By JEFF CIGLICH
KINGSTON, ONT – Despite not holding a checkered flag for a feature win in 2017 John Stanley of Kingston, Ontario still got it done with consistency to become the DMNT’s first ever Modified Champion.
The 2016 Eastern Ontario Vintage Club champ would be spotting Tyler Reynolds 5 points going into the final race at Mohawk International. Stanley would go on to finish 3rd that night while Reynolds placed 6th.
Beginning his career in the 4 cylinder division, the second generation driver was informed he was not to use his father Jack’s number, K0, that he ran at both the Kingston and Watertown Speedway’s during the fifties and sixties.
“You are not putting my number on a Japanese car” in reference to the Honda that John was piloting at the time. There would be two feature wins with the Honda over the years, one coming at Can Am Speedway, the other in Brockville. “I think there was one year where we won nearly every heat race at Brockville” explained Stanley “But we could never put it all together in the features”
Wanting to go open wheel racing was always in the back of his mind but the Sportsman division just seemed out of reach for him financially plus it was going to be a strain on time due to his profession as a truck driver.
“We saw vintage racing as an affordable way to go open wheel racing and it’s worked out really well for us ever since”
For 2018 there will be some changes to the program as a newer Bicknell chassis has been purchased however the sometimes controversial body style will remain intact. “My vision for the car and the design are a combination of an Oswego Super and some of the cars Bob McCreadie ran at Kingston during the early years of his career. They were narrowed up to the cage and I just thought they were awesome”.
During the series visit to the Paradise Speedway this season John was approached by quite a few fans and drivers from other classes who remarked how unique the car was. “Usually all we see are Coupes” was one of the quotes that day.
Like all race teams there are always people behind the scenes that sacrifice and help make it happen. John’s parent’s Jack & Bev Stanley, his wife Cheryl Murphy, former vintage racer Phil Ross and during his 4 cylinder days Kenny Maynard.
As of this writing, John Stanley will begin his title defense on June 1st at the Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, NY.
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