HAMPTON, ON- OSCAAR Super Late Model freshman Kelly Balson will continue his campaign for the Rookie of the Year title this Sunday, August 10th, when Ontario’s premier tour rolls into Kawartha Speedway for Round 8 of the 2014 schedule.
‘The Crowd Pleaser’ hopes to rebound from a 7th place performance at Peterborough Speedway on August 2nd.
“We had a great car at Peterborough, and just didn’t have the finish we had hoped for”, explains Balson. “We had a top-5 car all night. But, sometimes, under certain circumstances, you need a top-3 car just to get to the top-5”
“The end of the race didn’t play out the way we would have liked, and we ended up caught on the outside through a series of late-race restarts. It’s over and done with now, and all we can do is look forward to the next race”
A return trip to Kawartha is likely to provide the Hampton, ON driver with ample opportunity to carve out his third top-5 finish of the season, at a speedway that carries particular familiarity for the former Ltd. Late Model standout.
“I think Kawartha is the perfect spot for us to bounce back after Peterborough”, says Balson. “It’s always encouraging going to a two-lane racetrack. It gives you more chance to stretch your legs and less chance to get trapped”
“There’s a certain peace of mind that comes with knowing I have two lanes to work with if something isn’t going right. I can switch things up if need be. Kawartha gives you opportunity to race your way out of a bad spot”
The race will mark Balson’s second career Kawartha appearance with the OSCAAR tour, after fighting brake issues en route to an 8th place finish in June.
“I’ve been looking forward to redemption at Kawartha for two months now. We developed brake issues very early on in the race when we were last there, and it really didn’t give us a chance to show how good our ‘big track’ program can be”, offers Balson.
“We’ve gone back to the drawing board on our car since the last Kawartha event, so we really don’t know what we’re going to have when we hit the track for first practice. I have complete confident that we’ll be better than we were in our first race, but I couldn’t tell you where I anticipate falling into the mix”
With Balson’s longtime Crew Chief Graham Flett absent due to a prior obligation with Ed Hakonson Racing’s NASCAR Canadian Tire Series effort, Balson will look to multi-time Kawartha Speedway champion Dan McHattie, Peterborough Speedway Thunder Car standout Dan Price and former Ltd. Late Model titlist Bryan Sudsbury for pit-side support through August 10th’s event.
“Those are my east side no-goods”, laughs Balson. “It’s always interesting when you have a mix of guys like that. Different ideas, different opinions. We might just hit on something that works. Dan’s been phenomenal with his assistance from the moment I first brought this car home, so there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m in good hands”
For details, including gate times and ticket prices, for Round 8 of the OSCAAR Super Late Model Tour at Kawartha Speedway, visit www.OSCAAR.ca.
Kelly Balson’s 2014 season is made possible thanks to London Recreational, Dan McHattie Racecars, Shelley Taxidermy, BARKER and Cochrane Automotive.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)