By Spencer Lewis — UXBRIDGE, ON- After reviewing dozens of applications from Mini Stock drivers across Canada, Fast Eddie Racewear has announced the finalists for the first ever ‘Search for Speed’ contest.
Sixteen racers from two regions have been selected, and will be voted on by fans atwww.FastEddieRacewear.com. Voting will be open until May 26th, and the two regional winners will each earn a $500 sponsorship and a custom made ‘Crew Shirt’ from Fast Eddie Racewear.
“We couldn’t have been happier with the response”, says Fast Eddie co-founder Jamie Hakonson. “The energy and excitement generated by the Mini Stock competitors is contagious. We received applications from across Canada, from dirt and asphalt drivers, eager to join our rapidly expanding team”
“The original plan was to take only 5 drivers from Ontario, split between Dirt and Asphalt”, continues Hakonson. “But the number of applications we received, coupled with the quality of the applicants themselves made that near impossible. So, we’ve taken what we felt were the 11 best, and felt it was only fair to let the fans decide who should join our team”
Fast Eddie Racewear would like to congratulate its 16 finalists:
Ontario Dirt Finalists
This former ‘Best Appearing’ winner will compete at Merrittville and Humberstone Speedway fulltime in 2014. A Port Colborne, ON native, Curtis is a 9-year Mini Stock veteran, with numerous feature victories to his credit. 2013 saw Curtis tally 5 feature wins, whilst earning 4thoverall in the final Mini Stock standings at Merrittville, and 2nd overall in final Mini Stock standings at Humberstone.
A former pavement standout, Janssens converted to dirt competition in 2009 and hasn’t looked back. The Woodstock, ON driver has an ambitious 2014 schedule planned, and will compete fulltime at Ohsweken Speedway in addition to a number of invitationals at Humberstone Speedway as well as Delaware’s ‘Open Four Cylinder Invitational’.
A Cornwall Motor Speedway regular, Justin got his start crewing for several competitors before making his divisional debut in 2012. ‘JD’ earned Rookie of the Year honours in his inaugural season, in addition to placing 3rd in the overall Mini Stock point standings. Desrosiers equaled that feat again in 2013, and enters the 2014 season with hopes of tallying his first career divisional championship.
This 22-year old Trenton, ON native has been competing at Brighton Speedway since the age of 17. A graduate of the entry-level Stinger division, Mills is entering his third full season of Mini Stock racing this year. After notching 6th place in points last season, this former winning of the ‘Most Gentle Person’ award is dead-set on a championship in 2014.
A back-to-back ‘Best Appearing’ winner, Wellington, ON’s Brady Greer is set for his third season of Mini Stock competition at Brighton Speedway. With 1 career victory under his belt, Brady is entering 2014 hungry for more checkered flags. Brady is proud of his “100% dedication to the sport”, and has the scars to prove it – he once broke his knee in an on-track accident and returned the following week without ever missing a race!
Ontario Asphalt Finalists
A longtime veteran of the Limited Late Model division, ‘The Instant Classic’ dropped down for his first foray into the Mini Stock division in 2014 citing budget restrictions. A competitor since the age of 9, Kamrath was a former Junior Late Model standout at Sauble Speedway, before graduating to a Limited Late Model career that spanned 5 seasons and 10 feature victories. Proud of his aggressive racing style, Kamrath is hoping for numerous wins at Sunset Speedway this season.
A former winner of the ‘Most Sportsmanlike’ award, Sauble Beach, ON’s Kyle Jackson is ready for his third full season of racing at Sauble Speedway in 2014. The 27-year old has amassed a number of top-5s, and is hoping to knock down his first career Sauble feature win this season. The KMS Motorsports representative is confident that his team is a few strong performances away from a breakout campaign.
The 2013 Barrie Speedway champion will return to fulltime competition this season, intent on once again basing his program on dedication and sportsmanship. A 6-year veteran of both Thunder Car and Mini Stock competition, the Orillia, ON driver is one of the most experienced members of Barrie’s Mini Stock roster.
The self-proclaimed ‘weekend warrior’ has a full schedule in mind for 2014. With aims of racing for a championship at Sunset Speedway, the Stayner, ON driver will also compete at invitational events across the province. The 2008 Barrie Speedway ‘Charger’ division champion, Billy has 4 career feature wins to his credit, and hopes to add to that this season.
A third-generation competitor, Sam has eeked out a very strong social media presence through her series of weekly video diaries uploaded to her Youtube account. A Mini Stock competitor since 2008, Shaw is a two-time winner of both the ‘Most Improved Driver’ award as well as the ‘Best Appearing’ title. A descendant of one of Southern Ontario Short Track Racing’s ‘first families’, Shaw’s program is steeped in tradition with grandfather Ron Shaw and father Randy Shaw both aiding in bringing Sam through the ranks.
A 5-year veteran of Mini Stock competition, New Hamburg, ON’s Russ Aicken is a weekly threat to win at Hamilton’s Flamboro Speedway. A regular supporter of Ronald McDonald House and Canadian Cancer Foundation charities, Aicken’s #71 can often be found at charity BBQs and community events. A former ‘Best Appearing’ winner, Aicken has not had a season without a top-5 finish in championship points since 2008.
Eastern Canada Finalists
Patricia Taylor turned heads in her rookie season of Mini Stock racing at Petty Raceway.
Taylor, driving the #10 Honda at the high banked, River Glade, New Brunswick track, accomplished her main on track goal in 2013 by taking the Rookie of the Year Award in the Mini Stock class. She competed in all eight races that comprised the season, finishing sixth in the standings. In turn, she gained many fans in the run of her rookie campaign, as was displayed by winning the PettyFanChoice.com Most Popular Driver as the fan favorite in the Mini Stock class at Petty Raceway.
Away from the track, Taylor displays her car throughout the year at various businesses and charity functions throughout the Greater Moncton area. Her “Chase the Racecar” campaign, which can be followed through her Facebook page, gives fans a chance to follow her display around the city as well as win prizes from her marketing partners as well.
Nicknamed ‘Hollywood’, Ackles has competed at speedways across Atlantic Canada. 2014 will mark Ackles third full season of competition, with plans of competing at Scotia Speedworld, Petty International Raceway, Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway, the CENTRE for Speed and Speedway Miramichi. With 20 scheduled events this season, Ackles’ dedication to the sport is evident – even more so when she notes that she once missed her high school prom to go racing.
When it comes to racing at Oyster Bed Speedway on Prince Edward Island, Stewart Racing is a name you’ll hear on a few occasions throughout a card on the high banked oval. While she hasn’t been racing as long as Street Stock teammates Adam and Jamie, Lisa Stewart has made quite a name for herself in a short Mini Stock racing career. In a division where drivers rarely give an inch in the heat of the moment, Stewart has learned the race craft of the class quickly, mixing it up with the boys at the front of the field on a weekly basis. In 2013, she posted a top ten run in the point standings and was awarded the Mini Stock Favorite Driver award at Oyster Bed Speedway.
If you roll into a race track in Atlantic Canada and “Mr. Honda” is within the gates, you know you are up against some stiff competition.A longtime divisional standout, he began his racing career at Riverside International Speedway in 2002. Upon moving to Halifax in the mid-2000s, he became a familiar sight at Scotia Speedworld, racing full time on the 3/10-mile oval. The 2013 season was his biggest as he went to victory lane in the Atlantic Championships Mini Stock 100 at the CENTRE For Speed, defeating a huge field of well over two dozen of the best Mini Stock racers from all three Maritime Provinces. When Williams is not on track, he is tuning on cars, lending some of his knowledge to his competitors. His technology went to victory lane with the likes of Drew MacEachern in 2012 and wound up on the top of the heap as Kyle MacMillan drove a “Mr. Honda” tuned car to the championship at Scotia Speedworld in 2012.
Those in the Atlantic Canadian Mini Stock world may not know Steve Matthews for his driving abilities (yet, at least), but he is a well-known name around racing circles in the region.
Matthews is a recognizable face in the pit area during Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour races as the spotter for the #98 of Jerome Kehoe. In past years, the Halifax native could be seen roaming the pits on a Friday night, lending a hand to teams who need it. In fact, Matthews got the bug to go Mini Stock racing after a pair of races in the famed Ken Zwicker owned #141 Neon in 2012 when their regular driver could not fill the seat.
While Matthews can count the amount of real world races he has on one hand, he is an accomplished iRacing driver on local circuits.
Applicants are encouraged to follow Fast Eddie on Twitter @WearFastEddie for further updates on the inaugural Search For Speed contest. Voting will open on May 12th and run until May 26th. The two winners will be announced on www.FastEddieRacewear.com on May 28th.
About Fast Eddie Racewear:
Founded in 2002 as a partnership between Jamie Hakonson and Tony Paton, Fast Eddie Racewear has grown to become one of the industry leaders in concept, design, manufacturing and distribution of motorsports and corporate wear. A ‘one stop shop’ for all things motorsports, Fast Eddie Racewear also stocks a full line of Simpson and Impact Safety Gear, including helmets, head and neck restraints, gloves and driving boots. Contact Fast Eddie Racewear at (800)-383-4940 and be sure to visit the brand new www.FastEddieRacewear.com