This past season was everything that a driver could want for one of Ontario’s legendary short track drivers – Tom Walters. Stompin’ Tom was able to wrap up both the Sunset Speedway Limited Late Model Track Championship and the M.R.E Pro Series Pro Late Model Championship to bring his total number of championships up to 31.
For his accomplishments, Walters earned the No. 1 spot in Spencer Lewis’ Inside Track Motorsports News Ontario Short Track Asphalt Power Rankings.
“I don’t think there’s too many more,” the veteran said as part of the Canadian Motorsports Expo. “But yeah, it was a good season. Two championships in one year is pretty great.”
For Walters, it was his consistency throughout the schedule as he did not pick up a Saturday night feature victory till mid-July.
“We struggled with that car in short races,” Walters said. “It just didn’t come till about lap 30. The bigger the races that stayed green, the stronger the car got.”
In total, the veteran picked up two regular Saturday night feature victories, including the final event of the season.
On the flip side, Walters dominated the M.R.E Pro Series, winning the first two events, while scoring a pair of seconds in the next two races.
“We just cheated better than anybody else,” Walters joked. “That’s what they’ve said all these years. They keep changing the rules and we keep beating them. So they changed the rules again. Mike and I were walking around thinking ‘What are they going to change next?’. We were trying to figure it out. They kept adding different rules each time, and Mike and I kept figuring it out so obviously that’s what I did.”
The shock behind Walters’ dominance was that he was running a Limited Late Model against the top Pro Late Models from around the whole province. However, Walters notes that the two divisions are close.
“I think in another year the Limited Late Models will be Pro Late Models,” Walters said. “It’s just evolution. Just like the Limited Late Models became the Pro Late Models six years ago. They’ll change the name again and the Limited Late Models will become the Pro Late Models, just like the Super Stocks are becoming the Challengers. It’s the nature of the beast.”
Heading into the 2013 season, the 62-year-old has hinted at running a limited schedule due to sponsorship.
“We’re going to cut back a little, with the lack of sponsorship and everything else,” Walters said. “If the funds are there, we’ll run every Saturday night. But I ran at times before when the funds weren’t there and it hurt a lot of people. I just decided – maybe I’m more mature – that I’m not going to do that anymore.”
He also has plans of working with teenager Super Stock Cayden Lapcevich in helping Lapcevich out as Lapcevich heads into his second full year in stock car racing, as well as helping teammate Sean Grosman.