After wrapping-up his 7th K.D. title in the track's 11 year history on the final night of the 2011 season, Dan McHattie will be back to defend his seat at the late model champion's table. The driver of the #71 JJ Stewart Chrysler/Uniglass Plus Ziebart/Sidey NAPA Auto Supply/ Douglas Automotive/Corp Construction/Barry McClennan Masonry/ Praxair Peterborough/Webb Transmission/Foxon Alternator and Starter/Mayhew Graphics Dodge Charger is always the man to beat in the track's headline class, but he knows earning the honour again won't be easy.
"Last year, the top 6 late model drivers were only 77 points apart and everyone in the top 5 had at least one main event win," said the Cavan, Ontario veteran. "That's some pretty tough competition and all through the year, we had to fight tooth and nail for every position. I'm confident everyone will be working extra hard to make sure they're ready once action gets rolling again. We're all friends until the green flag flies, but then the gloves come off and its every man for himself."
After winning half the main events on the agenda and the 2011 thunder car track championship, Ken Donaldson Jr. is hopes he'll be able to avoid the traditional sophomore slump. The Queensville, Ontario speedster proved he's cut from the same cloth as his brother Kyle by turning-in a dominating performance at the 3/8th mile oval. The driver of the Custom Steering/Downtown Rug #03 Chevrolet says he'll be back in action, looking to build on the success he enjoyed during his freshman term.
"The name 'Donaldson' appears on every Kawartha championship trophy except the mini stocks and late models," said Ken Donaldson Jr. "Personally, I can't do much with either of those stats, but I guarantee I'll be running hard in an effort to go 2-for-2 in the thunder car division. Once you get a taste for winning, nothing else matters. The way I see it, the title is mine until someone else runs well enough to take it away."
A successful real estate career means the championship count will be one and done for veteran mini stocker 'Too' Moroney. The departure of last year's victor passes the torch to a new title holder in 2012. Competition in the track's 4 cylinder class was already strong, but with the top rung of the ladder now up for grabs, expect young lions like Alex Lees, Danny Benedict and defending rookie of the year Ryan Oosterholt to battle hard for the big prize. Kawartha's General Manager/Promoter Derek Lynch says early indications point to the upcoming season being another successful year.
"We get phone calls, e-mail and text messages every week from people asking to receive a copy of the latest rulebook," said Lynch. "The car counts we enjoyed in 2011 were among the highest in our history and I hope we'll be able to build on that strength once opening night rolls around."
By Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications