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

OSCAAR Champs Take Part in Short Track Night of Champions

One of the long standing traditions at the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo is the Short Track Night of Champions, which sees all the pavement and dirt champions from Ontario appear on stage throughout the ceremonies. As they have in the past, OSCAAR was once again part of the fun.

Three of the four Champions were in attendance for the event – OSCAAR Super Late Model Champion J.R. Fitzpatrick, OSCAAR Modified Champion Gary McLean, and OSCAAR Pro Midget Champion Ted Greenwood.

For Fitzpatrick, this past season was his first career Super Late Model Championship after making a move to the series in 2015 following success in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series. The Ayr, Ontario native admitted on stage that it took some time to get used to the super late cars, including the amount of power that they have.

“I’ve been racing quite a while, since I was six years old, I don’t think I’ve quite mastered the pedal work yet,” he noted. “But luckily, we were able to make it work.”

Fitzpatrick also took time to thank his team for their support en route to two victories and eight top-fives throughout the year.

“I got a lot of people to thank,” he said. “Chris, Shawn, Deon – everybody knows how much work this is to race. My fiance Alaura for being so supportive. My father-in-law for getting me to the track every week. And obviously I want to thank all the promoters – not just on the asphalt side, but the dirt side. Racing is getting harder so without the track promoters, we wouldn’t have a place to race. So thanks to all you guys.”

While this was Fitzpatrick’s first OSCAAR Championship, the modified champion marks Gary McLean’s fifth straight championship.

The fact quickly made host Adam Ross question how races McLean has won to date. While there was no exact number mentioned, like a true driver he was quit to note he’s also lost “quite a few,” and “could make a list of them that I would go back and do again.”

Of course, being as successful as it is, it certainly puts a target on McLean as the “guy to beat,” which is something he doesn’t mind.

“It’s pretty rewarding when you go on the track and see everybody run up with a stop watch to check it out because we know that it gets in their heads a little bit and we don’t have to race them as hard,” he said.

While noting his success, he also stated how much the competition has stepped it up over the years as “all the modified guys are stepping up – they race hard and race well.” Like Fitzpatrick, he thanked his team for their support.

“First of all, I have to thank the guys that work on the car,” McLean said. “Greg Gibson owns the car and puts together a spectacular piece. Those guys work so hard to get that car ready and have a good piece every time. Over than that, just the sponsors that sponsor the series, OSCAAR. Don’t know if we’re doing that this year, but it’s really good when you have sponsors that come forward and put a series together, and keep everybody going.”

Ted Greenwood also took to the stage as the Pro Midget Champion, though spent more time talking about the series overall following their inaugural campaign.

“It was a really good year because we started off a few car count and built up the class and ended up with 16 cars at Autumn Colours so we could put up a pretty good show,” he said. “Now we’re up to 32 guys, so next year we will be able to put lots of cars on the track. So it should be a lot of fun and better next year, so I’m looking forward to that.”

Greenwood went on to thank the short track promoters for taking a chance on the division and believing in OSCAAR to put on a first year of shows, knowing the counts would start off low.

“By the end of the year we got the numbers that they wanted, and now they all know that we’re going to double the count for next year,” he said. “It’s going to be great. I love the competition. We’re going to do things a little differently – we’re going to invert so the winner from next year is going to have to start dead last and come through the pack. So we’re going to put on a show for these promoters and owners, and that’s going to be put fans in the stands and that’s what we need in this country. The fan base is pretty low right now. We need to get that back up.”

Like those before him, Greenwood thanked his team for their support.

“First of all, I have to thank my accountant, which is my wife, for allowing me to spend all this money,” he said. “I have to thank my crew for coming out and helping an old man like me have some fun.”

By Ashley McCubbin

OSCAAR President Dave Gainforth Ready for an Exciting Season

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As part of the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo, OSCAAR President Dave Gainforth spent some time on the stage speaking about the upcoming season, among other topics, with fellow short track promoters from across the province of Ontario.

Notably, the success of last season was recognized with Gainforth noting it was a great year for OSCAAR across the four divisions – OSCAAR Super Late Models, OSCAAR Modifieds, OSCAAR Pro Midgets and OSCAAR Midgets.
“Lots of activity with the divisions,” he said. “It’s not an easy thing to do but I have a great group that’s supportive of the series. But we had a great year last year and looking forward to more now.”

The Pro Midgets were one of the bigger topics of discussion, as a result of this past year being their inaugural season.

“The pro midgets are an idea that Charles Priestley had three or four years ago to put suspension on the Hurricane Midgets,” Gainforth said. “Our first year first race, we had four cars, but by the end of the year we had 16 cars. Right now going into the year, we have 27 drivers registered so we’re very happy.”

The other key marker in the discussion was the new Hot Rod Series, which will debut this year with an eight race schedule – seven asphalt events, and a dirt race at Brighton Speedway.

“I grew up going to dirt racing as Brighton was my home track,” Gainforth said. “So when I started this division, I always thought it’d be great to take it to the dirt. I thought it’d be neat to have a division in Ontario that ran both pavement and dirt. So when I spoke to Mark this year through the off-season and being apart of the 50th anniversary night, it was a no-brainer.

“My guys are excited about it. None of them have ever raced on dirt before so it’ll be a whole new experience for them and I know someone is going to go off the back straightaway right into the little creek out there. I think it’ll be a great season.”

Even with the focus seeming to be on these two divisions, the Super Late Models and the Modifieds aren’t far from the radar, either, as there were some notable cost saving measures discussed during pre-season driver’s meetings.

In the fan’s eyes, a super late model is one of the most expensive cars to race with the mod quite expensive as well,” he said. “We took steps this year with the drivers to cut the money every week. We cut back on the tire bill this year. For the super late models, we cut it in half this year, probably saving around $3500 this year. For the modifieds, they’re saving around $1200 this year.

“For both our top divisions, if you come last in the feature, you covered your weekend expenses and it’s more important for a traveling series because our bill is bigger with traveling and we’re taking the steps to ensure that the traveling division stays strong and all the competitors are there each week. It is relative, but if we’re taking steps at it, it helps on top of that.”

While the excitement is there with each of the divisions, it’s also worth noting that the excitement surrounding the series’ return to Kawartha Speedway for the first time in a couple years was discussed, as well. Gainforth brought it up as part of the panel’s discussion in attracting new fans, mentioning the challenges they’re facing.

“The thing that we’re facing this year is Kawartha hasn’t been open the past couple of years and there’s no solid fan base there,” he said. “So we’re trying to figure out different things to do to get people there for both events because it’s very hard to do this as a one-off. It’s very nerve wracking.”

However, with that noted, there’s also excitement into getting to the other tracks, and working with each track’s perspective promoter to put on a good show.

“I don’t know what’s worse being a promoter or series director, but it’s awesome working with all the other promoters in Ontario,” he said. “I see what they do to help get their track out there and such.

“It’s a gamble, even for a weekly show. The people have to be entertained because you’re trying to keep people’s attention for three hours. There’s a lot of different things that they could do, but there’s a lot of good things that the promoters are doing to keep them coming every week.”

With positive thoughts on the mind across the board, this year is bound to another season full of success.

By: Ashley McCubbin

Pro Midgets on Display at The Speed & Custom Car Show

Fresh off a successful weekend at Motorama, the jam-packed car show season continues for OSCAAR as we prepare for the 2017 season. A pair of the OSCAAR Pro Midgets will be on display this weekend at The Speed & Custom Car Show.

Taking place at the Western Fair District in London, The Speed & Custom Car Show will fill over 70,000 square feet with old classics, bright racers, as well as shiny new dream cars, sure to please the gear head in all of us!

Cassidy Marsh will be unveiling his new look for the season in the Rust?Check booth at the show. Last season, Marsh was impressive in his five races, scoring no finishes outside of the top-seven with three top-fives and a heat victory.

Meanwhile, Noel Hamilton will also be at the show as well with his No. 88 Pro Midget. Hamilton enters the second season of Pro Midget racing as a series rookie.

The OSCAAR Pro Midgets put together an impressive debut season last year, with fans entertained with the close racing on a weekly basis as the division grew over the course of the season. The series also saw incredible growth, going from four cars at the season opener to 16 at Autumn Colours Classic. Currently, there’s over 25 drivers registered for the 2017 season.

Details about The Speed & Custom Car Show can be found at http://www.westernfairdistrict.com/londoncarshow.

By: Ashley McCubbin

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