It was a dream come true. From the drop of the year’s first green flag, 2012 was a memorable campaign for the team of car owner Dave Landles and driver Matt Spence. Although delayed by 2 weeks from the originally scheduled date, Spence earned a clean sweep of Kawartha Speedway’s opening night qualifying heat, semi feature and main event. That strong start paved the way to a Thunder Car track championship, but with the Fraserville oval taking a hiatus, Landles and Spence will spend the 2013 season on the 3rd of a mile layout of Peterborough Speedway. The 25 year old wheelman from Bailieboro, Ontario – who began his racing career in a family owned car at the age of 14 – says he’s looking forward to the new campaign at the site of some of his early career success.
“I’m hoping we can carry the momentum of the championship season once we get rolling,” said the emergency vehicle technician at Kerr Industries in Oshawa. “Dave and I started working together in 2009 at Kawartha. In those days, we’d share the driving duties from week-to-week, but when my name was painted above the door, I knew I had to step-up my game and get the job done. Racing luck certainly worked in our favour last year. Even on nights when our equipment was less than perfect, we still managed to log a decent finish and roll the car back into the trailer for the trip back home.”
When the Landles/Spence alliance and the rest of the Thunder Car field leaves the staging area on the opening night of the new schedule, it’ll be a trip back in time for the tight bullring west of Peterborough. The division hasn’t been part of the track’s regular agenda since 2006. Spence says he isn’t worried about heading into the year without knowing what’s in store; in fact, he’s quite excited.
“Some of the teams may have raced at Peterborough before during the annual Autumn Colours event,” said the driver of the #53 www.sellmunity.com Worldwide Internet Classified site Thunder Car, in partnership with Durham Furnace, Graphic Lettering Services and NAPA Pineridge Auto Supply, with promotional assistance by Clarke Motorsports Communications. “When you’re coming into a new situation, you can never tell what you’ll face. You need to learn about how the other drivers will race and what line they like to run on the track. I’ll be sitting behind the steering wheel, but it’ll almost be like being a fan. It’s neat to get to know the other drivers and make some new friends.”
Peterborough Speedway’s campaign gets underway Saturday, May 18th as Country 105 presents the 2013 season opener, with free grandstand admission. Teams will get a chance to practice Saturday, May 11th at noon, as well as Tuesday and Thursday, May 14th and 16th starting at 4:00.
The #53 Thunder Car team is always interested in hearing from prospective sponsors to add to their successful program. To learn more, contact car owner Dave Landles at [email protected] or driver Matt Spence at [email protected].