HAMPTON, ON- After a frustrating start to his freshman campaign with the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour at Sunset Speedway, Kelly Balson will travel to Kawartha Speedway on June 1st with a brand new set-up and renewed focus.
“By the time we unload at Kawartha, there will not be a single component on this car that will be the same as it was at Sunset”, explained Balson. “We chased the car all day long in our debut. It was as exhausting as it was frustrating. The only positive aspect of our appearance at Sunset was the fact that we were able to keep the car out of the wall”
‘The Crowd Pleaser’ left Sunset on May 18th knowing a trip back to the drawing board would be necessary. A recent test session at Peterborough Speedway provided encouragement that the team was headed in the right direction.
“On the ride home from Sunset, the general consensus amongst our team was that we were looking at a complete overhaul of the setup we utilized at Sunset”, stated Balson. “We made a litany of changes, and if our test at Peterborough is any indication, we’re definitely getting closer to where we need to be”
“The car turned better at Peterborough than it ever has, which is exactly what we were looking for after our less than inspiring debut”
When asked if his history competing at Kawartha will benefit his second appearance with the OSCAAR tour, Balson is quick to downplay the notion.
“I don’t think my familiarity with the speedway is going to help one bit”, said the former Pro Late Model standout matter-of-factly. “Experience in anything other than a Super Late Model here doesn’t count for a whole lot. It might put me ahead of my fellow rookies, but when compared to the veterans of the tour, I’m at no advantage whatsoever”
In the week leading up to the event, Balson has worked closely with Kawartha legend Dan McHattie, with hopes of finding the ideal setup for June 1st’s 50-lap event.
“Dan’s filled the role of mad scientist rather nicely”, joked Balson. “We’ve changed everything from shocks and springs to the amount of lead in the car”
“We’re looking to lighten the car up, in order to get into the bump stops harder and for longer”, continued Balson. “The OSCAAR rules are complex at best when it comes to weight, so we were actually overweight at Sunset. We’re confident we’ve fixed the problem, we should give us a much better package at Kawartha”
With a laundry list of changes now complete, Balson is more than ready to put his tour debut behind him, and look ahead to Round 2.
“What’s done is done”, offered Balson with a shrug. “Every day can’t be perfect. You’re never going to be flawless every time you step out of the hauler”
“I’m very confident with the adjustments we’ve made. And, at the end of the day, it has to be better – because it simply can’t be any worse than it was”
Details for Round 2 of the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour at Kawartha Speedway can be found at www.OSCAAR.ca.
Kelly Balson’s 2014 season is made possible thanks to London Recreational, Dan McHattie Racecars and Cochrane Automotive.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)