INNISFIL, Ontario — One of the classes entering 2021 with a lot of anticipation surrounding it is the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods, and rightfully so with the list of talented rookies joining the division. Everything will kicked off this weekend at Sunset Speedway for the season opener.
It will mark the 11th time the Hot Rods have raced at Sunset Speedway, following their inaugural appearance at the Velocity 250 in September 2017. Thus far, we’ve seen Dan Archibald and Tyler Hawn score four wins a piece, and a single victories for Billy Alderson Jr. and Tom Walters.
Following each of the events, regardless of the winner, the fans have left the speedway talking about the racing, as the stars of the series have battled side-by-side for multiple laps without a single fender touch.
Hawn will hoping to pick up his fifth Sunset Speedway victory, and notably has just two finishes outside the top-five in eight starts. He enters this weekend as the all-time series leader in race wins, hoping to return to victory lane after finishing off 2020 with a third at Jukasa Motor Speedway.
Nick Clarke will hope to repeat his past success in the series, hoping to put the No. 86 in victory lane. He showed speed last season, with a season-best ninth at Sunset Speedway in September. Notably, he has finished in the top-10 in five of his last seven appearances at the Innisfil, Ontario oval, highlighted by a track-best sixth twice.
Keeping it all in the family, Bill Clarke will hope to break into the top 10 this weekend after scoring a 10th and pair of 11ths in his three appearances with the tour last season. He knows what it takes to hold a checkered flag at Sunset Speedway, having scored a heat win previously.
Jeremy McLean hopes the speed shown with a pair of 10ths last season carries over to this weekend. Sunset Speedway has been a mixed bag of luck for McLean in the past, but he does have a track-best eighth-place finish.
Steve Book heads into this weekend with a smile on his face following no finishes worse than sixth last season. In eight Sunset Speedway races, he has no finishes outside the top-10, with just one appearance outside the top-seven and a track-best second in June 2019.
Paul Senior hopes to have a good outing as he ran strong last season, with no finishes worse than sixth. Notably in four appearances at Sunset, he has only scored one result outside the top-five.
Adam Misener will hope to have some better luck this season, as he finished 13th in his lone start in 2020. Notably, he scored a seventh at Sunset the year prior.
Dalen Martin spent last season working out some new car bugs, but was able to score a top-10 finish with a ninth at Sauble Speedway. He knows what it takes to be successful at Sunset, having scored a heat victory and a track-best fifth in June 2019.
Sean Walker will hope to improve upon last season, where he scored a 16th in his lone appearance on the tour. Notably, he scored a track-best ninth in June 2019. Walker will also have a teammate beginning this weekend, as the team enters a second entry with Gary Hannah behind the wheel.
Robertson and Co. Racing has made a statement in their short time on the OSCAAR tour with the Ford Torino, with Brandon Robertson scoring a sixth at Jukasa Motor Speedway last season. Robertson has ran with the tour at Sunset previously, scoring a 12th at the 2019 Velocity 250, but the team was able to visit victory lane in the heats and place third in the feature with Drew Robertson driving in June 2019.
The team will also expand their footprint in the series, set to enter a second car this season with Marty Monette behind the wheel. If you were hanging around Sunset around 2010 / 2011, you know he is very capable of winning races, as seen in the track’s Super Stock division.
Dan Rothwell will hope to break into the top-10 this weekend, after coming close last season with a season best 13th-place finish. His best result at Sunset previously was 12th in June 2019.
Trevor Thompson made a big splash in his limited appearances on the tour last season, including a victory in the season-finale at Jukasa. Now contending for Rookie of the Year, he will hope to better his runner-up from Sunset last September.
Jim Blackwell got his feet wet on the tour last season, scoring a best finish of 12th in two appearances.
The division will have a couple ladies in the field, with both Amanda Balson and Jaymee Adams set to join the division this season. Balson is no stranger to success at Sunset Speedway, having scored wins in both Thunder Cars (now Super Stocks) and Late Models in previous seasons. Adams, meanwhile, does not have as much experience at Sunset, but has seen consistent improvement in her time behind the wheel at her home track of Sauble Speedway.
The 1965 Rambler Ambassador that visited victory lane last year in September will be in the field, but not with the same driver behind the wheel. Mini Stock competitor Kyle Fetterly purchased the car and hopes to see success in his next step up the racing ladder. He will also have a teammate on track, as the team has built a second car with John Lavelle set to jump behind the wheel.
A couple other rookies to watch are Dave Waite and Jeremy Taggert. While they are new to the series, both have several years of racing under their belt in the past at Peterborough Speedway and Delaware Speedway, respectively.
The Fosters have been involved in motorsports for a number of years, and will look to carry their success that saw them score a feature victory in the series in 2019 forward. Notably, Adrian Foster delivered the team a season-best eighth at Jukasa Motor Speedway.
Beyond the drivers mentioned here, there is the possibility to see other faces make an appearance this weekend at Sunset Speedway. The class is expected to grow through the summer, with several drivers already stating that they will be ready in the coming weeks.
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.
Preview written by Ashley McCubbin