FRASERVILLE, ON – The ironic twist of racing at Kawartha Speedway – where an OLG casino is a stone’s throw from the front stretch – hasn’t been lost on a NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model runner named ‘Betts’.
At 21 years of age, second generation speedster Tyler Betts – whose father Terry recorded top 10 point finishes in 2007 and 2008, running the track’s former limited late model division – says he’s ready to roll the dice at a chance of success in the 3/8th mile Fraserville, Ontario oval’s highly competitive headline class.
“I’m heading into my first year at Kawartha with 2 goals,” said the millwright industrial mechanic apprentice. “I want to learn as much as I can and have fun. As the weeks go by, I know I’ll get more out of the car but right now, I’m going in with an empty notebook. It’s only my 3rd season of racing, so there’s no way anyone can expect me to know everything. Some solid top 10 showings can’t help but make me a better racer.”
Hampton, ON’s Tyler Betts will go into battle wheeling a 2012 Chevrolet Impala from Howe Racing Enterprises of Beaverton, MI. His Toreion/Pingle’s Farm Market/Farm Bro Racing/Pro Street Automotive machine carries the same number his father used during his career. After turning wrenches and helping out behind the scenes on his Dad’s equipment, Tyler is excited about taking the next step in his motorsports development.
“It’s a challenge to make the cars fast on a consistent basis and running with the late models at Kawartha puts me head-to-head with some of the best in business,” said Betts. “I was able to pick-up a few solid skills in my 2 seasons at Mosport and finishing 5th in 2011 late model points there increased my confidence level and made me think about doing something new this year.”
A dedicated, family racing operation, Tyler Betts has his father Terry, mother Sue and sister Melissa cheering for him at the racetrack and helping to get the car ready for action. Girlfriend Tennille Drysdale pitches-in as well, offering emotional support and a well-timed smile. The driver says having so many familiar faces around his team helps get him through even the toughest times.
“You don’t need to look too far to see the importance that family members can bring to a team,” said Tyler Betts. “Many of the top runners – not just at Kawartha, but every track – have family involvement. Some drivers are second generation runners like me and for others, it goes even deeper than that. Youngsters used to get pumped-up about a particular driver while watching the races with their parents, but with the strength of karting and other driver development programs, they’re getting a fast start behind the wheel. I’m just 21, but I’m still amazed at the talent level of these kids and how quickly they’re able to advance through the ranks.”
While he enjoys every aspect of the sport, Tyler Betts says he looks forward to leading laps and eventually, winning races. Echoing the comments of many before him, the young racer is concerned about the cost of building and maintaining a competitive team but is looking forward to an exciting season at Kawartha.
Kawartha klips: With the rainout Friday, June 1st the 2012 season opener at Kawartha Speedway has been delayed until Friday, June 15th. A 100 lap invitational event for the NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Models will headline a show that also features Thunder Cars and the Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stocks…Late Model racer Earl Ireland of Earl Ireland Auto Sales will supply trophies for feature event winners throughout the 2012 season…Kawartha Speedway welcomes Rice Lake Fuels as the official supplier of Klotz Racing Fuel for all 3 regular divisions.
From Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications