OSCAAR tour rising star Corey Jones is ready to step back into action this weekend. For the first time in almost seven months, the sophomore competitor will line up alongside the best Super Late Model talent in Ontario when the province-wide tour hits Sunset Speedway as part of the inaugural ‘Spring Velocity’ weekend on May 16 and 17.
For Jones, the event is the first chance for his family-run effort to establish themselves as championship contenders on a roster dotted with battle-tested veterans.
“It’s an absolute honor just to be back with the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour this season,” smiles the former Karting standout. “This is an opportunity that every driver wants, but very few will ever get. I hope to make the absolute most of our year.
“Any time you unload at an OSCAAR event, you know that you’re going up against some stiff competition. However, that seems to be even truer at Sunset. It’s a track that just seems to bring out the very best in you.”
For Jones, a return to Sunset represents an opportunity to overcome a number of challenges that faced the team in five appearances at the Innisfil, ON facility in 2014.
“As much as I love Sunset, it just doesn’t seem to love me back,” offers the personable sophomore with a laugh. “Last season it felt like anything that could go wrong, did go wrong when we rolled in there. It’s a place that I really want to do well at – and if I have to come back here 100 times to do it, I’m prepared for that.
“Between wrecks and engine issues last year, we couldn’t seem to buy a good run at Sunset,” continues Jones. “I feel like if we can turn the corner at Sunset, it will set a huge precedent for the rest of the season.”
With an entire winter spent overhauling his program, Jones knows the time is now for his team to begin making gains on the rest of the roster.
“We’ve changed so much over the off-season, I can’t wait to see how the car reacts in race trim. We tested the car at Flamboro last week and it felt fantastic. If I could have, I would have loaded up and went to race at Sunset that afternoon.
“It’s hard to quantify how many hours we’ve spent on this car over the winter,” adds Jones. “I can’t thank my team enough for all of their hours and support. Hopefully, we can find some speed right out of the box and all of our hard work will be worth it.”
After a freshman campaign that yielded more valleys than peaks, the first-generation competitor hopes to generate some early momentum at the ‘Spring Velocity’ weekend.
“Last year we had engine problems to start off the season and it made it so difficult to find our rhythm. I just want a solid run to open up our schedule. If we can grind our way into the top-10, it would be a huge boost to our program.
“I learned so much in my first full year on the tour. Now, I hope to apply all of those lessons in order to take our team to the next level this season.”
-By Spencer Lewis, Speed51.com Canadian Editor – Twitter: @itsspencerlewis
-Photo credit: Dan Little Photography