A lot has changed since his first-ever race – at the age of 13 – back in 1991. But one thing remains the same. Dan McHattie is still racing and winning at the venue known as Canada’s Toughest 3rd of a Mile Paved Oval.
Saturday, September 1st, Dan McHattie clinched the 2018 Late Model track championship at Peterborough Speedway. The racing veteran from Cavan, Ontario spent the first 8 seasons of his career at the track and 2018 was the first time since 1998 that he’d run the full season at his hometown raceway. Even with the success he’s enjoyed – including prior championships in 1994, 1996 and 1998 at Peterborough and a total of 12 titles throughout his career – it’s a focus on family that maintains the driver’s attention.
“Dad and I built the first car I ever drove and he’s still with me at the track every week; whenever and wherever I race,” said Dan McHattie. “One of my favourite things about the sport is having victory lane photos taken with my family and friends. There isn’t a portrait studio in the land that can capture what we share together in those special moments.”
With the 26th annual running of the Autumn Colours Classic less than a month away, McHattie says he’s looking to add another trip the winner’s circle in the prestigious event to go along with his Pro Late Model triumphs from 2007 and 2011. Autumn Colours is a special event that blends the best of the best from a wide variety of different speedways.
“There really isn’t another season-ending race like the ACC,” Dan McHattie said. “This year, the Late Model division will be running the first-ever Electric City 167, a combination race for Limited and Pro Late Model divisions. A show that long is the ultimate test for a team and its equipment. You need a car that can adjust to the changing conditions throughout the race distance. Its almost like a double-edged sword. You don’t want to have too many yellow flags so you can find your rhythm but need a few so you can catch your breath.”
When this year’s edition of the Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing takes the green flag – Friday, October 5th – McHattie will be wheeling the same tried, tested and true J.J. Stewart Motors – Norwood, Douglas Automotive, Sidey Auto Supply, Barry McClennan Masonry, Shane Michaels RV, Foxon Alternator & Starter, Webb Transmission, Praxair Peterborough, Larry Crowe Sr. Racing Dodge that claimed multiple heat race and feature wins and captured the 2018 Late Model track championship.
“We’ve used the break since the Championship Clash to check-over the car to make sure its ready for the biggest race of the year. I’m confident that our equipment has what it takes to get to victory lane.”