When asked about his inaugural season spent on tour with the OSCAAR Modifieds in 2014, Tommy Robb can muster nothing more than a single word answer.
It’s hard to blame the Durham, Ontario driver for feeling bitter. The 2014 season was not kind to the former Late Model regular. In 13 tour starts, Robb was forced to battle his way through mechanical breakdowns and on-track incidents – including one accident at Barrie Speedway (ON) that did considerable damage to Robb’s wrist – that threatened to end his season on a number of occasions.
Still, through it all, Robb maintained a positive attitude. And, as his family-run effort continues to prepare for their 2015 campaign, the aptly nicknamed ‘Relentless’ is ready to shake off his frustrating freshman season.
“I think it’s safe to say that 2014 wasn’t our year,” offers the personable veteran with a smile. “It was the type of season that really makes you question why you’re in this sport.
“It’s easy to want to do this when things are going great and you’re having solid runs every Saturday. It’s a lot harder to do it when everything seems to be falling apart. It was a lot of work to keep our car on track, week after week. But it taught me a lot about myself, and it taught me a lot about our team. We’re definitely in this for the right reasons”
This year, the OSCAAR Modified Tour will contest 14 events at six tracks across Ontario. With a number of tour veterans returning, in addition to an influx of fresh faces and rookies, the 2015 season promises to be one of the toughest yet for the fourth year series.
“I love reading about all the new talent that’s coming out on tour with us,” says Robb. “I would love for every single talented driver in the province to have a Modified. I think I’m a lot like every other driver on this roster – I want to race against the very best.”
And despite the roster boasting more marquee names than ever before, ‘Relentless’ believes that 2015 is his time to shine.
“Racing – just like anything else in life – is all about peaks and valleys. We went through a bad season, and now we’ve worked three times as hard to be ready for a good season.
“Even when things were at their worst last year, I never once doubted this team’s ability,” continues the 25-year old. “I’m confident in myself as a competitor, and I believe in the people that I’m surrounded by. We’ve changed virtually every single aspect of this racecar over the off-season. When we hit the track for practice day, the only thing that’ll be the same is the roof and the number on the door.”
When reflecting back on his frustrating 2014 season, Robb reasons that the adversity helped him mature as a competitor.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that it made me better,” says the first-generation competitor. “As a team owner and as a racer, my outlook has improved thanks to what we went through last season.
“I’m looking forward to things being a little less chaotic. Last year, we had to walk through the fire just to make it to the end of the season. Hopefully, this year, we can concentrate more on getting our car faster and less on working against the odds.”
Tommy Robb will open up his 2015 season alongside the rest of the OSCAAR Modified Tour at Sunset Speedway on May 16th.
-By Spencer Lewis, Speed51.com Canadian Editor – Twitter: @itsspencerlewis
-Photo Credit: Dan Little Photography