By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia) – Veteran Ontario late model driver Sean Cronan has announced he will drive a Terry Snyder-owned OSCAAR Super Late Model for the entirety of the 2013 season.
Cronan explained the deal with Snyder had been in the works since the 2012 Autumn Colours Classic at Peterborough Speedway. Cronan, who will pilot a chassis previously driven by Jeff Dunford, feels the transition will be simple with the veteran Snyder at the helm.
“We’ve got a big asset with Terry having been around for so many years,” explained Cronan. “He’s a bit of a Super Late Model guru. He lives and breathes racing.”
Cronan will drive car #8 during his rookie season.
“I’m so thankful just to be racing for Terry Snyder. It’s a great car and a great honour,” said Cronan.
Along with his full-time move to OSCAAR, Cronan says he will still see some action in his limited late model, although the only confirmed event is the 21st edition of the Autumn Colours Classic October 11-13, 2013, where he will pull double-duty.
The 2011 Sunset Speedway McColl shootout champion Cronan says he has dreamt of his chance to pilot a Super Late Model since he first started watching short track racing in Ontario.
“It’s always been one of those dreams where I thought ‘it would sure be nice to setup one of those cars’,” explained Cronan.
Cronan, who previously called Sunset Speedway home, is the fifth driver to announce his competition for rookie-of-the-year. The Barrie, Ont. native will be up against tough competition in fellow Sunset graduate Kevin Cornelius, Andrew Gresel, J.R. Fitzpatrick, and Rob Gibson for the rookie title.
“These guys are good. It’s not easy by any stretch,” said Cronan. “These guys are all very accomplished racecar drivers. We’ll see how it all works out, but that’s a stout field of rookies.”
The transition to a bigger, faster, yet lighter Super Late Model will not necessarily be easy, but Cronan is up for the tough challenge against a strong cast of competitors.
“You have to react faster, they brake harder, they come out of the corners a lot faster,” said Cronan. “Everything about a Super Late Model is faster. That’s going to be the biggest learning curve for me.”
“I’ve never shied away from competition before in my life, so I don’t think now is a time to start. I’m ready for the challenge and we’ll see what we’ve got at the end of the year.”
The veteran Cronan has yet to reach out to other OSCAAR competitors for advice, but says he hopes to before the season starts.
“It’s a racecar, and it turns left. I might give somebody call. If all else fails, we’ll wing it,” joked Cronan.
Regardless of the competition level, Cronan says he will be more focused on his own consistency, and admitted he may follow the model of a fellow competitor.
“You’ve got to finish races,” said Cronan. “That’ll probably be a strong asset for Kevin Cornelius. He doesn’t seem to get himself in to too much trouble.”
The burgeoning size of OSCAAR caught Cronan’s eye over the past few years and gave him the final nudge to make the jump.
“OSCAAR is a growing series. There is no doubt about that,” stated Cronan. “You look at the roster list and the money these guys are spending, and it just keeps going. It’s unbelievable. To even be a part of that is a huge honour.”
With just under a month remaining until the season opener, Cronan is optimistic he and his team are poised to compete well.
“With my guys coming on board and a little bit of experience from (Terry), I think we can put a solid program together.”
Cronan will enjoy extensive sponsorship in 2013 from Spira Fire Protection, The Lockeroom Sports Bar & Grill, Women In Stride, Super Cuts, Gunk Canada, Plumbtech Plumbing Inc., Rental City, Knightworks Design, Speedy Auto Machine, Sturdy Power Lines, Bourque Transmission, Paul’s Auto Body, Sophie’s Place Restaurant, Allen Roofing, and Septech Septic Service.
Cronan will be in action on Sunday May 19 for the OSCAAR season opener at Sunset Speedway.