STROUD, ON- As the weeks begin to wind down prior to Sunset Speedway’s inaugural season under the NASCAR Whelen All American Series banner, drivers across all four weekly divisions are expressing their excitement to race for Provincial and Nationals NWAAS championships.
Sunset’s headlining Sauble Falls Tent & Trailer Park Late Models will compete for Division I honours, and with an expected car count of over 30-cars, there’s an excellent chance a Sunset-based driver could find themselves in contention for a National championship.
“The NASCAR sanctioning is going to make things a lot more interesting this season,” says reigning Late Model champion Dwayne Baker. “The incentives that NASCAR provides for a weekly champion can make a big difference for a racer’s program.
“We weren’t sure if we would be back racing weekly in 2015,” continues Baker, “but as soon as the news broke about the Whelen All American Series deal, our minds were made up. There’s nothing that would mean more to me than to have a chance to race for a National championship.”
Saturday night events will be split into twin-35 lap features for the Late Model division, with a racer’s best 18-appearances throughout the season counting towards their final NWAAS points tally.
“With the car count that Sunset is expecting this season, there’s a really strong chance that one of our drivers could take a run at a top finish in the National points,” explains Sunset newcomer Gord Shepherd.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to win a NASCAR Provincial championship at another facility, and the feeling of accomplishment is second to none. I’m very much looking forward to testing ourselves against the very best in Ontario and against the top drivers from across North America.”
In addition to Division I points, Sunset Speedway’s St. Onge Recreation Super Stock and Graham Landscape Limited Mini Stock divisions will vie for Division II and Division III championships respectively.
For former Super Stock champion Lane Zardo, the opportunity to join the Whelen All American Series ranks offers a chance to cement his family-run operation in the record books.
“No one has ever won a NASCAR-sanctioned championship at Sunset,” offers Zardo, “and the first person that does it will be in the history books forever.
“To write your name on something that important is a career achievement. It would be something worth telling my kids about. We start out every season wanting to win the Sunset championship, but this year we have some added motivation, that’s for sure.”
2014 Mini Stock champion Brandon McFerran will return to fulltime competition this season, and will look to throw his name into the mix in a densely populated Division III title hunt.
“As soon as I heard about the [NWAAS] sanctioning, I researched just how many tracks are a part of the Whelen All American Series and it blew my mind,” says McFerran. “There are drivers all across North America that are gunning for the Division III championship, and I hope I can put our team into contention right alongside them.
“I want to be the first Ontario driver to ever win a NASCAR All American Series National Championship.”
The speedway’s brand new Signs of Innovation MIGHTY division – targeted towards beginner level competitors – will compete for Division IV points.
Sunset Speedway’s inaugural season under the NASCAR Whelen All American Series will open on May 2nd with Twin 35-lap features for the NASCAR Sauble Falls Tent & Trailer Park Late Model division, as well as opening night events for the Super Stocks, Mini Stocks and the upstart MIGHTY division.
Details, including gate times and ticket prices, can be found at www.SunsetSpeedway.ca later this week.
For additional information, be sure to follow Sunset Speedway on Twitter @Sunset_Speedway and visit the official Sunset Speedway page on Facebook.
-Sunset Speedway Press Release. Photo credit: Jerry Abramowicz Photography