MISSISSAUGA, Ontario --- In an effort to get young people involved in the trades and motorsports, Rich Schwartzenburg along with Flamboro Speedway track announcer Gary Colling has launched the Race 4 Trades program.

“This has been beyond expectations,” Schwartzenburg said. “The crew guys that came down that helped out with this are amazing. The Race 4 Trades program has snowballed into something way bigger than I thought it would be.

“Being able to build this car at the show with such a great team and being part of Motorama - getting asked to be down here by Greg (MacPherson). Like, we've had people from all over come up and ask if we were actually building a racecar down here at the show, and yeah, we've managed to pretty much get her together.”

The idea behind the program is to spread awareness about the various trades programs across the province.

“We're going to do a hashtag - #race4trades program, and what that does is allow kids to look at trades as a viable option coming out of high school, whether a mechanic, electrician, or a plumber,” Schwartzenburg explained. “These are all skills that they learn working on racecars. So over the years when they start in go-karts, pure stocks, mini stocks, late models, or dirt cars, they learn these skills. Why not put them into a career, something that you enjoy and have fun with? So if you're having fun with what you do, you never go to work in a day in your life.”

Even with the groundwork just being laid, different marketing partners have become involved at the corporate level, including NAPA Auto Pro and Mister Transmission. While it’s nice to see continued names like Ken Spira and Mike Schmidt support events and teams, Schwartzenburg says it’s a welcome opportunity to get new names involved.

“The day of racecars being a walking, rolling billboard are over, and people have to get out of that small box and thinking they can go, 'I have a racecar, sponsor me, or be a marketing partner'. That's not how it will work anymore,” he commented. “What sponsors and teams are looking for is content. We were told multiple times by people that we approached that, 'if you came in here looking for a sticker on the side of a racecar, you wouldn't get past the door. We love the race 4 trades idea. We love the fact that you're building a car. We love the social media interaction, Facebook page, Instagram - Ontario Asphalt Mini Stocks.' That's what they're looking for. We're going to do a time lapse video; we have cameras on this build all weekend.

“That's what the sponsors are looking for - the ability to reach kids. You have companies like NAPA and Mister Transmission that can't get enough trades people into their programs. When I sat down with NAPA, they talk about a program where they can take a high school kid and plan it out for them to become a trades person to a franchise owner for NAPA Auto Parts. So this is what you have to do; you have to reach kids in high school. If they branch out into other things, leave the motorsports things, you don't come back. When you play hockey as a kid, you may join a beer league when you get older, but it's not the same. This stuff is too hard to get back into after you leave so we have to keep the kids interested.

“These tracks have to see that if there's no builder divisions, there's no APC Series, no OSCAAR Hot Rods, no late models at Jukasa. So build these divisions, but we have to reach out to these sponsors. I've had so many of the great partners - 22 Automotive with Steckly, Chris Howse Automotive, Sauble Falls has come on-board - these are all people that have reached out to me.”

The current full list of supporters include NAPA Canada, Napa Auto Pro, Mr. Transmission, 22 Automotive, Bryan’s Auctions, Image Wraps, Schwartzenburg Haulage, Petal Power, Engines From Hal, Sauble Falls, Dylan Sharpe Official, Wix, Mechanix Wear, Castrol and Gunk.

The program kicked off in a big way, with a team of 20 individuals coming together to build a Mini Stock Ford Mustang at the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo.

“First thing, this was supposed to go into a high school,” Schwartzenburg noted. “That was sort of the goal. We piggy-backed off the Ohsweken Speedway Pinball car, and what we wanted to do was put it in a high school. But due to the teacher situation this year, we weren't able to do that. So we ended up getting a group of racers together with a group of young people in racing and we decided to take this car and build it at the show.”

Although the show was closed a day early, the team came close to completing the project, ultimately just a mere five parts short from firing the car up.

Throughout the weekend, the project garnered attention from individuals both involved and not involved in the industry. Several high school students in attendance spoke to those involved about how to become involved in the trades, while others were shocked at the idea of building a racecar at the show. Constance Nunes from Car Masters: Rust to Riches on Netflix even stopped by throughout the weekend, intrigued by the initiative.

In the days that follow from here, the car will continue to be used to spread awareness about the trades across the province. Craig Kamrath of Image Wraps will be wrapping the racecar in the coming weeks.

“Craig Kamrath does so much for the division - he's putting a wrap on this car,” Schwartzenburg commented. “That's his business, that's what he does, that's what he promotes, but he's a racer that gives back to racing. These are great people to be in association with and it's great to have that pool, but we have to start looking at what's out there.”

The car will also help others involved in motorsports, with Schwartzenburg looking for a group of five or six people to take a chance behind the wheel at Flamboro Speedway.

“They could be coming up from go-karts thinking about getting into a full-bodied racecar, or have possibly come from dirt and want to try asphalt, or have a pure stock background, or from a family that has priced themselves out of this sport,” he commented. “It's expensive, every year more and more, and some people just can't afford to do it; I priced myself out of the game.

“So for me to step back, I'd have to go into a pure stock and that's building up a whole new inventory so I just decided that I'd go the promotion side and work with the Ontario Mini Stock Top-10, Ontario Mini Stock page, and a few of the best appearing contests that we do through the winter. Maybe this is the next stage - #race4trades.”

Special thanks to everyone involved - Rich Schwartzenburg, Tim Norris, Mike Norris, Emma Norris, Kyle Steckly, Scott Steckly, The Hartman’s, Ken Spira, Carol Spira, Mark Da Silva, Kyle Dasilva, Tristan Da Silva, Harold Norry, Lucas Dillman, Dylan Sharpe, Mark Dennis, John Schwartzenburg, Craig Kamrath, Julie Kamrath, Audrey Mast, David Mast, Samantha Shaw, Randy Shaw, Gary Colling, Glen Colling, David SimCheung, and Nick Clarke.

Be sure to keep up with the latest by checking out Flamboro Speedway’s website at http://www.flamborospeedway.ca. You can also keep up via your favorite social networking website by following the speedway on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FlamboroSpdwy and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/flamborospeedway. Fans are encouraged to like the speedway’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Flamboro-Speedway-Authorized-Page-102328664646735/.

By: Ashley McCubbin

Even though preparations are already in high gear for the 2020 campaign, there was still some left over business to attend to from the 2019 season. This past Saturday February 1, all of the drivers and crews got together to celebrate the 2019 track champions and hand out some hardware.

With 11 wins and 18 top-five’s, J.R. Fitzpatrick was able to take home the 2019 Grisdale Racing Products Late Model Championship. Rick Burbridge finished second, followed by Mark Burbridge, Kevin Albers, Chris Howse, Jake Gilbert, Carson Nagy, Mike Klotz, Dave Gallinger, and Chad Corcoran.

For the Grisdale Triple Crown, it was Shae Gemmell taking the top honors following finishes of first, second, and second in the three races. J.R. Fitzpatrick finished second, followed by Billy Schwartzenburg, Jake Sheridan, Chad Corcoran, Shawn Chenoweth, Rick Burbridge, and Mark Burbridge.

With nine wins and 21 top-five’s, Brad Collison was able to take home the 2019 Ray’s Towing Super Stock Championship. Randy Rusnell and AJ Miller followed in the standings.

With 10 wins and 27 top-five’s, Karl Sault was able to take home the 2019 Klotz Auto Repair and Machine Shop Mini Stock Championship. Erik Dalla Riva finished second, followed by Dylan Sharpe, Shawn Taylor, Tyler Lewis, Jonathan Ayrton, Kyle Istead, Kyle Da Silva, Kaitlyn Wallace, Mike Hooper, and Wendy Adams.

With six wins and 31 top-five’s, Leo Labarbera was able to take home the 2019 McClurkin Properties Cambridge Pure Stock Championship. Mark Thorne finished second, followed by Bobby Mercer, Jared Bodner, Dale Lucas, Jimmy Hooper, Kyle Lucas, Brian Gamble, and Jeff Kells.

With two wins and 15 top-five’s, Dan Pettit was able to take home the 2019 Pro 4 Modified Championship. Mark Lucas finished second, followed by Shannon Morris, Cliff Hodgkinson, Dave Hodgkinson, and Mike Westwood.

The Flamboro Speedway Memorial Night of Champions were also recognized, as well, as follows – Bobby Mercer (Pure Stock), Karl Sault (Mini Stock), Brad Collison (Super Stock Feature #1), Steve Cashmore (Super Stock Feature #2), J.R. Fitzpatrick (Late Model), Max Wright (Canadian Vintage Modified #1), and TJ Marshall (Canadian Vintage Modified Feature #2).

On top of the champions being honored for their accomplishments, there were several awards handed out.

Each division saw steady growth through the year with solid car counts through the season, including a couple first year competitors. Kyle Lucas would take home the Rookie of the Year honors in the Pure Stocks, with Jake Gilbert leading the way in the Late Model class. Lucas follows in the footsteps of his father Dale who picked up the division title in 2018, while Gilbert made the move to Late Models following a successful Mini Stock career.

While several drivers stand out on-track, there are those who step up behind the scenes, which was recognized at the banquet with the “Dedication to Racing” Award. The following drivers were the winners, with their division in the bracket that follows: Brian Gamble (Pure Stock), Rich Schwartzenburg (Mini Stock), A.J. Miller (Super Stock), Mark and Rick Burbridge (Late Model), and Dan Pettit (Pro 4 Modified).

Beyond being dedicated to racing, there were others who stood out simply by how their cars appeared on track, and one driver per division received recognition with the “Best Appearing Car” Award. The following drivers were the winners, with their division in the bracket that follows: Kyle Lucas (Pure Stock), Dylan Sharpe (Mini Stock), Brad Collison (Super Stock), Mike Westwood (Pro 4 Modified), and Jake Gilbert (Late Model).

Another atmosphere that you always see walking through the pits is respect amongst competitors. There are some drivers who stand out in that department, and each division was allowed to award their most sportsman driver. As voted by their peers, the following drivers were the winners, with their division in the bracket that follows: Leo Labarbera (Pure Stock), Kyle Da Silva (Mini Stock), AJ Miller (Super Stock), and Jake Gilbert (Late Model).

Running up front weekly is everyone’s goal, and that was recognized at the banquet with each division seeing the driver who held the most checkered flags receive a trophy of recognition. The following drivers were the winners, with their division and number of victories in the bracket that follows: Leo Labarbera (Pure Stock – six), Karl Sault (Mini Stock – 10), Brad Collison (Super Stock – nine), Mark Lucas (Pro 4 Modified – five), and J.R. Fitzpatrick (Late Model – 11).

On the flip side, there were some drivers who battled adversity through the year with several tough occurrences. Those competitors were recognized for their perseverance with the Hard Luck Award. The following drivers were the winners, with their division in the bracket that follows: Jimmy Hooper (Pure Stock), Shawn Taylor (Mini Stock), Randy Rusnell (Super Stock), Shannon Morris (Pro 4 Modified), and Kevin Albers (Late Model).

The Perfect Attendance Award was given to the drivers that were able to run all of the nights scheduled for their division through the 2019 season. Six drivers received recognition in the Pure Stocks – Mark Thorne, Brian Gamble, Jared Bodner, Jimmy Hooper, Dale Lucas, and Leo Labarbera.  10 drivers received recognition in the Mini Stocks – Kyle Da Silva, Jonathan Ayrton, Dylan Sharpe, Erik Dalla Riva, Kaitlyn Wallace, Tyler Lewis, Shawn Taylor, Mike Hooper, Kyle Istead, and Karl Sault. Brad Collison would be the only driver awarded in the Super Stock division, with eight drivers recognized in the Late Models – Mark Burbridge, Rick Burbridge, Jake Gilbert, J.R. Fitzpatrick, Kevin Albers, Mike Klotz, Chris Howse, and Carson Nagy. The Pro 4 Modifieds would have four drivers recognized – Shannon Morris, Dan Pettit, Dave Hodgkinson, and Mark Lucas.

With the banquet out of the way, the focus shifts entirely on the upcoming 2020 campaign as the full schedule was revealed at the banquet.

The pre-season driver’s meeting and registration for the Late Models, Super Stocks, Mini Stocks, Pure Stocks and Pro 4 Modifieds is scheduled for Sunday February 23, beginning at 1pm, at the Milgrove Community Center – 855 Millgrove Side Road.

Any drivers looking for a copy of the registration form can download it from the track website under rules and forms. If you have any questions, you can call John at 905-689-6052, or e-mail the track at wendyann149@hotmail.com.

The full schedule once released, along with any other information you may inquire about, can be found on the track’s website at http://www.flamborospeedway.ca.

Be sure to keep up with the latest by following the speedway on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FlamboroSpdwy and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/flamborospeedway.

By: Ashley McCubbin



            STARTING AT 1 P.M.






CLICK HERE TO GET A COPY OF THE 2020  REGISTRATION FORMS.   https://www.flamborospeedway.ca/rules-and-forms

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL JOHN AT 905-689-6052 OR EMAIL US  wendyann149@hotmail.com