By Carin Sundin
OHSWEKEN, Ont. (July 4, 2018) –Ohsweken Speedway officials are pleased to welcome No. 79 Chris Hale of the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock division to “In The Driver’s Seat” this week.
Each week “In the Driver’s Seat” showcases a driver from the Thunder Stock or Mini Stock divisions at Ohsweken Speedwayto provide some insight into the man or woman behind the wheel.
Hale would like to send appreciation and thanks to his sponsors, including Parson & Associates Private Wealth Management, Harrington Graphics, HRE, Draper Doors and Praxair, as well as special thanks to crew members that help each and every week, Greg Hale, Tony Fraser and Brittany Thompson.
Chris is currently ninth in the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock point standings. We wish him and his team a successful and safe racing season in the No 79 Thunder Stock. Thank you Chris for sitting In The Driver’s Seat this week!
How old were you when you started racing? What division/class? How long have you been in the Thunder Stock division?
CH “I started racing at the young age of 14. My first race was an enduro at Brighton Speedway driving my Dad’s Chevy Caprice Classic, which I crashed into another car! Fast forward through a few more years of enduro racing and I officially began racing regular nights at Flamboro Speedway in the Pro 4 Modified division until I ran out of money. Last year was my rookie season at Ohsweken Speedway in the Thunder Stocks.”
How did you get involved in racing?
CH “I grew up watching my father race Street Stocks and Canadian Modifieds at Brighton Speedway. Watching him race and having a passion for the sport led me to want to try my own hand behind the wheel. For 10 years I also helped crew for Chris Raabe, a top running 358 Modified driver in the Northeast with my Dad. This is where I truly learned the mechanics of a race car and the fundamentals of a good setup.”
What was your scariest situation in a race car?
CH ” Probably catching fire in an enduro race at Brighton Speedway! I had a transmission cooling line let go at full speed and ignite on the exhaust engulfing the cockpit in flames. With 100 cars on the track and no one coming to a stop quickly, it was difficult to get out of the car safely. I gave my poor Mother a heart attack in the stands but thankfully walked away with no injuries.”
Do you get “race nerves” before a race?
CH “Absolutely! A million things are running through my mind before a race – who is starting in front of me? Is my setup ok? What line should I run? How do I avoid that first wreck? I just try to take a deep breath and put my foot to the floor.”
What is your favourite race moment to date (as a driver, fan, growing up, etc.)?
CH “When I was 15 I had the opportunity to drive a school bus for the radio station Kicks 93.5 at Brighton Speedway during a charity event. I started last on the field out of 8 full size school buses and was able to take the win! It was a unique experience I’ll never forget!”
If you could race in any other class, which would it be?
CH “I would love to run a World of Outlaws Late Model because of their unique and complicated driving style.”
What advice would you give anyone who is interested in getting into racing?
CH “Do it for the love of the sport, not the purse! And don’t cheap out on safety equipment – a car can be replaced, you cannot!”
What driver do you most admire? Do they influence your driving style?
CH “I would have to say Brett Hearn. He is a top Northeast Big Block Modified driver who dominates at every track and is still racing at the age of 59. I wouldn’t say he influences my style but he is extremely fun to watch.”
If you could compete in any race, what would it be? Which track?
CH “I would love to drive a Midget in the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. I don’t think there is a more challenging event where you can compete against 350 + drivers for the top spot on the podium.”
Do you have any race day or pre-race superstitions?
CH “Not really a superstition but one thing I always do before heading out on the track is check that my fuel cap is on tight. The last thing you want is to flip and have the car catch fire!”
Ohsweken Speedway’s 23rd season of weekly Friday Night Excitement features four divisions of racing, including the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars, Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars, Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks and HRW Automotive Mini Stocks. Visit www.OhswekenSpeedway.com to view the schedule or call (519) 717-0023 for more information.
About Ohsweken Speedway: Founded in 1996, Ohsweken Speedway is a motorsports complex which includes a 3/8 (0.375) mile clay oval track. The facility is owned by the Styres family, and located in the village of Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada. Ohsweken’s weekly Friday night racing program runs from May to September each year, featuring 360 Sprint Cars, Crate Sprint Cars, Thunder Stocks, and Mini Stocks, while the season finishes each year with the annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals. Ohsweken Speedway also hosts weekly Micro Sprint racing on Thursday nights.
OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY MEDIA
Phone: (519) 717-0023
Ohsweken Speedway thanks the following partners for their support in 2018: Arrow Express, Kool Kidz Ice & Water, Corr/Pak Merchandising Inc., Renway Energy, Case IH O’Neil’s Farm Equipment, Hoosier Tire Canada, EPIC Racewear, McDonald’s Restaurants of Paris & Brantford, Ackland Insurance, Strickland’s GMC, Lucas Oil Products, Burger Barn, Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Creative Edge Signs & Graphics, Insta-Insulation, Middleport Mechanical, HRW Automotive, and Gale’s Auto Aftermarket.