Final Reflections on the 2020 Season

OSCAAR Hot Rod Series at Sunset Speedway.

The opinions of the piece reflect those of the writer, Ashley McCubbin, as a final glance is taken back at the year that was.

The 2020 OSCAAR season was like no other, as the series worked around restrictions with tracks and fellow series to ensure competitors got to the track for a little action.

The strangest feeling was glancing up into the grandstands at each of the events, and seeing there was not many faces up there. With the government limiting attendance to just 100 people, it certainly is nowhere near filling even a quarter of the stands leaving a lot of bare wood and steel to see.

It almost makes it feel like a practice day, not giving you the same feeling and electricity as race day. It becomes even more noticeable when you watch a close battle for the lead, or fan favourite grace victory lane, and the cheers barely are loud enough to hear in the infield. It’s a feeling to be missed as you almost feel like you are on an island.

While not the sight you want to see, it may serve as the perfect reminder that you do not know what you have until it’s too late. For fans not being able to join us this year, hopefully it persuades you even harder to join us when the restrictions are lifted. For those who were there, maybe it encourages you to bring out new faces in hoping to ensure people are there so we never face this feeling.

Fans did get a taste of the action, though, thank you to GForceTV Network for carrying all of the events. The broadcast team worked hard in ensuring each venue they visited, they caught all of the angles so nothing was missed, while also making sure everybody was mentioned on air. Adam Ross, Greg Calnan, and Clinton Geoffrey deserve a round of applause for calling the action the whole way to ensure that happened.

During those events, the fans got treated to a show as the drivers certainly did not hold back despite this evidently being an exhibition shortened season of sorts. Each of the races saw fields bigger than 15 cars showcased for the divisions, with all of the heavy weights ensuring they made at least one appearance.

The open-wheel stars showcased high-speed at Canada’s Crown Jewel Jukasa Motor Speedway, and then turned around and put together some close battles for positions on back-to-back weeks at Sunset Speedway. The regular favourites for victories ran up front with Andy Kamrath and A.J. Emms each visiting victory lane, but new talent proved they’ll be part of the picture moving forward with T.J. Edwards getting a checkered flag of his own.

If you look back through the past eight years, the series has only continued to grow and evolve since the very first event at Sunset Speedway in 2012. It has become the proven ground for open-wheel asphalt competition in Ontario, and a series that drivers from numerous backgrounds have made their destination.

The Hot Rods were a series that everybody was excited about when they heard the notion, though wondered what would happen beyond the first couple events in seeing the growth taking a slow rate. Flash forward a couple years later, and everything envisioned is coming to fruition and beyond. The series has regular solid car counts, and some of the closest competition in the province.

You could say that the 2020 campaign was the perfect commercial, or tease for the years to come. The tight confines of Sauble Speedway saw the race come down to the final laps as drivers battled back-and-forth for every position from the lead to the back. Though then if you turn around and go to Jukasa Motor Speedway, you witnessed four drivers running similar lap times all the way through as they traded positions.

The fun factor is seeing the varying degrees of experience, from drivers who have only been involved for a couple years, to others who have ran multiple divisions over the past 20. The depth of competition was shown in seeing four different drivers grab a checkered flag, with another six or more quite easily capable of joining the club in the future.

OSCAAR Modifieds at Jukasa Motor Speedway 2020.

The success of everything together came with two of the biggest series in the province – OSCAAR and APC United Late Models of Ontario – working together with the track promoters to make everything come together. So to Luke Ramsay and your team, thank you for a fun summer.

Behind the scenes, OSCAAR has a bunch of dedicated staff that work together to make everything come together flawlessly when the drivers and teams are at the track, from when they arrive to the last checkered flag of the night. Most of their time and work goes unnoticed, but it would not be possible without them as stones would be left unturned.

Though for any series or team to be successful, they need a leader guiding them into the path of battle. OSCAAR is proud to have Dave Gainforth as our series president, working with everybody from staff, to drivers and teams, to track promoters, and our sponsors, to ensure everything come together. The time and effort by him does not go unnoticed by anybody involved with the series, and is one thing we’re very proud to have.

While 2020 was a very unconventional season, it proved that we can overcome challenges and come out stronger on the other side. The lessons learned from the year will only help us moving forward, and hopefully everything blossoms together for a stronger 2021.

Be sure to keep up with OSCAAR by staying tuned to the series website at Also, make sure to “like” the official OSCAAR Racing Facebook page, while following both the Twitter and Instagram accounts (@OSCAARRacing) to keep up to date on everything you need to know.

OSCAAR’s 2020 racing season was supported by several dedicated partners including Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC, Knightworks Design, Living Lighting Canada, Scott Reinhart Trailer Sales Ltd., Touchwood Cabinets, Sauble Falls Campground, The Fyre Place & Patio Shop, Ohsweken Speedway, American Racer, and Grisdale Race Products.

By: Ashley McCubbin

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