Jesse Kennedy OSCAAR Hot Rod Series

Jesse Kennedy Taking it “One Race at a Time.”

With multiple years involved in sport, Jesse Kennedy has certainly done a bit of everything. It’s why heading into 2021 with the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods, he is taking it one race at a time.

“I have raced for a long time and trying to take it easy some, pick and choose which races to do,” he commented. “(I may) possibly start the season and if things go well, maybe I continue on and do full season. If things don’t go so well, back to pick and choose.”

When it comes to which event to run, Kennedy notes he does not get too excited about any tracks in particular.

“I struggled in the past with Sunset (Speedway), but think in this class I would be OK,” he commented. “Delaware (Speedway) would be the place I’m most confident. Glad to go back to Kawartha (Speedway). Brighton (Speedway) would be the most challenging, but I have raced on dirt at Ridgetown at least 4 times and had a blast. I do love the rest of the tracks; they all are unique.”

With eyes on trying to win each race he enters, the allure to the Hot Rods are simple – to have fun.

“The other thing is the nostalgic factor,” he added. “The cars of back in the day are not only cool, but bring back memories of when people first caught the racing bug, to feel a little bit of our youth again, maybe memories of times with family passed.”

Certainly with those goals in mind, though, he knows the competition will be tough in recognizing the amount of “accomplished drivers” registered.

“The guys that do the full series and always run up in the top five most likely are going to be the same,” he continued. “So I’ll say Tyler Hawn, Steve Book, and young Trevor Thompson has shown some speed; if Walters continues, he as well.”

When Kennedy is at the track, the familiar No. 10 will be there, even if hasn’t always been his number. The veteran says he began his career with 96 while his brother utilized 69, and used several numbers before settling on 10 in 2006.

“My Father had used this number on his jersey playing softball,” he explained. “He didn’t start playing softball until he was 32. I’ve got to say he was pretty good at it. He then went on to play Slow pitch and was the pitcher; if the Ball came anywhere within 10 feet he would snag it – such determination. So I figured I’d use the number 10 in his honour with the thought if I can be half as good and determined as he could in racing, I will do alright.”

His father was also the reason he got involved in motorsports to begin with, becoming a fan attending events with him.

“My brother then started racing at 16 in Delaware Street Stocks, which gave me the desire to drive myself,” Kennedy recalled. “My Father then gave me the chance as he did with my brother. I started at age 15 in the same class in 1985. I have taken a year off since racing at least one time during a season, which I believe was only one time.”

With the years of experience under his belt now, Kennedy has learned over the years the biggest thing is ensuring you have the right safety equipment, including a head and neck restraint.

“I had a full neck fusion done in 2017. and glad to say it was successful as the pain and headaches are gone after maybe 2002,” Kennedy explained. “I do have half range of motion and do a lot of therapy and exercise to maintain. The wear and tear of the little and major crashes over the years left me in pinched nerves. I believe if I had access to the Head and Neck restraints when I started, I would not have been in this situation.

“So it could save your life, and or save you from a lot of pain or surgery. How much is that worth??”

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

Amanda Balson OSCAAR Hot Rod Series

Amanda Balson Ready to Have Fun Battling Upfront in Hot Rod

With her family having been involved in the sport, Amanda Balson spent time around Sunset Speedway, which ultimately turned into her getting a chance behind the wheel.

In 1998, Bob Phinnemore would rent his Thunder Car to her for a couple nights, which got her hooked immediately – resulting in her purchasing one for herself for the year that followed.

Now 22 years later, she is set to write a new chapter in her career with the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods. Despite being something different, a familiar number No. 16 will be on the door panel.

“My dad started racing in the late 70’s,” she recalled. “when he was faced with choosing a number, he chose his address – 16 Murray Drive in Aurora. Since then, it’s been our family number. I’ve worn it on all my sports jerseys and race cars.”

Entering her rookie campaign, she admits the number one goal is to just go out and have fun after not competing in any events through 2020.

“I’m confident we are going to bring good equipment to the track,” she commented. “So I definitely hope to be racing up front.”

Looking at the schedule, there’s an excitement in getting the chance to run dirt in August at Brighton Speedway.

“I’m looking forward to trying out the dirt at Brighton Speedway and supporting our friends speedway owners Mark and Angie Rinaldi,” she commented. “Overall, I’m excited about all of the tracks on the schedule. Each track has special memories for me.”

For Balson, who has been involved in several different divisions across the province, the affordability of the Hot Rods helped in attracting her to the class.

“The competition also seems like it’s heating up with rumors of lots of talented drivers coming to the series, mixed in with the existing roster,” she added. “I think it’s looking like a very fun and competitive season.”

It’s why she knows going into the year, it will not be easy, with other drivers out there who can get the job done.

“I think that’s the exciting part,” she continued. “There were a few surprises last season for sure. I think you’ve got to keep your eyes on the entire field!”

With her years of experience behind the wheel, her advice to others who wish to get involved – understand the financial obligation of motorsports.

“It’s easy to go broke fast,” she commented. “Set a budget and choose a class that’s fits within it.”

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

Sean Walker

Sean Walker Hoping to Score Checkered Flags with Wagon

When Sean Walker came into the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods, he made a big impression in having some classic Chevrolet wheels underneath him. His team is working on leaving a bigger impact their next time on-track, spending the off-season putting together a station wagon together.

“I like old iron and had the two-door and the people in the OSCAAR family found it for me and I haven’t seen any around,” he explained. “Something different for sure.”

For the record, though, the car will carry the same familiar blue and yellow colours, as well as the No. 04 once again.

“The 04 came by accident,” he recalled. “It was a number that never saw too much on cars and I was renting a shop with two other races and we ended up with 03 04 05, and it stuck to this day.”

His dedication to the series comes naturally, in having grown to enjoy his short time with everybody already.

“You have what I call a racing family,” he explained. “When someone needs help, everyone comes to the rescue and try not to leave anyone on the trailer.”

When the green flag drops, Walker says the goal is set on earning some good finishes, noting a checkered flag would be nice while trying to have fun “racing a giant brick.” Certainly you should expect to see him do well at Peterborough Speedway, being his home track.

However, he also knows it won’t be easy with the competition in the series always evolving.

“The people-to-watch is a big list because everybody has a chance depending on how things play out on track,” he commented.

For Walker, he got interested in stock cars by attending a practice session at Mosport back in 1992. Although he was involved in drag racing at the time, he was just supposed to be there to watch someone. Though when they did not show up, the team owner offered Walker a chance to jump behind the wheel himself for the first time.

“Next thing you know, I went out and turned some lap times and he asked if I wanted to run next Saturday night at Mosport to start the season,” Walker recalled. “He said that I was way better than the guy that he had driving. So I started driving and drove for him for one year at Mosport (Raceway), and then we moved to Peterborough and I ran two years with him there before he got out of racing. I ended up buying the car off of him, and that’s what started the whole ball. I ended up going from just a driver to an owner, bottle washer, cook, you name it.”

Now as he heads into his 29th season invested in the sport, hopefully an OSCAAR race winner can be added to the list.

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

Steve Book OSCAAR Hot Rod Series

Steve Book Ready for OSCAAR Hot Rod Competition in 2021

After visiting victory lane four times over the past two seasons, it’s no surprise to see Steve Book is set to run the entire Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rod schedule once again in 2021.

“I am hoping to put together consistent finishes and hopefully pull out a win,” he commented.

Book was able to accomplish that through the four-race campaign last season, scoring just one finish outside the top-five (sixth at Sunset Speedway), to go along with 10 top-five’s in 2019.

One of the tracks he’s been the most dominant is Jukasa Motor Speedway, having won two of the last four, with podium finishes each time. It’s why it’s no surprise to see it’s the track he is most excited for moving forward.

Despite the success, it has not come easy, as evident by the growing competition in the series.

“These are really cool cars and it’s a great bunch of racers,” he expressed. “There are so many racers in this series that can win at any track so the competition will be awesomem but Trevor Thompson had three strong races in his rookie season so I see him being a threat every race and the duo from Mount Hope will also be a force, even though they are running a limited schedule.

“But honestly, there are 10 cars that can get it done at any time especially with the new talent coming into the series.”

Even with the new talent, you should be able to pick out Book in the field, as a result of the unique Studebaker appearance. The decision to run that particular body style was easy, being it’s modeled after his father’s first racecar, carrying the same No. 47 utilized then.

Since following in his father’s footsteps, Book has gained a lot of experience in his own right, from Enduros at Delaware Speedway to now a regular Hot Rod competitor front runner.

“To anyone looking to get into racing, my advice would be to start in a lower less expensive class to get experience and fun,” he commented. “Then if you can, work on your own equipment. You can progress to other divisions otherwise the cost will get out of control if you have to pay someone else to do all the work on your car.

“They (also) better love it because it takes a lot of time and money, so they will have to sacrifice other things in their lives.”

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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