Earlier in the week, we discussed details surrounding the St. Onge Recreational Super Stocks Rookie Class of Contenders. You can read that story by clicking here.
Here is part two of that story.
When it comes to rookie contenders, most of them enter the year with no experience in the cars that they will be driving. That may be true for some of the class, but there are also those who have gotten the chance to run a Super Stock already.
Kendra Adams is one of those drivers, having ran a couple of races and says she’s keeping her expectations realistic at this point, noting that if she could get a heat win or two, “that would be great”. The goals also come based on the programs, which vary through the class. Some of the drivers have newer cars that have been built within the last couple of years, while others like Adams are running older cars.
“The talent level at Sunset is simply amazing. On top of that, there are top running cars out there – brand new chassis with a lot of money invested,” she commented. “My car is old, very old and we race as a hobby. We don’t have a $40,000 race car, and I don’t expect that we ever will. My dad raced the car in 1999 and it was old then.”
The Adams Motorsports team has proven that they can get the job done. Kendra’s father Brendan drove the car last year to a feature victory so it is possible that the job can get done, but as she notes, “my dad is also an amazing driver”. As for herself, she’s still growing as a driver and that’s why she says the goal for this year is to “simply learn to race this car and each week, work on myself and better myself”, while qualifying for each of the events with the high car count.
“I’m not worried about what the rest of the field is doing, as I’ve always done,” she added. “I want to finish each night knowing that I improved as a driver and I got everything out of the car that I could.”
Looking to improve each season is something that has shown well with Adams before, as she used this past season in the mini stock as a learning year. After missing the second week of racing due to breaking a hub in practice, she used the rest of the season as a test session.
“My Dad made so many changes to the car to throw different things at me and make me learn to adjust to the car,” she said. “He pretty much did everything he could to take me out of my comfort zone in the car and make me work for it. It was a good testing year and I feel that I learned a lot.”
Right out of the gate, Adams is already aligning herself with areas that she can improve based upon the past couple of years in the mini stock division. One of those first things being – become more aggressive. She notes that she has never raced with an aggressive attitude as her dad was away on business a lot, so she had to be careful to not damage the car as there’d be nobody to help fix it.
“I’ve tried to keep myself out of trouble as much as I could and give a spot instead of having the car damaged,” she commented. “The biggest constructive criticism I get from friends is that I am not aggressive enough. If someone comes down on me in the corner, I lift and let them go. If I think someone is inside of me, then I’ll let them go. It’s always been about saving my equipment. This year there has to be a change and I can’t be that conservative or it’s going to cost me a lot.”
She adds, though, that it will likely mean causing more damage than she would hope to the car, but feels it will be necessary to show people that she isn’t going to let them go each time.
“I did that a lot last year and it’s funny because some of my friends that I raced against said they took advantage of it, and you can’t blame them for that,” she continued.
Another driver who has earned experience behind the wheel of a super stock already is Brandon McFerran. McFerran is coming off of a solid season that saw him finish third in the mini stock points and score a victory in the end of the year Velocity 250 feature. Beyond that, he got the chance to fill in for Cayden Lapcevich in the Super Stock division while Lapcevich was busy with other racing commitments. The first start of the pair produced an exciting night for McFerran and team, as he held off a late-race charge en route to scoring the victory.
“Last season wasn’t to bad,” McFerran commented. “It had its ups and downs but it was a lot of fun. We won five features, hand full of heat races – even got a super stock win… So really it was a pretty good season for sure.”
Now going into the new season, the 2014 Sunset Speedway Mini Stock Champion seems up to the new challenge that awaits this season, stating the main key early in the season will be getting respect as fast as you can and proving that you can run with these guys. With that in mind, like the others, he’s keeping his expectations at a level head right now in setting the goal to simply go out and turn as many laps as he can, while learning each lap.
“You don’t really know what to expect heading in to a season with a brand new car, never mind a brand new class,” he said.
For that reason, McFerran notes going into the year that the biggest challenge “will definitely be getting the car to where it should be”, but believes that his team will be able to do that, given their experience in racing.
Looking at the rookie class itself, it is looking promising to be a competitive season with great racing across the board. Though outside of the rookie battle, it’s also going to be interesting with many of the veterans returning for another season.
“Competition is so unbelievably deep this year it’s wild,” McFerran sounded off. “When you got guys like Jordan Howse, Treyten Lapcevich, and Miles Tyson also moving up from Mini Stocks, you know it’s gonna be a tight rookie battle for sure, as well as all the other rookies I’m sure will be right in there fighting for the rookie title. But when you got guys like Ryan Semple, Randy Rusnell, Matt Bentley, Dan Archibald, and Mike Weeda you know it’s gonna be a dog fight to the end.
“It’s going to be an interesting year to say the least.”