Pro 4 Modified racers out to enjoy their time on the track
There’s a group of racers that get out on the track every week to enjoy themselves in an easygoing, backto-basics environment.
Of course, they love to race against each other, but they are out there enjoying themselves in affordable and reliable race cars.
With roots dating back decades, the Pro 4 Modifieds compete every Saturday night at Flamboro Speedway, the series’ only venue. There are 12 to 15 teams on the Pro 4 Modified roster, and usually most of them show up at the Millgrove oval to do battle.
“Sure, we’d like to have more cars,” noted series vice-president Brian Nanticoke as he prepared his pair of team cars before racing. “We have upgraded the rules a bit by allowing quick-change rear ends and fuel injection on the engines.”
The cars are purpose-built and open-wheeled, powered by fourcylinder Ford or Honda engines. With a weight of 1,725 pounds and about 200 horsepower on tap, they are quick and nimble out on the paved surface.
“These are full race cars,” said series racer Gillian Hils, a mechanic from Dundas who not only races a Pro 4 but other classes such as Pure Stock and Bombers, sometimes on the clay at Ohsweken Speedway.
Hils, who said she will “race anything,” believes the Pro 4 provides more thrills, and demands more skill when driving.
“The Pro 4 has so much more speed,” she noted. “It’s more point and shoot, where with the Bomber you slip and slide.
“I like the pavement more,” she said. “There is more strategy involved.”
Hils’ car, which is unique to the series with its open cockpit, is powered by a Honda engine, and she estimates is worth $7,500.
Nanticoke, who has won the series’ championship several times and is one of the group’s front-runners, started in the year 2000. The Ohsweken resident raced for car owner Tom Whitby for five years before getting his own ride, and he now has amassed a four-car team. He said there is a camaraderie within the group, and he wanted to thank series veteran Stan Pokupec for his generosity and help.
“Everyone helps everyone else,” Nanticoke said. “It’s inexpensive racing, and the aim is to have fun. I love it, it’s my passion.”
Weekend winners: World of Outlaws superstar Donny Schatz dominated the running of the 34th Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Ohio Saturday, and took home $50,000 US. Schatz and other WoO teams will make their only Canadian tour stop at Ohsweken Speedway for the two-day Sprint Car extravaganza next week, the Burger Barn Summer Nationals for 360 Sprints July 24, and the ninth annual Arrow Express Six Nations Showdown for the 410 Sprints July 25. This year the track has brought in Sprint Car standout Rico Abreu and NASCAR Cup’s Kyle Larson to do battle on the clay oval ... Lynden’s Jordan Szoke had a rough ride on his Mopar Express Lane/Motovan BMW S1000RR to win his fifth feature race of the Mopar CSBK Canadian Superbike Championship this season. Held last Sunday and presented by Honda Canada at Atlantic Motorsport Park in Shubenacadie, N.S., Szoke was on the pole for the 22-lap race, and was never challenged for the remainder of the feature, held on a very rough and demanding course ... Last year’s ISMA 50 winner at Jennerstown Pa., Mike Lichty of Innerkip, could only take a fourth this year. The other Canadian on the Super Modified tour, Mark Sammut of London, placed 10th ... Hamilton’s Mark Shadwell won the Vintage Race Car feature at Merrittville Speedway Saturday as part of the track’s Jerry Winger Memorial and 66th anniversary reunion night … Cory Whittam of Brantford won his first Can-Am Midget feature of this season, taking the 25-lap main on the Grand Bend oval Saturday ... Jukasa Speedway (formerly Cayuga) and the APC Series have announced former NASCAR Cup veteran Ken Schrader will compete in the rejuvenated track’s opening event, the Late Model Summer Shootout, Aug. 26-27.
Nanticoke Pro 4 Modified driver Brian Nanticoke with his grandchildren, Haedyn Nanticoke, left, and Randon Greene. Nanticoke said he enjoys not only the racing but the friendly atmosphere when at the track.