By Carin Sundin
OHSWEKEN, Ont. (June 17, 2019) – This week’s edition of “In the Driver’s Seat” features Ryan Hillar from the No.21h HRW Automotive Mini Stock team. 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.
Hillar would like to thank the following sponsors for supporting their 2019 race season, including Grain & Trucking, KalTire, Rudy Helds, Demtool, Heritage Pet & Garden, Haffner Motors, Mensch/Forler Construction, and Clover Leaf Farms. Hillar would also like to extend a special thank you to his crew members, including his dad Bob Hillar, Danny Shantz, Todd Sutherland, Travis Hoffsteter, Jordan Shantz, Alex Reid, Geoff Hopkins and Uncle Dale Hillar.
How old were you when you started racing? What division/class? How long have you been in this current division?
RH: “I started racing last season when I was 16 in the Pure Stocks at Flamboro Speedway. This is my rookie season in the Mini Stock division at Ohsweken Speedway.”
How did you get involved in racing?
RH: “I got involved through my dad (Bob Hillar) and Josh Shantz. Growing up and hearing all the stories of my dad’s racing really got me interested in the sport. When I had the chance to help Josh Shantz every Friday night here at Ohsweken Speedway I really developed a liking for racing and eventually got a chance to drive for myself.”
What was your scariest situation in a racecar?
RH: “The scariest moment I had in a race car happened last fall in the Pure Stocks. During the Oktoberfest Race at Flamboro Speedway, I was racing side-by-side with another driver before we got together a bit going into the corner, he didn’t take a liking to our contact and turned me down the straightaway putting me straight into the wall, flipping my car onto its side. Thankfully I was alright and was able to fix the car and finish off my rookie campaign at Flamboro.”
Do you get “race nerves” before a race?
RH: “For me the race nerves start right when I wake in the morning and don’t go away until the final drop of the checkered flag. The only time I’m not nervous on a race night is when I’m focused behind the wheel.”
What is your favourite race moment to date (as a driver, fan, growing up, etc.)?
RH: “My favourite race moment to date has to be my first ever feature win last season. It was an unbelievable moment for my family and myself and I’ll remember that night forever.”
If you could race in any other class, which would it be?
RH: “I’d definitely love to give Crate Sprint Cars a try. The class is super competitive and there are a lot of great drivers in the class I’d like to test my talents against and learn from.”
What advice would you give anyone who is interested in getting into racing?
RH: “The only advice I have is to start each week with a good attitude and fresh mindset no matter what happened the week before.”
What driver do you most admire? Do they influence your driving style?
RH: “I admire the way Josh Shantz drives on the dirt as he is always fast, smooth and well spoken off of the track. I try and base my driving off his and hit my marks just as he does in his Sprint Car. I also try and present myself off the track like he does by always thanking my crew and sponsors.”
If you could compete in any race, what would it be? Which track?
RH: “100% the Chili Bowl Nationals in Oklahoma. The Chili Bowl always features the top dirt drivers in the world and I think it would be a once in a lifetime thing to compete in.”
Do you have any race day or pre-race superstitions or rituals?
RH: “The only pre-race superstition I do is I always put my right glove on before my left and I always fist bump my dad before pulling out to go line up and race.”
Who picked your number and why?
RH: “The number 21 came from my dad. He used the number 21 when he raced in the Challenger Division at Flamboro Speedway in the 80s & 90s. He chose this number because it was his age when he started racing. I decided to add the “H” for my last name Hillar.”
What other activities do you enjoy besides race car driving?
RH: “Besides racing I spend my weekdays in the summer playing Softball for my hometown Wilmot Thunder. As for the winters, I play hockey with the New Hamburg Huskies.”
Everybody at Ohsweken Speedway would like to wish Hillar and the No.21h Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock/HRW Automotive Mini Stock team a safe and successful 2019 rookie season. Thank you, Ryan 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 athttps://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 officialFacebook 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.