Each year, it seems new drivers enter the conversation for the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods presented by Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Park, and the 2020 campaign was no different – even with an abbreviated schedule.
Multi-time Champion Tom Walters made the decision to dip his toes into the competition, and proved to be an instant success. The No. 47 only suffered a single DNF through the four events, occurring at Sauble Speedway following a driver error.
“I caused that DNF,” Walters admitted. “We had a major caution and it was red flagged, and not being used to the car, I went from first to reverse when it wasn’t moving and I ripped the clutch out of it.”
Walters started off the year with a third at Jukasa Motor Speedway, followed by the DNF at Sauble, before the dominating performance at Sunset Speedway for his first career series victory. He then returned back to Canada’s Crown Jewel for a runner-up performance.
“That was good,” Walters said of the Sunset victory. “Tyler (Hawn), (Steve) Book, Paul (Senior) – all those guys are tough. We’re all so close together, and even Trevor (Thompson). I don’t think Trevor ran the Sauble one, but all the other tracks, he was strong at and he was a new fella as well. It was rewarding to get it because the competition is good.”
The competition is only the tip of the ice berg when it comes to the Hot Rods, though, as the praise goes beyond that from Walters.
“I like the fellas in the Hot Rod Series,” he shared. “The competition is great; there’s no doubt about that. There are eight to 10 cars that can win on any given night. So that part of it is great. The atmosphere part of it is just more laid back. Super stock – there’s a lot of pressure on these kids to perform well to move up. The Hot Rods, you don’t really have to move up anywhere. It’s just a league all of its own so it’s more laid back.”
Even laid back, though, everybody wants to do well and always improving the program to be stronger is on all the driver’s minds, and Walters is no different. Getting the car handling properly is the goal, and that involves working with those within the industry.
“I need to take the car to Mike McColl’s and get it set-up properly, because it’s a McColl car,” Walters said. “I never took it to Mike because of the shortened season and it’s just missing a few things that need to be done to be more competitive.”
When the action does hit the track, the one track different than the others – Brighton Speedway and the dirt – is what remains circled on Walters’ calendar.
“I’ve never raced on the dirt and I’m really looking forward to it,” he commented. “I mean, Jukasa is right up there at the top, as well – but absolutely, the dirt track.”
While Walters will be new to dirt, he has years of experience and after everything he’s done, he advises those looking to get started to watch the pocket book.
“I think the biggest problem we have is money – spending money, and the rule changes,” he explained. “Now the rules are locked into three years, people have a better understanding and what they need to spend. If they keep changing every year, the cost escalates and not all the kids can afford. So I would say watch your dollars and spend in the right places.”
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