Seven Drivers Set For First Season in OSCAAR Modified

While the battle for race wins and the championship is always fun to watch, this year there will also be focus on the rookie of the year award. Entering the 2017 season, there are currently seven rookies on the roster for the OSCAAR Modifieds – Tim Tolton, Dave Hodgkinson, Ken Hayward, Jase Cornell, Marty Monette, Wally Wilson, and Mark Hamacher.

The drivers enter the year with a variety of different backgrounds as some have been involved in racing for years, while others just for a couple years.

Some of the names may be familiar, like Tim Tolton, as many will recall his son Bobby Tolton racing in OSCAAR a couple years ago. Tim is now set to take his turn, saying his team is “looking toltonmodifiedforward to a new challenge in a new series, and trying something a little different” this year. The opportunity fits also based on the Black Magic Racing’s current resources, the rules and schedule OSCAAR has to offer.

“I like the fact that they have parity in their rule package to allow different types of motors to be competitive and go to the winner circle, and it’s something that we’re looking forward to,” he said.

The schedule also opens the door for Tolton as he’ll be able to make his first trip to Kawartha Speedway, with the Fraserville, Ontario track returning for the first time since 2014.

“I’ve raced a bunch of different tracks around Ontario,” he said. “Kawartha is one that I’ve wanted to, but I haven’t had the chance to. The one time I was planning on going I couldn’t make it, so Kawartha is one that I’m looking forward to the most. Other than that, Full Throttle – my home track; it’s one that I tend to do well at.”

Without having a lot of modified experience, except for a couple races behind the wheel of his son Bobby Tolton’s car a couple years ago, the veteran is keeping his expectations wide-open, by stating he just wants to do the best he can for his sponsors, and possibly walk away with the Rookie of the Year Award.

He won’t be the only driver vying for the award, as Dave Hodgkinson also plans to run the full schedule this season, making the transition for four-cylinder modifieds. The veteran says he’s looking forward to it, focused on having a good time each week.

“I’m not out there to win anything,” he added. “If I’m running second or third, I’ll go for it, but I realize I’m up against some tough competition.”

Looking at the schedule, he is excited about is making the trip to Kawartha as it’s “one track that I’ve never been on so I’m looking forward to it. I’ve watched a few there a couple years ago, and thought they were great.” It’ll partially be a throwback to the big events he ran in the United States at tracks like Salem Speedway and Winchester Speedway with the four-cylinder modified.

“I used to travel with the ARCA Pro 4 in the States, and I went to Cincinnati, Ohio, and that’s the first time I ventured out and went on a big half-mile, and that’s when I screamed my lungs out,” he recalled. “It was like ‘yeeehaaaw’ all the way around. In the years that I’ve raced, I’ve traveled in the States a bit and run with that division. Salem, Indiana was also a wild experience. With the banking, you don’t let off. I thought there was something wrong with my racecar the first time that I went because I realized my foot was in it going around the corner.”

For Hodgkinson, he got started in racing back in 1975, beginning with racing on ice up in Hallyburton. He then transitioned to running Mini Stock at Sauble Speedway, before joining the Ontario mark1Mini Stock Association at the time and running the four-cylinder modifieds. Now going into 2017, he was looking for a change in pace.

“When I first joined the four cylinder modifieds, they were a traveling show years ago, and I enjoyed that part going to the different tracks,” he said. “But as the years went on, they kind of evolved and ended up at Flamboro, and being at just one track I’m getting tired of.”

While the first two rookies have recent experience, the same can’t be said for Ken Hayward, who will make his return behind the wheel for the first time in nine years. Hayward has been raced in OSCAAR, and will be using the super late chassis from 2005 to build his modifed from with crew chief Terry Coats.

“I look forward to it,” he said. “I missed the competition and comradery with other drivers, but been busy with other stuff.”

Going into the season, he says the primary object is to “have fun,” and believes he can run up front throughout the season.

“I was known for being competitive so if we’re somewhere fifth through 10th to start out, that’d be great, and then build from here,” he said.

A glance at the schedule has him excited for Peterborough Speedway as “you can get a head of steam” there, but also the return to Kawartha Speedway twice this season.

Growing up with 13 siblings, Hayward got interested in racing at a young age, helping his older brothers with their cars at the track. He then took his chance behind the wheel, racing a go-kart followed by a street stock at Delaware Speedway. Over the years, he says there’s been lots of great moments, including running the traveling series and racing both a Street Stock & Late Model at the same time at Barrie Speedway.

Jase Cornell is also marking his return back to racing this year, as it will his first time back behind the wheel in close to 10 years, which has him focusing on learning for 2017.wallywilson3

“I’m going into this year trying to keep an open mind, cool head, and staying out of trouble,” he said. “The OSCAAR modified series has lots of great competitive guys running in it, so my plan is to pay attention and earn their respect.”

Cornell made the decision to go OSCAAR racing as he’s always had a “soft spot” for the “ground pounding excitement of the modifieds,” and feels the series is”well-organized” and draws out the best competition in Ontario.

Going into the year, he says he hopes to contend for rookie of the year, despite knowing the “stiff competition,” with eyes set on finishing in the top-five in points. And like those before him, Kawartha Speedway is where his eyes are set on after loving each past experience on the fast oval in the past.

The Amsoil sponsored driver got started in racing in the 1990s, after his brother-in-law thought it’d be fun to build a thunder car.

“He worked at it tirelessly all by himself until one day I felt sorry for him and offered to give him a hand,” Cornell recalled. “Next thing you know, we were in it neck deep and loving every minute. I continued helping him for 3 or 4 years, but knew driving is where I wanted to be. That winter a friend was selling his modified, so I bought it and went racing that spring at Mosport and in the OMA hunder Series. I wrecked a lot of stuff that year.”

While some may not know Cornell, a lot will recognize Marty Monette, following his success behind the wheel of a thunder car at Barrie Speedway and Sunset Speedway. He’s set for a new challenge this year, set to drive a Craig Ellis-owned, Brian MacDonald prepared modified with Al McCaughey calling the shots as the crew chief.

“I mean, it’s a bit of an unknown for me,” Monette said. “Getting into a modified is a completely different animal than I am used to.  First and foremost, I can’t thank Craig enough for giving me the opportunity. I can’t express that enough. There’s not too many guys out there that are willing to put up the money for somebody else to drive their stuff. I’m just really thankful.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to racing some different people, like Gary McLean. I’ve always followed him so interesting to see how you stack up against a guy of that talent. Raced a bit with Luke (Gignac) – always a good runner. Gary Elliott will make a couple appearances – never raced against him, so that should be cool. I’m just entering the year with an open mind and hoping everything works out for a good year.”

Going into the year, Monette is keeping his goals in check, but  feels with seat time over the season that he can be competitive.Marty Monette 2017

“I know that racing is money oriented and I think the money is being spent in the right places and I think when it comes down to the driver, once I get some seat time, I think we can run top-five,” he said. “Maybe that’s a lofty goal, but I’m really hoping to keep the wheels on it and having some good finishes.”

Like Tolton before him, the excitement is the biggest for Kawartha Speedway, as Monette hasn’t raced there in his career to date.

“I practiced there once in the thunder car and loved it,” he said. “So really looking forward to going back and seeing the speed we can generate in the mod there. Varney (Full Throttle Motor Speedway) should be interesting. Don’t have the greatest track record at Flamboro, but will probably be interesting there. But Kawartha is pretty much where I’m thinking I will have the most fun.”

While the previous names are new to OSCAAR, Wally Wilson isn’t as he has spent the past two years racing as part of the OSCAAR Midget tours. Following a career season in 2016, he announced he had purchased a modified for 2017.

“I couldn’t be any happier,” he said. “This is a huge step in my career. I’m very grateful for everyone that has helped me get to this point! I can’t wait to race with guys I’ve been watching for years.”

Going into the season, he’s focused on getting as much track time as possible to learn hopes of scoring a victory down the road; he also feels confident in saying he’ll be a top-10 competitor by year-end.

This past season, Wilson experienced success behind the wheel of both his Pro Midget and Midget, finishing in the top-five in both series standings. Behind the wheel of his OSCAAR Midget, Wilson put together a solid sophomore campaign with top-10s on a weekly basis en route to finishing fourth in points. Meanwhile, in the Pro Midget, he was able to put together a season without any finishes outside of the top-seven en route to finishing second in the series points. In both divisions, he also picked up the t RTR – Sirius 167 Hard Charger Award.

Lastly, Mark Harmacher is set to make his return behind the wheel for the first time since 1990.

“I’m a bit anxious to get back out on the track,” he said. “I have always loved the modified class throughout my life and now I have the opportunity to finally get out in one…on my bucket list you could say.”

The Canada Tubeform sponsored driver always wanted to get behind the wheel as a kid going to the tracks with his father and brother, getting his start in off-road dune buggies as a teenager. He then transitioned to racing street stocks at Delaware, and notes his most memorable moment was “winning three out of four races on a double header weekend at Delaware – second and first in the features, first in both heats.”

Currently set on a partial schedule with just a couple events, Harmacher is focused on getting seat time and being competitive by season’s end.
By: Ashley McCubbin

Mckenzie Hamilton Set for Rookie Campaign

noel hamilton

As the days continue to countdown to the season, the reveals have been forth coming. A couple weeks ago, Noel Hamilton revealed the No. 88 OSCAAR Pro Midget, which his daughter Mckenzie will race this season in her rookie campaign.

The car caught the attention of many, which is no surprise as Noel says they always make sure their designs “let you know it a girl’s cart and stand out catch the eye.”

For Mckenzie, she was intrigued to try OSCAAR for this season after having spent the past few years at Grand Bend Speedway, and now wanting to try something new.

“My thoughts are that it will be fun and very interesting for me to be joining a new class and being able to race against many good drivers in it,” she said.

Going into the year, she says her goals are to “keep up with the pack in every race, and have a good race seasons,” notably that she’s excited to race twice at Grand Bend this year with it being her home track.

The team enters the season knowing the car can run well as James Marche drove for them in the final two races, experiencing success. He finished fourth after sprocket issues at the Autumn Colours Classic, followed by a win a week later at Frostoberfest.

For Hamilton, she got her start in 2007 at Grand Bend Speedway after watching her brother run the microsprints.

“I found myself very engaged while watching the racing but I mainly just wanted to be on the track with them,” she said. “So I talked to my dad and the next race season I started in the Jr. B division at Grand Bend Speedway.”

She ran in the Jr B division for three years, before moving up to the Jr A Division. The progression continued with her moving up to the 9 HP Modiifed Microsprint Division in 2012, taking home the championship and rookie of the year all together. She then backed it up a year later with another championship after winning every race that season.

With success coming fast, her father made the decision to build a 440 suspended outlaw sprint to be raced on dirt at Wonderland Speedway for 2014.

“We brought it out midway through 2014; she did awesome,” Noel said. “In the off season, the owner of Wonderland speedway passed away leaving nowhere to run our outlaw for 2015 season.

“Then Brad Clarke from Grand Bend Speedway mentioned the OSCAAR Pro Midgets Division for the 2016 season. I, the owner and father, wanted to but with Mckenzie working two jobs and attending college, it wasn’t fesible.”

However, it appears the pieces are coming together this season, with hopes of success all year long.

Going into the year, the father-daugther duo would like to thank Autofusion Towing, Tommy’s Custom Exhaust & Auto Repair, For&L Farm’s, Wilds Printing, Mcnichol Welding & Fabricating, and Jcar Racing Products for their support.

By Ashley McCubbin

OSCAAR to Help Raise Money for Bravehearts at Full Throttle Motor Speedway

 

northwellingtonbravehearts

As part of the first race of the 2017 season, OSCAAR is set to give back to the community.
In partnership with Tim Tolton and Black Magic Racing, OSCAAR will be raising money for the Ontario Special Olympics – North Wellington “Bravehearts” at Full Throttle Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 21.
The track’s weekly 50/50 draw will see funds donated to the Bravehearts. Though as an added incentive, each ticket purchased will allow you to a chance to win one of the many additional bonus prizes.
Special Olympics is a “non-profit, multi-sport organization” focused on providing sports training, through four sports clubs and competition, to meet the needs and interests of people with intellectual disabilities. Across Ontario, there are 14,000 athletes currently apart of the program.
The Wellington North group currently features over thirty athletes who get the chance to work with the group’s registered volunteers and coaches.
You can find out more information about the Wellington North Bravehearts at http://www.nw-bravehearts.com/.
Black Magic Racing worked with the group last year, raising money through an event at Full Throttle Motor Speedway, as well as taking part in a bowling tournament with some of the athletes.
Tim Tolton is just one of the seven rookies that will be in the field for the OSCAAR Modifieds this year, alongside many familiar faces.
Also on the card for the weekend at Full Throttle Motor Speedway is the Fun Stocks, Mini Stocks, Late Models, Street Stocks, Jr Late Models, Mini Trucks, V8 Pure Trucks, Crazy Trains, Kid Stock, as well as the inaugural event for the OSCAAR Hot Rods.
So make sure to come on out for the first race of the season and enjoy some action, while meeting and supporting these awesome athletes.

By: Ashley McCubbin

Trevor Monaghan Returning to Super Late Model Competition

After spending the past 11 years away from super late model competition, Trevor Monaghan will be back behind the wheel of a super late model as part of the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour in 2017.

“I’m very excited to be back racing in OSCAAR,” he said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a super late model. The last time was 2006 at New Smyrna in the World Series of Asphalt.”

The opportunity came about when he noticed a car up for sale during the off-season, and knew he wanted to get back into it.

“There is nothing like racing a super late model,” he said. “I’ve driven and tested a few different types of cars, ARCA, NASCAR Pintys, Late Models, Challengers, Thunder Stocks – but they don’t compare to a super.”

Even though he’s only ran about 20 races in the past 12 years, he has his goal set on winning one of the events this season on the schedule. As to which of those he’s most excited about, that’d be the series’ return to Kawartha Speedway.

“The last time I raced there in a super was 2001 and I led a bunch of laps with drivers such as Hanley, Zardo, Fletcher, Clarke, McGinnis, Robinson, in the field,” he recalled.

For Monaghan, everything began at Flamboro Speedway in a street stock in 1995.

“My uncle Dan Monaghan raced against the best racers in Canada and when he hung up his shoes, my career got going,” he said.

From there on, he was able to have success, picking up the Flamboro Speedway Championship in 1999, setting a record at the time for the most single wins in a seat at 12 out of 24 events. He then made the move to OSCAAR in 2000, taking home the Rookie of the Year Award for his biggest series moment.

“I had a few second place finishes but never did get a win, so I’m really excited to see what this car has in it,” he said. “There is some very tough competition and my car is a little older so I’ll need a bit of luck on my side.

“I have to thank my sponsors – Seven Star Express Line Ltd, Mackesy Smye Lawyers, AW Millwrights, Doug Wright Motorsports, New Generation Racing Engines, W.E Davies Opticians, RESTORAID, Jukasa Designs, Janene The Travel Agent Next Door and Legendary Landscapes.”
By: Ashley McCubbin

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