@PtboSpeedway • HAMPTON, ON – With days remaining until the 2014 edition of the Autumn Colours Classic, short track veteran turned Super Late Model rookie Kelly Balson remains composed. The former ‘Classic’ winner has competed in all 21 editions of the iconic weekend to date, and though this season will mark his debut behind the wheel of a Super Late Model, Balson maintains it’s just another day at the office.
“I don’t get uptight and nervous about it like I used to,” shrugs Balson in his Hampton, ON race shop. “I think that comes with age and experience. You hang around an event like this for long enough, and after a while you just know what to expect.”
“It’s tough to replicate the atmosphere that you get at ‘the Classic’,” continues ‘The Crowd Pleaser’. “When you walk into that pit area on Sunday morning – that’s a special feeling. I’m not sure you can find that anywhere else. There’s an energy reserved for this event that’s completely unique.”
The London Recreational Racing representative will enter this weekend’s festivities intent on debuting a new setup combination – the result of a renewed partnership between the 2014 OSCAAR Rookie of the Year and longtime friend Graham Annis.
“I have an immense amount of respect for Graham and what he’s able to do with a racecar,” says Balson. “I’ve known him a long time, and I think he’s one of the most brilliant young minds in the sport today.”
“We wanted to work together for the bulk of the season, but our schedule just never seemed to line up,” continues Balson. “He was committed to Ed Hakonson Racing and had a busy Summer touring with the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. But, now that he’s home, our car has spent the last week at Dan McHattie Racecars, with both Dan and Graham going through it with a fine-toothed comb.”
“They’re excited about what they’ve been able to put together,” adds Balson. “Which makes me very excited.”
When asked if coming back to his home-track carries any additional pressure, ‘The Crowd Pleaser’ is quick to explain that it’s important not to let yourself be distracted.
“I think drivers get a little too carried away with all of the extra-curriculars. Yes, this is a huge event. The biggest of the season. And yes, Peterborough Speedway will always carry extra significance for me and the rest of my team. However, for us to be successful on Sunday, it’s important not to let all of the extra details get to us”
“We’re going to unload, make the necessary adjustments to bring this car to life and then we’re going to race the track and our competitors and do our best to tune everything else out.”
Gate times and ticket prices for October 10th, 11th and 12th’s Autumn Colours Classic can be found at www.PeterboroughSpeedway.com.
Kelly Balson is proud to represent London Recreational Racing, Dan McHattie Racecars, Shelley Taxidermy, BARKER and Cochrane Automotive.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)