Photo by Dale Calnan/Image Factor Media

By Carin Sundin

OHSWEKEN, Ont. (JUNE 6, 2019) – This week’s edition of “In the Driver’s Seat” features No.46 Wayde Thorne from the 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.

Thorne would like to thank his sponsors for supporting their 2019 race season, including Buchwald Landscape, Brant Tractor, APC Simcoe, Toronto Injectors, Springview Farms Golf Course and Ken Wallace Contracting. Thorne would also like to extend a special thank you and appreciation to his crew members, including Mark Thorne, Kaitlyn Wallace, Darryl Laudenbach, Ashton Reekie and Lisa Thorne.

How old were you when you started racing? What division/class? How long have you been in this current division?

WT: “I was 15 when I started racing. My grandfather gave me a 1997 Ford Escort to learn how to drive standard in. My dad and I turned it into an Ohsweken Speedway Bomber and Flamboro Speedway Pure Stock. I moved up into the HRW Automotive Mini Stock division two years ago when our friends Aaron and Darryl offered me a ride in their Neon part time while I was in college.”

How did you get involved in racing?

WT: “I got involved in racing through my family. They have always followed NASCAR and my dad and cousins ran Mini Stock and Thunder Stock cars growing up.”

What was your scariest situation in a racecar?

WT: “I’ve had my fair share of scary moments in a racecar with a lot of hard wrecks, but i don’t think any moment is as scary as the thought of how much money you’re going to have to spend repairing the car all week!”

Do you get “race nerves” before a race?

WT: “My biggest race nerves occur before I’m even at the track. When I’m pulling up to the track the nerves get really bad but once I’ve unloaded the car they calm down as I start getting ready to race.”

What is your favourite race moment to date (as a driver, fan, growing up, etc.)?

WT: “My favourite race moment definitely has to be my first win in the Pure Stock at Flamboro Speedway. We worked so hard to get our car to work well against cars that had a lot more horsepower and when we finally got the win I don’t think my dad and I could have been any more proud.”

If you could race in any other class, which would it be?

WT: “I would love to drive in the Crate Sprint division and it’s a class that seems to be growing every year. They look like a blast to drive and it would be such a great learning curve for me.”

What advice would you give anyone who is interested in getting into racing?

WT: “The advice I was given when I started racing was listen to the veterans and take criticisms. Whenever it came to setup advice or different ways to drive the cars I was fortunate enough to have experienced drivers around me to point me in the right direction. I made so many mistakes starting out –  driving wise and with setups. By just listening and trying out what other people were suggesting it helped me understand my cars so much better and how we can improve them.”

What driver do you most admire? Do they influence your driving style?

WT: “The driver I most admire would be Kyle Larson. He always seems so calm and collected during his races and is always looking to make other lanes on the track work. For the last while I’ve tried to change my driving style, to have more patience and find other ways through traffic and around the 8 lanes of Ohsweken Speedway.”

If you could compete in any race, what would it be? Which track?

WT: “I would love to compete in the mini stock with the Vores Compact Touring Series at Bristol Motor Speedway. We are running at Jukasa Motor Speedway this year so that will be a check off for the Racetrack Bucket list but Bristol Speedway would be a dream to drive one day.”

Do you have any race day or pre-race superstitions or rituals?

WT: “I’ve had many different rituals over the years but they always seem to come to an end when we wreck. This year I’m trying not to think about any of that stuff and just to have fun. I put a lot of pressure on myself and my team last year and this year we just want to focus on trying to get that first dirt Mini Stock win.”

Who picked your number and why?

WT: “I started out originally with No.6 and that would still be my number of choice if there wasn’t already a whole bunch of No.6 cars. We were No.4 when we first started out in the Neon and I wanted to keep my original No.6 so we just combined them and went with No.46. It actually has worked out well with my girlfriend; Kaitlyn Wallace running No.45 and her dad has me driving her other car as No.46.”

What other activities do you enjoy besides racing?

WT: “I enjoy camping as well as racing. Most of our camping seems to be at racetracks, but we can call it a different hobby. Lol”

Everybody at Ohsweken Speedway would like to wish Thorne and the No. 46 HRW Automotive Mini Stock team a safe and successful 2019 season. Thank you, Wayde 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

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 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 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 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.

Phone: (519) 717-0023
Twitter: @OhswekenSpdway

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.