THORNTON, ON – As Sunset Speedway prepares to bid the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series portion of its schedule farewell this Saturday, there remains a legitimate chance it could also be preparing to bid adieu to one of its most popular Super Stock competitors in recent memory.
Rumours have swirled throughout the second-half of the season that fan favourite Ryan Semple could be taking a step back from fulltime competition at the conclusion of 2017. And, although Semple continues to play his cards close to the vest, there’s no question the division will feel his absence should this Saturday mark his retirement.
“Life has gotten busy, man,” answers Semple with a laugh when asked the possibility of his team returning to fulltime racing in 2018. “We haven’t really made a decision one way or the other, bnything I do in life I want to make sure I invest the right time and effort in it to make sure I’m doing it right. If we can’t invest that time and effort into this deal moving forward, it might be time to take a step back.”
In many ways, the 2017 campaign has been a career year for Semple, as he pushed current points leader Jordan Howse to the limit in the race for the Super Stock championship, while adding a feature victory and numerous podium finishes.
“I’m not looking at [Saturday] as my last race as a [Sunset] regular,” explains ‘Kid Ruckus’. “I’m looking at this as one final chance to come out and put the 64 on top of the board one more time to close out the year.”
“These guys on this team have worked their brains out all season,” adds Semple, “and I need to make sure we can close out this year on a high note for them.”
On the topic of strategy, Semple admits the idea of self preservation is more paramount than ever when it comes to Sunset’s increasingly volatile Super Stock division.
“The key to winning one of these races these days is surviving,” shrugs Semple. “I mean, it hasn’t been like that all year, but the last three or four weeks have had these guys really losing their minds.”
“We’ve had a good piece all season – and we’ll have a good piece on Saturday too,” adds the veteran. “We just need to dodge the crazy stuff and make you we can make it to the end in one piece. If we can do that – we’ll have a shot at winning this thing.”