With a schedule consisting of both races behind the wheel of a Pro Late Model and a Mini Stock, it’s easy to say the 2017 will season will be busy for Andy Kamrath.
“Looking ahead on 2017, we are looking just to continue our success as a team, both with the mini stock and the Pro Late Model program,” he told Short Track Musings. “I think I left a bit on the table and wanna make sure I put my 100% into every time I unload off the trailer.”
Looking ahead to the summer, Kamrath has five races confirmed, with the door open to more if everything comes together, that he will run as part of the APC Auto Parts United Late Models of Ontario Tour this season. It’ll mark Kamrath’s second year participating in the series as he ran three races last year, with a best finish of fifth at Sauble Speedway. He also ran the Autumn Colours Classic, a non-APC event, last year behind the wheel of the pro late model, posting a fifth place finish.
As the same with last year, the opportunity comes about through a partnership with Shawn Chenoweth as Kamrath will be behind the wheel of a the car that Shawn Chenoweth drove last year en route to a third place finish in the series standings.
“The connection with myself, Shawn Chenoweth and Mike Schmidt of London Recreational Racing came together a few years ago just over some friendly betting over some races between myself and Shawn at the Autumn Colours classic and the relationship has grown into what it is today,” Kamrath said. “Working with Shawn really is great; I feel we have a great chemistry between the two of us and the rest of the team. I learned a lot off him last year and he’s not afraid to tell me where I can improve and that constructive criticism goes a long way from a guy who’s been doing it as long as he has. Mike Schmidt and Shawn have been very supportive in reminding me of what I am capable of and they want to see us win just as bad as myself and I couldn’t do this without them guys!”
Going into the year, Kamrath say the goal is to run at the front and be as competitive as possible in each race they run, in hopes of picking up a victory.
On top of running the Pro Late Model, Kamrath will once again be behind the wheel of his familiar No. 35 London Recreational Racing, AM Roofing, Jason Witty Re/Max, Seaton Structures, Brandon’s Landscape, Blue Mountain Honda, JF Kitching and Sons, ImageWraps.ca, and Castrol/Superclean Honda Civic on a part-time basis, racing the mini all over Ontario, mostly at Sunset Speedway. After a very successful season last year, it’s no surprise the goals are simple and to the point.
“That’s self explanatory, and that’s drive it as hard as I can every single lap and see where it gets us and the past has proven its worked out quite well,” he said.
This past season, the 2014 Autumn Colours Classic winner put together an impressive campaign in winning four features at Sunset Speedway, including both the Spring Velocity and Velocity 250. He then completed the year on a high, winning the Autumn Colours Classic once again in dominating style as he put the entire field a lap down up to the fifth spot.
“We had a great year and look forward to constantly improving on what we have done in the past, had a lot of fun in 2016,” he said.
Looking back on the year, Kamrath admits it’s tough to narrow it down to a single memorable moment which sticks out, however noted it was great to get back behind the wheel of a pro late and be competitive, and the arrival of his and Lesley’s son Rylan.
“I’m hoping to get as many years in as I can before he takes over,” Kamrath added.
With the success he’s had behind the wheel of a mini stock, it’s easy to see where the criticism comes from, with some people stating the only reason the victories come Kamrath’s way is due to spending a late model budget on a mini stock. While that may be the theory from outsiders, it’s not the truth to the story.
“The whole late model budget thing is completely ridiculous and its usually an excuse from people who are spending the crazy amounts that they do,” he said. “Homework in this division will out dollar anyone and I guarantee it. Any given Saturday I am thrashing all over that car to get that extra little bit sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t but at least you tried it.
“The time that is spent in the shop varies from how well I feel I’m performing every week it gets its usual bolt check, alignment etc. But if I’m not performing you can guarantee that cars getting a whole lot of extra time figuring it out.”