BELMONT, ON – Established Delaware Speedway regular Gary Adriaensen confirmed this week his plans to return to the Pro Late Model division fulltime in 2020.
The Belmont, ON native is a multi-time winner in Delaware’s Truck and Super Stock divisions before moving to the Pro Late Model ranks in 2019 – earning a 3rd-place finish in the championship points standings in addition to the division’s Rookie of the Year title.
“I can’t help but look back on 2019 and smile,” offers Adriaensen when asked of his freshman effort. “We accomplished exactly what we set out to do in our first season. We won the rookie points, we finished top-5 in the standings and we found a way to build our notebook and pick up speed every week. It was a huge success.”
While Adriaensen can now look back fondly on his freshman year, he admits that there were moments throughout his campaign that truly highlighted the considerable challenge that comes with a move from the Super Stock to the Pro Late Model division.
“It took us most of the season to really start to get a handle on things with the car,” admits the multi-time Super Stock feature winner.
“My entire racing career has been leaf springs. The (Pro) Late Model is completely different from anything I experienced in the Truck or the Super Stock. So much of the season was spent just relearning things. We virtually threw out our notebook and started from scratch.”
“There were nights where it felt like we were trying to hold back the wind or smooth rough water with a hammer,” laughs Adriaensen. “When you’re jumping into this division fulltime without any experience in these cars it can be overwhelming. We got knocked down more than once. But, we kept picking ourselves up as a team and it made us better in the long run.”
For 2020, Adriaensen will once again compete fulltime in Delaware Speedway’s weekly division with hopes of fashioning a partial schedule of APC United Late Model Series event.
“Truthfully, we want to race as much as we can this year,” notes Adriaensen. “As long as we can put together the right amount of sponsorship support and keep our equipment in one piece, I’d really like to do a few APC (series) races outside of our weekly deal.”
“We know that the more competition we face, the better we’re going to get. The top guys in the province right now are running fulltime with the APC Tour and that’s absolutely where we want to be eventually.”
“We qualified for the (Canadian Short Track) Nationals at Jukasa (Motor Speedway) last year and it was a huge highlight for us,” continues Adriaensen. “I’m aiming for us to get back to Jukasa this September and qualify for a second time. That show is pretty much the pinnacle for teams around here and performing well there is something that would mean the world to us.”