As discussions continued surrounding the 2014 Sunset Speedway schedule, the track gave the fans a Christmas present – they released their 2014 tentative schedule.
One of the biggest changes is the fact that the regular divisions will be running less nights in 2014. Instead of the 14 nights that were ran last year (16 were actually scheduled), it has been cut down to 12 nights in total and dubbed the name “Super Series”. Discussions started about the idea mid-summer to therefore decrease the cost for teams and also allow teams to use the other weekends to travel to other tracks of their choice in Ontario.
The season will start on May 3rd with the “Spring Derby”, which includes a 100 lap Late Model feature, a 50 lap Super Stock feature and a 35 lap Mini Stock feature. It is dubbed an “invitational” though points will be counted towards the Super Series for Sunset Speedway registered cars.
On the other nights that the Super Series is scheduled for, the Late Models will run 50 laps instead of 30, Super Stocks will run 30 and the Mini Stocks will run 25. The nights that have been announced for the series include May 17th, May 31st, June 14th, June 21st, July 5th, July 19th, August 2nd, August 9th and August 30th.
The Super Series Championship Night is scheduled for September 13th with a 100 lap feature for the Late Models, a 50 lap feature for the Super Stocks and a 35 lap feature for the Mini Stocks.
On the other nights, there will still be action at Sunset Speedway for fans to enjoy as it is supposed to be as action packed as years past.
The Pro Late Models will be returning this season after being missed last year with a 100 lapper on May 10th. The Pro Late Models were on the 2011 and 2012 schedule, though were removed for 2013. Drivers in the Pro Late ranks voiced their concerns and those concerns have been fulfilled. They will be joined by the Mini Stocks and Ontario Pro Challenge Series.
The Ontario Pro Challenge Series is a series consisting of quarter-scale cars that can reach speeds matching that of the higher ranks. Each year they draw about 15 cars and put on a respectable show in their own regard.
The OSCAAR Super Late Models will be making multiple trips to Sunset Speedway in 2014 once again with their first date scheduled for Sunday May 18th. The five events this past season included close racing amongst front runners Brandon Watson, Dwayne Baker, Kevin Cornelius, Glenn Watson and Andrew Gresel, among others. With the additions of Kelly Balson and Dave Doucette to the series for next year, expect the racing to get even stronger.
For their first date on May 18th, they will be joined by the OSCAAR Modifieds, which in their own right always put on a thrilling show. Last year saw seven different drivers reach victory lane across the series races, including 2013 Rick Woolner Memorial and series champion Gary McLean, Brent McLean and Justin Demelo. Other front runners include Davey Terry, Branden Bullen, Mike Westwood and Shane Stickel. With the addition of late model and Canadian Vintage Modifed veteran Gary Elliott to the series in 2014, look for the competition level to continue to rise.
Joining the SLMs and Mods will be the Lucas Oil Can-Am Midgets. These three-quarter open-wheeled midgets always put on great racing – three wide at times – as they battle for the top spot. A fan favourite for many, look for full fields in 2014.
The second date for the SLMs is the return of the double day “Don Biederman Memorial” which features a 50 lap feature on Saturday June 28th and a 50 lap feature on June 29th for the OSCAAR Super Late Models. OSCAAR officials brought forth the event last year, compared to the usual 75 lapper that they’d run in past years. Drivers will time trial on Saturday to set up the line-up for a single round of heats. The result of the qualifying heats and the b-feature (if necessary) sets the line-up for the first 50 lap feature. Then on Sunday, the finishing order from Saturday’s 50 lap feature sets up the line-up for the single round of heats. The result of the qualifying heats and the b-feature (if necessary) sets the line-up for the second 50 lap feature. The driver who has the lowest average finish across the two features will be crowned the Don Biederman Memorial Champion. Dwayne Baker won the event last year with a win in Saturday’s feature and a third place finish in Sunday’s feature.
The June 28th event will have the SLMs accompanied by a 30 lap OSCAAR Modified feature and the Pro Challenge Series. The June 29th event will have the SLMs accompanied by a 30 lap OSCAAR Modified feature and the Canadian Vintage Modifieds.
The third date for the OSCAAR Super Late Models at Sunset Speedway this year will be August 23rd and they will once again be joined by the Modifieds and Pro Challenge Series.
The release of the schedule also brought forth the answer to some Christmas wishes of drivers and fans. The Legend cars will be coming to Sunset Speedway on June 7th, along with the Canadian Vintage Modifieds, Hurricane Midgets and Mini Stocks. A couple of the Legend drivers have been requesting for a couple years now to get the Legends at Sunset Speedway as the cars, despite their smaller size, put on great racing at the tracks that they attend across Ontario.
The Legends will also race at Sunset Speedway on July 12th, accompanied by the Hurricane Midgets and the Pro 4 Modifieds. The Pro 4 Modifieds are basically a miniature modified with a 4 cylinder motor.
This season also bring the return of the “Sunset-Sauble Home-To-Home Series” which has Sunset Speedway’s cars going to Sauble Speedway one night and then Sauble’s cars coming to Sunset Speedway on another night. The Sunset Speedway cars will go to Sauble Speedway on July 12th. The Sauble cars will then come to Sunset Speedway on July 26th.
As usual, a Sunday invitational for the Late Models (75 laps), Super Stocks (50 laps) and Mini Stocks (35) appears on the schedule and that is scheduled for July 27th.
After a successful event last year, the ISMA Super Modifieds will once again hit up Sunset Speedway on August 16th. The ISMA Super Modifieds are the fastest cars that hit the pavement last year at Sunset Speedway and basically are an overgrown modified. They weigh approximately 1850 pounds with big-block methanol fuel-injected Chevrolets that pump out over 800 horsepower. They can do speeds over 140 mph at tracks that less than a mile – let that sink in. The secret? 20” Hoosier right-rear tires with loads of downforce courtesy of the air-strut adjustable wing on top.
So what does that equal? Pure speed and loud horsepower. Lou Cicconi set the quickest time of the day for the ISMA Super Modifieds at lap of 12.099 seconds on the 3/8 mile oval. In this past season’s event, Jeff Locke started on pole and led all 75 laps at Sunset Speedway to take the victory in the feature.
They will be once again accompanied by the Lucas Oil Can-Am Midgets.
To cap off the season, Sunset Speedway will host their 5th Annual Velocity Invitational on Saturday September 27th and Sunday September 28th.
Saturday September 27th will be feature a full show with qualifying and features for the Pro Challenge Series, Canadian Vintage Modifieds and Hurricane Midgets. It will also feature qualifying for the late models, super stocks, mini stocks and OSCAAR Modifieds.
Sunday September 28th will feature OSCAAR Super Late Model qualifying and a 50 lap feature, OSCAAR Modified Last Chance and 30 lap feature, Late Model Last Chance and 75 lap feature, Super Stock Last Chance and 50 lap feature and the Mini Stock Last Chance and 35 lap feature.
Well many have questioned the schedule and still continue to question the decision to cut back on regular nights of racing, the season as a whole looks like it will be filled with action from top to bottom.