Corey Jones, a veteran of the Lucas Oil Canadian Vintage Modified tour, is making the jump to an OSCAAR Super Late Model starting this season. Jones will leave the storied open-wheel tour at the conclusion of this year, but will run select events with OSCAAR through the end of 2013.
Jones purchased a Howe-built Super Late Model from Shane Gowan (No. 39) who had purchased a pair of cars out of the United States over the course of the winter. Jones says he’s still unsure how the deal all came together.
“We just got chatting one night at the races and I told him what I wanted to do,” explained Jones. “(Shane) invited me over and we went from there.”
The two drivers will work together over the course of the year and operate as unofficial teammates.
“He’s done this for quite a while,” said Jones. “He and (crew chief) Kelly (Hallett) should help to point me in the right direction as we start out here and compare a few notes.”
The Shakespeare, Ont.-native Jones will keep the same No. 82 he has run since he began racing with the Waterloo Regional Kart Club in the early 2000s and with the Vintage Modifieds.
Given the timing of the change, Jones will continue to compete for a point championship in the Vintage Modified series, with a limited OSCAAR schedule in 2013 to maintain his rookie eligibility for the 2014 season. Jones has a preliminary schedule in place, and intends to make his OSCAAR debut next weekend at Sunset Speedway for the Don Biederman Memorial. Other dates on the team’s schedule include an August 11 date at Kawartha Speedway and the 21st edition of Peterborough Speedway’s Autumn Colours Classic in October.
“It was the right deal, not at the right time, but it was the right deal,” said Jones. “I couldn’t back down from it.”
Jones also said he has had a longstanding appreciate for Super Late Model racing in Ontario, making OSCAAR the next natural step in his racing career.
“I’ve always liked the Supers and I’m really excited to try and run with them,” explained Jones. “The cool look of the cars, the speed, the sound (is amazing). It’s double the speed. That alone definitely makes me interested. I hope I’m as competitive as some of the other guys out there.”
The move to a much bigger, faster Super Late Model will pose a few challenges for Jones who will race a closed-body race car for the first time in his career.
“Just getting used to having fenders on the car and the difference in the tires,” said Jones. The Vintage Modifieds run on a treaded tire, while OSCAAR competes on a 10” Hoosier Racing slick.
“Once I get used to the difference, I hopefully should fall in line and pick it up pretty quick,” he said.
Jones has set goals for himself his limited starts in 2013, but also has realistic expectations.
“For the first couple (of races) I just want to get comfortable with the car. I want to learn some setups and what I’ve got underneath me,” said Jones. “I don’t expect, by any means, to come out the first couple of races and be middle to top of the field. But I hope by Autumn Colours I’m pretty close to being up to speed and can battle anybody on any given night.”
The jump to OSCAAR will provide a completely new experience for Jones, who has yet to race with any of the drivers on the OSCAAR tour. Jones, however, says he is excited to race with Gowan.
“It will be all new to me,” said Jones. “It’s going to be exciting to race against (J.R.) Fitzpatrick and all of those guys.”
Jones is working to put the finishing touches on a car which was largely prepared in advance by Gowan. The team hopes to test next week prior to Jones’ debut at Sunset next Saturday.
Jones will enjoy sponsorship on his Super Late Model from Royal Bank of Canada, Remax – Troy Schmidt and Lydia Miu, Accountable Automotive, Anmar Cleaning Inc., Lafleche Roofing, Octane Productions, and Innotech Machine Shop.
The OSCAAR Super Late Model tour is presented by a number of dedicated sponsors throughout Ontario, including: Knightworks Design, Hoosier Racing Tire, Klotz Synthetics Canada, Race2way.ca, Dave Franks Photos, Dickson Printing, Finishline Fabrication, McColl Racing Enterprises, McGunegill Engine Performance, Stefko Racing Engines, VP Racing Fuels, OntarioOval.com, RaceTime Radio, Inside Track Motorsport News, Jenco Equipment, Midas of Orangeville, Reinhart Trailer Sales, North Toronto Auctions, and South Shore Services.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)