By Carin Sundin
OHSWEKEN, Ont. (July 3, 2019) – This week’s edition of “In the Driver’s Seat” features Jonathan Ayrton from the No.21 HRW Automotive Mini 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.
Ayrton would like to thank the following sponsors for supporting their 2019 race season, including Avert General Contracting, Dottera Consultant; Tina Tinebra, Dr. Michelle Cassells Family Chiropractor, ONE For Freight, Paradise Subs Hamilton and Kal Tire Stoney Creek.
Jonathan would also like to extend a special thank you to his crew members, including his dad Martyn Ayrton, mom Rita Ayrton, Jared Bodnar and Mike Hooper.
How old were you when you started racing? What division/class? How long have you been in this current division?
JA: “I started racing late in life. I was 15 years old when I started at Cameron Motorsports in a Go-kart. I raced those for two years there. Then I started to help my friend Kyle with his Thunder Stock and I was hooked on dirt at that point. I jumped into a Mini Stock at Ohsweken Speedway that year in a car that we bought from Don Bailey. I believe that was in 2007. It was too long ago to remember.”
How did you get involved in racing?
JA: “I have always been involved in the car community since I was a little kid. It just seemed like it was the right choice to move into racing once I convinced my parents. They gave me strict rules that if I didn’t keep up with my schoolwork or have good grades, I wasn’t allowed to race that week.”
What was your scariest situation in a racecar?
JA: “That’s a toss up. I would have to say one was in my first year at Ohsweken Speedway, I was coming out of turn four and the throttle hung wide open and I hit the turn four outside wall. Being young and not really knowing what to do, I was just along for the ride. The other incident occurred in Go-karting in my first year and I clipped tires in my Go-kart with another driver and ended up kart wheeling in front of a full field. All I remember was dirt, sky, dirt, sky, dirt, sky with my foot stuck under the pedal the whole time.”
Do you get “race nerves” before a race?
JA: “I use to get what we all called the “nervous cough “but that hasn’t happened in a few years. I still do get the odd jitter here and there while leading features.”
What is your favourite race moment to date (as a driver, fan, growing up, etc.)?
JA: “I would have to say winning my first feature at Flamboro Speedway last year for the iconic Fireball 5 Racing team. I gave Kenny Stenhouse Jr their first feature win in over 40 years, right back to when his dad was a car owner in the late 60’s and 70’s.”
If you could race in any other class, which would it be?
JA: “I’m honestly happy in the Mini Stock division, it is budget and work schedule friendly. With saying that, we are in that transition year where more cars are being allowed, so well see where I am in a few years. But if budget and time weren’t an issue, and we had the crew every week, I’d have to say I’d love to be in a Late Model on either dirt of asphalt.”
What advice would you give anyone who is interested in getting into racing?
JA: “Find a veteran competitor and pick their brains. Make sure you do all your homework before jumping into the car. I did that when I first started with the late Abel Castelein and he helped me more then I could have ever expected a competitor to do. My other advice would be to be patient. It’s not going to happen over night. You see some drivers out there that are checkers or wreckers. You must finish every lap to be in contention for championship at the end of the year.”
What driver do you most admire? Do they influence your driving style?
JA: “I grew up watching a lot of open wheel racing, so I use to admire the driving styles of Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button but now I would have to say my style is more like a Ryan Blaney. Willing to stick my nose into spots but smart enough to back out if its not going to work.”
If you could compete in any race, what would it be? Which track?
JA: “That’s a tough one, there are two races that stand out to me. The first would be in an asphalt Late Model at the Snowball Derby. Or I would have to say a Dirt Late Model at the World Finals.”
Do you have any race day or pre-race superstitions or rituals?
JA: “Not per se, I usually just say a small prayer before we head out onto the track while were in lineups. But I will say this, if we have a bad few nights of racing, I will wash everything possible to get the bad luck out.”
Who picked your number and why?
JA: “There was no real reason for it. I was originally No.12 but every time I went to other tracks there seemed to already be a No.12, so we decided to flip the numbers around and I’ve been No.21 ever since.”
What other activities do you enjoy besides race car driving?
JA: “I’m a licensed Automotive Technician, so working on cars is a passion I have. I enjoy the building and fabricating of them. I also enjoy playing hockey and I’m excited to get back on the ice playing in a league again this winter.”
Everybody at Ohsweken Speedway would like to wish Jonathan Ayrton and the No.21 HRW Automotive Mini Stock team a safe and successful 2019 season. Thank you, Jonathan 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.
Northern Summer Nationals Tickets Available Now
Tony Stewart, Christopher Bell and Rico Abreu are coming to Ohsweken Speedway for two action-packed nights on July 22-23. All three Sprint Car stars will be in action both nights for two $5,000-to-win 360 Sprint Car shows. Tickets and camping for the Northern Summer Nationals are on sale online at https://ohswekenspeedway.ticketforce.com/ or can be purchased by phone by calling (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.