Just one year ago, the OSCAAR Modified tour was preparing for its first ever race at Sunset Speedway. Twelve months later, the tour has grown immensely. Over the course of one season, the series demonstrated its competitive nature to fans all across the province. Three races have been added to this year’s schedule, which has grown to 15 races at seven different tracks.
Sunset will host the modified tour on five separate occasions, including this weekend’s season opener. Gary McLean won both races there last season. He narrowly edged Barry Newman to start the season, and outdueled Davey Terry last September for a Velocity weekend victory. McLean won eight races in total a season ago. McLean would go on to win the inaugural championship and has to be considered a championship favourite again.
Some of Gary’s top competition in 2012 came from relatives Brian and Brent McLean. Uncle Brian won one race at Peterborough last season, while Cousin Brent swept both races at the trio’s former home track of Varney Speedway. Both drivers should be at the front this Sunday.
Davey Terry turned in a trio of impressive performances to end his rookie campaign last year, en route to a rookie-of-the-year title. Terry’s second place finish at Sunset last September was his highest finish. If the #14 Wasteco team can pick up where they left off last October, they will be a title threat and in contention for a win this season.
Terry will be joined by fellow sophomores Matt Barton, Tim Burke, and Josh Gruntz throughout the season. Barton, Burke, and Gruntz all showed significant promise last season and should benefit substantially from the seat time they gained last season. Look for them to finish in the top-five throughout the year.
A number of other drivers are expected to compete for victories this season when they are in attendance. Barry Newman, Justin Demelo, and Steve Smith were all top competitors last year. Newman and Demelo both finished second at least once last season, while Smith was the only driver not named ‘McLean’ to win a feature.
Everybody continues to chase the #8, but the veteran will be in tough this weekend and throughout the year as everybody else seeks a win. The OSCAAR Modifieds will be joined by the OSCAAR Super Late Models and Can-Am TQ Midgets. Spectator gates open at 4:30pm on Sunday May 19, with the first green flag set to fly at 6pm. The pit gate opens at 12:30pm for competitors.
News & Notes:
Sunday marks the second annual Lucie Aylwin Memorial at Sunset for the OSCAAR Super Late Models. Lucie was among the victims of the Elliott Lake mall collapse last May. Lucie was described by many as a kind-hearted soul who would take the time to talk to anybody, doing so with a smile on her face. The memorial race was initiated by her fiancé Gary Gendron, who was a member of George Wilson’s racing crew for the past few seasons. As Gendron explained, Lucie never felt she was above anybody and as a social worker, was always happy to help in any way she could. Gendron has created a brand new trophy to be awarded for the first time this weekend. Brandon Watson won the first memorial race in Lucie’s honour.
Canadian recording artist Lucas Rogerson will perform his rendition of O’Canada this Sunday to open the 2013 OSCAAR Racing season. Rogerson is a long-time member of the Settlers Creek band and is in the process of beginning a new solo career. His first solo album, ‘Streetlights’, is set to release next Wednesday, May 22. It will be available on iTunes and can be pre-ordered now.
OSCAAR Modified driver Davey Terry has been instrumental in the process of having Rogerson perform this evening. Despite the friendship, Rogerson has never been to a stock car race. “I’m expecting excitement. I’m excited to see the cars. I never realised how much thought goes in to the cars. I’m excited to see the crowd,” he said. You can check out the duo’s promotional video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ADsrZThXnDk
From: Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)