This week marks the debut of the “Five Things You Need To Know” column. Each day of the week, the column will highlight a division from Sunset Speedway, highlighting five drivers and mentioning things that you should know going into the next week of racing.
Last year, Cayden Lapcevich had a thrilling season en route to scoring the championship. The first night of the season and he has started off the year as he ended it, scoring the victory.
While he may not be running the full season this year, he will be a threat to win on each night that he is in attendance given the speed that he has shown so far. Expect a couple more trips to victory lane before the season is over. Though certainly the focus for many fans will on how well he adjusts to the Canadian Tire Series.
Over the past couple of seasons, Lane Zardo has shown speed and put himself into the championship contention. This year looks to be no exception as he showed speed on opening night, winning his heat and the fast qualifiers dash before finishing second in the feature. Based on the early speed, Zardo should be part of the championship discussion once again this year.
One of the surprises on opening night was Mike Weeda. Weeda posted a top-five in his heat, before posting a top-five in his fast qualifiers dash, en route to finishing fourth in the feature. The finish marks a positive note for Weeda as last season, he continued to get stronger over the course of the season, ending the year on a good note. Weeda posted the quickest time in time trials for the final feature of last year before a top-five finish in the feature.
With having figured out the new car as he enters his second year with it, Weeda looks to be a front running contender each week and could be someone to watch as he has a good shot at getting his first career feature victory early in the season.
Another surprise from opening night for Ryan Semple. Semple scored the victory in the b-main, before going on to finish fifth in the feature. Semple has been racing at Sunset Speedway for a couple of seasons, and has had limited success with some top-10 finishes over the years. He made the transition to Barrie Speedway, breaking into the top-five on the short oval.
Now returning to Sunset Speedway, Semple looks to have brought that speed back with him, running up front early in the year. If he can keep the momentum going, there’s a good chance that he could be winning the main feature one night.
Last year, Johnny Morrison ended the year off on a strong note, running in the top-five and looking as though he’d clinch his first victory early in the year. On Saturday night, though, he didn’t run as strong as projected. Morrison would finish 16th in the feature, unable to make his way through the field.
Going into the second week, he will definitely be trying to turn things around to a positive note and get his season on-track. If he can find the magic pieces to the puzzle that he found late last year, that could come sooner than later.