With two finishes outside of the top-10 all season long, A.J. Emms put together a career-best season en route to finishing third in the OSCAAR Modified points standings.
Kicking off the season at Flamboro Speedway, Emms started out the season on a strong note by winning both of his qualifying heats. He then capped the weekend off with a runner-up finish in the 30-lap feature. The momentum carried to Delaware Speedway for the Orillia, Ontario native as he led three laps in the feature en route to a fourth place finish.
While the momentum slowed a couple weeks later in his return to Flamboro with a 15th place finish, he returned back to the podium in his third trip to Flamboro in July. Despite battling clutch issues, he escaped an early race wreck en route to picking up a third place finish.
Unfortunately, another damper came in the season during July as the second trip to Delaware didn’t pan out as hoped. While running in the top-five, contact from a fellow competitor resulted in heavy contact with the backstretch wall.
Putting the hours in during the week, Emms was able to get the modified repaired for Peterborough Speedway a week later. He returned back to running at the front, winning his first heat before finishing third in his second. He was able to work his way to the front in the feature, passing Brad Stevenson on a late-race restart to finish second.
Kicking off the month of August, the bad luck seemed to return as motor issues at Flamboro resulted in a pair of fourth place finishes. However, as accomplished other weeks, he came back strong a couple weeks later at Delaware. Starting from pole in the feature, Emms took the early lead and was able to lead 20 laps before being passed by Gary McLean. Over the course of the final 10 laps, he dropped back two more spots en route to a fourth place finish.
With consistency and determination shown through the season, Emms easily was one of the drivers qualified for the inaugural OSCAAR Race for the Cup.
Kicking it off at Peterborough Speedway, Emms was quick in his qualifying heats with finishes of first and third. Come Sunday for the Autumn Colours Classic starting in the ninth spot, he quick began to make his way forward cracking the top-five at Lap 24. He kept moving forward, getting a good restart with 10 laps to go to put the No. 14 Sunshine Super Wash – Orillia, Davenport Subaru, Creecher’s Design, Klotz Canada, Artech Promotional Wear – Orillia, Bromley Automotive, and TSS Top Shops – Barrie Modified out front. Emms got a pair of good restarts to close out the race, picking up the race victory ahead of Robert Warnes and Brent McLean.
“The competition out there was so stiff,” he said in victory lane. “We were able to persevere. I knew it was going to be a race of getting to the end as it’s the Autumn Colours Classic, a lot of stuff happens. I have to thank my team, my dad for helping me out, and all my sponsors.”
Entering the finale at Flamboro Speedway as one of the drivers with a shot at the championship, he ran up front throughout the feature. He was quick, but it wasn’t enough to beat Gary McLean as Emms finished second, with McLean getting the victory championship.
On behalf of OSCAAR, congratulations to A.J. Emms on his success this past season.
By: Ashley McCubbin