ORILLIA, ON – One of the most personable racers on the OSCAAR Modified Tour roster, it would be a tall task to find a driver or team member that wasn’t happy for AJ Emms upon his clinching of the 2019 tour championship.
The second-generation racer has experienced a mix of ups and downs on the tour since his debut in 2015 and truly crafted something close to an idyllic season en route to a championship this year.
“This (championship) means the world to me,” offered Emms. “This tour has really grown into something special. It’s a huge deal. It’s something that a lot of people have their eyes on now and winning this title is something our team has wanted for what feels like forever.”
“We’ve worked for five years to put together a season as complete as this one,” continues the Orillia, ON native. “It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life – without a doubt. I’ve always been proud of our team but I feel like we’ve hit a new level this year”
Emms is no stranger to championship near-misses, having finished second in the tour standings in 2016 and 2017 before stepping back to a partial schedule in 2018 in order to revamp his family-owned operation.
The result was a 2019 campaign that saw Emms tally a trio of event wins with a total of 10 top-5 finishes across his 12 starts on tour.
“This year was just the culmination of every experience we’ve had on this tour and every minute of research and work we’ve put in at home,” explains Emms. “I have a world of respect for the guys we’re racing against. These are some is the absolute toughest teams in the province. We knew that we had to do our homework if we wanted the chance to come out and outrun them.”
While Emms is more than ready to enjoy the fruits of his labour and reflect on his title victory, he also offers a glimpse into what his outfit has planned for the 2020 season.
“We’re still real far off from figuring out what our plans are for next year but I absolutely believe this car has a lot more wins in it,” noted Emms. “I don’t believe that our team has reached our full potential yet. We can absolutely go farther.”
“I’m excited to go home and relax for a few weeks but then our Winter will be all about putting together some sponsorship to see just what we can do for 2020. It was an honour to win this championship and I’d love more than anything to come back next year and prove it wasn’t a one-off.”