Kenny McNicol Jr
Sauble Speedway regular Kenny McNicol Jr. made headlines last Sunday with his win during the Super Stock portion of Delaware Speedway’s ‘Great Canadian Weekend’. This weekend, the oft-underappreciated veteran will be back behind the wheel in search of a second Playoff Season conquest – this time at Sunset Speedway’s ‘Velocity 250’. McNicol will be one of a number of top-tier contenders in the Super Stock field, including 2016 champion Matt Bentley, 2016 Sauble Speedway champion Ken Grubb and 2016 Sunset Rookie of the Year Treyten Lapcevich.
Flamboro Speedway Mini Stock rookie Taylor Thring will make her Sunset Speedway debut this weekend during the 2016 edition of the lauded Velocity 250. Thring most recently earned an 8th place finish in her last Flamboro start, and will hope to continue her recent string of top-10 finishes against what will undoubtedly be the stiffest test of her young career. With a field expected to draw well over 30-cars, a birth in the A Main would be looked at as a considerable accomplishment for the third-generation racer.
Georgetown, ON’s Jeff Hanley will enter Sunday’s final Avenue Auto Parts Super Late Model series event at Sunset Speedway just 3-points behind current leader Brandon Watson. The longtime standout won Round 3 of the series in July, and will have momentum on his side as the upstart mini-series contests their final event of their inaugural season. Sunday’s 100-lap event could play right into Hanley’s classic strategy, and should he find his way to the front of the field and stay there, there’s an excellent chance his No. 70 could exit as the first ever Avenue Super Late Model champion.
Fresh off of a 13th place finish in the final MIGHTY Mini Division event of 2016, Morgan Robson will move up to the perennially competitive Mini Stock division this weekend at Sunset Speedway’s Velocity 250. The Utopia, ON racer will hope to tally a second consecutive top-15 finish, as he prepares to welcome some of Ontario’s elite competitors to his home-track.
After a spirited run towards the 2016 Sunset Speedway Mini Stock championship came up short, former champion Eric Yorke will look towards the Velocity invitational as the ideal way to add a career-high fifth feature win to his season total. The Milton, ON product has been a constant presence at the front of the Sunset Speedway field, and could very well pose a legitimate threat to any team looking to add their name to the coveted Velocity 250 hardware this weekend.
‘Prime Time’ Josh Stade
The two-time Sauble Speedway champion will enter this weekend’s invitational as one of the out-of-town favorites to unseat the Sunset regulars at the front of the field. Although he’s struggled with his APC United Late Model Series Pro Late Model program as of late, Stade’s Ltd. Late Model package is still one of the best in the province. The Chesley, ON standout has already visited Sunset victory lane – on Opening Night 2015 – and knows exactly what it will take to bring his MEI Paving No. 17 to the front and keep it there.
Third-generation racer Coltin Everingham’s early-season struggles within Sunset’s over-the-top competitive Super Stock division were well documented. Fortunately, for the Alcona Beach, ON native, the final quarter of the season has been much kinder to the Smurf’s Towing No. 48. He enters the weekend’s Velocity 250 with a string of top-15 performances in his rear-view mirror, and will undoubtedly have his sights set on continuing his forward momentum. However, if you thought Sunset’s weekly division was tough, just wait to see what kind of field is waiting in the staging area come Saturday morning. Heavy-hitters from across Ontario are expected to converge on Sunset this weekend, and with an extended-distance 50-lap event serving as one of the co-headliners on Sunday, Everingham will need both a solid strategy and a fast car to put his family-owned ride into the mix.
Flamboro, ON native Lisa DeLeeuw turned in a career year in the Signs of Innovation MIGHTY Division this season. The Mini Stock veteran finished 5th in the season-end points standings, thanks largely in part to a consistency-first strategy that kept her familiar No. 84 within the top-10 in 80% of her starts this season. With the regular season complete, DeLeeuw will step up to the Mini Stock division for this weekend’s Velocity 250 invitational, and line up alongside a number of former champions and Crown Jewel winners. After the campaign she’s had this season, there stands an excellent chance that DeLeeuw could prove to be the dark-horse to watch during Sunday’s 35-lap feature event.
Ontario short track veteran Glenn Schnurr dove headfirst into Super Stock competition in 2016, and has had a number of impressive finishes to show for his continued efforts with Jason Legge’s Legger’s Race Shop outfit. After a strong run during May’s ‘Spring Velocity’, the Owen Sound, ON native will be back at Sunset Speedway this weekend, with hopes of tallying his first career track podium. Schnurr is a true veteran of the game, and as crafty as they come. With 50-laps on the docket, it would be foolish to count out his No. 20 when it comes time to rattle off favorites as the field prepares to take the green on Sunday afternoon.
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of Sunset’s NASCAR Late Model season has been the performance of rookie contender Lane Zardo. The former Super Stock champion managed to work through a rough start to 2016 to finish his freshman campaign on a high note, winning his first career feature event and logging a number of top-10 finishes towards the end of the regular season. This weekend, ‘The Thrillbilly’ will hope to show off all that he’s learned, and compete for his first career Crown Jewel podium from behind the wheel of a Late Model. Zardo’s extended-distance prowess was well-documented in the Super Stock division, and if he can carry over that level of patience and strategy to his Late Model program, the results could be more than impressive on Sunday.