Gary Hannah “Ready to Go” with OSCAAR Hot Rods

With having been friends with Sean Walker for over 30 years, Gary Hannah has spent a lot of time in his shop – and it had influence in where the next chapter of his racing career will go. After seeing the fun Walker had in the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods, he decided he wanted to go for a whirl himself.

“I’m a car guy,” Hannah said. “I love the old cars. I’ve been a racer for many years.”

It also did not take them long to choose the body, as there was one for sale not far from the shop for a $100. Now with the time spent wrenching away, Hannah is ready to go for 2021.

“I want to go out and have some fun,” he commented. “I love the racing community. I like the people that are involved, love talking to them, and like I said, I am going out to have fun – win or lose, just turn some laps and have some fun.”

As for what track on the schedule he is most looking forward to, Peterborough Speedway quickly comes to mind being his favourite of those ran at through his career to date.

It’s also where he got his start in motorsports, buying a thunder car off of Fred and Sean Walker in 1996. He raced it for two seasons, before moving up to the Challenger divisions for the two years that followed.

“I got married so life kind of slowed up a bit there,” he explained. “I took some time off there and then 2002, I started racing at Kawartha Speedway in a mini stock. I built a car for that, and then I ran for a season in 2002, and then again I had some issues – I have a disabled child, so life got difficult for a little while so I gave it up. I took some time off, but then got back into it in 2006 running a Mini Stock at Peterborough Speedway and then I gave it up for awhile.

“I got into the rock crawling, off-road stuff for a little while but that got boring. I was helping friends and pitting for awhile, but I got the itch to go racing and it’s like I have to build another car – and 2019 was my jumps to say I wanted to do this Hot Rod thing. It motivated me to build a car.”

Through all of his career experience to date, he says the 1997 season was his most memorable.

“I never won a feature, but I won some heat races that year and it felt like I just accomplished something in my life then in the racing,” he expressed.

Now as he gets ready to start the next chapter, hopefully more accomplishments – as well as some fun – can be had along the way.

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

Marty Monette Ready to Dip Feet into OSCAAR Hot Rod Competition

Marty Monette
Marty Monette

Looking to get some performance parts for his car, Marty Monette walked into Brandon Robertson’s business 25 years ago. He saw a racecar while he was there, and as they say, the rest is history.

“I was a forever fan, and I just started hanging out with them and to be quite honest, I watched Drew race at Flamboro and thought, ‘Well, I can do that,’ so next thing you know, here I am,” he commented. “If I hadn’t met these guys, I probably would’ve still been on the fan side – I’d probably have more money in my pocket, but I wouldn’t be as happy.”

While having spent his career behind the wheel of a variety of cars from Super Stocks to a modified, the 2021 campaign will see him write a new chapter of his racing career with the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods. His interest in the series developed through spending time at the tracks with Robertson’s team.

“To be honest with you, I really liked the group of guys that are racing in it,” he commented. “Being involved with Brandon and Drew – kind of got hooked on it and wanted to do something back in my own equipment instead of driving for somebody and have more say in what was going on. The Hot Rods seem to be a good fit for everybody. We’re all out of the same shop and we’re all leaning on each other for help and knowledge, so it just seemed like a no-brainer really.”

Seeing Monette now as the latest driver to join the division continues the trend with the Hot Rods being the fastest growing division in the province.

“I’ve said it a couple times to Dave that I’m really glad he stuck with this division and like you said, it is exploding and there are new guys, lots of talent that has come out,” he said. “I think it’s great. I’m really happy for Dave and his group of people that work in the series. I’m really looking forward to getting out there with the likes of Steve Book and hopefully Tom (Walters) is still doing his thing out there and seeing where we stack up. But at the end of the day, it’s fun – that’s the biggest thing.”

Now heading into the season Monette hopes the Mustang finds its way to several tracks throughout the summer – including the return to Kawartha Speedway.

“We know Dave Gainforth is working very hard in making things happen and we’re obviously going to be ready,” he said. “So we’re hoping that we have a chance to show off our equipment, and the one thing I like about the Hot Rod series is the guys that we run with week-in-week-out. It’s a great group of guys, everyone gets along well, and we do our thing.”

Doing their own thing involved spending many months building the Mustang to perfection, which has caught the attention of fans since the first photos surfaced on social media. The attention to detail meets the team’s expectation to be front runners from the drop of the first green flag.

“I think you’re going to see an influx of guys that are faster,” Monette said. “I’ve heard some rumors about a few guys coming in that should make the series better. The level of competition is going to be up there so to run up front is the expectation, to get some wins, and just be contention every week.”

When Monette takes to the track for the first event, fans will see a number they have grown familiar to seeing with him in the No. 72.

“Basically, 72 was the first number that I ran back in the Outlaw Thunder Car days,” he revealed. “We changed to 66 as a bit of agreement back in the day to have someone else run the 72. So when we went to the Hot Rods, 66 was taken and 72 wasn’t so it seemed like a no brainer so hopefully we can have some success with it.”

With the experience he has earned through the years, his advice to those looking to get involved like himself – do your homework.

“It’s tough to do by yourself, that’s for sure,” he added. “Get aligned with some guys and build a friendship, relationship there, but do your homework. Know what you’re getting into because there’s nothing easy about it – nothing. There’s a load of work, a load of time, and a load of money.

“I always say if I was sitting in the stands I’d have a pocketful, but I don’t know how happy I’d be.”

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

Friendship, Staff Make OSCAAR Hot Rods Different and Special for Brandon Robertson

Brandon Robertson

After showing speed over the past couple seasons, the confidence continues to build for Brandon Robertson in his team’s Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods program.

However, his love affair with the fastest growing series in the province goes beyond that.

“Much like last season, we obviously we want to be competitive but also have a good time,” he shared. “We’re all enjoying what we’re doing. Even over the winter, there seems to be a constant conversation with the Hot Rod guys over Facebook. It seems to have stayed connected that way. We can all joke and carry on, which makes it really fun when we get to the track.”

Whether it’s the friendship or the product on-track, the Hot Rods certainly carry a lot of momentum heading into 2021. Robertson is quick to reference, referring to the series’ growth since the inaugural campaign with just four to six cars each week.

“The caliber of drivers is excellent – I’ve seen that,” he commented. “There’s guys that have raced everything throughout the province in the series and have beautiful cars, great equipment. I think (series president) Dave (Gainforth) and all of his people at OSCAAR have done a really good job of keeping the drivers motivated even all the hurdles. You always hear from Dave all the time – the e-mails, always in constant with all of us. I am always in contact with Dave all the time.

“He followed our build really close – he was seeing a lot of pictures before anybody else was seeing them. His interest in each and every one of us as drivers and car owners is what has driven the success, because it feels different than any other racing I’ve done when it comes from the feedback from Dave as a racecar driver and car owner. It’s nice to have the interest, and he’s not just the guy that gives you your payout at the end of the night or gives you shit when you’ve done something. He’s involved in all of it from top to bottom and it makes a big difference. It’s made this deal what it is – it’s huge.”

When he does get to the track with the series, the Ford Torino will still carry the familiar 74 in which fans have grown used to. The number has a lot of history with Robertson, having been utilized by him his whole career.

“My brother picked that number when we were running Outlaw Thunder Cars at Cayuga in the 90’s and other than two years when we ran the 21, Jaeger ran the 74 – it’s the only number that I’ve ever ran personally,” he commented. “It’s the number that we’ll stick with but when we go to three cars next year, I’m not sure what the third car number will be, but I’ll stay in the 74.”

In looking to improve upon last year’s season-best sixth at Jukasa Motor Speedway, Robertson says it’ll be critical to minimize his mistakes behind the wheel. Though the speed and being on the cusp of a podium performance ahs him excited about returning to Canada’s Crown Jewel.

“I want to get back to Jukasa something awful,” he offered. “Most of those big tracks are where I feel our cars will really shine. We were good at Jukasa last year with the limited practice. I thought we made huge strides we made before. We know for a fact that the mustang will be fast at the big tracks. I know that’s maybe a little presumptuous, but it’s pretty certain. Those are the two tracks (Kawartha and Jukasa) that we circled to run up front together.”

After the success experienced with the Ford Torino, Robertson and Co. Racing has expanded their footprint in the Hot Rods, building a brand new mustang for 2021 with Marty Monette set to jump behind the wheel.

With the success the pair have experienced in the past, excitement is there surrounding the team’s potential. It is why Sunset Speedway remains circled on the schedule, knowing the amount of feature wins Monette was able to grab in the track’s Super Stock division.

“Sunset is going to be fun and it’ll be like the old days because I will be Marty’s crew chief for the Sunset races,” Robertson revealed. “When we go there, I won’t be in the Torino; my brother will be so I will be the crew chief for both cars. We’ve had lots of success in the past at Sunset with me being on the box and letting the guys drive the cars because I stink there.

“Everybody knows Marty has a lot laps there and I know past success doesn’t say anything moving forward, but we don’t mind leaning on that mentally because I know when we get to Sunset, Marty will be in his own racecar at a track that he loves. I know what he will want in the car once we test the car and we’ll been hard to beat there, too.”

Seeing Monette and Robertson have success should surprise nobody, in knowing they’ve been involved in motorsports together for 25 years now.

“Sometimes directions have changed, we’ve had cars, we haven’t had cars, helped other guys, but we’ve remained connected and our careers have run parallel for 25 years now, regardless of who was holding the wheel, driving the tow rig or whatever it may be,” Robertson shared. “Marty, Drew, myself, Donny, and Douglas on and off. We’ve been through a lot together, and managed to stay friends, and be more like brothers than anything.”

Stay tuned to the OSCAAR website for Marty Monette’s thoughts entering his rookie campaign of OSCAAR Hot Rod competition.

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

Paul Townsend Set to Return to Canadian Soil in Modified Competition

Paul Townsend OSCAAR Modified Series

When it comes to his love for the open-wheel Modifieds, Paul Townsend put it simply – they are “probably the most fun to drive out of all the divisions.”

“These modifieds with open wheels, unique bodies and being the oldest division in NASCAR history have always intrigued me from watching on TV and going to Oswego to watch the Whelen Modified Tour,” he shared.

The amount of love he shows for the open-wheel cars makes it no surprise to see him as one of the rookies in the 2021 Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modified division. Truth be told, though, he will enter with more experience than most, having ran many laps under the Race of Champions tour in the United States and more.

Townsend had planned to run several events last season, but with COVID-19 travel restrictions, was only able to run the five nights of competition at Florida Speedweeks in February. Taking some time to reflect on his program, while speaking to a few local OSCAAR teams, he made the decision to run closer to home for 2021. The choice became easier when a past championship car came up for sale earlier this winter.

“It has been put together and ready for testing and we will see what it’s got; it has run the OSCAAR series before with success,” he said. “I have run with the likes of Gary McLean and Shawn Chenoweth back in the street stock and late model days, so it will be fun to run against them again and renew friendships. The racing community is a good bunch of people.”

With goals of running in the top-five each week while admitting a win will be great, Townsend will hope past experience across Ontario helps in his transition to the OSCAAR tour.

“I have turned many laps at Varney, Sauble Beach and Flamboro,” he commented. “The tracks like Sunset, Peterboro and Kawartha will be challenging to get up to speed quickly, (but) I hope to run as much as I can.

“I prefer the larger tracks like Jukasa that I am used to running south of the border. This will be the event I have circled on my calendar for 2021. But the smaller tracks with the close competition in this division will be interesting and require a good qualifying effort to start and run up front.”

He will also have the benefit in knowing of some of his competitors, including Dale Reinhart and Norman Newman whom pitched in to help him while in Florida last season.

As mentioned, Townsend has a lot of experience under his belt, having gotten involved in racing back in 1979. While none of his family or friends raced, it was attending events at Varney Motor Speedway with his uncle as a child that really let the racing bug set in. It has only grown since then, along with his admiration for other open-wheel giants.

“I admire the guys like the Bodine brothers , Jan Leaty, the Meyers brothers and Matt Hirshman and Ryan Preece, who I got to race against last year,” he commented. “A lot of these drivers are very talented and have gone on to NASCAR Cup Series careers.”

As he gets ready to start this next chapter of his career, he will have a familiar number, electing for the No. 1 for his modified. Simply put, the number fits in with the team in having a No. 21 on the tour modified, and a No. 2 on his ROC Sportsman Modified.

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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