10th in OSCAAR Modified Points – Wally Wilson

Wally WilsonWith a focus on continuing to find speed each week, Wally Wilson walked away from his sophomore OSCAAR Modified campaign with a 10th-place finish in the standings.

After placing 10th in the standings for his rookie campaign, the Owen Sound driver had a focus on repeating, or bettering, those results for 2018.

“My goals for the new year aren’t much different than last year,” he said pre-season. “I’m aiming for another top 10 in standings at the end of the year for the modified. We’re really going to be stepping it up from last season; so I’m hoping it turns out well.”

Coming in with the approach to simply learn more, he ultimately achieved those goals by season’s end if you look at the results. Each track the series visited this year saw him better his performances from 2017, with the ability to remain on the lead lap throughout several events despite fighting pace issues at times.

Admittedly, the sophomore hit some snags mid-season when he made significant contact with the wall during practice at Jukasa Motor Speedway in June. There were also other events, like Sunset Speedway’s Velocity 250, in which he’d fail to finish due to mechanical issues. Still, Wilson did not let that deter him as his spirit remained high from the season opener to the last race.

Wilson would score six top-15 finishes on the season, including a career-best ninth-place finish at his home track of Sauble Speedway.

While he had success on the track, he also represented the series strongly across all social media platforms, while supporting causes like #Burnoutthebully and Laps for Muscular Dystrophy.

Wilson’s success is something that he is personally proud of, as well as the current direction of the modifieds.

“The state of the division right now is stronger than ever,” he commented. “We were all able to put on some of the best shows in Ontario last season, and had some of the highest car counts as well. Modifieds are always a fan favourite because they’re so evenly matched; the close open wheel racing keeps fans on the edge of their seats.”

By: Ashley McCubbin

10th in OSCAAR Hot Rod Points – Steve Mayhew

Steve MayhewExpanding on his success last season to compete in six races through the summer this past year, Steve Mayhew experienced some success en route to placing 10th in the OSCAAR Hot Rod points.

He would make his 2018 debut at the third event of this season, which took place at Kawartha Speedway on June 1. After showing speed on his old stomping grounds with a runner-up in the first heat, he would get sideways in the second qualifier, going around on the frontstretch in the midst of a crash. The team was able to get the car fixed for the feature later that night, though he’d be force to pull off the track early.

He would head to Jukasa Motor Speedway, hoping to rebound in style and was able to do exactly that. He ran inside the top-five throughout the event, making a late-race pass to score an OSCAAR career-best with a third-place finish.

Making his first trip to Sunset Speedway with OSCAAR, he showed potential with a fourth in the second heat, but ultimately was unable to get a handle on the Innisfil, Ontario oval with a 10th-place finish. Returning to Kawartha, it seemed the bad luck stuck around as he’d wind up ninth.

After a month-lay off, the Hot Rods headed to the beach with their first event at Sauble Speedway. Mayhew battled hard throughout the two-day weekend, crossing the finish line sixth in the feature.

Mayhew’s last start of the 2018 campaign came at Brighton Speedway, where he’d finish 10th after being one of the many cars to get caught up in an early incident.

10th in OSCAAR Pro Sprint Points: Kevin Taylor

Kevin TaylorRunning his debut season in the OSCAAR Pro Sprint Series, Kevin Taylor put together some impressive runs en route to placing 10th in the year-end standings.

The Richmond Hill native made his OSCAAR debut at Sunset Speedway’s Spring Velocity, running just outside of the top-five throughout the feature, before an excellent final restart to score a fifth-place finish. Returning to the Innisfil oval a month later, he showed the same speed with a runner-up in qualifying but ultimately ended up eighth in the feature.

His first trips to speedways ultimately produced some of his best performances. Going to Flamboro Speedway at the end of July, the night didn’t start well with a spin in the second qualifier. However, starting deep in the field, he would make his forward, passing Rob Summers on Lap 15 to score a fifth-place finish.

The speed of the No. K5 The Lisamore Group, Hinkley Lighting, Festun Decorating, Bukbrite, Living Lighting OSCAAR Pro Sprint showed through the summer, with sixth-place finishes in his first trips to Peterborough Speedway and Sauble Speedway.

After missing some events through September, he would make his return to the series for the final two weekends of competition. Across the three feature events he ran, he would score a pair of eighths, capping off the year with seven top-10’s.

In a year filled with talent, Kevin Taylor was one of those drivers who was overlooked by many at times during the season. However, with numbers like these in a rookie campaign with speed shown, you can expect him to contend for podiums in the years to come.

By Ashley McCubbin

Kelly Balson Scores First Career Modified Victory at ACC

OSCAAR Modified Kelly Balson at Peterborough SpeedwayKelly Balson made his Autumn Colours Classic at Peterborough Speedway special by scoring his first career OSCAAR Modified feature victory. Meanwhile, Cory Horner survived the chaos to be crowned the 2018 OSCAAR Modified Champion.

Gary Elliott won the first heat ahead of John Baker Jr., Brad Stevenson, John Harper, Dale Reinhart, Jason Keen, Bob Franks, and Chris Milwain. Tyler Di Venanzo would fail to take the green flag.

Kelly Balson won the second heat ahead of Chad Strawn, Gary McLean, Anthony DiBello, John Harper, A.J. Emms, Jase Cornell, Willow Barberstock, and Wally Wilson.

Shawn Chenoweth won the third heat ahead of Tim Tolton, Luke Gignac, Mike Hearty, and Craig Scott. Duane Cinnamon and Randy Hollingsworth failed to take the green flag, while Robert Warnes was disqualified.

John Harper won the fourth heat ahead of Baker Jr., Horner, Strawn, Stevenson, Cornell, Elliott, and Barberstock.

Anthony DiBello won the fifth heat ahead of McLean, Emms, Balson, Hearty, Tolton, and Wilson.

Chris Milwain won the sixth heat ahead of Reinhart, Gignac, Chenoweth, Keen, Franks, and Warnes.

Come feature time, John Baker Jr. started pole ahead of Kelly Balson, Shawn Chenoweth, Gary McLean, Anthony DiBello, Chad Strawn, John Harper, Luke Gignac, Cory Horner, and Dale Reinhart. Gary Elliott started 11th, followed by Tim Tolton, Brad Stevenson, Chris Milwain, A.J. Emms, Mike Hearty, Jason Keen, Bob Franks, Jase Cornell, Richard Warnes, Wally Wilson, Willow Barberstock, and Tyler Di Venanzo.

The feature didn’t start out smoothly, with Milwain and Hearty getting together in turn one, with Milwain tagging the turn one wall as Hearty went over the hump into the field. Di Venanzo was also involved, failing to avoid as he got into the turn one wall.

The second attempt to start the event went off with John Baker Jr. leading ahead of Balson, as Chenoweth and DiBello ran side-by-side for third. DiBello got the spot on Lap 2, with Harper moving into fourth a lap later ahead of Chenoweth and Horner.

Balson would then get alongside Baker Jr. for the lead on Lap 4, with the caution coming out three laps later for Emms spinning Tolton off turn four. With 46 laps to go, Balson led Baker Jr., DiBello, Harper, Chenoweth, Horner, McLean, Gignac, Strawn, Elliott, Stevenson, Reinhart, Keen, Cornell, Franks, Warnes, Emms, Barberstock, Wilson, and Tolton.

Balson got a good restart ahead of Baker Jr. and Harper, with Chenoweth and DiBello side-by-side for fourth on Lap 9, with Reinhart tagging Elliott mid-pack a lap later. Chenoweth moved into fourth on Lap 11 with Strawn up to fifth ahead of Stevenson, Horner, DiBello, Gignac, McLean, Cornell, and Keen. Harper would then get alongside Baker for second on Lap 14, taking the spot one lap later. Behind them, McLean made his way by Gignac for ninth at Lap 17.

Keen ran 11th ahead of Cornell, Reinhart, Emms, Tolton, Elliott, Warnes, Franks, Barberstock, and Wilson. The third caution then came out at Lap 23 for Horner spinning, collecting McLean and Gignac in the process. With 28 laps to go, Balson led Harper, Baker Jr., Chenoweth, Strawn, Stevenson, Keen, Cornell, Reinhart, Emms, Tolton, Elliott, Horner, Gignac, Wilson, Franks, Barberstock, and Warnes.

The attempt at a restart did not fly, courtesy of a jump by Harper. The second attempt produced the fifth caution with Stevenson spinning courtesy of Keen. The third attempt would see Reinhart spin Cornell, collecting Gignac in the process. The new running order saw Balson leading Harper, Baker Jr., Chenoweth, Strawn, Emms, Tolton, Elliott, Horner, Gignac, DiBello, Barberstock, Warnes, Keen, Stevenson, Wilson, Cornell, Reinhart, and Franks.

The fourth attempt worked with Balson leading Harper and Baker, as Strawn moved up into fourth ahead of Horner, Chenoweth, DiBello, Tolton, Emms, Gignac, Warnes, and Cornell. Emms would then get by Tolton to move into eighth on Lap 28, bringing Gignac through with him. Horner also continued his way back to the front, passing Strawn for fourth two laps later.

The seventh caution then came out on Lap 32 for Stevenson spinning on the backstretch, courtesy of Cornell. The first attempt at a restart saw another yellow flag for debris, as Harper slowed with a flat tire. He would head down pit road, changing it and rejoining the tail of the field.

Balson got a good restart as Horner moved into second ahead of Baker, Strawn, Chenoweth, and Emms. Chenoweth would get by Strawn for fourth on Lap 36, with Emms following him through. DiBello would get alongside Strawn for sixth, shoving him up the track off of turn four. The contact did both drivers no favors, as Strawn made significant contact with the frontstretch wall. Notably, Stevenson and Tolton caught a piece of the wreck in the process.

Due to hitting the time limit, single-file restarts would be the call for the rest of the event. The first attempt didn’t work, as Harper tried to jump from deep in the field to fifth on the outside before even getting through turn four.

The second attempt went clean with Kelly Balson scoring the victory, as Cory Horner finished second to clinch the 2018 OSCAAR Modified Championship. John Baker Jr. finished third, followed by Shawn Chenoweth, A.J. Emms, Luke Gignac, Robert Warnes, Gary Elliott, Jase Cornell, and John Harper. Dale Reinhart finished 11th, followed by Tim Tolton, Bob Franks, Willow Barberstock, Wally Wilson, Brad Stevenson, Jason Keen, Chad Strawn, Anthony DiBello, Gary McLean, Mike Hearty, Tyler Di Venanzo, and Chris Milwain. Craig Scott and Randy Hollingsworth failed to take the green flag.

By Ashley McCubbin

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