Collins has the drive
Placentia native will race in NASCAR’s top circuit in Canada
Josh Collins had a taste of the pro stock car racing circuit last season, and now the Placentia driver is poised for the full course meal.
Collins cut his racing teeth on tracks around Newfoundland - most recently the Eastbound International Speedway in Avondale, recently granted official NASCAR affiliation status - for 11 years, and is preparing to join the NASCAR Pinty’s Series (formerly Canadian Tire Series) this summer.
The series is Canada’s top auto racing competition.
Collins will race May 22 at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ont., in the Castrol Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend.
It’s the first what he hopes will be a full schedule of 12 races this season from Edmonton to Antigonish, N.S.
“I’m ready for this next step,” said the 30-year-old Collins. “I’ve been at this a long time — since I was 19 — jumping around differ- ent tracks.”
Collins ran two races in the Canadian series last year, recording 10th and 11th-place finishes at Riverside International Speedway in Antigonish and Kawartha Speedway in Fraserville, Ont. Eighteen and 24 cars started the two races.
Collins will be the primary driver on Joey McColm’s CBRT outfit — Canada’s Best Racing Team — from southern Ontario.
McColm, who like Collins is 30, raced for 15 years — 10 as a pro — but is stepping aside from driving to become a full-time crew chief and general manager.
“Josh came right out of the box with two pretty good showings in his first two races amongst Canada’s best,” McColm said. “I think he has what it takes. “I like his drive and his determination, and I think I’m the right guy to help him.”
Collins likes the idea of driving for McColm’s team, which has “six or seven” cars and will have three other drivers — Kevin Poitras of Toronto, Robin Buck of Campbellville, Ont. and Mel Shaw from the Philadelphia suburb of Voorhees, N.J. — racing part-time. “I just show up and drive.” Collins said. The NASCAR Pinty’s Canadian circuit is a few steps below the Sprint Cup tracks on which the big boys — the Jimmie Johnsons and Brad Keselowskis — of the racing world drive.
Rather, it’s a few rungs down, just below the Xfinity Series and Truck Series.
“But we’re close,” McColm says, “like the CFL to the NFL.”
I’m ready for this next step. I’ve been at this a long time — since I was 19 — jumping around different tracks. Josh Collins