Photo by Dale Calnan/Image Factor Media
By Carin Sundin
OHSWEKEN, Ont. (September 6, 2019) – This week’s edition of “In the Driver’s Seat” features Mark Bazuin # 21x from the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock division. Each week this segment showcases a driver from the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock or HRW Automotive Mini Stock divisions to share some insight on the drivers wearing the fire suit and behind the wheel of the cars that put on the show.
Bazuin would like to thank the following sponsors for supporting their 2019 race season: Burger Barn, Ace 1 Construction, Kingpin Farms and Aitken Motors. Plus, a shout out to DSE in Caledonia for building me a kickass 305 engine for the 2019 season. Mark would also like to thank his biggest supporter; his wife Kelsey, brother Jake, nephew Jake Jr. and ‘racecar Jake’, Norm, Gord and the rest of the Burger Barn team. “I couldn’t do it without them every week.”
How old were you when you started racing? What division/class? How long have you been in this current division?
MB: “I was 22 years old when I started in the Bomber Division. I ran the Bomber Division for three seasons then moved up to the Mini Stock division for four years and I am now in my 2nd season of the Thunder Stock division.”
How did you get involved in racing?
MB: “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a love for any, and all things with an engine. When I was 12 years old, I started helping my neighbours Ron and Joe Renties with their Thunder Stocks at Flamboro Speedway. When I was 16 years old, I drove Joe’s #52 Chevelle at Ohsweken Speedway in my first ever race with the Outlaw Thunder Stocks that summer. I was a crew member for them for a total of 5 years until they retired from racing. I then got into Demo Derby’s for several years before returning to racing here at the Big O in 2010.”
What was your scariest situation in a racecar?
MB: “Definitely barrel rolling my Bomber car for the second time in my 3rd season of racing, completely wrecking the car.”
Do you get “race nerves” before a race?
MB: “I sometimes get nervous while sitting waiting in my car on the warm up track but once I pull out onto the track all the nerves go away.”
What is your favourite race moment to date (as a driver, fan, growing up, etc.)?
MB: “My favourite moment would be my first Art Hill Memorial win in 2014 as a Rookie. I remember racing Tyler Lafantaisie door to door for over half the race and won the race by only a fender.”
If you could race in any other class, which would it be?
MB: “I really enjoy the stock car classes, but I would like to try a Sportsman one day.”
What advice would you give anyone who is interested in getting into racing?
MB: “Try to get involved as a crew member for a driver or a team and learn as much as you can before jumping into the driver’s seat.”
What driver do you most admire? Do they influence your driving style?
MB: “The driver I most admire has to be Stewart Friesen. He’s a local driver that worked his way up and is now racing with the best in the business.”
If you could compete in any race, what would it be? Which track?
MB: “I would love to race at either Eldora or Charlotte Dirt Track in any division. I travelled to Charlotte last Fall to watch the Short Track Championship and it is definitely a place I’d like to turn some laps.”
Do you have any race day or pre-race superstitions or rituals?
MB: “Once I get to the racetrack I won’t eat anything until after the races are finished. I also used to have a lucky pair of boxers I wore every Friday night but I wore the luck right out of them and they aren’t working for me anymore. Hahaha!”
Who picked your number and why?
MB: “I picked 21 originally when I ran in demo derbies. It was the reverse of my brothers #12 and it just stuck. The ‘x’ was added when I started in Mini Stocks because there was already a 21.
What other activities do you enjoy besides race car driving?
MB: “I enjoy camping, boating, cruising in my ‘63 Pontiac and travelling with my wife.”
Everybody at Ohsweken Speedway would like to wish Mark Bazuin and the No. 21x Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock team a safe remaining 2019 season. Thank you, Mark for getting “In The Driver’s Seat” this week.
About MavTV Canada’s All North Racing Powered by Pinty’s
Ohsweken Speedway is excited to announce its Friday Night Excitement racing will be the centerpiece of a new international television broadcast on MavTV Canada called All North Racing powered by Pinty’s. All North Racing will visit Ohsweken for six live broadcasts that will be re-aired multiple times in Canada and the United States. The MavTV broadcasts are scheduled for May 31, June 21, July 22, July 23, August 30 and September 14. These broadcasts include both nights of the Northern Summer Nationals featuring Tony Stewart, Christopher Bell and Rico Abreu as well as the 15th annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals. For more information on MavTV Canada, visit www.facebook.com/MAVTVCanada.
Canadian Sprint Car Nationals Tickets and Camping Available Now!
The best 360 Sprint Car racers from the Northeast region and beyond will converge on Ohsweken Speedway on Friday, September 13, and Saturday, September 14 for the 15th Annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals weekend. Tickets and reserved campsites for the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals are on sale online at https://ohswekenspeedway.ticketforce.com/ or can be purchased by phone at 519-717-0023.
Ohsweken Speedway Live Stream
Can’t make it to the track or don’t live within driving distance? No problem! Check out all of Ohsweken’s weekly Friday Night Excitement action live online for free via the Ohsweken Speedway Live Stream. The stream goes live at 7:30pm EST each race night at www.OhswekenSpeedway.ca and on our official Facebook page.
Ohsweken Speedway’s 24th 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 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. The season finishes each year with the track’ 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: Nitro 54 Variety, Ackland Insurance, Arrow Express, Auto Parts Centres, Bradshaw Brothers Fuels, Burger Barn, Case IH O’Neil’s Farm Equipment, Core-Mark International, Corr/Pak Merchandising Inc., Creative Edge Signs & Graphics, EPIC Racewear, Gale’s Auto Aftermarket, Hoosier Tire Canada, HRW Automotive, Insta-Insulation/Insta-Panels, Jibs Action Sports, Kool Kidz Ice & Water, McDonald’s Restaurants of Paris & Brantford, Middleport Mechanical, Club 54 Racing, Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Renway Energy, Rochester Knighthawks, Strickland’s GMC and Victory Gamez.