It may be kicking off a week later than scheduled, but it’s still going to kick off with a bang as Barrie Speedway kicks off their 2014 season this weekend on May 10th.
For the Wahta Spring Late Models, it marks their first shot at a pair of 30 lap features as they hope to add up points towards the track championship, and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series standings. This year will feature some familiar faces in champions and drivers looking to step up their game, as well as some new faces.
2013 Barrie Speedway Limited Late Model Champion Gord Shepherd returns with his Ridge Road Racing team in hopes of scoring top honors for the second straight season in a row. Last year, Shepherd had a tremendous season as he scored nine feature wins and 29 top five finishes in the 32 features. Look for Shepherd to pick up where he left off in 2014.
Last year, Allan Inglis didn’t have the success that he’s used to with no trips to feature victory lane over the course of the season. Certainly Inglis will look to get his red rocket back at the front of the field this summer.
In his second season behind the wheel of a late model, Andre Pepin had a stellar season winning a pair of features and scoring 12 top five finishes. Look for Pepin to contend for the championship all season long after finishing sixth last year.
Rookie Leonard Johnston impressed in his rookie season with a pair of feature wins while finishing fifth in points. Things can only get bigger and better from here as he learns more behind the wheel so don’t count out Johnston winning the championship in his sophomore season.
Darin Malcolm ran 20 of the 32 events last season, scoring five top five finishes. If Malcolm hits the track in 2014, he could certainly be a contender for race wins this season.
Known as an OSCAAR Super Late Model competitor, Ian Bourque ran some races at Barrie Speedway last year and picked up the feature victory one of those nights. Depending on Bourque’s 2014 plans, you may see him contend for the championship all year long.
Mike Brown ran half of the schedule last year and put on a show in those races as he scored a pair of feature victories and 11 top 10s in those 16 starts. If Brown returns in 2014, expect more feature wins and maybe a championship run.
In the 30 starts he made last year, Manary only scored one top five finish. Needless to say, Manary is hoping for better luck in 2014 as he looks to break through into victory lane.
Langley is another driver that is hoping for some better luck this season as he ran into issues throughout the year on his way to finishing ninth in points. Langley has stated that he may miss opening night due to the car not being ready, but when he does make it out, hopefully luck will come and he’ll score some solid podium finishes.
Sam Reckzin has put a lot of work in the off-season in hopes of improving his game after finishing 15th in points last year. Look for Reckzin to be contending for top five finishes, and possibly grab a feature win this year.
After taking last season off, Desi Walt is back this year and ready to contend for feature wins and the championship. In her previous seasons behind the wheel, she was a front runner each week so look for that trend to continue in 2014 as she’ll probably pick up a couple feature wins and contend for the title.
2013 Barrie Speedway Thunder Car Champion Rick Walt is moving up to Limited Late Model this season. Piloting the same car that Anthony Simone drove to a feature victory at Sunset Speedway last season, expect Walt to run upfront all season long, contending for race wins and the championships.
After hitting up Sunset Speedway last year, John Mitchell is set to return to Barrie Speedway in 2014. Depending on how quickly he adapts to the track, he should be one to watch this year.
Beyond those mentioned, there are other drivers expected to throw their name in the hat at Barrie Speedway this season. So without further-ado, be sure to head to Barrie Speedway this weekend and check out hte option that the tight oval has to offer.