How long have you been racing?
32 years. My parents always took my sister and me to Oswego speedway in NY State to see the supermodifieds. My hero was Jimmy Shampine and I wanted to be a race car driver just like him. I started racing karts at Erbsville Kartway just outside Kitchener in 1985. Kart racing took us all over North America and even to Latvia and Estonia to race for Team Canada. I can honestly say every single thing I know about racing I learned during my karting days. Many of my longtime friends came from the karting world.
How long have you raced F1600?
23 years. I always wanted to be an Indycar driver. I grew up watching the Indy 500 and my goal was always to make it there someday. Oval racing may have provided me with more opportunities but my heart was always in open-wheel racing and F1600 was the place to start.
How many race cars have you owned?
4: a Crossle 62F, and ‘90, ‘98 and ‘02 Van Diemens.
What is your # and why did you choose it?
71. Somewhere along the way I had to convert my tried, tested and true #11 into something different. A bit of black electrical tape can make 11 into 71 pretty easy. It just stuck and has been my number for many years now.
What other classes have you raced?
All forms of Karting, Indy lights and ice racing.
What track raced has been your favourite?
Shannonville. For a long time I have really enjoyed Shannonville. It is a tough circuit and very unforgiving. There is little room for error if you choose to be on the limit. An off at Shannonville can be very expensive. I like the fact that it takes a lot of concentration, grit and commitment to go fast there.
What track would you love to race around?
Watkins Glen. I like the looks of Watkins Glen and how it has a flow to it like Mosport. I have watched many Indycar races there and I think it would be a fun track to drive. Still hping the opportunity pops up someday.
What is your greatest racing memory?
2007 Can/Am Cup win against Kyle Marcelli and Matt White. Kyle, Matt and I are good friends today and we were on that day too. To race two guys like that with full confidence in fair competition, it was awesome. I gave everything I had that day and I am sure Kyle and Matt did too. I didn’t have another lap in me. I didn’t tell those guys that though.
Favourite driver from any generation?
Dan Wheldon. I was at Homestead in 2007 when Dan ran for Chip Ganassi. I was in the pits a lot that weekend and spent some time near Dan’s pit as he was getting in and out of the car. Just before the race he came over and shook my hand. He said, “Thanks a lot for coming to see us race today.” He then went out and totally smoked the field. What a class act.
Do you plan to be on the grid in 2018?
Driver/Car Pictures by Richard Coburn