Traves in thick of On­tario Leg­ends cham­pi­onship chase

Au­tumn Colours Clas­sic starts Fri­day at Peter­bor­ough Speed­way

The Peterborough Examiner - - SPORTS - JIM CLARKE Jim Clarke op­er­ates Clarke Mo­tor­sports Com­mu­ni­ca­tions/First Draft Me­dia and cov­ers stock car rac­ing in Cen­tral and East­ern On­tario.

At the start of the year, the slate is clean. Every racer be­lieves they have a le­git­i­mate chance to win a lo­cal track cham­pi­onship or tour­ing divi­sion ti­tle.

It’s only un­til a few events into the sea­son that things change and a few driv­ers gain an ad­van­tage over the rest, as the cream rises to the top.

With a gru­elling sched­ule that criss-crosses that prov­ince vis­it­ing sev­eral dif­fer­ent tracks dur­ing the year, the Trail­ers Plus On­tario Leg­ends Se­ries puts a qual­ity field on the track at every event.

This sea­son, one of the stars of the show is Parker Traves. With just Peter­bor­ough Speed­way’s pres­ti­gious Au­tumn Colours Clas­sic — from Fri­day to Sun­day — re­main­ing on the cal­en­dar, the 21-year-old from Graven­hurst, who works as a driver with Puro­la­tor Courier, holds down the run­ner-up spot in the point stand­ings.

“It’s been a great year; there is hon­estly no other way to de­scribe it,” Traves said.

“We’re still wait­ing to make it to vic­tory lane fol­low­ing a main event win, but string of Top 5 and Top 10 fin­ishes has put the team where it is to­day. I’m ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a higher level of con­fi­dence every time I get in the race car and that can make all the dif­fer­ence in our over­all re­sults.”

Com­pared with some of his pre­vi­ous stats, Traves has good rea­son to be proud of this year’s ac­com­plish­ments. He was 14th in the fi­nal 2017 point stand­ings and 17th last year.

Even though things might not work out in his favour when the fi­nal re­sults are tal­lied, the driver is quick to of­fer credit where he be­lieves it is due when it comes to his im­proved per­for­mance.

“Hands-down, my part­ner­ship with Kevin Foisy and Cana­dian Leg­end Cars has made all the dif­fer­ence,” Traves ad­mit­ted.

“He’s likely for­got­ten more about these cars than most peo­ple will ever know. It’s helped a ton to have him take me un­der his wing and of­fer as­sis­tance with setup and race day in­for­ma­tion. There’s no doubt that he got me to where I am now.”

Be­hind the scenes and at the track, the No. 60 team re­ceives help from his fa­ther Al­bert Traves, Brid­get Aikins, Ge­off Mor­ris, Den­ver Traves and the driver’s fi­ancé Cait­lyn Mor­ris.

He says he also thanks his mom, step­dad and younger brother Hunter for com­ing out as of­ten as they can and shar­ing his pas­sion.

Spon­sor­ship sup­port for the 2019 sea­son came from Peter Nikolic Con­crete Fin­ish­ing, Cana­dian Leg­end Cars, TSS — Top Shops Auto Body Sup­ply, T&M Auto Body and Devo Mo­tor­sports.

“No mat­ter what hap­pens, I owe a great deal of thanks to ev­ery­one who has sup­ported and en­cour­aged me through­out my ca­reer,” he said. “We’re al­ways hav­ing fun and mak­ing some great friends along the way. That’s what rac­ing at this level is all about.”

JIM CLARKE CLARKE MO­TOR­SPORTS COM­MU­NI­CA­TION

Graven­hurst’s Parker Traves (No. 60) is se­cond in the Trail­ers Plus On­tario Leg­ends Se­ries stand­ings head­ing into the sea­son fi­nale dur­ing the Au­tumn Colours Clas­sic.

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