CHESLEY, ON- While 2015 Sauble Speedway Ltd. Late Model champion Josh Stade managed to impress on his home turf on a near weekly basis this season, if you ask the second-generation star what he’s most proud of this year, he just may allude to the success his Stade Motorsports team found outside of their perennial comfort zone.
‘Prime Time’ and his family-owned team accumulated 4 top-10s in competition with the cross-province touring APC United Late Model Series, in addition to a win in weekly action at Sunset Speedway against some of the top Ltd. Late Model competitors in the province.
“For me, coming out this season and showing that I can get the job done away from Sauble was a major goal,” explains Stade. “We’ve been slowly building our touring program up for the last three years – but this was the first time that we fully committed to it. We jumped in with both feet. We don’t take too many half measures”
Stade has quickly become one of the top rising stars in Ontario, and hopes to continue his ascension through the wildly crowded and competitive Late Model landscape in 2016.
“I feel like our team has improved every year that we’ve been doing this,” says Stade. “When I go back and look at how I was 5 seasons ago, I can’t explain how frustrating it is. I just know so much more now. I understand the sport a lot better. And, I like to think, that I make far fewer mistakes. I’ve come a long way in the last few years, and I hope that we can all just keep improving at this rate as a unit”
After a number of seasons spent concentrating on his weekly Sauble program, Stade hopes to continuing branching out to a wider variance of speedways and tours in the coming years.
“We want to race against the best possible competition there is,” offers the second-generation racer. “These cars cost the same wether you’re cherry picking easy fields or racing against the best guy there is. Fuel costs the same, tires cost the same, the repairs cost the same”
“So, if we’re making the kind of financial commitment that it takes to race in this division, we want to be a part of the biggest events with the toughest guys available. That was the reason behind designing our 2015 schedule the way that we did”
In addition to a win at Sunset to open his 2015 season in May, Stade closed his campaign with a head-turning 24th-to-5th run in the speedway’s Velocity 250 invitational in September. Stade started at the tail end of the field in the talent-laden event after an incident in qualifying left the Sauble standout with a rough driving penalty.
“Our performance at the Velocity was just about the perfect was to close out our season,” smiles Stade. “I was pretty disheartened after qualifying – especially when they put the A Main lineup on the board and I saw we were starting at the back. But, my guys had faith in our ability, and they knew that we’d find a way to get to the front”
“Turns out, they were right,” adds the young veteran. “If we had another 25-laps I sincerely think we would have had something for that top-3. This thing was hooked up as good as it has been all season long. I couldn’t have been more proud of our team”
And, although his team has not yet formulated a plan for 2016, Stade insists he’s hoping for more of the same progress after a very successful 2015 schedule.
“We’ve barely had time to catch our breath after 2015, so we don’t really have much of a plan to speak of as to what we’re doing in 2016,” admits the MEI Paving-supported wheelman. “What I can tell you is that we’re going to be full steam ahead no matter what we’re racing and where”
“We were as active this season as we’ve ever been, and I’d like to try and do that many races again next season. I’m incredibly proud of what we were able to accomplish both on the tour and away from Sauble in our Limited Late [Model], and I’m hoping we can keep moving forward no matter what we decide on.”
Josh Stade’s 2015 season would not have been made possible without the support of Upper Canada Title, FLO Enterprises, Nicol Insurance, Barclay Wholesale, Jim Cavil Fuels, MEI Paving, Bruce Service Sales and Rentals, APC and Kunkel Bus Lines.
To learn more about ‘Prime Time’ Josh Stade, visit the Stade Motorsports page on Facebook and follow Josh on Twitter @PrimeTimeStade.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)