DOUBLE DUTY - 2015 WAS THE SEASON KENDRA RAN MINI STOCK AND BRENDAN RAN THE SUPER STOCK
April 30 2015
My Dad finally had a chance to get the Super Stock on the track on Sunday. He worked late on Saturday night with Branden Bullen to get the gears in the car so he could test on Sunday. The car hasn’t raced in over 10 years and hasn’t seen the scales either! We went through tech and on the scales on Sunday and the set up was WAY off. The car really wasn’t even close, as you can imagine, after sitting for years and all the adjustments my Dad had to do to take it from a late model to a super stock. But he went out and tested it and it was loose. Saying it was loose is an understatement. This week my Dad was away for work again, but he is home now and will be working on the set up on the car hoping to get it right for opening day. I am excited to see my Dad back racing at the track. Special thanks to Branden and Phil Bullen for their help with the enclosed trailer this week as well. They Bullen’s have their own cars to work on, but they are amazing and always willing to lend a hand. I can’t thank them enough. The Super Stock will be back at the track Friday night for final practice and set up.
May 2, 2015 - Opening Night
The car felt great in practice today. It was nice to have Chris and Dan from Epic Racewear there tonight. Continuing from last year, I still can’t draw a good number. At the gate, I drew the #54 for initial starting spot in the heats. That should have put me at the back of the second heat, but for some reason, I ended up starting at the back of the first heat, which was stacked. I was to start 11th, but two cars decided to start scratch, so I started 9th. In the first heat, I worked my way up to 7th position, but I took a corner too wide and got passed by two cars. I would end up finishing where I started, in 9th. So, not a great start to the year and I would be in the consi tonight. In the consi, I would start in the 5th position. All cars qualified for the feature tonight, but I wanted to be in the top six so I could be in the draw for starting position for the feature. Then I took a shot from behind from another car coming out of corner #2 which got the car sideways. I was able to save the car, but not before I lost two positions on the track. This put me in 7th, but I wanted to be in the top six. With about 2 laps to go, I made an outside pass and managed to get myself into 6th for the finish. I made the draw for the feature, but I still continued to have the worst luck in the draw. The only numbers left when I went to draw were 1, 4, 5 and 14, and I thought maybe I had a chance for a good draw, but like my luck, I managed to pull the #14. In the feature, I’d start 14th and was looking for a decent finish. My car was tight and I couldn’t keep it in my preferred line and I wasn’t able to get through the corners as the honda needs to. I was able to keep the car clean and bring home a 16th place finish, which I was happy with. Making the feature, or the draw even, in this field is an accomplishment for me. This field is STACKED. I’m not expecting big things for 2015. I’ve set my goals realistically for me and hope for a top 15 finish in the season end points. The 2015 season for the Mini stock began in October 2014 when we started the tear down of the car. We stripped it down to the bare chassis, made a few changes and then sent it to Paul Howse at Finish Line Painting and Restoration. The chassis looks fantastic! Now the rebuild has started. We are redoing the wiring in the car as it has been a nightmare. We will be sending the motor off to Speedy Auto Machine in the New Year to have it refreshed. We are going to have a whole new look on the car this year as One Promo.ca will be doing a wrap for the car, and I am pretty excited to see what design they come up with. This will be my final year racing in the Mini Stock division. My parents and I had talked about the possibility of selling my car and getting a rear wheel drive car, to make the transition from MS to SS stock easier, and to be better able to compete since the FWD cars really can’t compete with the package the RWD cars currently have. However, I am used to my car and I don’t want to spend my last year in MS trying to learn a new car. I want to enjoy my last year, hopefully finish well and have fun doing it. I will test the SS every week that there is practice and get a feel for that car, long before I ever start a race in it. I am very excited about testing this car and can’t wait for the experience. Going from 4 cyl to 8 cyl and FWD to RWD is going to be a huge learning curve. Check back and I’ll keep you updated on the progress. It’s been a long, long time since my Dad has been in a racecar full time, over 10 years. We were late getting the car finished so he only had two chances to practice the car and try to get it set up before the season started. This car has not been raced for a long as my Dad hasn’t raced, it needs a lot of work. In the first heat, my Dad started 7th and the car was so loose. He was able to hang on in each corner while the car just wanted to come out from underneath him. He would make a pass and put himself in the 6th position for the finish, but there was a problem with the transponders I guess because he was scored as a 7th place finish and he’d have to head to the consi as well. In the consi, he would start in the pole position. The 64 started on the outside pole and took the lead. A bit later the 76 would pass him as well and he would end the consi in the 3rd position and in the draw. He drew the 11th starting position for the feature. In the feature, two other cars decided to start scratch and he would be moved up to the 9th starting position. He was quickly passed by the #46 and just was maintaining for the most part as he hung on to the extremely loose car. Coming through corner #1, he was hit in the rear corner and sent spinning up the track. He would have to go to the back of the field. From there, he was able to make his way up to finish in 15th position. He will be doing some more work on the car this week to try to tighten it up and check to see what was sparking under the car last night, seems there may be a bind somewhere. And, he’s provided some body work for me to do on his car this week!!! My latest venture in motorsports will be as a car owner and spotter. Once we are done getting the MS ready for 2015, we will start work on the SS. As mentioned, I’ll practice this car each week throughout the year to be ready for my Rookie year in SS in 2016. In the meantime, I’ll just be the car owner in 2015 as my Dad is going to drive the car for the season, along with a few guest drivers possibly. Working with my Dad on this will be fun and a completely different aspect of racing for me to learn. I don’t really like being on the other side of the fence, watching my car go around the track, so this will be a different feel for me. Since SS’s are allowed radio’s, I’ll learn how to be a spotter from my Mom (Who spotted for my Dad in the past) and I am sure this will help me understand and appreciate things that happen on the race track from a different perspective as well as how much quicker things will happen in SS than MS. I’m looking forward to this challenge and can’t wait to see my SS on the track this year! Check back and we’ll keep you updated on the progress. UPDATE: January 18, 2015 The fuel cell is back in the car and the fuel lines have been run. Motor has been dropped off at Speedy Auto Machine and hopefully, we’ll be working on the body this week. After the body is completed, we’ll work on the wiring harness for the car and send it off for painting. It’s coming along good and everything should be done by the end of January, except the motor, but then it will just be a matter of putting the motor in and finalizing the wiring. UPDATE: February 25, 2015 The wiring on the Mini Stock has been done, thanks to my Dad and Phil Bullen for getting this all done. Hopefully it won’t be the wiring nightmare it’s been the last couple years for us. The body is almost complete, just need to finish the doors and skirts and then it will be ready for paint and the wrap. Then it’s just a matter of putting the motor in the car when Speedy Auto Machine is done with it! We stopped working on the MS in order to get the SS done, so progress on this car has been slow.
May 9, 2015
We made some changes to the mini stock this week and went out for practice. The car was amazing in practice. The car handled great, could go through the corners so well, and as a result, I had better speed all around. Coming out of corner four at the end of practice, I felt the front end of the car drop and then after that everything happened so fast. The hub broke on the car and the right front tire came off the car. The car hooked right and hit the corner four wall, hard. It then swung around and hit the rear off the wall, before I would spin down the track and stop on the infield area. I am glad I was the only car on the trace, and that it happened in practice and not a race, so no other cars were involved. I can’t thank the track officials and ambulance crew enough. They were at my car so fast! They got me out of the car, sat me on the trunk and checked me out. I had sore ribs and I guess I hit my leg off the roll cage as it was sore. Mark drove me down to the pits, the ambulance attendant, I think her name was Lousie, was amazing. She stayed with me, checked me out again. Dallas went and got some ice for my leg and we iced it for awhile to keep the swelling down in my leg and ankle. I can’t thank them enough for all they do. Great job and a big thank you to all the track officials. The car suffered some substantial damage, mainly in the front end. The car is going to Merv Walt today to be pulled and we should be able to get it fixed for Velocity next weekend. It’s undecided at this point if I will race, but if the car is ready, then I should be there. I am very disappointed to be out of the points battle, since missing a full night will take you right out of things, especially in this amazing field of drivers, in just the second night of racing. So my goal for the year now will be to go out there and learn as much as I can and try to improve myself, as a driver. Also very disappointed that my sponsor, Rob from Leading Edge Earthworks, was at the track tonight and I wasn’t able to race. Sorry about that Rob, next time for sure! All around, it wasn’t a very good night for Adams Motorsports. In the first heat, my Dad had the pole and going into corner one, the car on the outside had the advantage and came down, but wasn’t fully clear of my Dad’s front bumper and Dad just got his rear corner and spun him. Unfortunately, they would both go to the back. The car is still so loose and every adjustment we have made is making the car better, but just not enough to make it not loose. The entire heat race was very rough, and I’ll just leave it at that. In the consi, Dad would start 3rd. The car was still really loose and we fell back a few positions to end, I believe, in 6th spot. In the feature, we would start in the 17th position and not gain much ground from there. The feature was caution filled with a lot of bumping and banging. We made some changes before the feature on the car, with many thanks to Paul Geniole Sr, Paul Geniole Jr and the Bullen crew. We can’t thank them enough for all the help they have given to us. We have a very limited crew, so their help is always appreciated. The car was a little better, but still having issues getting bite out of the corner. We were spun during the race, the car was banged up a bit (more body work for me!) and at one point my Dad was loose off of corner two and the car then hooked right, sending him straight toward the outside wall. I guess the officials thought he was going to hit the wall as the caution came out, but my Dad was able to save the car and continue on. I seriously hope that one day I will be able to drive a car that loose without wrecking it. I have a lot of appreciation for how my Dad can drive an ill handling car. I can’t wait to see the car, once he has everything figured out, and see how well he can do. For myself, it was my first night spotting for my Dad. It is a busy job and a little more stressful than driving a racecar myself. I had a great time, Dad was happy with my spotting for him and I can’t wait to do it again. The super stock is on hold for now. It will not be a Velocity next weekend. We have a lot of work to do on the Mini Stock, and Dad’s plan has always been that my car will come first and we’ll race the super stock when time permits. Once he finally gets the car figured out, I’ll start practing it on Wednesday nights. I can’t thank my Mom and Dad enough for everything.
May 17 and May 23, 2015
This day of racing was really a practice session for me. After the hard wreck last weekend, we had to change pretty much everything on the front end of the car and I wasn’t sure if the car would handle the same or not, if we would have to spend some time on set up or what. My Dad took the car out in the first practice to make sure everything was okay and almost hit the corner four wall as the brakes weren’t right on the car. He came in and we fixed that. In second practice, I took the car out and just took it easy making sure everything was okay and the brakes were better. Everything seemed good. I took it out for another practice and the car was fast. I was really happy with the car. It was a little loose, but fast. In the first heat, I was to start in 3rd, behind another car that I didn’t know, so I wasn’t sure if they were faster than my car or not. I had some really fast cars in my heat, including 35, 26, 86, 68. It was going to be a good test for my car. I lost a position early as the car behind me went under me on the front straight on the first lap. My car was working really well through the corners and I had good pull out of the corner. I had a good battle with the 26 car and the 35 joined in, passing me on the inside. Coming out of corner two, I was able to duck low and get under the 35 and up to his door, but his car handles so well and he can drive it so hard into the corner, he pulled back ahead in corner 3. I was able to hold off the 26 and 86 to finish in the fifth spot. It was a great heat race for me as I was able to run with the fast cars and even stay ahead of a few of them. In the second heat, with the invert, I would start in 8th. At the beginning of the race, I would get spun by another car coming out of corner 2 and get hit by another in the door. The car was fine and I would continue. Unfortunately, I turned down in corner two to get to the low side too hard and spun myself out. It was not a good heat for me, I was frustrated and would finish in 9th. But with the 9th and 5th place finish, I would qualify 18th for the feature. It was an incredibly tough field of cars, with most of the top runners out there. I gained some ground but was blocked by some cars running side by side for numerous laps and in some cases had to lift on the straight to avoid hitting them. I ended up finishing 16th, but I was very happy with the car and I feel that we have made changes in the right direction the last couple of weeks to make the car faster, and more important, handle better through the corners. Even more important, the car handled great and gave me more confidence in my car, but finishing well and running with the fast cars and finishing ahead of some of them gave me someconfidence in myself, which I have been lacking lately. I can’t wait for next week to see what we can do with the car. May 23rd There wasn’t much work to do on the car last week, thankfully, since we had a lot to do on the super stock. We changed the right front axle Friday night and that wasit. In first practice, the car was fast and I was very happy with it, except we still had a small vibration coming out of corner four. We didn’t go out for second practice, we changed the left front axle, but that made things worse, so we changed it back. I’m guessing that spare isn’t a good one. In the heat race, I would start in 3rd place. I would start behind the 20 and 81, with the 35 outside me and the 10 behind me. As we came out of corner four, the 10 would dive low and pass me as we crossed the start/finish line taking the green, and the 35 would pull away leaving me in 5th position. Terry Woodley, #6, would get inside me and we had a great side by side battle for a number of laps, with me on the outside, and I would hold him off and finish in 5th position. For the feature, I was happy to finally draw a great starting position. I would start second, outside of the 33 of Warren Paxton. Unfortunately, I had a horrible start and fell to 5th right off the start. Clearly I don’t spend enough time, with my terrible draws, to get practice starting the race at the front and Warren got the jump on me. I ran in 5th for a few laps before a caution came out. We restarted and over the next few laps, I would lose a few positions, but still in the top 10. I was being passed on the outside, when the other car tapped the back of the car in front of us, sending him down into my lane and I swerved to miss hitting him, spinning myself into the infield. From there, frustration would set in. He ended up recovering and if I had have stayed in my lane, I likely would have missed him, but I didn’t want to collect his car. I went to the back and ended up racing with a car that was a lap down due to a flat tire earlier, that slowed me down from picking up actual positions on the track. I over drove the car into corner 1 and got out of shape and was heading toward the outside wall in corner two, but managed to avoid that, but not without bringing out the caution. I finally was able to get away from the lapped car, and started picking up positions to put myself, I believe, in 15th at the end of the race. Not the night I was hoping for, but the car is in one piece so that’s always a good night. Last week was an invitational race, so we decided to focus on the Mini Stock and leave the Super Stock at home, since there was a lot of work to do on it from the previous week. We had a bunch of changes to the super stock again, trying to fix the loose condition and get some bite off the corner. Dad was happy with the car in practice, it was so much better with the changes, he went from being way too loose to now being a bit tight. We made some changes throughout practice and seem to have a tight/loose race car instead of just a really loose car, but we are making progress. The car hasn’t been raced in over 10 years and my Dad hasn’t raced in that long, so it’s a little bit of adjustment on the car and a little bit of getting back into the swing of things for Dad. In the heat race, he would start in the 9th position. In corner 3, he would get turned around by another car that dove it into the corner too deep. After being spun, another drove into the rear quarter panel and cave the side in. Thankfully, it was only cosmetic damage and he’d be able to continue the race from the back, finishing, I believe in 10th position. This would give him a starting position in the feature of 19th, with a long way to go. As usual, the Super Stock feature was full of cautions and a lot of tore up race cars by the finish. He would start off well, picking up a few positions early, however, the 07 would spin on the front stretch and it caused a mess, I think with my dad getting the worst of it. He was hit was behind, which sent him into the back of the 64 car, spinning him around. The whole front end of the car was smashed and he pulled onto pit road. Half the nose cone was missing, the front fender was damaged as was the rad box. The crew fixed up the car and out he came again. Dad made great progress through the field and worked his way back up to the 12th spot, unfortunately that would come to an end as well as another car got into him and cut his tire down. He continued for a bit, and luckily, a caution came out for someone else, giving him the opportunity to go down pit road for a new tire under caution. In the end, the race was rough, the car is pretty tore up and he salvaged a 13th place finish. Lots of work to do on the car again this week, which seems to be a regular occurrence in this division. If you aren’t running at the front, or the very back, you are going to be tearing things up.
June 13, 2015
It was a disappointing day for the Mini Stock. In practice the car felt good so we decided not to go out for final practice. In hindsight, it might have been a good idea to go, because when I backed off my pit pad to go out for the heat race, the axle broke. So, I ended up missing my heat race and the consi because of this. Thanks to my Mom and Josh for going home to get a spare axle so I could at least make the feature. Lucky for me, there wasn’t a full field tonight so I was able to run the feature, starting in the 21st position. The car was good for the first 10 laps maybe, and then a vibration in the car ended up getting so bad I had to pull the car off the track with about 7-8 laps to go. We have to find that vibration this week and get it fixed for racing on Friday this week. We haven’t had any luck this year so we are hoping to turn this around soon. We are still fighting the handling on the super stock and are loose out of 2 and pushing in 3. It’s getting better with each change that we make, but still not where we need to be. In the first heat race, Dad started outside pole, raced hard with the #55 of Chris Howse and ended up falling into 2nd place. Dad showed some patience and waited until the 55 went high in the corner and made a move under him to claim the lead. Dad won the heat race, his first win of the season!! In the Dash for Cash, Dad started in 3rd and quickly it became three wide with Dad in the middle. With the right attitude that he wasn’t going to destroy the car in the Dash, he backed out of the 3 wide and ended finishing the race in 10th. For the feature, we started in the 3rd position again. Dad ran up front for a number of laps, had to slow it down in the corners in order to not push up into people through the corners. Mini Stocks have the ability to run three wide, super stocks, not as much and more often than not, people end up with wrecked cars due to all the three wide attempts. Dad’s plan for the night was to run cautiously, not over drive the car to try to compensate for it being ill handling and bring home a decent finish, which he did, with a respectable 9th place finish. Great job Dad and even better, very little work to do on the super this week so we can focus on the Mini and getting it back where it needs to be.
June 19, 2015 - Garry Reynolds Memorial
We started off the day a little rough in practice again, still having a vibration in the car. Finally found what the issue was, changed it and the car felt the best it has all year. In the first heat race, I would start in 10th position and fall back in the beginning to 13th as the line I was in was not moving. I would make a few passes to get myself into the 7th position for the end of the race. Just a position short of qualifying for the race. In the consi, I would start in the 2nd position and race side by side with the 68 car for a few laps before completing the pass on the outside and pulling away from the 2nd place car in order to secure the win! 38 mini stocks came to race today with 28 cars making the field and 10 going home. We’d start the race in the 19th position and within a few laps move up through the pack, but on the restart, I made a bad choice and picked the wrong lane and would end up falling back. I made a few more passes and ended up with a decent finish in 16th place. I am happy with the result and each week my goal is to go out and do better than I did the last race. Our finishing place didn’t represent how good the car was that night, but we’ll do better next race. We have made so many changes to this car over the last number of races, but we finally found the right set up. The car was so fast tonight. In the heat race, Dad would start in the 3rd position. Within very little time, he would move himself into 2nd position where he would finish the race. In the feature, Dad started in 3rd place. Within a few laps, Dad would move into the second position behind the 72 car. He was very patient as it was a longer race and ran behind the 72 for many laps saving his equipment. As the laps were winding down, within 10 laps to the finish, he started to make his move on the 72 car. He started looking inside the 72 and got inside and took the lead in a side by side battle. They raced this way for 2 or 3 laps, with Dad hanging on to the lead. In another lap or so he would have cleared the 72. Unfortunately, coming out of corner 4, Dad got a tap from the car behind him which turned him into the inside wall. Dad did an amazing job of keeping the car off the wall, and managed to continue on and only fell to about 5th position, but unfortunately, the caution had already been thrown. Because of this, both cars had to go to the back of the field. Dad would restart in 13th, in front of the lapped cars. Dad was racing hard to get back a few positions in only a handful of laps when going into corner 3, he and another car would make contact and Dad would end up with a right front flat. That would be the end of the night for Dad. So unfortunately, what looked like such a great night for Dad, ended with a very disappointing finish. He was the fastest car on the track that night and would have very likely had the feature win. But, that’s racing and we’ll go get them next time. It was a great night for our sponsors to be at the track. We can’t thank Rob from Leading Edge Earthworks Inc and Dan from Onepromo.ca for all their support on Friday night and throughout the whole season.
July 4, 2015
The car was good in practice today, the brakes were a little off, but good otherwise. In the first heat race, I started in the 4th position. I ran in the 4th position for a bit and then made the pass on the third place car. We ran side by side for a bit. Another car came underneath us, making it three wide. As it was a heat race, and all cars were going to qualify for the feature, so I decided to back out of the three wide situation and save the car. There was no consi or dash this week. In the feature, I drew the 11th starting position. The first few laps were good and I felt it was going to be a good race. The car was pushing a little bit and I was having trouble trying to keep the car down in the corners. I had a great, fun battle with Steve Belanger and it reminded me or our Rookie year. A shout out to my Mom, Dad and Joel for working with me to try to make some adjustments to my driving style to make the car, and myself, better out on the track. The car felt great for my Dad today, so he only went out for one practice today. In the first heat race, Dad started in the 5th position and ended up finishing in 3rd. It was a good race and he just worried about qualifying the car and being ready for the feature. There were a lot of cars at the track today and some cars would be going home, so qualifying was most important. There was no dash tonight. In the feature race, Dad drew the 2nd starting position, outside of the always fast 72 car. They had an amazing side by side battle for many laps during the race. The 64 car would join the battle and pass us, dropping us back to third position, racing on the outside of the 64 car. There was a caution and Dad would line back up in the 3rd position, with the 72 in first and the 64 second. The 72 pulled ahead after the caution with Dad and the 64 racing side by side. There was a caution and Dad would line up in second, outside of the 72. They would battle again for a few laps, side by side with Dad taking over the lead. The 76 would join the chase and pass the 72 and set out for Dad with a few laps to go. Dad was able to hold off the 76 car and take the feature win. As I was so young when Dad raced before, I never got to really be a part of any win for him, that I remember any way, so this was extremely exciting for me. To be a part of this win with him, being his spotter, was simply amazing and a memory I will never forget. Dad has struggled with getting this car going this year, getting it set up so it will race well, and I’ve watched him make more saves out there with a terrible handling car, that I could be more proud with how far he has come. The car always had the power, just took some time with the set up. We don’t have a crew – the Bullens are always there for us on race day to help out, and any time there is a lot of work required from a wreck – but normally at home, it’s just me and Dad. So everything that Dad has accomplished with the car is simply amazing. We went to tech, and there was Dad with just three teenage girls for crew. So Dad, so proud of you! I am so happy to be able to share this with you.
July 18, 2015
Today was an amazing day! I took my mini out for practice and everything felt good. I love that car as I am so comfortable in it. In the first heat, I started in 11th spot, quickly lost a position, was boxed in with no where to go for the longest time, but finally passed two cars to finish in 10th position. Not the finish I was hoping for. In the consi, I started in the 5th position managed to make my way up to 4th for the finish. I was really happy with the car during this race and how it was handling. For the feature, I’d continue with terrible draws and start the race in the 15th starting place. I had a terrible start and ended up falling to the 19th position. I collected myself and started to make some moves and pass cars. There were a couple cautions in the race which helped, on the final restart I was in the 10th position and I am not sure if I was passed at the line for the finish by the 51 car or not, so I finished either 10th or 11th. All in all, it was a good night in the mini. I heard from a LOT of people that I need to stop being too nice on the track and I need to hold my line when people cut down on me. I tend to lift and allow them the position as I don’t want my car tore up, or theirs, and I don’t want to have to go to the back. But they are right, I need to hold my position and stop allowing people to cut down on me and take that position away. There’s always next week. Today was an amazing day! Good for me, bad for Dad. I wasn’t at the trailer when my Dad got a call from work, he had to leave. My Mom and Dad talked about what to do with the Super Stock that night, whether to put another driver in the car, park it for the night or let me try driving it. My Dad is 9th in the points, but the focus has not been on points for the super stock this year, it was just simply to get it set up so I could drive it. They decided to let me drive it. When Mom came to tell me, I couldn’t have been more shocked. Excited, but shocked. Immediately we went to the car and started making some changes so I could drive the car, since Dad is 8 inches taller than I am. I have only driven this car once before, the week prior for about 30 laps in practice. So to get into this car was HUGE for me, especially without my Dad there and without him on the radio. He is the only one I’ve ever had on the radio. We had time for two practice sessions for me to try to get a feel for the car and all the things that are so different. I started scratch in the first heat and stayed back from the other cars. I was slow and cautious, I didn’t want to wreck the car before I even got started. I spent the heat race trying to get a feel for the car. So much is so different. The lap times between the mini and the super stock aren’t really that much different because the mini’s hold so much corner speed, but everything else is different. A big difference for me is the braking points for the super stock. The car is 1,000 pounds heavier than my mini stock, so adjusting to where I would need to brake for the corner was huge and I struggled with this in the beginning and would push up the track. I apologize to whomever it was that was passing me coming of two as I touched them when I went high in the corner. Luckily I didn’t spin them, or myself, out. In the consi, I was starting scratch again. There were 31 super stocks there tonight and they only move 26 to the feature. I did what I could with the limited experience I had, but wasn’t able to make the feature race tonight. But in fairness, I wasn’t surprised. It was my first time in the car, with basically no practice, and I was just happy to be there.
July 19, 2015
On the Sunday, I was feeling good about the mini stock. I took it out for one practice and it was pushing a little bit. We made a tire pressure adjustment. In the first heat, I had a great draw and was to start on the pole position. Unfortunately it wouldn’t last long as the 64 started right behind me and got underneath me quickly, followed by three other cars as I was trained back to 5th position where I would finish the race. In the feature, I managed to pull a great number again and would start in 6th position. I was feeling good about the race. Driving the Super Stock all weekend was giving me a desire to get more speed out of the mini stock as it just didn’t feel fast enough. lol However, good things weren’t meant to last. I fell back a couple of positions, which was fine, but on lap 10, coming through corner 1 and 2, the car behind me hit me and then continued to push me around the entire corner. When we were exiting the corner, he pulled to the right which then turned my car, unfortunately, in front of half the field and I ended up getting hit by a number of people which caused enough damage to end my night. It was disappointing. I had a good car tonight and I think I could have had a decent finish. I am sorry to the people that were involved and were damaged when my car got turned. Better luck next week. Special thanks to Paul Howse, Doug Benedict and Brandon Johnson for coming to pit road to help with my car after the wreck. We were back at the track to do it all over again! Yesterday was simply amazing. I’ve owned this super stock for two years and finally being able to race it this weekend was unreal, especially as it wasn’t planned in advance and I was just thrown into it. Racing both the mini and the super both days was tough. It was so hot out, and I am not used to how hot it is in the super stock, if I wasn’t in the race car, I was trying to cool off and rehydrate!! In the first heat, I started in the 7th position. I considered going scratch again, but figured, there was only two cars behind me so I might as well take my spot. This meant I couldn’t hang back on the start, I had to go! I felt that I did better in the car today, I still lost those two positions in the heat race and finished in last, but the goal for today was to not get lapped in the heat race, and I didn’t. So we accomplished that. I felt it was a decent race for me. Of course, this would take us to the consi. I would start last of 15 cars and only one car was not going to make the show. There was a good chance that it was going to be me. I really wanted to make the feature, but I was trying to be realistic as well. It was only my second time racing it. Lucky for me, but not lucky for the 48, he had something break that took him out of the race. I felt bad for Coltin, he was a huge support for me this weekend. But, we ended up both being very lucky as Paul Maltese, def one of the nicest men I know, gave up his spot in the feature so Coltin would be able to drive. Paul is so amazing and one of the kindest, most generous, people I know. In the feature, I would start in the 25th position. I managed to get a good start – which I must say the starts are awful with checking up compared to the mini class – and stay with the tail end of the field. There was a wreck early in corner 1 and 2 which I was able to avoid up high. A few laps later, and a few cautions later, I would find myself in the 19th position. It wasn’t until lap 16 or 17 that I went down a lap. Unfortunately, the car in fourth place was coming up to lap me and drove into the back of my car. I went spinning around and that ended my night. Something broke in the transmission or clutch (slave cylinder) or something. Dad and I are pulling the transmission out on Wednesday to fix it. All and all, it was an amazing weekend and more than I could have imagined. I need to thank the Bullens as ALWAYS as they are all so supportive and an amazing help pretty much every weekend and whenever I need them during the week. Thank you to Danny Benedict, Randal Harris and Phil Bullen for all taking turns spotting for me. Joel Martino for taking time out to call me from North Carolina for a pep talk when he found out I was racing the super this weekend. To my Mom for being the glue that holds everything together and of course my Dad for everything that he does. It was bitter sweet this weekend. If my Dad hadn’t have been called to work, I wouldn’t have raced the super stock this weekend. But I was so disappointed that my Dad wasn’t there to share my first super stock race with me.
July 25, 2015
We had a rough start to the day! We loaded and took the Mini stock to the track and came back for the second car and when it was half loaded, the door/ramp broke and was laying on the ground. Dad and I used the jack and the winch in order to get the car all the way into the trailer. We borrowed ramps at the track to get the car unloaded. Thank you to Josh Inglis, Coltin Everingham and Johnny Morrison for the use of the ramps and everyone that helped to load the car after racing. In practice, my car was not good at all. The car was loose when I got off the gas, loose into the corner and tight off. I spun the car twice in practice, and it’s not that easy to spin a front wheel drive car! I brought the car in and we made some changes and checked the front and rear toe. Not sure what the issue was but the heat race was going to be the next practice session with the changes. In the first heat race, I stared in the 5th position and was cautious at the beginning of the race as I wasn’t sure if the issue was fixed or not, and having the points leader starting right with me, I didn’t want to spin and chance taking anyone out with me. But the car felt good after a lap so I was able to finish the race in the 6th position and transfer into the dash for cash. In the dash, I would start in the 11th position, and with fast cars to the front, I would finish in the same spot. In the feature, I would start in the 15th place thanks to another bad draw this week. Not sure what happened as I was to start 17th, but I guess two cars went scratch as I ended up starting 15th. The car felt much better at the beginning of the feature and I was able to make a few passes. On the caution I would restart in 12th and then there was another caution not long after that and I would restart in the 9th position. After the restart the 72 would get under me and took another car with him. I’d have a good battle to the end of the race with the 400 car but I think he edged me out at the line. The car was extremely tight by the end of the race, so hopefully, we’ll be able to make it better for next week. In the Super Stock, Dad would go out for practice and the car was loose. He didn’t have time to make any changes and was only able to do one practice today. In the heat race, Dad would start in the 10th position and pretty much stay there. The cars ahead of him were side by side racing and he isn’t going to put people three wide to gain a position in a heat race that really means nothing. He would go into the consi, starting 14th out of 15 cars. Dad got stuck behind some other cars again but was patient and waited for the 9 car to get past some cars and followed him through, eventually making the pass on him to finish in the 6th position and move on to the feature. In the feature, Dad would start in 18th position, starting right behind the 46 car. He got beside the 46 and had a great battle with Lane for a lot of laps door to door. But everyone was lined up side by side mid pack and there wasn’t anywhere to go. They drove patiently and started to make their way through the field. There was a late race caution and Dad was in 12th position. The race would restart with 2 laps to go. The first attempt at the restart would be waived off, which would then lead to disaster. On the second restart attempt, the car running in second would spin and everyone would get around or slowed down, Dad included, but he was then hit hard from the back and was pushed into the other car. There was a lot of damage to Dad’s car, he was the only one that wasn’t able to continue the race. There are lots of bent bars at the front of the car and a broken rad, and bars around the fuel cell that are damaged. Dad has a lot of work to do this week, fixing the super stock as well as the trailer. We were going to park the super stock next week and focus on the trailer only, but then realized that next weekend is the night that our sponsor will be sponsoring the track. So we will be there, with both cars, unless something goes wrong this week, with The Mortgage Station. I will be away for a couple of days at Ohsweken!!
August 1, 2015
My car was good in practice, a little loose in one practice and I spun the car out, but otherwise good. In the heat race, I would start in the 5th position. I made a good pass on the cross over on the 64 car coming out of 4 and got underneath him. We ran a few laps side by side before he passed me and I ended up finishing the race in the 5th position where I started. The car felt awesome during the heat. In the Dash for Cash, I would start in the 8th position and finish in the 8th position. In the feature, I started in the 7th position and managed to make a couple passes to get myself up to 5th position in the early part of the race. I then got passed by the 72 car and had a great battle with the 54 car for a number of laps. My car got tight around lap 10 of the feature and I fell back a bit to the 11th position. I changed my line a few times until I finally found a line that would work with how tight the car was. I am happy with the finish we had, the car was actually the best it’s been all year. Well, actually it was me, we didn’t change the car, I just changed how I was driving it to get more out of it than I thought I could. Congrats to Doug Butler, Cameron McGlashan and Stan Coe on their first feature wins of the year. Dad had a great day today. In practice the car was really loose, which it seems to be every week. Having a really hard time getting bite in the car. In the heat race, Dad started in 9th place and would make some good passes to get himself up to the 5th place for the finish. This wasn’t good enough to transfer to the dash for cash as they only take the top four, but it would give him the pole for the consi. In the consi, starting on the pole, Dad took the early lead with the 76 car on the outside, driven by Brandon McFerran tonight. They would race side by side for a while with the 76 falling in behind Dad. With the car being as loose as it was, Dad had to change up his line and corner entry in order to maintain the lead and come home with the finish. In the feature, Dad would have a good draw and pull the outside pole! He would race hard, side by side with the 58 of Stan Coe, for many laps and it was great side by side racing. Dad would eventually get the 58 car on the restart and take the lead. While leading, Dad pushed up in the corner and the 58 would reclaim the lead leaving Dad to battle with the 97 car for second, eventually falling into the 3rd position. From here, there was a charge from the 76 car and they raced many laps side by side for the remainder of the race. The 76 came down through 3 and 4 but wasn’t quite clear of our car and got out of shape but was able to gather the car up and continue on. In the end, Dad would finish the race in 3rd position. I can’t be more proud of my Dad. He races the car every lap he is out there and always gets the best out of an old car. Huge Congrats out the Stan Coe on his feature win. Very deserving.
August 8, 2015
The car was loose in practice as normal, but what else is new?? In the heat race, Dad would start in the 8th position and, if you couldn’t guess, the car was loose. But he managed to move up to 5th position for the finish. Not quite where he wanted, but not bad. In the Consi, Dad started in 3rd and moved into the 2nd position early in the race and stayed there until the finish, which put him into the draw for the feature. Dad has much better luck than I do in the draw and managed to pull 3rd starting place again. He ran door to door with the 64 for a number of laps before taking over the 2nd position. The car was still loose but had a push in the corner as well. About halfway through the feature, Dad drove the car too hard out of corner two and hit the back straight wall but didn’t lose a spot. The car was getting worse as the feature went on and he was loosing more and more bite. Other cars were closing in and Dad was in a battle to hold on the 4th spot. He had another car on the outside of him on the last lap and coming out of 2, another car decided to go under him and go three wide which resulted in my Dad getting sideways and ended up in the grass. Both cars would go to the back for the restart……and another restart….and another restart. Dad lined back up in 16th position and would end up finishing the race in 13th. I am trying some different lines and braking spots, trying to get through the corner better. Managed to get in too hard and spun myself out. But the car felt good. As always, my draw at the back gate or for the feature line up, I pulled a horrible number and started at the back of the last heat. I was feeling good about the car, even though I had to start last and my goal was to make the top six to stay out of the consi and get into the draw for the feature. I managed to make some passes, get by the four cars I needed to pass, and finished the race in 6th and would head to the dash for cash. In the Dash, I would start in 11th place. I was behind two cars for awhile and went to go low in the corner to try to get underneath them but ended up getting my tires in the dirt and spun myself out. Restarted the race and managed to get by one car for the finish, in 10th place. In the feature, I drew number 11 so I was pretty happy with that starting place. On the first lap, another car would get into the side of me and spin me down the track. In the first lap, I’d go from 11th to 21st! So, I had to make passes to work my way back toward the front. The car felt great and I was able to pass a bunch of cars to make my way back to where I started and finish the race in 11th position.
August 15, 2015
Today was one of my most memorable days in racing. The race team of Melissa Bullen wanted her car to be raced this weekend, to make sure everything was okay with the car before she got back into it and to get it out on the track for her sponsors. They asked my Dad to race the car. We were able to go out into practice together and it was so amazing to be on the track for the first time ever racing side by side with my Dad. In my heat race, I started in the 9th position and was boxed behind two cars for a bit, then managed to make a pass under both of them in the corner and then on the next lap, I would get spun by one of them and bring out the caution. Started back in 9th position and finished there. Off to the consi. This wasn’t a bad thing to go to the consi. My Dad had been in the other heat race, and he was in the consi as well so we got to race together, not just in practice. He started 3rd and I started 6th and by about lap 5 I had caught up to him (he was in 2nd) and I got underneath him in the corner and we raced side by side and then I passed him. Unfortunately, it only lasted about a lap and then my car broke and went up in smoke. It looked like the motor blew, there was so much smoke, but it was a broken exhaust. I went off on the tow truck and unfortunately on the restart a visiting car to the track spun Dad and he came off on tow truck as well! He would not be in the feature that night. We would only tack weld the exhaust to get me in a position where I could start the race, but I’d have to pull off and take 19th place points for the feature. This was unfortunate as the car is running really well, and I have made some personal changes and everything seems to be coming together. With 4 DNF’s this year, two mechanical and two for accidents, I am currently sitting in 12th in the points, and not at all where I had hoped to be at this point in the year. We’ll take this year as a learning experience at this point. In the heat race, Dad would start in the 6th position and not much would happen throughout the heat race. Two cars ahead of Dad were running side by side, and it’s only a heat race and Dad’s not really the type to push the cars three wide, especially for no reason, so he ran behind them and finished in 6th position. In the consi, Dad would start in the 6th position, with the goal to finish top 4 to make it into the draw for the feature. He would pass two cars in the consi and finish int he 4th position. In the feature, Dad drew the 9th starting position. There was a lot of two wide racing in front of Dad throughout most of the feature. We are still fighting a loose condition on the car so Dad made the smart decision to race smart and not push the car and just bring it home in one piece with a decent finish. He would finish in 11th place.
August 23, 2015
I took the car out for practice and it was awesome. I only went for one practice today. As this was an invitational, we only had single heat qualifying. I was to start 6th in my heat race and it would be a pretty uneventful race, I finished in 5th. For the feature, I would start in the 15th position. It took a few laps for me to get by the 36 car, but once I got by him, I was able to make some movement toward the other cars. I had bad timing with my passes though. It felt like every time I made the pass on a car, the caution would come out and we’d go back a lap again and I have to pass the car again. One of the cars I had to pass three times before I would finish ahead of him. Over all, it was a great race, the car felt great, was awesome through the corners and I managed to finish in 8th. Very happy with how the whole night went.
August 29, 2015
I haven’t had time to update the website as my last 10 days have been extremely busy. In the heat race, I started in 6th and then got turned in corner three and went back to the back. Managed to finish in 7th. In the feature, I started in 2nd place. There was a caution early and I would restart on the pole. The car in the outside lane was half a car ahead of me on the back stretch when he got loose and the car behind him came down the track and slammed into the side/front of my car. Unfortunately, this knocked out the toe on my car and it wouldn’t handle very well. All in all the race was okay, I managed to finish in 9th place. In the heat race, Dad would start in the 10th position and need to move up to 4th in order to transfer to the Dash for Cash, however, it wasn’t meant to be. Dad’s car, as always, was loose and he was only able to make it up to the 6th spot. In the Consi, Dad would start 11th and need to finish fourth or better in order to make it into the draw for position for the feature. He passed enough cars to get it done and finished in 4th place. In the feature, he would start in the 8th place and on the start he fell back a few positions. It was a bit of a rough feature and since we were going away for a week, he decided to play it smart and bring the car home in one piece since there was little time to work on the cars this week. He finished the feature in 11th place.
September 5, 2015
We had a double header this weekend. On Saturday night it was regular racing. We made some big changes to the car on Friday night and the car was a lot different than what I was used to. In the heat race, I started in 4th, but someone ran into the back of me and spun me so I’d restart at the back. I ended up finishing the heat race in 7th. For the feature, I would start in 3rd position and would quickly lose a spot to the 51 car. A caution came out early and I would restart in 4th place. When I looked at the inside line behind me, I knew this was going to be an issue as I had a huge line of top runners lined up there including the 64, 10, 33 and 54, all running for the points battle. I fell back a number of positions on the restart and landed in line around 8th. I had a good battle with another couple cars throughout the race. On the last lap, coming out of corner 4,my car got way loose and unfortuantely, when I was saving the car from spinning out, the 98 car went by close on the outside and I would end up bouncing off him. We were both able to continue to the finish line but I lost a spot in the process and Nic lost a tire. Sorry about that Nic! I would end up with a 10th or 11th place finish, I am not 100% sure. On Friday night, we found that the rear end in the car is bent, toe is out about half an inch. We didn’t have a spare rear end so Dad made some modifications in order to compensate for it. We weren’t sure how the car was going to be on Saturday. In the first heat, Dad would start in the 8th position and the car wasn’t handling great. He managed to move up to the 6th position. He went to the consi and started 6th, and finished the race in 4th, putting himself into the draw for the feature. In the feature, Dad drew the 3rd starting position and the car was still very bad and he was being cautious in order to make sure the car wasn’t damaged for the Sunday race. Dad’s night was the exact same as mine, starting the feature in 3rd and finishing 11th. Not exactly the finishes we were hoping for, but happy anyways.
September 6, 2015
We had an invitational race on Sunday. In the heat race, I would start in the 5th position and no have a good race from there. The 54 got under me and brought a couple other cars with him. Unfortunately, I would fall back and finish in 8th and be in the consi. In the consi, I would start in the 3rd position. On lap two, I would make a three wide pass on the inside to take the lead. I held on to the lead until the white flag. Going through corner 1 and 2, the loose car would get the most of me and I got loose in the corner, saved it, but not in time to stop Hudson Nagy from getting by and taking the win away. I was pretty upset with myself after this, as it was my race to lose. In the feature, I would start in 20th position. There were some early cautions, the biggest being when the leader, Andy Kamrath, would blow his motor, the second in two days, both while leading the race. My car was still so loose so I took advantage of the caution and came in and got an adjustment on my car and restarted at the back. I managed to move up through the field to finish in 12th place. Overall, I was very happy with the way the weekend went. For the invitational, we made bunch of changes to the car and Dad was extremely happy with how much better it was handling. In the Feature, Dad has a great draw and started on the outside pole and would take the lead on the first lap an never looked back. He lead all laps in the heat and would win the race and be the top qualifier for the event. For the feature, Dad would roll the dice to see how many cars they would invert for the feature. Dad rolled a 7 and therefore he started in the 7th position. It was a good field of fast cars, with the 36 car from Sauble Speedway starting on the pole. It was a long race and Dad was being extremely patient in order to not use up his equipment and keep the car clean. In the end, he would make a number of passes and finish in the 4th position. Congrats to Matt Bentley on his sweep of the weekend in a very dominate car
September 13, 2015
My Dad can still drive a racecar!! In the first heat race, he took the patient approach again and started in 7th and finished the race in 5th. Because he wasn’t top 4, he would go into the consi. In the consi, he started on the outside pole, took the lead right away and never looked back. He lead the whole race and won. He would then draw for starting spot in the feature, and he drew the worst starting spot. He would start in 16th position. Dad started right being the #46 and together they would make their way through the field. Dad was patient and managed to pick off cars one by one. He was turned pretty good on one lap, but managed to collect the car and continue on. On a restart, everyone was going and then the front cars checked up and Dad got into the back of the #46 car hard, lifting Lane’s back up right up. Luckily, minor damage to Dads car and the 46 keep his car straight and they both got back in the gas and were able to continue with no issue. Dad drove an amazing race and ended up finishing 5th. Velocity weekend will be Dad’s last race since I will be driving the super stock next year. He “might” be allowed to drive a special or two next year, but otherwise, this will be his retirement race. Great year Dad!! He finished 9th in the points. The last night of racing was not a very good night for me. We made more changes to the car on Friday night, still trying to be able to get me to be more comfortable throwing the car into the corner harder, and the car felt pretty good in practice. I had a great side by side run with the #64 for three laps in practice which boosted my confidence. I went into the first heat starting 3rd and expecting a good finish and it couldn’t have been worse. I ended up falling back to the 8th spot. The car felt 100% difference from practice and was just simply not right. We had been making a lot of changes to the car and the brakes, so we made some quick adjustments and back out I went for the Consi. With getting two cars ready for each race, spotting for Dad’s race, there isn’t much time between races for repairs. In the Consi, I started 3rd again, and the car was still horrible. This time Dad noticed that there was something wrong with the front of the car and it was bouncing through the corners. I ended up finishing 5th. When I came into the pits, he checked and found that the right from strut was broken. For the feature, I started in 17th and wouldn’t have a great run. The car was better, but with championships on the line and the car not handling the best, I just stayed out of the way and let the leaders sort out their championship, Not the points year we were hoping for in my last year in the mini stock, we finished in 12th place. My worst points finish in the 3 years in the division. But with a DNS on the second night of racing, we knew that we weren’t racing for points after that. We are working on the car tonight getting it ready for the last race of the year, Velocity, at Sunset Speedway, this coming Saturday and Sunday. Sad to see the year end, but this is my favourite weekend of the year. Great race weekend.
September 26/27 - Fall Velocity
The car was loose, as usual, in practice. We needed new tires on the car, but we decided to run the heats with old tires and save new tires for the feature. In the first heat, Dad started on the pole and would hold the lead until the last lap, basically the last corner, when the 72 would pass Dad to take the win. In the second heat, Dad stared 13th and would have a great race, moving himself up to the 7th position for the end of the race. With a 2nd and 7th place finish, this would be good enough to be the 10th fastest qualifier for the feature. On Sunday, Dad didn’t have a lot of time to practice, just changed to the new tires and scuffed them in. In the feature, it was a struggle for him to drive the car. He said it was the most ill handling car that he had ever drove, which is saying a lot considering the loose cars I’ve seen him drive this year. He passed a few cars, was passed by a couple and managed to hold on for a 12th place finish. This was technically Dad’s retirement race, but depending on how next year goes, it looks like I might let Dad drive a few specials next year. On Saturday, we would run the heat races for qualifying. In the first practice, I did not care for the feel of my car at all. We made a few adjustments and the car was much better in the second practice. The heat race would have 15 cars, and I would start in 7th position in the first heat. I made up some ground and passed two cars early in the heat race, but would then get passed by two other fast cars coming up from the back. In the end, I’d end in 7th where I started. In the second heat race, I also started in 7th, and the race would be pretty uneventful and I would finish in the 8th position. Overall, the finishes would not be good enough to qualify through the heats and I would have to look to transfer through the Consi on Sunday. Sunday morning, I took the car out for practice, and it was cooler out and the car was the best it had been all weekend. I was hoping the cooler weather would stay for the consi so the car would be good. There were more than 25 cars that had to qualify through the consi, with 15-20 cars that would not make the race. Originally they were going to do one consi for all the cars, 25 laps long, with the top ten qualifying. I was to start in 4th. I liked this idea. However, they decided to divide the consi into two, for 12 laps for each consi, with the top five moving onto the feature. I started on the outside pole. On the start, I had a great start, which was good as I tend to have bad starts when I am on the front row. I managed to get a good start, the 70 was ahead of me in the corner, but we pulled away enough that I was able to tuck in behind him. We ran that way for about 7 laps with no pressure from behind, until a caution came out. I lined back up on the outside of the front row, and had another good restart and was able to pull in behind the 70 car again, with little pressure from behind. Unfortunately, another caution came out and this time on the restart, I would not get as good of a start and I fell behind going into the first corner, which opened the inside for the 95 car, dropping me back to 3rd and then I would be passed by the 54 car dropping me back to fourth. With only a few laps left, I knew I couldn’t fall back any further or I would risk not making the feature. The 86 and 35T were right behind be and these two are great runners and I had to hold them both off, which I managed to do, finishing the consi in 4th and transferring to the feature. However, with a poor qualifying effort, I would start at the back of the feature. There were approximately 50 cars attempting to qualify, and I qualified in the 26th position of the 28 that would start the feature. In the beginning the car felt good, I managed to move up the 22nd by the end of the 3rd lap, but it would all fall apart on the next lap. The 17 and the 36 (I believe) would get together in the centre of 3 and 4, causing the 17 car to spin. Cars were going high and low on the track. The car in front of me swerved low and I went to follow when my car got turned causing me to hit the 17 with the rear tire of my car. I broke the suspension parts on the right rear, ending my night on lap four. All in all, I was happy with the car was running on Sunday, but sad that my final mini stock race ended so early. I am looking forward to 2016 and moving up to the super stock full time!
NASCAR DRIVE FOR DIVERSITY EXPERIENCE
On October 2, 2015 – my 16th Birthday – I received notification that I was selected for the Drive 4 Diversity youth program. For those that aren’t aware, the D4D program is to engage women and individuals of diverse, ethnic and racial backgrounds in all facets of the Nascar Industry. Applications are open throughout the year, and are open to individuals in the United States, Canada and Mexico. I submitted my application, which I began working on in May. You need to include an introduction video which is a maximum of one minute long – and when you want to include as much important information as possible, you’d be amazed at how short one minute really is!!! You also need three to five minutes of racing footage, include your head shot photo and a list of any accomplishments you have acheived. The application process is open year round, with a deadline in August. Being contacted on October 2, 2015 with the news that I had been selected for the Youth Combine (open to ages 8-20) was, by far, the most amazing moment of my life to date. I was excited, overwhelmed….every emotion you can image! To have been selected, from all the applications that they would receive, was an incredible honour for me. Special thanks to Mark Dilley (General Manager of Sunset Speedway), Dan Bailey (Onepromo.ca / Epic Racewear) and Spencer Lewis (Inside Track Magazine / Speed51.com) for their help and suppport with their reference letters which I am confident was a big part of me being selected for the program. I am humbled by the letters you provided in support of me. During the month leading up to the combine, a few different media outlets contacted me about what was happening with the D4D program. Thank you to Spencer Lewis and Inside Track Magazine for the initial interview announcing this. It has been amazing to talk about the upcoming combine and the opportunities that Rev Racing and Max Siegel provide to help individuals reach their goals. If you missed the media about the D4D, links are included on this page. I will keep you all updated as it gets closer to the Combine and what the end results are. I am going down there to give it 100%, this may be the only opportunity I have to try to make my dreams come true. I am the only Canadian selected for the D4D program this year and I am hopeful that I will be successful and make my home track, Sunset Speedway and Canada proud. No matter what the outcome is, to be allowed the opportunity to participate, and to have this once in a lifetime type of experience is simply amazing. At best, I get to race with Rev Racing next year, at worst, I get to be involved in an experience that many people only dream of. Thanks to everyone that has made this a possibility.
DRIVE FOR DIVERSITY YOUTH COMBINE
On November 16, 2015, we travelled back to North Carolina to do our testing for D4D. The weather was fantastic and so were the people that were testing us. The track at Concord has two different corners, one wide and flat, the other is banked and tight. After a few laps to get used to two completely different corners, I started to feel comfortable in the car. There were only two of us testing in Concord that day, the rest were evaluated on the first weekend in December. By the end of the test session, I felt really good about the day. I laid down faster lap times than the other person testing and felt like I had great car control. I pushed the car and myself to the limits and did give it 100%. I felt good about the test after ward, especially with lap times I had. There is more to D4D than being good on the track, so I can only hope that I put together the whole package. Now it’s just wait and see what happens. I should know by the New Year. Hoping for good news, but whatever happens, I know that I gave it everything that I had and had the opportunity for this experience of a lifetime. On November 2nd, they held the Youth Combine in North Carolina. Unfortunately the rain was relentless. It started raining on October 31st and didn’t let up at all. They rescheduled the combine to November 3rd, but unfortunately, it continued to lightly rain and the track at Concord was soaked and they had to cancel testing. At this point, we are waiting to hear from them to see how they will proceed. There was talk that they would make their selections based on the information that they already had, or visit the home tracks for the participants. However, since racing in Canada is done for the year, this wouldn’t work for us. We are not sure at this point what they will do. The competition level for the Youth Program for the Legends was HUGE. There are six in total competing for a position and they are selecting two drivers. The competition looks like this: Enrique Limon – Enrique is from Mexico City and has already been a driver for Rev Racing for the past two years in the Legend series. He was 8th in the Legends World final and was named Nascar Young Driver of the Year in 2015. Enrique also was invited to the Combine in Langley a couple of weeks before with the Late Models. Taylor Jorgensen – Taylor is from Georgia and is also a current driver for Rev Racing in the Legend Series. In 2013, Taylor was the Legend Rookie of the Year and in 2014 was 5th in the nation for the Legend Series. Austin Geer – Austin is from Georgia as well and is currently a driver for Rev Racing in the Bandolaro Series. Austin has 30 top five finishes in 40 races, finished 2nd in his points battle and finished 3rd at the Bandelaro National Championships. Hailie Deegan – Hailie is from California and is the daughter of the Iconic, Brian Deegan, Motorcross, off road racing, X games winner, co-founder of Metal Mulisha. Hailie races in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series in the modified kart class. Ryo Ogato – Ryo lives in North Carolina, so he was in school the first day and I didn’t get a chance to really talk to him. He is currently racing in the Legend division in NC and had a recent 2nd place finish at Concord Speedway in the Young Lion Division. So, as you can see the competition is huge, and I am simply honoured to have been selected to participate in the combine. Now we just sit back and wait to hear what happens. I’ll keep you posted.
2015 Season Review
The 2015 Points season at Sunset Speedway has come to an end. We didn’t end up with the points finish that we had hoped for at the beginning of the season, but we knew by the second night of racing that we weren’t going to be in the top ten in points. It wasn’t because we didn’t have the car or the ability to be in the top ten, it was simply because on the second night of racing, I broke a hub coming out of corner four, during practice and ended up hitting the corner four wall, head on, at full throttle. Starting the year off, in this division, missing a night, there is NO way you are going to over come that. This division is STACKED with amazing drivers. Another incident on the track took me out of another race and then two mechanical breakdowns for a DNS and 3 DNF’s. I am actually quite happy to have finished the year 12th in points considering the adversity that we had to deal with. We had some bad nights and we had some good nights, but like any thing, you take the good with the bad and see what you can learn from it. We decided to use the rest of the year as a test session basically. We made a lot of changes to the car over the year. My Dad’s idea was to get me as far outside of my comfort level as possible. We made so many changes, to completely change the way the car would handle, to the lines that I would drive, to where I would enter the corner, to where my braking points would change to. My Dad threw everything at me that he could. He wanted to teach me that I had to learn to adjust to the car. I couldn’t expect that the car would always run or handle exactly as I wanted it to. Especially with moving up to Super Stock next year. Sometimes you might miss the set up, the tires might go away, there may not be money in the budget for new tires, something could get damaged during the race……he wanted me to learn that I had to adjust and to learn how to deal with the ever changing car. With that, he made changes, some he didn’t even tell me about, to see how I would react. Sometimes it would result in me being loose, sometimes I would spin, or push high….it was a huge learning curve for me and I feel it was very beneficial. Sometimes frustrating, but beneficial. When I first got to practice the super stock, it was amazing. They kept telling me the difference between the MS and the SS was going to be big, but the transition wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Then to get put into the car to actually race it, after I had only had one practice session in it, was daunting. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t nervous, because I was. I didn’t want to spin the car out, or get in the way. But being in the SS certainly made me want to try to push my MS even harder. I never managed to master the #35’s line, but I certainly tried. I simply don’t have the same confidence yet to throw the car into the corner that hard! So, even though my on the track results weren’t the best, the worst points finish I’ve had in the three years in the division, it was a year of learning and getting ready to move up to the SS division next year. Off the track, it was by FAR the best season I’ve ever had. I had the opportunity to be involved in so many amazing experiences because of racing and my sponsors. I can’t thank everyone enough. Some amazing things I’ve been able to do this year were: In June, I was involved in the Charity BBQ for the local food bank with The Mortgage Station in Lefroy, Ontario. This BBQ brings out many local people and is always a lot of fun with a great group of people. Giving back to the community the way they do makes me proud to be a part of their team. (Facebook page: The Mortgage Station) In June, I was also lucky enough to spend the day with Canada’s Best Racing Team, Joey McColm and Erica Thiering, from the Nascar Canadian Tire Series. This was arranged by Mobil 1 and was simply an amazing day. To be able to be involved with the whole team, to see how things go on race day, was eye opening for me. I’ve spoken with Joey McColm many times since that day and he has been incredibly helpful in our discussions about racing and marketing. (Facebook Page: Canada’s Best Racing Team Inc.) Mobil 1, also provided me with another unique opportunity when they invited me to Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix. This was a fabulous experience. So many different types of cars racing, like nothing I have ever experienced in person before. In June, I became friends with the race engineer from Kyle Busch Motorsports. He has been a great help to me working on car control and my line etc. In August, KBM invited me to attend the Nascar Truck race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. This was an experience I will never forget. I spent the morning with the whole crew, got the inside view of what happens on race morning behind the scenes, met their drivers, Gray Gaulding and Matt Tift, then got to sit on the pit cart, right between the race engineer and the crew chief, for the race to see what they do. I thought this was the most awesome experience, but there was more to follow. They invited me to come down to Mooresville, North Carolina, to visit Kyle Busch Motorsports shop and spend the day with them. Words can’t even express how thrilled I was to be there. I was able to do the behind the scenes tour of the shop, and even better than that, I worked on Gray’s truck for the upcoming New Hampshire race at the end of the month. I installed the interior of the truck, like the seat belt, head and leg supports, mirrors etc. Truly an amazing opportunity that I will never forget. Also recenlty, I have teamed up with Laps4MD to support their efforts to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy. I am honoured to be a part of this program with them and can’t wait to start working with them. (Facebook page Laps for Muscular Dystrophy – please give them a like!!) The most amazing experience, to end off the 2015 season, was of course, being selected for the Drive 4 Diversity Youth Combine and to have a chance to showcase myself in North Carolina for a chance to race Legends in NC next summer. You can read all about it HERE (Link to the Drive for Diversity page on website) I can’t thank my crew, my Dad, Mom, Phil, Branden, Richard, Jerry and my crew chief, Josh, enough. They were always there to help and support me every step of the way. My sponsors have been absolutely wonderful. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to race. I love all the support they have given me, both on and off the track, for the amazing things they’ve included me in and for being a part of the 2015 Season. Special thanks to SE Telecom, Paul Quail Transport, Epic Racewear/One Promo.ca, Speedy Auto Machine, Mobil 1, Leading Edge Earthworks, The Mortgage Station, Wix and my Gramma, Lynne Tipton. Your support has been overwhelming and I truly appreciate everything you have done for me this year. Here’s hoping to an amazing 2016 season with you. I am racing one more time this year at Velocity at Sunset Speedway. I am looking forward to racing against Bob Bailey from Epic Racewear/One Promo.ca. Oh yeah, my Dad raced too! lol He finished 9th in the points at Sunset after spending the first half of the year in a horrible handling car, getting better as the season went on and missing a full night of racing. I think that my Dad showed everyone that he still has it! He is simply a great driver!! I almost wish he was still able to race next year, but unfortunately, this is his last season. Maybe I’ll let him race some specials in my SS next year. Dad, thanks for everything, you were amazing this year. I hope one day I can learn to drive a car as loose as you can and still make it work. Love you!