By Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media
Gaining short track racing experience can come in many different forms. Some get their start watching from the grandstands or helping on a friend's pit crew, before taking a turn behind the wheel themselves. Others begin in a track's entry level or support divisions and advance through the different ranks.
With the 2015 Ontario Modifieds Racing Series; powered by Torque Builders Inc. season scheduled to leave the starting blocks Saturday, May 2nd – for the second annual Spring Shakedown – at Flamboro Speedway, the popular open wheeled crew is expecting to have a battle for freshmen honours, with at least a handful of drivers taking their first laps with the series. Rick Warnes – speaking on behalf of the group of OMRS officials that also includes Bill Pickford and Randy Hollingsworth – says everyone is looking forward to seeing the new talent compete for Rookie of the Year.
"It's great to see new drivers and teams coming on board," said Warnes. "All along, we've been committed to providing competitive, affordable racing and people are buying into that brand. We'll have a healthy crop of first-timers for the 2015 calendar and that's something that'll benefit the fan base as well as our existing driver roster."
After taking part in the OMRS/Peterborough Speedway Driver Development Program, Willow Barberstock will graduate to the popular open wheeled division this year. The 15 year old from Stirling, Ontario – who captured the 2014 4Fun track championship at Canada's Toughest 3rdof a Mile Paved Oval – will make history again, becoming the youngest driver and first female competitor in series history. Barberstock's #62W is the machine driven last year by Rick Warnes.
The 2015 rookie line-up is steeped in Peterborough Speedway history, with 2014 Mini Stock track champion Ryan Babin sharing a ride with good friend Christopher Mulders. The pair will split the events down the middle, so each has a pair of dates at Flamboro and 3 at the tight, tricky bullring on Mount Pleasant Road, west of the Liftlock City. Their weapon of choice will be a former Darren Kearnan ride that will carry #46.
Just over a month ago, 2013 Thunder Car champion Donny Beatty didn't have any plans for the new season, but things can quickly change. The veteran campaigner from Beaverton, Ontario will join the rookie ranks with the Ontario Modifieds Racing Series in car owned by Bradford, Ontario's Robert James.
Coming through the sports different divisions is nothing new for drivers with the Ontario Modifieds Racing Series; powered by Torque Builders Inc. Twin brothers Alex and Nick Lees of Cameron, Ontario – who each scored main event wins during the 2014 season – had impressive stats in the 4Fun and Mini Stock fields at both Peterborough and Kawartha Speedways. Nick won the Autumn Colours Classic in 2011, with Alex capturing the Chase for the Colours victory in 2012.
2015 Ontario Modifieds Racing Series Schedule:
Spring Shakedown Invitational (rules to follow)
Fans can find full series details at www.ontariomodifiedsracing.com or
www.facebook.com/OMRS Ontario Modifieds Racing Series powered by TORQUE BUILDERS Inc.
Photo attachment: Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media
Cameron, Ontario's Alex Lees scored his first career OMRS main event during the 2014 season. The popular open wheeled modified series expects about a handful of drivers to compete for the Rookie of the Year honours. Like Lees, all have advanced through various racing divisions.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media
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