The Ohsweken Speedway Sprint Car Series is launching their program at Ohsweken Speedway in Ohsweken, Ontario Canada. We caught up with Race Director, Doug Leonard, who told us more about the series:
CI: For those who may not be familiar, what are the basics of your series? (Car type, surface, engine, region)
DL: We will be introducing a new Winged Sprint Car series for 2014. This series will be using the 602 GM Crate engine and will race on our 3/8ths mile dirt track. We are located in Southern Ontario on the 6 Nations Indian Reserve, between Brantford and Caledonia along the Grand River.
CI: Tell us how you came to found the Ohsweken Sprint Car Series
DL: In our area we have an abundance of 602 Crate Engines. We have 3 other dirt tracks that utilize this engine in their street stock classes and also in the DIRTcar Sportsman series. We estimate approximately one-hundred 602 Engines in this area. We do not have a stepping stone for our street stock class (Thunder Stocks) to our Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Car division. We feel this will be a great division for someone to cut their teeth in Sprint Car racing.
CI: How do your rules align with other similar series?
DL: This is a first. We are the first ones to do this. We do not know of any other track in the North East doing this. We have used a lot of the chassis, tire and wing rules of our Corr/Pak Sprint Car division. We have informed drivers that titanium will not be allowed.
CI: What has been the biggest challenge?
DL: The challenge has been the engine. The engine needs to be modified to fit between the rails of a Sprint Car. We have done a lot of testing on the track and in dynos to make sure that we have the right parts to do the job.
CI: What is the one thing that people misunderstand the most about your role as the Series Director?
DL: That I’m the bad guy. My role at Ohsweken Speedway is Race Director and Director of Race Night Operations. My partner at the track is Clinton Geoffrey. The two of us make sure the night goes off with no issues. When it comes to explaining rulings to drivers we address the driver together. The fun part of our job is, right or wrong we are always right. Our rulings cannot be changed once we have made them. At times though, we make errors and mistakes, just like a referee in hockey or football or an umpire in baseball. We don’t like being the bad guys.
CI: What is your view/opinion of the future of Crate Racing?
DL: I see both sides to Crate Racing. I listen to the old school guys who like building their home motors. But, I do believe Crate Racing is here to stay. It has allowed a lot of people to stay racing that might not have been able to afford it. It also has allowed some new people to race. Most cannot afford the high end $30,000-$40,000 motors.