With the mini stocks growing to have over 30 cars, track officials made the decision to split the Mini Stocks into two divisions – the Graham Landscape Mini Stocks, and the Signs of Innovation Mighty Minis. The newer division, the Mighty Minis, was meant to combine the new rookies, with a couple of veterans.
By the end of the season, everybody was calling perfection on the division, as it produced a series of special winners.
At the age of 11, Treyten Lapcevich made Sunset Speedway history becoming the youngest track champion, ever, as he scored the championship by five points ahead of Cameron McGlashan. From start to finish, the youngster was solid behind the wheel and captivated the hearts of many fans throughout the season.
Being so young, many fans are interested in watching the youngster moving forward and seeing how he progresses through the racing ranks as he looks to take the next step of his career next season.
While he came up just shy on the championship, he certainly had a spectacular, top-notch rookie season with three feature wins, four heat wins and 13 feature top-10s.
“I think we had a great year in the mini,” he commented back in September. “We blew my season goals out of the water by picking up a couple feature wins. If not for engine problems on the double header weekend, we might of had a different ending championship night.”
Certainly for McGlashan, his first win of the season will stand out forever. However, the other two wins were interesting in themselves with how they came together. The victory on August 15 saw McGlashan hold off a very quick Mike Robinson Jr. on multiple back-to-back restarts, while McGlashan out-battled McLean to score the victory on September 5.
Like Lapcevich, it’ll be interesting to see what McGlashan does moving forward. He already made his first start in a Super Stock, completing all the laps at the Velocity 250 en route to a 21st place finish. Though no matter what he does, there’s one thing we can say for certain – his victory lane celebrations are always fun and wild.
Continuing with the theme, Chris Allard is another rookie that caught the eyes of many throughout the season with a pair of feature wins, and 10 feature top-10s. The beginning of the season didn’t start off strong, though, as he only posted a single top-10 in the first four weeks. However, in the six weeks that followed, he has only one finish outside of the top-two – a sixth on July 18.
If there’s a night that stands out in Allard’s season – August 8. Allard was able to get the lead early, but the final laps is what everyone recalls. Lapcevich looked to be quicker and was closing the gap with each passing lap. However, Allard wasn’t set to be denied as he cut through the traffic ahead, left and right, edging out Lapcevich for the win.
If you take away the rough mechanical issues to start the year, it certainly was a spectacular year for Allard.
Entering his second season of competition, Nic Montanari was looking for that “break-out moment” to prove that he could live up to the family name (Rino Montanari crew chiefs for Kerry Micks & Mark Dilley in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series) and be a strong front runner.
Looking back at the first three weeks of the season, he proved that right out of the gate, scoring a pair of victories and a fourth. Montanari certainly proved right then he was ready for the big leagues, and found himself bumped up to the Mini Stock division.
Once he was bumped up, it started off rough – but he was able to get stronger as the year went on, scoring a couple top-10s to close out the year. Look for the growth to continue next season.
Youth seemed to be a big part of reaching victory lane, but it wasn’t the only story of victory lane with this division. Bob Phinnemore scored the victory on the second night of competition to return to victory lane for the first time in a long time.
As one of the long-time veterans of Sunset Speedway, it was a picture perfect for many in witnessing that as it brought back memories of the past. Who can recall the days when he first started racing?
Phinnemore also got the bump up to the Mini Stock division, as well, and had some decent success with a heat top-five and a feature top-10.
With the team planning to build new cars for 2016 for Phinnemore and grandson Chandler Bos, it’ll be interesting to see how both drivers make out next season.
While Phinnemore was a return to victory lane, McLean was a first-time winner.
Jeremy McLean pulled off the “grab the lead and run away” move on July 19 and cruised to victory lane. It marked a highlight moment in a season that saw some strong moments with three feature top-fives, as well as some mechanical issues that hindered a couple other nights.
If McLean returns in 2016, he could be one of the early favourites to be crowned series champion.
June 13. It’s a day that Richard Butler will remember forever in his racing career.
After going through years of coming short of victory lane himself, the pieces came together that night. He would dominate the feature after getting the lead early, leading the rest of the way through en route to victory lane. Understandably, the joy that night in victory lane was top-notch, and the best way to describe that is with the interview.
Beyond the moments here, there are certainly many more that I could talk about. So here’s what I want you to do – comment either here or via facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ashleymccubbin.media/, and perhaps we’ll put together a part two article with the rest of the tales. What is something that you want to remember always?