we went to work”
Stade appeared poised and composed throughout the 50-lap race, maneuvering his way through the pack with surgical precision.
“The way this car performed tonight is a true testament to my team”, beamed Stade. “I was able to put this car absolutely anywhere”
“I’ve never had a car at Sunset as consistent as this one was tonight”, continued the second-generation competitor. “We were good right from start to finish. It didn’t fall off once. I can only imagine what we could have done with a better starting spot”
‘Prime Time’ survived a last lap altercation that involved a number of contenders, when a pair of cars jostling for a spot in the top-5 spun in front of the field.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing”, explained Stade. “Last lap, last turn and there are cars blocking every lane on the race track. It was all I could do to stand on the brake and kick the car around, just to avoid the guys in front of me”
Upon re-firing his car, Stade made his way to the line, salvaging a 9th place finish.
“This was one of the wildest nights we’ve had in a long time. After starting 27th and making our way through this massive field of cars – plus avoiding a last lap wreck – there wasn’t a single mark on our car when we put it in the hauler at the end of the night. You can’t possibly ask for anything more than that”
Josh Stade’s team will return to action next Saturday, June 14th at Sauble Speedway, for Round 2 of the 2014 Sauble season.
Josh Stade pilots a Howe Racing Enterprises chassis, with marketing support from MEI Paving, APC Autoparts, Upper Canada Tile, Kunkel Bus Lines, Ken’s Truck Painting and WIX Filters.
Fans can keep up with Josh as he works through his 2014 season via his @PrimeTimeStade Twitter account, as well as the official Stade Motorsports Facebook page.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)