PLATTSVILLE, ON- Competing in what could be argued as the most competitive division in Ontario is not for the faint of heart. The Thunder Car class, chock full of household names and rising stars, is a hotbed of competition across the province. This is why Shawn Chenoweth’s statistics through the Playoff Season were so impressive.
In 3 events – at a trio of different speedways – Chenoweth managed a podium finish and two victories competing against the very best that the division has to offer. The hot streak closed out a dominating 2014 campaign for the veteran that saw ‘The Mastodon’ capture headlines in a multitude of divisions.
“I can’t complain about 2014 at all,” says Chenoweth. “We had a solid year with our Pro Late Model program and our Super Late Model program is really starting to pick up steam”
“I think we’re most proud of our Thunder Car accomplishments, though,” continues the veteran. “This was a brand new chassis this year, and it’s been a labour of love between my Dad and I. I’ve lost count of how many man-hours went into this thing – but it was worth every second”
Chenoweth opened the post-season with a spirited performance at Sunset Speedway’s Velocity 250 event on September 28th, transferring from the B-Main and charging from his 21st starting position to mount a top-3 finish.
“Thankfully we didn’t have to work that hard at every event this year,” laughs Chenoweth. “Sunset is far from our best track, so to rally back with that kind of performance is a big deal. We had a fuel leak that knocked us out of our heat race and into the B [Main]. I thought our weekend was over at that point, but we battled through it. That was the most comfortable I’ve ever felt at Sunset”
From there, Chenoweth knocked down equally dominating victories at Peterborough Speedway’s lauded Autumn Colours Classic and Flamboro Speedway’s cult favourite Frost Fest to close out the wildly successful 2014 season.
“Winning at Peterborough meant everything in the world to me,” explains Chenoweth. “We went there in 2010 and won in our Pro Late Model, but were never able to seal the deal with the Thunder Car. It felt awesome to strike that off the list”
“Frost Fest was another win that was an honour, just because of what it means to [Chenoweth Motorsports sponsor] Mike Schmidt,” continues ‘The Mastodon’. “He’s been an amazing friend and sponsor to our team, and he puts everything he has into Frost Fest. He hosts it and promotes it every year, and to be able to win that event as one of his drivers was a special moment for us”
Although the 2014 off-season is less than two weeks old, Chenoweth has already begun mapping out his plans for 2015 – and they very much include more action for his top-tier Thunder Car program.
“We’ve moved away from the Pro Late Model scene and will be focusing on a fulltime run with the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour next year,” outlines Chenoweth. “But, I’ll never get sick of running with the Thunder Car guys, so we’ll definitely be making time for that. As of right now, we plan on running 15 shows with that car – so long as we can lock down the proper marketing support”
“I think the Thunder Car division is as fun as any other class in Ontario. I’m not sure I’ll ever be done with it. The Thunder Car drivers are as talented as any, and they make you work for it every single lap. That’s the level of competition that makes it worth getting out of bed in the morning.”
Shawn Chenoweth’s 2014 program was made possible thanks to London Recreational, Bennett GM, KR Communications, Midas of Orangeville, Castrol Edge, Transaxle Truck Parts, Hitman Hotrods, Wilson Ponds, Graybar, McColl Racing Enterprises, Innerkip Plumbing and Heating, ProWraps and Automotive Truck & Tire.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)