ORILLA, ON – While there’s no question that the entire OSCAAR Modified Tour roster is counting the days prior to its first ever Jukasa Motor Speedway appearance, few drivers are approaching the event with the same unbridled excitement and intensity as AJ Emms.
The former outlaw midget standout has become one of the most recognizable faces on the modern day OSCAAR Modified roster and is hoping to catapult himself further into household-name status with a win at Jukasa on Saturday.
“This event is such a huge opportunity for the tour as a whole,” says Emms. “The fact that we get to race at the premier speedway in the province – in front of what’s going to be a gigantic crowd – is a gigantic honour. This one has been circled on our calendar for months.”
The second-generation wheelman impressed in his 2018 debut with the tour, fashioning a top-5 finish in the series’ opener at Sunset Speedway last month.
“We took a lot home from our top-5 at Sunset,” explains the former Autumn Colours Classic winner. “I learned a lot more about what this car needs from me. We picked up some real important notes that I’m positive are going to help us at Jukasa. Our goal as a team has always been to be better than we were the night before. So, we were happy with our Sunset run, but we’re looking towards being even better at Jukasa.”
And while Jukasa’s return has been the talk of Canadian short track racing for the past year – Open Wheel Modifieds of any kind have yet to grace the high banks. As a result, Emms knows that his team – and any others in search of OSCAAR glory this Saturday – will need to stay on their toes and be ready to adapt to a number of proverbial curveballs that could be thrown their way on raceday.
“I think the most important part of this Saturday is going to be staying relaxed,” opines Emms. “[Open Wheel] Modifieds haven’t raced on the new track yet. So, nobody really knows what to expect.”
“Because of that, we’re going to need to stay ready to adapt as the night goes on,” continues the well-spoken favourite. “As far as setup goes – we have an idea of what we think is going to work – but we aren’t positive at all. We might get thrown a curveball in hotlaps and have to change everything.”
“I’m ready for anything. It means a lot just to have the chance to race at Jukasa. So, if we can come away from this weekend with a podium finish I think I’ll be over the moon.”