MOUNT BRYDGES, ON – Perennial Ontario standout Cole Powell captured attention all over Canada in 2018, finishing 4th in NASCAR Pinty’s Series standings after tallying his first ever national victory as well as an additional 8 top-5 finishes in 13 starts across the country.
Now, looking back on his season spent with longtime Pinty’s Series heavyweights Ed Hakonson Racing, Powell sees his year’s worth of NPS competition differently than any of his previous short track experience.
“When you’re out there with the (NASCAR Pinty’s Series) teams there’s a different dynamic than just about any other field in the country,” says Powell. “I have so much respect for the guys we raced against this year because they pour absolutely everything they have into their programs and their teams.”
“There’s a good chunk of these guys that are racers for a living and that translates to how prepared they are,” continues the second-generation driver. “They make it their life and their goal to go out there and beat you every time. You can’t half-ass it with them.”
Powell showcased an innate ability to adapt and improve in each of his Pinty’s Series appearances, rapidly transitioning from a fresh face in the paddock to a bonafide threat to contend for victory at any facility on the schedule.
“We came together to rise to the challenge and give these guys everything they could handle,” stated the former Late Model standout. “The goal, for me, has always been to outperform my previous self.”
“Racing at the national level brought a lot of eyeballs in 2018 – and I wanted to make sure I did everything in my power to be better with every race. You’re never going to see the same version of me twice.”
However, despite Powell’s head-turning freshman effort with the Canada-wide series, his plans for the 2019 season remain up in the air.
“Unfortunately I’m not really different from any other driver with a suit and a helmet – I only get to race as long as there’s funding to make it happen,” explains Powell. “We’re doing all that we can to put something together for 2019. I’ve already had some meetings that I feel real good about. But, there’s still some grinding and some work to be done before we know for sure that next season is going to happen.”
“I did receive a NASCAR hard charger award and driver achievement award for the 2018 Pinty’s series which I was very excited to receive, and I hope will help land some additional sponsorship for the upcoming season.”