INNISFIL, Ontario — Following a great season opener with some excitement in the closing laps, the OSCAAR Modified drivers are ready for their second event of 2021, which will take place at Sunset Speedway on Sunday, August 8.
As we glance through the field, there are several drivers to keep an eye on.
Kelly Balson showed that he has good speed, with nine top-five’s and 12 top-10’s in the last 16 series starts. The past Sunset Speedway winner hopes to carry the momentum into this weekend, after a runner-up two weeks ago.
Jase Cornell hopes to keep the positive momentum going following a top-10 in 15 of the last 24 races. Notably, he scored a track-best seventh-place finish at Sunset Speedway in September 2019, before a pair of ninths last year.
TJ Edwards certainly proved that you can’t count him out of the battle for the win despite being a rookie, as evident by winning the 2019 season finale at Jukasa Motor Speedway. He ran well at Sunset Speedway last year, too, scoring a track-best sixth, and was in the mix for the win this year before late-race contact relegated him to 14th.
A.J. Emms enters this weekend with only six finishes outside of the top-eight in his past 36 series starts. The driver of the No. 14 Modified has had success at Sunset Speedway previously, having won in the series’ last two appearances at the Innisfil, Ontario oval.
Coltin Everingham will be making his fifth start behind the wheel of a modified at Sunset Speedway, but that doesn’t mean you should count him out. The past track Super Stock Champion won a heat two weeks ago before placing fifth in the feature.
The No. 89c was in victory lane last year at Sunset Speedway, courtesy of Andy Kamrath behind the wheel. Kamrath hopes to repeat the feat after having picked up the checkered flag in six of his last nine series starts, and especially after experiencing motor issues at the season opener.
Jason Keen knows how to get to Sunset Speedway victory lane, having done so in a Canadian Vintage Modified. He will hope to do the same behind the wheel of his OSCAAR Modified following a top-five at the 2019 Velocity 250, and a fourth last month. He currently has scored a top-10 in four of his last five tour appearances.
Norman Newman is no stranger to the OSCAAR scene, picking up a couple heat wins in his 2019 rookie campaign. The season opener did not go as Newman hoped for with an incident early, however he has scored a pair of top-five’s at Sunset over the past two years.
Dale Reinhart enters this weekend with momentum, following a top-10 finish in 10 of his last 11 series starts. The Innisfil, Ontario track has treated him well, with just four finishes worse than fourth in his last eight starts, including a runner-up at Fall Velocity in 2018. He also dominated the season opener, until late-race contact took him out of contention.
Chad Strawn is a driver to keep an eye on after showing speed last season. He’s been successful at Sunset Speedway previously with a victory a couple years ago, to go with a runner-up finish last season. He also is looking for redemption after fuel pick-up issues in the season opener.
Wally Wilson hopes to be in the thick of the action this weekend, aiming for a top-10 performance. Notably, he scored a track-best eighth at Sunset Speedway last season, and no finishes worse than 12th in his last three Innisfil, Ontario oval appearances.
After some time away from the series, Marshall Schrenk made his return two weeks ago at Sunset Speedway, and proved he has not lost his touch with a sixth-place finish.
Luke Gignac will be looking to turn his luck around, after suffering a Lap 1 crash in the season opener following contact.
After failing to score a top-10 in his last three Sunset Speedway appearances, Chris Milwain turned his luck around with an eighth in the season opener. He will hope to build upon that this weekend.
The rookie class in the OSCAAR Modifieds is certainly something to be impressed by, as there are several others joining the aforementioned TJ Edwards and Coltin Everingham on the list.
Paul Townsend is no stranger to Modifieds, having raced them in the United States for a couple of seasons, including experience with the widely popular Race of Champions tour. He kicked off the season with an 11th two weeks ago.
Steve Lyons has done a lot of things in motorsports, and is ready to start the next chapter of his racing career in the Modifieds after having spent the past couple seasons racing Sprint cars. He started it off well, winning a heat prior to placing third in the feature.
Jake Watson made his series debut last season, showing speed in his pair of appearances at Jukasa Motor Speedway. The third generation racer kicked off the season with a 15th in the season opener.
We’ve seen drivers come from the Canadian Vintage Modified ranks and be successful, and that’s what TJ Marshall is hoping to do this season. He knows what it takes to be feature winners and champions there – now it’s a matter of translating that success to OSCAAR. Ultimately, though, he only placed 16th in his series debut.
These drivers, as well as others, are certainly looking forward to hitting Sunset Speedway this weekend. With the tracks allowed to have 75% capacity, it will be great to see the fans in the stands cheering on their favourite drivers.
Also on-track this weekend will be the OSCAAR Hot Rods and the Pure / Bone Stock Summer Shootout.
By: Ashley McCubbin