ORO MEDONTE, ON – With close to a dozen of Ontario’s best Ltd. Late Model racers having already filed their entries into Sunday’s ‘Battle at the Beach’, current Sunset Speedway championship contender Rick Walt has confirmed his Eldon Wallis-owned team will also make the trip to ‘the Beach’ for the first large-scale invitational of the 2017 season.
And, if stepping outside of his comfort zone is at all troubling for Walt, he’s doing an admirable job of not leading on.
‘’Our team doesn’t need a home track advantage – we never have,’’ insists the 2016 Peterborough Speedway champion. “Look at how many home tracks we’ve had in the last four years. We’ve been able to win at every speedway we’ve raced at.”
“It’s about having a the right team of people and the right equipment behind you,” adds Walt. “The car doesn’t care what track it’s racing on. If the driver has his head screwed on right – he can win anywhere.”
Since the 2013 season, Walt has competed fulltime at Barrie Speedway, Sunset Speedway and Peterborough Speedway finding considerable success at each venue.
‘’I really believe that the ‘home track advantage’ is just a superstition that some guys use,’’ shrugs Walt. “I’ve never believed in it. I think a lot of guys in this sport start let themselves overthink things.”
“If you believe that you can only win at one place – then you’re probably right,” laughs the third-generation racer. “If you can just roll out of the shop and realize that it doesn’t matter where you point your truck and trailer – then you’ll do fine. That’s the attitude we carry with ourselves no matter where we are.”
For Walt, cultivating a reputation as a threat to victory lane no matter the event or location is a significant step towards the province-wide notoriety his team has chased for years.
‘’We want to be known as a ‘big race’ team,’’ offers ‘The Upgrade’. “The only way we’re going to get there is to win events like this one.”
“The biggest teams in this division are going to be at Sauble – so we have to roll out of the box with our best stuff. We’re not coming to Sauble to run in the top-5. We’ve got a team and a car that can win there and that’s our goal for Sunday.”