CAMBRIDGE, ON- The 2014 season proved to be the most successful yet for London Recreational Racing. The Cambridge, ON outfit welcomed 4 more championships in addition to a bevy of event wins spanning a multitude of divisions at speedways across Ontario.
“I can’t begin to explain how proud I am of this team,” explains London Recreational Racing founder Mike Schmidt. “I truly believe that we have the best group of drivers in the province. I couldn’t have asked for anything more in 2014”
Perhaps London Rec’s signature accomplishment came in the form of second-year team member Andrew Gresel earning the title of OSCAAR Super Late Model Tour champion. The Hepworth, ON driver fashioned 12 straight top-5 finishes – highlighted by a tour-leading 5 victories – to claim his first career Super Late Model championship.
“I’m not sure anyone saw that coming,” laughs Gresel. “Our team worked hard all winter to put together a program that could compete with the very best. There aren’t any slouches on the OSCAAR tour, and we knew we’d need to be at our best to run with them”
“We learned a lot when we debuted on the tour in 2013 and we took all of that back to the shop with us. It was a lot of work, but it was all worth it,” adds the second-generation star.
In addition to the overall tour championship, the London Rec squad also brought home the OSCAAR Rookie of the Year with first-year team member Kelly Balson.
‘The Crowd Pleaser’ registered top-10 finishes in all but 2 appearances on the tour, capturing the honour of top freshman ahead of a return to fulltime competition with OSCAAR in 2015.
The team also thrived at the weekly level, with Thunder Car representative Brad Collison and Mini Stock competitor Russ Aicken both earning championships at Flamboro Speedway.
“Both Brad and Russ were phenomenal all year at Flamboro,” says Schmidt. “The championship was far from a guarantee for both of them. They had to turn it on in a big way late in the year”
“They battled for every inch,” continues Schmidt. “It was a blast to be a part of”
Overall, the team tabulated 40 victories across the province, with over 20 coming via ‘The Mastodon’ Shawn Chenoweth.
The third-year team member experienced a career year, picking up marquee victories in both his Pro Late Model and Thunder Car, including Flamboro Speedway’s “Frost Fest”, Sauble Speedway’s “Dash for Cash” and Peterborough Speedway’s “Autumn Colours Classic”. The Plattsville, ON driver was especially good at Flamboro, as he enjoyed a Thunder Car feature win streak that lasted from June 14th to August 23rd.
Finally, first-year team member Andy Kamrath put the London Rec colours in Mini Stock victory lane at nearly every single event he entered in 2014.
‘The Instant Classic’ captured both rounds of Kawartha Speedway’s “Mini Stock Nationals”, Peterborough Speedway’s “Autumn Colours Classic”, Flamboro’s “Frost Fest” and Sunset’s lauded $2,000-to-win “Frequent Flyer 50” to name a few.
“We put up bigger numbers than I could ever have dreamed of this year,” says Kamrath. “The car was a rocket all year long, and we just fell into a rhythm where we knew exactly where we needed to be every single night”
“It wouldn’t have been possible without Mike and the rest of the team. I can’t thank him enough. I’ve already signed my deal for 2015 – and I can’t to start putting LRR back in victory lane in the Spring.”
Marketing support for London Recreational Racing is courtesy of Bennett GM, KR Communications, Midas of Orangeville, Castrol Edge, Transaxle Truck Parts, Hitman Hotrods, Wilson Ponds, Graybar, McColl Racing Enterprises, Innerkip Plumbing and Heating, ProWraps, Super Clean, Automotive Truck & Tire, Cochrane Automotive, Sauble Falls Tent & Trailer Park, Hy-Grade Roofing, CUSW, Dan McHattie Racecars, SL Promotions and Thermal Technology Services Limited.