CAMBRIDGE, ON – After a very successful season in 2011 that saw Brad Collison of Cambridge, Ontario being crowned Thunder Car Champion at Flamboro Speedway, the entire team was ready to go. A long time sponsor of racing, the team is headed up by Mike Schmidt of London Recreational Concrete Pools and Spas, a long time racer and supporter of CSRA Snow Cross and stock car racing. The auto racing side consists of #13 Brad Collison in Thunder Cars, #71 Russ Aicken in Mini Stocks, #13 Justin Collison in karting and Shawn Chenoweth who race the #89 Thunder Car and #29 Super Late Model.
The highlight of the year dubbed the Frost Fest 120, the London Recreational Thunder Car and Mini Stock Challenge had a total purse of $10,000 up for grabs with multitude of other prizes for all those that made the features. It was held at Flamboro Speedway October 21st. Here is a break down of the season that each racer experienced in 2012.
Justin Collison races in the Waterloo Regional Kart Club in the Junior Heavy Class. The sixteen year old third generation racer is known as Ice Man Junior around the Collison Racing pit. In 15 races, Justin picked up 3 feature wins which included thirteen top 5 finishes and ten top 3 finishes and had a 2nd overall finish in the championship race. “I would say it was a solid year,” Justin said. “I want to thank Mike Schmidt of London Recreational Concrete Pools and Spas, Bennett GM, Ideal Brake Parts, Castro Edge, Whoosh, Prowraps, Collison Racing, Forsters Septic Pumping, my father Brad & grandfather Jim, and all the friends and family that support me. Wouldn’t be able to do it without you guys.”
Russ Aicken races in the Mini Stock class at Flamboro and 2012 was Aicken’s fifth year. A steady improvement every year has seen Russ finish in the top three the past two seasons. In 2012, Russ was near the top of the point standings all season but a couple DNF’s in the final month of the season put a bit of a damper on a successful campaign. Aicken compiled 13 race wins of which 1 came in the feature on May 19th. He also has eighteen top 5’s and thirty two top 10 finishes. In the annual Oktoberfest race, Russ picked up a win and a second and came home fifth in the feature. He completed the season with a podium finish bringing home the #71 Chevy Cavalier fifth in a strong field of Ontario’s best Mini Stocks at Frost Fest. Russ wanted to thanks his sponsors as well including London Recreational Concrete Pools and Spas, Bennett GM, Ideal Brake Parts, Castrol Edge, Whoosh, First Class Fleet Service, Metal Supermarkets, New Hamburg Flooring, McFarlane Automotive, Prowraps Benny’s Auto Parts, JR Auto Service and Automotive Truck & Tire.
Shawn Chenoweth raced under the London Recreational banner for the second year in 2012. Chenoweth who is known as the Man in Black by some, split his year between the Super Late Model #29 car and the #89 Thunder Car where he enjoyed quite a bit of success. In the SLM, Shawn competed in 10 races winning three heats, had one top five and the remaining seven he managed to finish in the top 10 each time. The Thunder Car is where Chenoweth spent the majority of the year and he paid a visit to many big events at tracks all over Southern and Central Ontario. He competed four regular events at Flamboro and Sunset and managed a feature win at Flamboro on July 14th. Much of the rest of the season was spent at special events and some of the better results included a win in the 100 lap NOS Energy feature at Delaware Speedway July 20th, the 50 lap Dash for Cash at Sauble Speedway August 1st, a second place finish at the Chase for the Colors at Peterborough Speedway and a second at the June 17th MRE Pro Series Super Stock race at Sunset. Shawn closed the season quite successfully at Oktoberfest at Flamboro with a second and a fourth in heat races and a win in the 40 lap feature main event. At Frost Fest, Chenoweth had a win and a fourth in heats and a very successful first and second in the features giving him the overall London Recreational Frost Fest Thunder Car Championship. Shawn wanted to thanks his sponsors as well including London Recreational Concrete Pools and Spas, Automotive Truck and Tire, Transaxle, KK Communications, Boyder Systems and West Carriers Inc.
Brad Collison was the defending Thunder Car champion heading into the 2012 season and the season started of where it left off and Brad picked up a bunch of top 5 finishes. A wreck May 26th put the Ice Man behind the eight ball so to speak but some good finishes through July and August vaulted the Ice Man back in the hunt. A trip to Peterborough Speedway for the Chase for the Colors event saw Brad end up with a 4th and a 6th in the heats but a blown engine ended his night and ended up with an 18th place result. Collison, a thirty year veteran of racing, got back to Delaware Speedway this summer for the first time in several years after racing there for many years through the early to late 2000’s. Brad said, “Had a blast, finished sixth but we were real good by the end of the feature which felt good for just showing up and racing.”
Back to Flamboro for Double points night on September 1st would hopefully give the #13 team the boost it needed but it ended in disaster. A mix up in turns one and two caused Collison’s car to climb the wall and over it went on it’s roof. The team could have thrown in the towel but Collison and his team put in an estimated 180 man hours and about $2500 to repair the #13 Thunder Car after the roll over and had the car back on the track the following week. It paid off early with a win in the heat and a fifth place finish in the feature. Although his chance at a repeat as points champion was lost, that don’t give up attitude the entire team shows all season long was front and centre. Collison ended up finishing third as the season came to a close. He managed 9 wins, twenty two top 5’s, six top 10’s and 2 top 15’s.
At Oktoberfest, Brad had a second and a fourth in the heats and after leading the majority of the 40 lap feature, ended up with a strong second. At Frost Fest, it was an up and down result in the heats. They had a strong car but a bad first heat put him 17th in the field for the first feature and he eventually came home 13th. A win in the second heat was the highlight of the day and in the second feature Collison started 13th and crossed the finish line 8th. The #13 Chevy Monte Carlo is sponsored by London Recreational Concrete Pools and Spas, Bennett Chevrolet, Ideal Brake Parts, Castrol Edge, Hitman Hotrods, Whoosh, Graybar Canada , Partsource Cambridge, Mister Transmission, Collison Electric, Mursatt Chemicals, Cochrane Autobody, Advanced Autoglass, Swimwerx, Robertson Automotive, Pro-wraps and Howie Schmidt Realty.
Looking forward to 2013, the London Recreational Racing team will remain the same and all cars are being re-built as we speak. London Recreational Racing, last year’s CSRA ‘s Snocross Team of the Year, has already changed focus to the snocross season with riders Ric Wilson, Devin Wilson, Ben Vrij, Blake Taylor, Alex Colvin and Mike MacKinnon, all competing this year for London Recreational Racing. Mike Schmidt would personally like to say, “Thank-you to all my drivers, sponsors, family, friends and all the fans for all your support.”
Brad Collison 2012 Shows
May 18th – Dave FM Kickoff to Summer BBQ
May 24th – RONA Cambridge
May 25th – Giant Tiger Cambridge
June 10th – Ronald McDonald House Stoney Creek
September 13th – Graybar Canada Guelph Open House
September 15th – Hitman Hot Rod Cambridge Open House
November 3rd – Vincent Motorsports Open House
November 7th – Graybar Canada Tool Show Kitchener
November 17th – Cambridge Santa Claus Parade with Bennett GM
December 1st – Hespeler Santa Claus Parade
Contact Mike Schmidt, London Recreational Racing (519)-654-7488. Check them out online at www.londonrecreational.com & www.londonrecreationalracing.com.