OSHAWA, ON – With a 2015 Autumn Colours Classic title still fresh in his memory, fan favourite John Baker Jr. will be back at the Crown Jewel event this weekend in search of a second career OSCAAR Modified Racing Series victory.
“That was one of the best nights of my career,” recalls Baker when asked of his highlight reel win almost two years ago. “This weekend can be long and frustrating, But I do it for my , family and friends, If we park it in victory lane that’s a huge bonus.”
“The drivers, their families, the fans – everyone understands just how tough it is to win the [Autumn Colours] Classic. It takes everything you have to do it.”
As a longtime Autumn Colours Classic competitor – in divisions ranging from Mini Stock to Thunder Car to Ltd. Late Model to Open Wheel Modified – ‘JBJ’ is as aware as anyone of the variables at play when contending for a win in one of the province’s most sought-after races.
“You just have to unload with your absolute best and hope it’s enough,” shrugs the Oshawa, ON product. “The best guy doesn’t always win. Not by a long shot. There are a lot of factors that go into who wins and who leaves in a box” Starting position here on my favorite track is a big deal.”
“Having a fast car is just one of the things you need,” continues ‘JBJ’. “Starting position has a lot to do with it. If you aren’t great in your heat races and get buried in the feature lineup, you might be in for a long day.”
“It takes some luck to get up front and stay there – but if you can hang on and win it’s something you remember forever.”
When asked if his team has their sights trained on any competitors in particular entering the 2017 ‘Classic’, the blue-collar standout makes it clear just how much he respects the Modified roster from top to bottom.
“It’s impossible for me to narrow that field down to just two or three guys we’re looking out for,” admits Baker. “This is a real healthy time for Modified racing as far as competition goes. There are top level guys on the [Ontario Modified Racing Series] roster and the OSCAAR roster. The fans are in for a show on Sunday.”