OSCAAR Modified drivers received their 2019 awards OSCAAR Modified drivers received their 2019 awards

OSCAAR Gather to Celebrate 2019 Season

Written by  Ashley McCubbin on Tuesday, 14 January 2020 08:18

(JANUARY 4, 2019)- Even though preparations have already began for the 2020 campaign, there was still some left over business from last year as the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC, Scott Reinhart Trailer Sales Ltd OSCAAR Modified, Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rod and Living Lighting OSCAAR Pro Sprint drivers and crews together to celebrate everybody’s accomplishments.

MODIFIEDS:

Since their inaugural campaign seven years ago, the OSCAAR Modifieds have seen steady growth on a yearly basis, becoming a staple on Ontario’s racing scene.

The 2019 campaign saw numbers hit some new record-highs, with 33 different competitors running at least one even over the course of the year. The car counts on a weekly basis increased, too, with several events seeing over 20 starters.

“I’m very lucky that you’ve believed in the vision that I’ve had for OSCAAR,” series president Dave Gainforth said at the banquet. “You spent your hard earned money to build these cars, to come to the race track each week, and support the vision that I have for racing here in Ontario. That’s something that I take great pride in doing this for you each and every week, being there to give you a chance to race in the division that you love each week.

“This season was one with great emotions throughout the season, each and every week. As a group, we gathered at a race track to say goodbye to our good friend John Harper. As a group, we then went out and raced in his honor, and I know we made John proud, and his family. As a group, we honored one of the greatest drivers in Gary Elliott with one of the biggest modified races of the year. As a group, we’ve raced on the hottest of days, endured rain outs and cold nights, and still put on the best racing each and every week, even green to checkered features in all three of our divisions this year. As a group, we are here to celebrate the season, to dance, and to have some drinks with our friends and to look forward to the 2020 season. And for all those reasons, I’m proud to be your president.”

With seven heat wins and three feature victories, it was A.J. Emms leading the way for his fellow drivers over the year en route to being crowned the series champion.

“First off, I would really like to thank OSCAAR; the entire division – they’ve made the entire series possible,” Emms said at the banquet. “And without OSCAAR, Dave, Bruce, Gord, and everybody’s support – this series would not be possible. They brought the series to Ontario and it’s been really great. That goes the same with the Hot Rod division and the Pro Sprint division. OSCAAR is a division that I’m proud to be a part of and proud to be represent, and hope to represent moving forward.

“My dad always taught me to surround myself with good people. He said that no matter how good you are, there’s somebody that will be better so you always should do your best, and surround yourself with the best people possible. My dad helped me surround myself with good people this year, and himself included – and that’s what helped to make this championship possible. Those people are everybody in this room that makes OSCAAR better. Those people are the people that are sitting at table six.

“I want to thank each and every one of you for being here, and your contributions to the sport, and especially those people over there and their contributions to me, my family, especially my fiancé Cassie, and everybody else that made it possible as it means the world to me. So thank you very much.”

Emms wasn’t the only driver to visit victory lane, with six different driver scoring feature wins throughout the course of the season. As a result, there were a lot of awards to hand-out at the banquet for everyone.

As the highest finishing rookie in the MavTV Canada Rookie of the Year standings, Anthony DiBello took home the Rookie of the Year Award. DiBello showed speed on a weekly basis, ranking second in the year-end standings.

Fellow rookie Norman Newman was fast on a weekly basis, ultimately earning him the inaugural John Harper Hard Charger Award.

“It’s a new award that we started this year, and it’s a new award that we named in our friend John Harper’s memory this year,” Gainforth said. “If you ever watched John race, he was a hard charger from the green flag to the drop of the checkered flag, doesn’t matter what it was for – he wanted to get to the front. So I thought it was fitting to name this award after him in his memory, because it’s based on passing cars. You earn points for passing cars every week and that’s what the most important thing.”

On top of being awarded the inaugural honors, Newman placed fifth in the year-end standings.

“First off, I would like to thank all the staff at OSCAAR and all the hard work that you put into everything,” he commented. “It was an interesting year. From never sitting in a car and not knowing what three pedals is in there – pro sprints, we have two, go and stop.

“I’d like to thank my parents, my brother that holds down the fort at the family business during the week. Hawn Motorsports, Stanley Motorsports. Brian MacDonald and Adam Hagen – I couldn’t have done anything without those two, and the work that they put on the car through the off-season. That Brad guy over there that pushes me around, jokes around. Ashley, my spotter, thanks.“

As one of the great young spokespeople for the division and a clean competitor on a weekly basis, Dale Reinhart was given the Don Hawn Sportsman of the Year Award.

In his final season racing in Ontario, Gary Elliott took the time to present his IronMan Award, which is presented to the driver that overcome and faced adversity throughout the year to always be at the track, with a perfect attendance as a requirement to be eligible.

“He wrecked a few times to the point that they were almost going to quit, and they say I can’t keep doing this,” Elliott stated. “It is frustrating – back when I started, I wrecked five weeks in a row; it was so discouraging. But we always come back out because by Sunday afternoon, you’re feeling okay and you want to work on the car; Saturday night, you’re not too happy.

“This one goes to the modified driver who had to do this a few times to get his car back out and it was the 56 of Jase Cornell.”

It marks the second year in a row that Cornell took home the award, following five feature top-five’s and nine feature top-10’s en route to placing seventh in the year-end standings.

Elliott, meanwhile, got to take home an award of his own, as he was voted for the Best Appearing Car by his fellow competitors for the second year in a row.

“In my 51st year to race with you guys has been such a pleasure and honor for me,” Elliott commented. “When I see in 2013, I was racing a late model at Flamboro and I saw the No. 7 modified in the pits, I thought man oh man when did they start allowing troyer modifieds? I’d love the troyers forever, so I talked to him and he said, ‘Yeah, we’re allowed these.’ So the next year, I bought one. I sold my vintage modified which I ran for 33 years and bought an OSCAAR modified, and I honestly will say that racing a modified has been the best ride that I’ve had – so far.”

Elliott ultimately capped off the OSCAAR chapter of his career on a solid note, placing sixth in the year-end standings with eight top-10 finishes, including a season-best fourth at Sunset Speedway’s Iron Man 72.

“Thank you very much OSCAAR for all you’ve done,” Elliott reflected. “I really had fun this year; it’s really been my best ride in the modified. I just love it, and I love running with all the competitors.

“Thank you very much Quaker State, PPG, Permatex, and thank you very much for one of my sponsors that is here tonight – Grindstone Landscaping. I just thank you so much. I just wish you the best in 2020 and I just say thanks to God for all the people that he’s brought into my life, as racing is about the people.”

Bryan Batty did not have the season that he wanted with several mechanical issues and a couple wrecks, which led to him being given the Hard Luck Award.

On the flip side, Wally Wilson’s third year behind the wheel of a modified saw him continue to show improvement on a weekly basis with more speed. As a result, he was given the Most Improved Driver Award.

 

HOT RODS:

Since their inaugural campaign, the OSCAAR Hot Rods have seen steady growth on a yearly basis, becoming a staple on Ontario’s racing scene.

The 2019 campaign saw numbers hit some new record-highs, with 36 different competitors running at least one event over the course of the year. The car counts on a weekly basis increased, too.

“I had a glance back at what the series, and what the series has become now,” series president Dave Gainforth reflected at the banquet. “I hope the four founding members are proud to see where the series has gone. It started off as a simple super late model class that raced every week at Mosport Raceway, which turned into a touring division for the supers, which turned into having the modifieds join us, which turned into having the (pro) sprint cars join us, which turned into having the hot rods join us.

“So in 30 years, we’ve evolved from having one division to having three thriving divisions. We had 89 drivers last year participate in an OSCAAR event, so again that’s something to be very proud of. I hope you’re very proud of that, as well.”

With nine heat wins and four feature victories, it was Tyler Hawn leading the way for his fellow drivers over the year en route to being crowned the series champion for the third consecutive season.

“Like I’ve said in years past, we were done racing,” Hawn commented. “With the super late running, it was too much time and too much money. Then when the hot rod series took off, it lit a light in my dad’s eye so I said let’s try this with backing of Steve Fox at Fox’s Bakery, and dad worked on that car; all those body panels are still dad. When we painted this car and sat back after it was painted, we had a little tear; we could feel dad there.

“I would like to thank everybody – my brother, for yelling all the time, and Ryan and Alyssa for all you do behind the scenes, at the track. if I need something at the shop, you’re always there – even 3 o’ clock in the morning, bored out of morning, I call Ryan. Thanks Shawna for helping out when she can. Big thanks to all the sponsors, and Bookie and everybody.

“We always have lots of fun. There’s nothing more that I hate than wrecking a car; battling for 50 laps with one tire mark, that’s racing – you know. Thanks everybody, thanks OSCAAR, thanks Dave – I know you work hard. Bring on 2020. I have some things up my sleeve.”

On top of the championship, Hawn also took home Best Appearing Award honors at the banquet.

Hawn wasn’t the only driver to visit victory lane, with seven different drivers scoring feature wins throughout the course of the season. As a result, there were a lot of awards to hand-out at the banquet for everyone.

As the highest finishing rookie in the Ohsweken Speedway Rookie of the Year standings, Bob Parsons took home the Rookie of the Year Award. Parsons showed speed on a weekly basis, ranking fourth in the year-end standings.

“It’s been a great season with the OSCAAR Hot Rods; it’s like racing with a big family,” Parsons reflected. “Something different for me than racing at one track, traveling around, and having a great time meeting great people everywhere we go. it’s been a great season, and a bunch of great racing everywhere. Thanks Dave for putting it on, and racing on the dirt was a hoot.”

Along with Parsons and Hawn, you could always expect to see Book at the front of the field as he was a constant front runner. His efforts were awarded, earning him the inaugural John Harper Hard Charger Award.

“It’s a new award that we started this year, and it’s a new award that we named in our friend John Harper’s memory this year,” Gainforth said. “If you ever watched John race, he was a hard charger from the green flag to the drop of the checkered flag, doesn’t matter what it was for – he wanted to get to the front. So I thought it was fitting to name this award after him in his memory, because it’s based on passing cars. You earn points for passing cars every week and that’s what the most important thing.”

As a gentleman in the series, and loaning his back-up car to another team for the second half, Book was also awarded the Don Hawn Sportsman of the Year Award. He then was presented the Iron Man Award from Gary Elliott, for showing perfect attendance despite “facing adversity throughout the year.”

“Getting the Iron Man Award – that was just my own stupidity in practice stuffing in there at Peterborough, and we went to work on it,” Book reflected. “The Robertsons were there, the Adams and Hawns are always there, and my crew never stopped. I sometimes have to kick Jimmy out of the way – I think he’d drive the car if I let him. They’re all awesome there and of course the whole family was coming up – my mom and dad were bringing the car. I stuffed this thing in the wall in practice and we looked like we were done, set to put it on the trailer, and with a lot of help we actually got it back together and the car worked pretty good.”

On top of being the awards, Book placed second in the year-end standings.

“First I would like to thank OSCAAR for putting on a great division for us,” Book reflected. “All three divisions are awesome, but no offense, the hot rods are the coolest cars out there.

“We had the Camaro last year and we needed to upgrade because we were getting our ass handed to us, and we got that other chassis. My dad’s first car was a Studebaker and he had this one sitting in the garden and he was going to build a tribute car, something to sit around and look at he said, so he talked me into putting that body on there. So with him and my uncle George, we got that body on there; everybody seemed to like it as it was unique for the class.

“Dave bringing this class out there, it’s brought me back to friends that we had in 20 years ago in the Robertson’s when we raced out there at Cayuga, and it’s been a lot of fun there. A lot of guys helping out.

“The other thing I wanted to do – we’ve got a lot of great guys in the division and the guy we’re striving to beat is Tyler Hawn, whose won the champions three years in a row which is pretty incredible; there’s a lot of talent up here. The guy is so smooth out there, fun to watch, fun to race with, and 40 laps at Peterborough – did not touch me, waiting for a mistake which I knew I made a few up there, but he was just not quite close enough to stick the nose in there. I want to congratulate Tyler on another championship, as well.”

On the flip side, Rodney Rutherford did not have the season that he wanted, destroying the Biscane at Jukasa Motor Speedway. As a result, he was given the Hard Luck Award.

On the flip side, Nick Clarke heavily improved over his results from last season en route to placing third in the standings, earning the Most Improved Driver honors.

 

PRO SPRINTS: 

Since their inaugural campaign seven years ago, the OSCAAR Pro Sprints have seen steady growth on a yearly basis, becoming a staple on Ontario’s racing scene.

The 2019 campaign saw numbers hit some new record-highs, with 20 different competitors running at least one event over the course of the year.

“I’m very lucky that you’ve believed in the vision that I’ve had for OSCAAR,” series president Dave Gainforth said at the banquet. “You spent your hard earned money to build these cars, to come to the race track each week, and support the vision that I have for racing here in Ontario. That’s something that I take great pride in doing this for you each and every week, being there to give you a chance to race in the division that you love each week.”

With 17 heat wins and 11 feature victories, it was Daniel Hawn leading the way for his fellow drivers over the year en route to being crowned the series champion for the second year in a row.

“Last year was a good year for us,” Hawn reflected. “The biggest compliment that I can get is getting called a cheater, and I got called that quite a bit. You never think it’s the driver and hard work that wins a championship. I’d like to thank all of my sponsors, and I’d like to thank my brother for putting up with me and all the bullshit I put up with, and thank James Stanley for all the battles and running over my car on the restarts – that was pretty fun. Next year, there will be a new champion as it’s sad to see this one. I’m going to miss it. I have a lot of good friends here and stuff, so thanks.”

On top of the championship, Hawn’s quick ability to drive through the field was rewarded, with the inaugural John Harper Hard Charger Award.

“It’s a new award that we started this year, and it’s a new award that we named in our friend John Harper’s memory this year,” Gainforth said. “If you ever watched John race, he was a hard charger from the green flag to the drop of the checkered flag, doesn’t matter what it was for – he wanted to get to the front. So I thought it was fitting to name this award after him in his memory, because it’s based on passing cars. You earn points for passing cars every week and that’s what the most important thing.”

Hawn capped off his achievements for the season by being awarded the Don Hawn Most Sportsmanlike Driver of the Year by his fellow competitors.

Hawn wasn’t the only driver to visit victory lane, as James Stanley took away his shot at a perfect season.

“I just want to thank OSCAAR and all my guys back there – Brad, Tanner, Norm, Dan, Sam – especially Sam,” Stanley commented. “He’s been in the garage a lot with me; I bug him a lot. Thanks Kevin and Living Lighting, Queenston, Scott Reinhart – everybody in the Pro Sprints for sticking it out with me this year. It was a heavy year, with a lot of ups and downs. Busy off-season, lots of work, but Dave has it under control now. It’ll be a good 2020.”

Stanley received his own honors at the banquet, as he awarded the Best Appearing Car of 2019.

Beyond the success of the top-two in the standings, there were a lot of awards to hand-out at the banquet for everyone.

As the highest finishing rookie in the Hinkley Lighting Rookie of the Year standings, Brad Holmes took home the Rookie of the Year Award. Holmes showed speed on a weekly basis, ranking seventh in the year-end standings.

“I figured I’d start off with a quote that we could all relate to – racing is for people who love to work, but hate money,” Holmes started off his speech. “The whole OSCAAR banner is a challenge because this is where the best racers seem to be reside. To say it was easy would be a lie, but probably the most difficult part was staying focused on the task at hand. We knew exactly where we needed to be each night, but once you climb in the seat, that goes all out the window. Right up there with that would be having my little brother as a crew chief. It is tough to having to listen to feedback and suggestions, from the kid who I just convinced was adopted a few months ago.

“In all seriousness, I just want to say a big thank you to all the people who made this possible – James and Shawn Stanley, Tanner Holmes, Hawn Motorsports, Hawn Motorsports Chassis Works which Daniel and Tyler Hawn, Ryan D., Alyssa Murphy, and my wonderful fiancé Kate Henry, as well as everyone at OSCAAR for making it another incredible year.”

The young talent shined through, as showcased by Tyler Cullen by being a front runner each week. However, after seeing a year filled with motor issues and accidents, he was awarded the Hard Luck Award by his fellow peers.

“What a year it has been – ups and downs, engine issues, and just hard luck I guess,” Cullen commented. “Just want to thank everybody that has helped on this car – Daniel, Hawn Motorsports and everybody there, and all of my sponsors. What a year it has been. Can’t wait for 2020; hopefully it’ll be a better year. Cheers to 2020, I guess.”

On top of that, Gary Elliott would present the young man with the IronMan Award.

“So the Iron Man Award is presented to someone who wants to race, doesn’t want to have a flat tire, doesn’t want to break something in the front end, park his car, and tell his crew that we’ll just come back next year,” Elliott explained. “No no, he wants to fix it and he starts working on his car, and his crew goes over and they just thrash because they want to get back on the track. Some guys will do it during a feature race, and work on it under a yellow flag, and get back out again because even though you went from fourth to 20th, you just went to get back out and race again.

“So the Iron Man Award that does that – not necessarily the hardest racers or the best racers, but the team that has a big night through the year that they came back and did everything to get back on the track. It could’ve been a blown engine, and they changed the engine between warm-ups and the event – that’s really dedication. That’s what the award is for.”

Another driver that was impressed was Kevin Taylor, and that was showcased by him being given the Most Improved Driver Award.

“This is awesome, totally unexpected for what we expected from ourselves this year,” Taylor commented. “I just have a few people to thank. I’d like to thank my dad Reg; last year I got up here, I rambled and forgot to thank my dad, so I’ve waited a year to correct myself. We still have a lot to learn, but I’ve come a long way. I’ve really enjoyed my nights at the track, good or bad, and the conversations afterwards about what we did right or wrong. I’d also like to thank Greg Hayward; I know you’re a busy guy so I appreciate the time that you take at the track to help me.

“I’d like to thank my wife Cindy; I appreciate your help. Two things, as much as I love you, please stop asking me to drive my car – the answer will always be no. And two, stop telling me I need to be faster than Daniel – I know. i say thank you to Dave Gainforth and Ashley McCubbin; you both do an awesome job. And lastly, Ryan Battilana; teaming up with him was the best thing that I did. His help at the track had a huge impact on the gains that we made this year. There were nights that the work wasn’t complete on his car because we were simply working out the issues on my car. So I thank you Ryan; I owe you better. I thank the rest of the Pro Sprints. We’ll be back in 2020.”

Ryan Battilana was able to have his own success, ranking fourth in the year-end standings.

 

With a solid season in the books, OSCAAR is now putting full focus forward on the upcoming 2020 campaign, which should be filled with great racing, lots of competition and racing across the entire province of Ontario, based on early indications.

Be sure to stay tuned to the OSCAAR website for details leading into the season.

Be sure to keep up with OSCAAR by staying tuned to the series website at http://www.oscaar.ca

Also, make sure to “like” the official OSCAAR Racing Facebook page, while following both the Twitter and Instagram accounts (@OSCAARRacing) to keep up to date on everything you need to know.

OSCAAR’s 2020 racing season was supported by several dedicated partners including Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC, Knightworks Design, Living Lighting Canada, Scott Reinhart Trailer Sales Ltd., American Racer, and Grisdale Race Products.

By: Ashley McCubbin

 

 

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 January 2020 15:52
back to top