HILLSDALE, ON – The inaugural season of the Great Lakes Concrete Ltd. Late Model Series has been the topic of conversation in shops across Ontario all Winter long. Now, with just over a month remaining until the much-anticipated first round of the mini-series, multi-time Sunset Speedway feature winner Travis Hallyburton is beginning his plans for a run towards the first ever championship.
“Man – this series is a huge addition to our schedule,” says Hallyburton with an infectious smile. “It’s something I’m real excited to tackle. If our team could take down a [Mini-Series] championship like this it would be a huge accomplishment. It would absolutely be one of the biggest of my career.”
“I can guarantee that our team will be coming with our best in every single one of these races,” continues the fan favourite. “I know that a lot has been made of how tough other divisions have been these past few years – but the [Ltd. Late Model division] is still one of the toughest rosters in the province.”
The six-race series – split between Sauble Speedway and Sunset Speedway – will provide Hallyburton a well-publicized opportunity of capturing a first career championship after years of close-calls and near-misses.
“This whole season is dedicated to putting a championship together – one way or another,” says the Hillsdale, ON native. “I’ve been so close so many times. It’s tough to explain just how badly I want to get the monkey off my back. We’re ready to win a championship.”
“There’s no doubt that we’re going to be up against some of the best of the best in this series,” continues Hallyburton. “We’re using that as a motivator. A lot of these other guys have enormous experience in big-race situations. They understand the ins and outs of what it takes to win and we need to make sure we’re prepared in every way to deal with that.”
And, unlike the regular weekly 35-lap contests that Hallyburton has become accustomed to on Saturday nights – each of the Great Lakes Concrete Ltd. Late Model Series events will be a 75-lap event that’s likely to test a driver’s patience, strategy and ability to conserve equipment.
“The length of these races isn’t something that intimidates me,” shrugs ‘.50 Cal’. “I really struggled with longer events early in my career, but it’s been something that I’ve really grown into the last few seasons.”
“I’m looking forward to switching things up and getting after some of these longer races. Our normal Saturday-night shows are a sprint. 35-laps is really not a long time once you get going. But, 75-laps is more of a marathon. It gives you the chance to get a feel for your car and the tempo of the race. I’m excited about it.”