Message from OSCAAR President Dave Gainforth

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30th Anniversary of OSCAAR – Dave Gainforth

dave gainforth

Over the past 30 years, OSCAAR has thrilled fans across the province of Ontario with side-by-side thrilling battles right down to the checkered flag.

Although we’re currently staying at home to stay safe, the anniversary is special to everybody involved in the series, past and present, from originators and the officials, to the drivers and fans.

OSCAAR felt it was the perfect time to pay homage to our beginnings, and catch up with past and current faces to get their thoughts on the occasion.

Through the growth and changes of OSCAAR, there have been different people in charge of righting the ship. Over the past decade, the tough decisions have ultimately fallen on the shoulders of Dave Gainforth as the series president.

“With the 2020 race season being OSCAAR’S 30TH Anniversary, it brings me great pride,” Gainforth said. “I have been able to play a small role in keeping the dream alive that the founding members started in the off season of 1989. I would have been in the grandstands at the first OSCAAR event at the new ½ mile oval Mosport Speedway when the Super Late Models were a weekly division so you could say I been there since the beginning.

oscaar hot rod series

“To see the many struggles and obstacles that OSCAAR has had to overcome to make it to this point is truly amazing. When I stop and look back and reflect on things, it just shows that with hard work, determination that nothing is impossible to accomplish in a very difficult sport.

“The many Presidents, the dedicated staff members, the race teams and sponsors over the past 30 years are all part of the reason OSCAAR is still the providing race fans the best in short track racing each and every week.”

Gainforth wasn’t always making the big decisions, but rather started his journey via writing the payout cheques for the teams each race night. His involvement grew from there, as he developed the original series website, while doing race reports.

As the series headed into the early 2000s with Kim Robinson Mahoney serving as the president, Gainforth’s responsibilities grew and change as he became the race director.

“I would spend time in the flag stand for a few events, did tech and in the tower overseeing the race events,” Gainforth commented. “Kim and I had a great working relationship and I am glad to say our friendship continues to this day. I took a year off before becoming president and I guess you can say the rest is history.

“I have to say this has been a great experience. I know I have made a great many friends, some enemies, made some mistakes, also made some great decisions to help OSCAAR continue. It was actually myself and Kim that brought back the Outlaw body style to the super lates which gives them to this day their own identity which is very important in this business. It’s been a long road lots of different experiences and emotions but looking back, I wouldn’t have changed anything, so I guess that means I have done a pretty decent job and have had fun.”

With Gainforth at the helm, the OSCAAR brand has seen several changes, with the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds presented by Scott Reinhart Trailer Sales Ltd., Touchwood Cabinets, and The Fyre Place & Patio Shop brought into the fold in 2012. Gainforth says there were a few reasons for adding the open-wheel class, with the first of those in giving OSCAAR the ability to have standalone shows.

oscaar modified series

“At the time Promoters were starting to give their weekly divisions nights off and I wanted them to be able to book OSCAAR only on those nights I wanted to be able to bring a complete show,” he explained.

There was also the chance to enable the modifieds to be a feeder division for the super late models at the time, but Gainforth says he quickly learned open-wheel drivers are dedicated to their division.

“At the time the decision was made, to start the OSCAAR Mods, there were three groups all of which had some cars,” he added. “I wanted to see if they could be brought together to make one big Modified series. I had always enjoyed the look for the Mods; they were unique like the Outlaw Super Lates and I thought the race fans of Ontario would enjoy seeing all the best in Mod action racing together each week.”

Through the past eight years, Gainforth admits that there were some mistakes made, but he feels the current standing of the series speaks for itself.

“Car counts are great, the cars look amazing, and most importantly, the racing on the tracks for the past couple of years, you would be hard pressed to find anything better,” he commented. “Any Mod driver will tell you that you would be hard pressed to find anything more exciting to drive, for the investment you need to make. I personally think our product is the best, the rules are locked in until the end of the 2023 race season, drivers know their investment is solid, they are not spending money in off season in silly rules changes that don’t need to happen.”

While the modifieds have captured the hearts of many, it seems the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods presented by Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Park having been doing the same since their inception in 2017. Gainforth says he was inspired to create the series having grown up watching his heroes drive 50-70s body style cars.

oscaar pro sprint series

“When a few Ontario racers built Super / Street stocks with older bodies in the years prior to the series, I saw how people including myself were drawn to them. It brought back memories of their childhood at the track,” he explained. “So one night I posted a picture of a old style race car in the states and made a comment. Well it took about five minutes for Darryl Stephenson to contact me to see if I was serious about this, then Josh Watson that same night offered to help put a rule book together with Mike Langley and it just hit the ground running from there.

“The key thing I stressed is that it had to be an economical division of racing, I wanted to bring people back to racing that had been priced out of the sport. If they had older parts I wanted to them to still come and have fun; that is why till this day everyone still gets paid the same at the end of the night.”

It’s no secret the Hot Rods were not opened with open arms, as Gainforth admits it was tough through the first couple years, but he has been determined to watch it be successful.

“I knew the fans would love it if they were given the chance,” he commented. “To be honest, I never expected the series to grow like it has. It is actually very overwhelming to see the excitement behind the series; the dedication from the fans is amazing. When you stop and look back in three short years to build an entirely new division to where we are now in 2020 is something you just don’t see very often in racing. I cannot thank all the teams that believed in my dream and helped bring it to the reality it is today.”

Often overlooked, the Living Lighting OSCAAR Pro Sprints are also a very critical part of the series as a whole, which came about via Charles Priestly who helped build the division from the ground up.

“These cars are super fast and put on some great racing every week,” Gainforth commented. “What I most like about this series, you have young adults 16 years old to men in their 50’s. The cars look amazing with their Sprint Car identity and the division is quickly growing with new drivers coming on board this year. Again, it is not easy to build something from the ground up, but together we did it.”

With successful groundwork laid and DNA, it seems the future is very positive for OSCAAR heading into the next five, 10 years, and even beyond that.

“Unfortunately with Covid 19 virus coming and changing everything so fast, it has presented our sport a temporary setback,” Gainforth commented. “I am very confident that our sport will survive this, but there will be some adjusting to do by everyone. I am not only talking about the guidelines as people we have to live by but the business side of the sport as well.

“This has hurt a lot of businesses, which promoters and teams all rely on for support. Whether it was a $100.00 sponsorship or a $100,000.00 sponsorship businesses either cannot afford to pay or will be revaluating where they do spend their marketing dollars. Race tracks need to open to give us a place to live; they need to make a profit. I know the cost of hosting events; I have done it, and I know the very slim margin they operate within.

OSCAAR President Dave Gainforth with Flagman Bob Finnegan

“It is going to be my job as President going forward to ensure all of the OSCAAR series division continue to be economically feasible for the drivers. By locking all the rules for all classes in till 2023 is a good start. Racers love to spend money and sometimes they need to be protected from themselves.”

Gainforth went on to add that he has spoken with each of the track promoters over the past few weeks, offering his and the series’ support fully in whatever needs to be done to assist them to ensure racing continues for years to come.

“We are all in this together, and I know looking back on 30 years of OSCAAR history we will adjust as need and continue,” he added. “In closing, I would just like to say thank you to OSCAAR for giving me a chance to perhaps make a slight difference in the history of our sport here in Ontario. It’s been a fun ride and I look forward to the next 10 years when we will be celebrating our 40th Anniversary together.”

Be sure to keep up with OSCAAR by staying tuned to the series website at http://www.oscaar.ca. 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

30th Anniversary of OSCAAR – Dave Taylor

dave taylor

Over the past 30 years, OSCAAR has thrilled fans across the province of Ontario with side-by-side thrilling battles right down to the checkered flag.

Although we’re currently staying at home to stay safe, the anniversary is special to everybody involved in the series, past and present, from originators and the officials, to the drivers and fans.

OSCAAR felt it was the perfect time to pay homage to our beginnings, and catch up with past and current faces to get their thoughts on the occasion.

In looking back at the past 30 years and seeing where OSCAAR is now, Dave Taylor only had one simple reaction – “It’s good to see it still around.”

While still around, the original intentions of OSCAAR were certainly differed from how they changed over the years. After all, the board of directors – along with other influences like big-time car owner Jerry Hicks, had a different vision when the Ontario Association for Asphalt Stock Car Racers came together. It was all about providing a series for affordable super late model racing at the time.

“We wanted to encourage some of the guys in pure stock and late model to come race with us,” Taylor recalled. “We originally got rid of all the big motors, and we had a cast iron motor rule, which was quite economical at the time; we also gave weight breaks for older chassis just to try and get guys out. it worked pretty good as we got a few.

“We didn’t change the rules year to year, either. Our rules meeting back in the day, the first two years, there was no rules discussed; we just discussed the tire rule and where we were racing. The rules stayed the same.”

The result was tight competition through the field, and a steady growth that allowed OSCAAR to become as well known as it has today. After all, the super lates had a lot of great appeal in being light, fast, and looking nice.

Those years produced several memorable moments for Taylor, as he noted there were several memories he could recall when asked to share his favourite.

“Winning the Don Biederman Memorial would be my biggest one, as I respected that man a lot,” Taylor commented. “He was my hero, so winning that Don Biederman Memorial was my biggest win.”

For Taylor, his racing beginnings did not start with a stock car, but rather snowmobiles as he ran those for almost 20 years.

“I was racing snowmobiles, starting racing sleds in high school, and there was three of us in Grade 12 and we skipped a class,” Taylor recalled. “We were going down the side roads and we saw a street stock car for sale in a farm field. So we put all of our money together and bought it, and that’s how it started.”

In his experience through the years, the one piece advice he has to those looking to build their own longstanding career – don’t race what you can’t afford.

“If you’re in a series that needs money than you’re willing to put into the car, then you’re not going to win,” he commented. “You got to have the equipment as if you don’t, you’re not going to win. So do something that you can afford and it’ll be more fun and not hurt your pocketbook as much.”

Be sure to keep up with OSCAAR by staying tuned to the series website at http://www.oscaar.ca. 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

30th Anniversary of OSCAAR: Mike Bricknell

mike bricknell

Over the past 30 years, OSCAAR has thrilled fans across the province of Ontario with side-by-side thrilling battles right down to the checkered flag.

Although we’re currently staying at home to stay safe, the anniversary is special to everybody involved in the series, past and present, from originators and the officials, to the drivers and fans.

OSCAAR felt it was the perfect time to pay homage to our beginnings, and catch up with past and current faces to get their thoughts on the occasion.

As a child, Mike Bricknell attended several races alongside his father at Pincrest Speedway and the Canadian National Exhbition. These trips to the track left a lasting impact, including a special interaction with one of the competitors.

“Ted Hogan put me in his car at the CNE and drove me around the track when I was a kid,” Mike Brickenll said. “So I think that’s where I got my bite.”

Bricknell would eventually get behind the wheel himself, though also became a very important part of racing history in Ontario as one of the founding members of the Ontario Association of Stock Car Auto Racing, known as OSCAAR.

“Tthere may have been five of us, but four of us stuck with it,” Bricknell recalled. “I think maybe Rudy Oppersma was involved for a bit, but then he went a different direction. But the four of us – Al Thompson, Terry Robichaud, Dave Taylor and I – we basically sat down and were trying to figure out that we’d like to have a traveling series, go from track-to-track than staying at one or two tracks. So that was basically our reason for trying to start this up.”

When the initial pieces were put together, the soul focus was on the super late models in trying to get a tour going for them. For Bricknell, the sheer speed and control you can have over the car are what attracted him to the pavement beasts.

Through the years in racing with the super late models, there were quite a few memorable moments, including a race against one of his good friends Brian Catchcart at Peterborough Speedway.

“Brian was sponsored by Coca-Cola at that time, so I guess he really wanted to win that race for Coca-Cola because Pepsi supplies the product to the track,” he said. “I was very lucky. He was inside pole, I was outside pole, and I got the jump on him and then I won. That was a good one; I really remember that one just because of Brian. Brian and I are good friends – I mean, there’s a lot of racers that I’m good friends with from our time in racing.”

Another fond memory was a Wednesday night special at Peterborough, where he got the upper-hand on one of the most well-known and greatest drivers in the province.

“Junior Hanley was there – and of course, you know what happens when he shows up – everybody is racing for second,” Bricknell shared the story. “I guess I took his fender off and anyhow, I won the race. Apparently, I heard that he was coming up, in second, but there was not enough laps. But when you can compete with guys like Junior Hanley, and all these guys and show well, it’s really good. I know every time people went to the track and Junior showed up, you were racing for second – and Biederman, too.

“I am a real Biederman lover, and those two guys – I was behind them at Flamboro, and you could see one driver look over at the other driver and make a right hand turn on the track. The competition was really good, and then back then, we built our own cars. We never had big guys, and did our own suspension and everything.”

Although the super lates are no longer part of OSCAAR with a focus on the modifieds, Hot Rods, and Pro Sprints, Brickenll says that he has very happy that it has continued to grow as it has.

“I am impressed with the modifieds, and I am impressed with the Hot Rods,” he commented. “I am impressed with what Dave has done. He had a vision, and he is really doing that – which is really good.

“When the Ontario Association of Asphalt Stock Car Racers was formed, that was originally one of Terry Robichaud’s thoughts in that we would expand to try to be like a union for all the other classes of racing. That’s what we had inspired to hope to do – that’s why it’s called Association of Stock Car Auto Racing. Although we had a difficult time of getting the super late models up and running – we had another club up and running against us, but we succeeded that way and kept going.”

Be sure to keep up with OSCAAR by staying tuned to the series website at http://www.oscaar.ca. 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

OSCAAR Season on Postponement Until July Due to Covid-19

With the current phase of reopening for the province and tracks remaining closed to competition, the 2020 OSCAAR season opener has been tentatively scheduled for July.

As of Friday May 15, the first five original dates on the schedule have been cancelled for the time being. There is a chance of the June 6 event at Jukasa Motor Speedway could possibly be ran later on this summer, as well as the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods presented by Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Park being added to the August 15 date at Delaware Speedway.

oscaar pro sprints

If things continue forward, OSCAAR plans to carry the schedule as it was originally announced, beginning with July 4. Though like many other things right now, that could change so drivers, fans, and crew members alike are encouraged to follow OSCAAR social media and check the website for updates.

“All of us at OSCAAR would like to take this opportunity to show support to each of the tracks, their owners, and staff,” Dave Gainforth, OSCAAR Series President said. “OSCAAR will be there to provide the best in short track racing when this is all behind us. This summer we are all going to face unprecedented things but together the promoters, the teams and the fans will ensure our sport we all love will be back stronger thank before.

“For now, please stay safe, stay at home, practice all the guidelines designed to get us back to our normal lives. Stay strong, stay safe and all of OSCAAR looks forward to seeing everyone at the race track very soon.”

While the government document for Phase 1 of re-opening Ontario stated that “car and motorcycle racing” can happen without spectators in attendance, the decision to postpone the events was made. Statements released by both Jukasa Motor Speedway and Sunset Speedway reflect the decision made.

“Although the announcement made by the Province regarding business openings starting May 19th is very promising and we appreciate them recognizing Motorsports, facilities such as ours can’t have any events with fans,” Alex Nagy of Jukasa Motor Speedway, released. “At this time with no indication yet when that will be allowed, so we are going to have to postpone the June 6th NASCAR Pinty’s Series event that also included the OSCAAR Modified and Hot Rod Series and the June 20th APC United Late Model Series along with the Super Stocks.

“ We will continue to work with different levels of Government, NASCAR and the APC United Late Model Series officials to see where these events may fit into a revised schedule and of course we will keep everyone informed, so please hold on to your tickets and/or camping passes. The well being and safety for all continues to be our number one priority and we appreciate your patience and understanding during these challenging times and we look forward to having everyone back in the near future.”

oscaar hot rods

Currently, some facilities across the province – Sunset Speedway, Peterborough Speedway, and Flamboro Speedway – have announced guidelines for allowing tracks rentals to take place. As a series, we hope any of our OSCAAR drivers who do partake in these sessions respect the physical distancing measures in-place by the province and facility, as well as other regulations.

Be sure to keep up with OSCAAR by staying tuned to the series website at http://www.oscaar.ca. 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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