Former Pro Late Model champion Paul Howse has announced he will compete in select events with the OSCAAR Super Late Model Tour in 2015.
Howse – with the aid of Hall of Famer Junior Hanley – will campaign a Hanley-maintained chassis in a handful of events this season.
“I’m not sure there’s a driver in the province that wouldn’t race a Super Late Model if given the opportunity,” laughs Howse when asked what prompted his decision to join the OSCAAR tour.
“There’s a lot of talent there,” continues Howse. “A lot of accomplished racers that I haven’t had the chance to compete with yet and now is as good of a time as ever”
The Hillsburgh, ON driver – a two-time winner of Flamboro Speedway’s (ON) prestigious Gold Rush 100 – is anxious to return from a short absence, after taking a hiatus from competition in 2014 to help his son Jordan ease into the Sunset Speedway (ON) Mini Stock division.
“When we made the decision to step away from my weekly program, we did so with the hope I would be back behind the wheel sooner, rather than later,” explains the multi-time Flamboro Speedway champion.
“I didn’t think we’d be back this quickly, but when this opportunity came along I knew that I couldn’t pass it up”
The ‘opportunity’ was the chance to acquire a chassis that Hanley – Howse’s mentor and Crew Chief – is quite familiar with.
“Junior [Hanley] has worked pretty closely with Rob Poole on the OSCAAR tour the last few seasons,” says Howse. “When Rob expressed interest in selling his car, I knew that there wouldn’t be a better chance for me to start up a Super Late Model program.
“I called Junior, and he essentially told me that I’d be crazy not to pick this car up. The next thing I knew, we had a Super Late Model in the shop and were putting together a schedule.”
Though the number of appearances has yet to be finalized, Howse is adamant that the family-run team’s primary focus will remain on Jordan’s sophomore season and continued development.
“We’re a small team with a limited amount of resources,” says the veteran. “We don’t have the manpower to have me racing at one end of the province with OSCAAR, while Jordan is at the other end of the province in his Mini Stock.
“Jordan had a huge year in 2014, and I know that he’s only going to keep improving. I don’t want to miss any of that. I plan on working with him every step of the way, and we’ll build the Super Late Model schedule around that.
“I’m not sure how many times we’ll be on track with the OSCAAR tour this season, but I can guarantee that when we do have the opportunity to come and race with these guys, we’ll give it everything we have.”
-By Spencer Lewis, Speed51.com Canadian Editor – Twitter: @itsspencerlewis
-Photo credit: Gordon Nicholson