ALLISTON, ON – Blue-collar rising star Chris Allard will enter this Saturday’s Sunset Speedway event with a commanding 81-point lead in the race for the 2017 Super Stock Rookie of the Year title.
Following a relatively rocky start to the year, the bulk of Allard’s freshman campaign has been one characterized by a hardworking team unwilling to compromise or settle for ‘good enough’.
“Man, I’m not exaggerating for one second when I say that this entire season has been a dream come true,” beams Allard. “I grew up watching my Dad race these cars. This is all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
“We’re taking it one step at a time,” insists the Mini Stock graduate. “One week at a time. But, every Saturday, it’s feeling like we’re closer to that Rookie [of the Year] title and that makes us want it even more.”
Allard’s rise to prominence has been far from an overnight success, but to hear him tell the story it’s clear the fan favourite has remembered – and appreciated – every twist and turn.
“There were a few nights at the beginning of the season where even being in the running for Rookie of the Year was the farthest thing from our minds,” admits ‘Flight Time’. “We were working nonstop and just couldn’t get our legs underneath us and couldn’t get this car figured out the way we needed to.”
“Then, things started to turn around,” continues Allard with a smile. “We just wanted a top-10. Then, we got to the top-10 and all we wanted was a top-5. Then, we got to the top-5 and just wanted a podium. Now – we’re leading the Rookie points and I couldn’t be more proud of the hours we’ve put in.”
If Allard does indeed walk out of the 2017 season as the Super Stock Rookie of the Year, there’s little doubt that heavy credit will be owed to his father Paul – a former Super Stock contender in his own right – and brother-in-law Shawn Veenstra for helping to propel the team to the top of the rookie standings.
“My dad and my brother-in-law put more of their time and effort into this car than I could ever explain,” says Allard. “I could never thank them enough. They go to the wall for me every single week with all that they do. The only way I could really show them how much I appreciate it all is by winning this Rookie title.”
“We’re up against some pretty serious teams,” continues the second-generation star. “The guys were racing with don’t spare much expense. We can never outspend them, but we’ve been finding a way to beat them with a straight-up grassroots operation. If a team like us can win the rookie points, I’m not sure we’d ever stop telling the story.”