PLATTSVILLE, ON- After entering the inaugural season of the APC United Late Model Series as a favourite to contend for the first ever tour championship, Shawn Chenoweth has done everything possible to live up to the industry hype.
‘The Mastodon’ opened the season with a strong run at Sunset Speedway in Round 1 of the tour, leading a multitude of laps before eventually settling for a 4th place finish – then followed up with a crowd-pleasing come-from-behind top-5 run at Flamboro Speedway in Round 2.
“We’ve had two decent runs, but it’s tough not feeling like we left something on the table in both races,” admits Chenoweth with a shrug.
“We had a car fast enough to be on the podium at Sunset, and we burned our stuff up late. Then, we had a car fast enough to win at Flamboro and we got spun and had to work our from the back”
“This field is so tight that when you roast your tires with twenty to go or get spun at halfway – it’s awfully tough to make something happen”
Despite the early-season adversity, Chenoweth finds himself sitting third in series points, as teams begin to plan for Round 3 of the tour at Delaware Speedway on Friday, June 26th.
“We’re not going to sit around and worry about our bad luck. We’re not really the moping type,” says the veteran. “Third in points is nothing to be upset about. We’ll just get back in the shop and make this car faster. Flamboro was a rough deal, but we have another chance to make it right at Delaware next week. So we’ll get to work and make our own luck”
When the topic of competition on the tour arises, Chenoweth is sure not to downplay just how difficult each 100-lap affair truly is.
“This tour is second to none,” says the former Autumn Colours Classic champion flatly. “You can feel it as soon as the trailer door comes down at 9:00am on race day. It’s something completely different from what you get anywhere else”
“If you don’t come to one of these events ready to work – then you might as well stay home. These guys out here are going to test you. If you come off the track after practice and you’re not working to make your car faster – you can get left behind in a hurry”
“There are more than a dozen guys on this roster that can win at any track on the schedule. When you look at the level of competition you’re out here with, there’s no shame at all in a top-5 finish”
And though his team is content with a pair of top-5s to open up the tour – Chenoweth makes it clear what their intentions are for the remaining 6 events on the schedule.
“We don’t load up on Saturday morning thinking about a top-5,” says the mercurial favourite matter-of-factly. “When we’re wrenching on this thing at 3:00am – we’re not talking about how great it would feel to finish third. When we drive through the pit gate – we’re here to win. I don’t know how to race any other way”
“We’re looking to win every single race that we haul to this season,” adds Chenoweth. “That’s the goal on race day. And it doesn’t matter how many factors are working against us – it’s our job to find a way to get it done.”
Shawn Chenoweth’s 2015 season would not be possible without the support of London Recreational, Bennett GM, KR Communications, Midas of Orangeville, Castrol Edge, Hitman Hotrods, Wilson Ponds, Graybar, McColl Racing Enterprises, Ideal Brake Parts, Team Vincent Motorsports, Finish Line Concrete Therapy, Innerkip Plumbing and Heating, ProWraps and Automotive Truck & Tire.
Fans can keep up with Shawn by visiting his official Shawn Chenoweth Racing page on Facebook.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)