SARNIA, ON – Racer Jaden Chapman made quite the impression with his 2019 Delaware Speedway Pro Late Model campaign.
The former Super Stock front-runner finished 4th in the division’s championship points standings with 7 top-10 finishes in 8 starts – including his first career Delaware Speedway Pro Late Model win on July 5th.
Looking back on his successful sophomore campaign, Chapman credits the experience of racing against top-level talent throughout his rookie season in 2018 for preparing him to make the impact that he did in 2019.
“You learn a lot,” says Chapman of racing against Delaware’s deeply talented Late Mode roster. “These high-level teams have a different pace to the way they do things. They’re at their best every time the trailer door comes down. That’s the biggest thing.”
“They don’t seem to have many ‘off’ nights. Being around that teaches you how to do a lot of things – everything from pre-race prep to how to load up the best at the end of the night. Racing against top-tier programs has helped us a lot.”
Without a limitless budget, Chapman may play the role of the perennial underdog when matched against other teams on the roster that operate at the other end of the funding spectrum. However, his workmanlike performance throughout the 2019 season was proof positive that he belongs in the division.
“This is about as modest of a team as you can have,” says Chapman with pride. “We’re grassroots guys all the way. I’d love to be someone that could make a living from racing but that just isn’t the case. I’m not trying to fool myself into thinking that’s possible.”
“If it wasn’t for my 9 to 5 (job) and my sponsors, this team wouldn’t be able to pay the bills. We work all week to be able to come out and do what we can on the weekend. But the size of our rig or the number of spare parts we travel with doesn’t define who we are as a team. We can be every bit as good as anyone else out there.”
While Chapman missed a top-3 finish in the standings by a slim 16-point margin, his respectable season has him primed to return to Delaware to raise both his profile and confidence in 2020.
“We just know that if we race smart we can keep improving,” says Chapman. “I’d love to sit here and tell you that we’re going to go out on tour (with the APC United Late Model Series) and run a bunch of Crown Jewels next season but we’re not there yet. To do that is expensive and you have to be at the very top of your game to make it work.”
“Right now we’re focused on getting back to Delaware and building on what we were able to put together this season. Mentally we’re ready to roll into next year because of how much experience we’ve built up (in 2019). We’re no longer just hoping to show up and keep pace with these guys. We know that we can outrun them. It changes your entire mindset once you realize that you’re capable of doing that.”
“The car is stripped down and being worked on as we speak, we can’t wait to see the new look and get it back to the Speedway.”