9th in OSCAAR Modified Points: Jason Bowden

Jason BowdenCompeting in the OSCAAR Modified ranks for the first time, Jason Bowden had an impressive rookie campaign en route to placing ninth in the series standings.

The season opener would see some hiccups, as expected in learning a new series and car, as Bowden went around for a spin in qualifying, followed by another during the feature. Despite both of those incidents, he was able to rebound by the checkered flag with a ninth-place finish.

The speed of the No. 33 showed through in the series’ first trip to Kawartha Speedway, as he did well in qualifying with a runner-up. That continued through the feature as starting up front, he ran in the top-five throughout the event en route to placing fifth. He then followed that up with a 11th-place finish at Jukasa Motor Speedway.

The month of July did not start out well, as a pair of incidents at Sunset and Kawartha produced finishes outside of the top-15. He was caught up in another wreck at Flamboro Speedway, though managed to rebound this time for an eighth-place finish.

The bad luck followed him into August, as he was caught up in an early crash at Peterborough Speedway. However, the pair of trips to Sauble Speedway saw the luck start to turn around with a 10th and an eighth.

Returning to Sunset, Bowden was once again fast, but also found the familiar bad luck as he was caught up in a crash in turn four. He did have an opportunity to finish his season off decently, ultimately finishing 11th at Flamboro despite a pair of incidents.

If Bowden can avoid the trouble that seemed to find him through his rookie campaign, expect him to get stronger as a driver and possibly step foot on the podium in 2019.

By: Ashley McCubbin

9th in OSCAAR Hot Rod Series Points: Derek Henderson

Derek HendersonAfter getting his feet wet last season with a couple races behind the wheel of Dan Price’s ride, Derek Henderson debuted his own car this season and was able to put together some strong runs.

Despite fighting issues in the season opener at Sunset Speedway, Henderson was able to score an 11th-place finish to start off the year.

The summer stretch, beginning at Kawartha in June and ending there in July, produced some of his best races for the season. He started off at Kawartha by finishing eighth, followed by a seventh in the series’ inaugural event at Jukasa Motor Speedway. He then finished seventh at Sunset Speedway on Canada Day weekend following a late-race pass. Returning to Kawartha, he would score a 13th-place finish.

He would miss some races through the fall stretch, though was able to make it out to the final two events. Unfortunately, neither event would work out as he planned. He finished 14th at Sunset Speedway after being involved in a heat incident. The following weekend, a wreck in the qualifying race would force Henderson to load the No. 17 on the trailer before the feature.

Even with the bad luck that plagued him during the second half of the year, the speed was clearly there as evident by the summer stretch. Combined with the knowledge that the team plans to cut and rebuild over the winter – with a mystery man helping them, expect Henderson to be faster in 2019.

By: Ashley McCubbin

9th in OSCAAR Pro Sprint Points – Brody Rickwood

Brody RickwoodGaining speed as the season went behind the wheel of his new car, Brody Rickwood found the podium en route to finishing ninth in the OSCAAR Pro Sprint standings.

Unfortunately, his 2018 debut at Flamboro Speedway didn’t pan out as he wanted, with mechanical issues plaguing him throughout the night en route to a 12th-place finish. He showed potential, though, as he had the speed to run in the top-five in qualifying.

He was quick at Peterborough Speedway, as well, winning both of his qualifying heats. He would pace the beginning laps of the feature, but ultimately faded to eighth by the checkered.

With the bad luck out of the way early, Rickwood was ready to end his season on a high.

The two-day show at Grand Bend Speedway would produce a pair of heat victories, along with a two top-five finishes including a fourth on Saturday to tie his career-best to date.

After scoring a track-best sixth at Flamboro last year, he would show speed right from the start of the Frostoberfest event in 2018. He made his way to the front in the early stages, running with the leaders en route to his first career podium finish with a third. He then backed it up with a fourth in the second feature.

By: Ashley McCubbin

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

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