It won’t be long now. A new season of short track excitement at the tight, tricky bullring on Mount Pleasant Road, west of the Liftlock City gets closer every day. Competitors in every division are counting the days ‘til the first green flag, but Tyler Betts is especially anxious to see things get underway as he gets ready to roll a new racecar to the starting line.
After taking the 2013 season off to buy his first home and getting his racing fix by helping some of his friends with their cars, Betts returned to action and finished 6th in the Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Model standings last year. He and his team have spent most of the off-season prepping a McColl Racing Enterprises chassis purchased from long-time Peterborough Speedway regular Chris Mitchell. Originally from Hampton, Ontario – but now making his home in Enniskillen, with wife Tennille – he says can’t wait to roll his equipment from the hauler for the Saturday, May 16th season opener at Canada’s Toughest 3rd of a Mile Paved Oval.
“I keep checking the calendar every day,” said the 24 year old, second generation speedster. “The car is coming together really well. We’ll have all the body panels in place in a week or so. After that comes the graphics and then, the last-minute checklist before we’re ready to hit the track. We don’t have any children of our own yet, but this process has given me some idea of what it feels like to be an expectant father.”
A millwright with Ontario Power Generation, Tyler Betts has advanced through different racing divisions, including the 6 or less class at the former Mosport/Canadian Tire Motorsports Park Speedway oval. Like most short trackers, he lists the social aspect of the sport and working on the car through the week as his favourite things about racing. Away from the track, his interests include skiing and spending summers at the trailer on the lake. Picking-up multiple heat win race victories in his first full season at Peterborough helped build the young racer’s confidence.
“Running well week after week can be tough at the best of times, but things really came together for the team last year,” said Betts. “I’m hoping we can continue where we left off in 2014 and keep the momentum building. The different car might present some challenges, but I’m sure this will be the missing piece in the puzzle that will get us to the front of the pack on a consistent basis.”
A true short-tracker at heart, Tyler Betts says he’d love to watch his favourite driver Jimmie Johnson and attend a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at either Martinsville or Bristol Motor Speedway. As a racer, if the opportunity to run a show at Cayuga comes up, the driver of the #86 machine says he’ll be one of the first in line to turn a lap at the legendary facility.
Behind the scenes and at the track, the Betts Racing ride is maintained by his mother and father Terry and Sue Betts, wife Tennille, sister Melissa Betts and all the members of Farm Bro Racing. Sponsor backing comes from Pingle’s Farm Market, who’ll return for another season. New on the car for 2015 so far are Rust Check and HTA Lubricants. The team also appreciates the media and public relations support from Clarke Motorsports Communications.