Coming into the night, the plan was simple – run up front and lock up the championship. There were even thoughts of possibly winning the event as Dwayne Baker is known as one of the best long distance Late Model racers in the province. However, that plan looked to be falling apart early in the race when Baker dropped all the way back to the 11th spot at one point.
“We were going backwards more than I wanted to go forwards,” Baker commented in his post-race interview with track announcer Spencer Lewis. “That caution cooled off that right rear tire. We were just really too loose. I was glad to get the outside on the restart as it was good on the outside.”
Throughout the second half of the event and really in truly the last 20 laps, Baker avoided the chaos that ensured and came home in the third spot to lock up the 2014 Limited Late Model Championship.
“Awesome year! Thanks to all my fans, family and everybody that helps us on the car,” Baker commented. “This is one for Sherry’s mother that passed away a couple weeks ago. She’s going to be party time tonight.”
The championship marks no surprise for followers of the track this season as Baker has been consistently fast throughout the year, posting top-five finishes on a weekly basis, highlighted by a couple of wins. It also marks no surprise for longtime followers of the sport as Baker has always been a threat to win at Sunset Speedway, coming close to winning the championship on multiple occasions through the years.
“My son Kyle and all these guys kept working on the set-up. They never gave up,” the 2012 Barrie Speedway Champion said. “We changed the whole set-up on the front end and we’ve just been fighting every week to keep speed in the car.”
The speed was certainly there throughout the year and on Saturday night as the pieces finally came together for Baker. Now with the championship under his belt, focus shifts towards the short track playoff season. Baker will look to win Sunset Speedway’s big Thursday night Canadian Limited Late Model Champion 125 lap feature, before making his first career NASCAR Canadian Tire Series start at Kawartha Speedway on Saturday. He will then look to score the victory in the Velocity 250 at Sunset, before trying to win the 75 lap Autumn Colors Classic Limited Late Model feature for the third straight year in a row.