The result was the best season of Tooley’s young career, as the blue-collar racer tallied a number of top-10 finishes en route to finishing 9th in the final Sunset Speedway Super Stock points standings.
“This (season) was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in a race car,” smiles Tooley as he reflects back on his 2018 efforts. “It was hard to step back last summer. But, we knew that we had to regroup and figure our stuff out if we really wanted a chance at contending and being a factor every Saturday.”
Tooley made good use of his year away from the division, as he returned with a new outlook on racing in addition to a new car and a new setup package than what his family-owned team has utilized in previous seasons.
“We marked this year as a learning experience,” explains the Alcona Beach, ON product. “Our team understood that it would take some serious effort to get our hands around this new car and our new setup, but it ended up working really well for us.”
“The knowledge that we picked up this year as a team – and the lessons I brought back as a driver – are going to end up helping us for a long time,” continues Tooley. “That’s what’s important to me right now. I want us to build something for the long run.”
While a fulltime push for a Sunset Speedway championship next season remains conditional on sponsorship support, Tooley hopes that his underfunded operation can find the means to roll all the knowledge they acquired in 2018 into a full season of standout performances in 2019.
“At the end of the day – we don’t have the money to make a go of this on our own,” admits Tooley. “We need to sit down with our sponsors, do everything that we can to bring them back and then try and get in the room with a few new marketing partners if we want to be back for a full season.”
“We don’t just want to be another team in the pits. I want us to have the chance to be a factor in this division and be good enough to really contend for wins week-in and week-out. That’s what we’re looking to do every time we get to the speedway from here on out.”