The Stayner native got his season off to a great start on his way to defending the championship as he led all 50 laps on the way to winning the Lucie Alywin Memorial 51 at Sunset Speedway.
“It was amazing. The crew did a great job to get the car here. It was great all night, right out of the trailer,” Watson said in victory lane.
Subsequent trips to Sunset Speedway proved to be successful as well for the young driver. He finished third and first in the pair of Don Biederman Memorial features to finish third overall in the event. He then backed that up with a fifth in the July Sunset event despite going for a spin with six laps to go.
The final event of the year at Sunset Speedway saw Watson pick up the win in the rain shortened event. The race was cut short at lap 20 of 50 due to rain falling from the sky. Watson was awarded the trophy and the win, though everybody was given the same amount of points due to the race not being past halfway.
The driver of the No. 9 Shear Metal Products/Knightworks/Barrie Frame & Alignment/Ken MacKinnon Const. Chevrolet also found success this year at Barrie Speedway as he was able to pick up the win in the June event.
Peterborough Speedway looked also to be Watson’s playground this year as he dominated both the Chase for the Colours and the August 24th event.
“We got out to a good start,” Watson said after the second Peterborough win. “We got to the bottom lane quickly and got by the first few cars. The car kind of faded away towards the end, but we were able to hold them off.”
However, when the series returned to Peterborough for Autumn Colours, that weekend wouldn’t go as planned. Watson took the early lead after starting on pole, though was forced to come down pit road at lap 33 after the back bumper had come loose from contact. Watson changed all four tires and restarted at the tail of the field, working his way to the front. He would cross the start-finish line first, though unfortunately was moved to the last car on the lead lap after it was discovered he was running unregistered tires.
Watson’s other tough spot this year came at Kawartha Speedway when he would spend numerous laps behind the wall determining why his car kept stalling, resulting in a poor finish.
Despite the downfalls of the season, a fourth at Sauble Speedway and a second at Flamboro Speedway helped seal the deal for Watson as he was able to win the championship, 18 points ahead of Andrew Gresel.
“It’s been a great year for us,” Watson said. “We’ve just been really consistant. We didn’t really have any bad finishes, kept our nose clean all year. We were able to get good finishes every week, stay up front and luckily we came out with the points championship again this year. Of course, I couldn’t do it without the great crew and sponsors that have stuck behind me these last couple of years. Obviously without them, I wouldn’t be able to do it.”
Consistency and wins led Watson to the title as he becomes the fourth driver in series history to win more than one series championship. He joins previous champions Stu Robinson Jr., Rob Clarke and Glenn Watson on the short list.
Brandon Watson will try to become only the second driver in series history to win three or more championships; Glenn Watson is currently the only driver with three or more, currently holding four championships.
On behalf of the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour and officials, congratulations to Brandon Watson and his team on a great championship season.
By Ashley McCubbin
Photo Credit: Dan Little