Howie Crowe is no stranger when it comes to winning races and fighting for championships on the weekly short tracks of Central Ontario. The veteran runner from the Alderville First Nation has been a fixture at Peterborough Speedway for more than a decade, while his family has been part of the sport for 2 generations.
Heading into action Saturday, August 27th – the second to last night of the regular season at the venue known as Canada’s Toughest 3rd of a Mile Paved Oval – Crowe held a comfortable, but not commanding lead in the Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car point standings. Looking to grab the title that had slipped from his grasp in each of the last 2 seasons, the popular speedster knew he’d need to be at the top of his game.
“I’d finished 2nd by just a few points in both 2014 and 2015 and couldn’t have that happen again,” admitted the driver. “Ken and Kyle Donaldson had been at the track helping another driver, so they were spending time with me as well. They’re the guys who built the car, so they know it like the back of their hands. ‘Wheely’ had some great runs in it on nights when I couldn’t be there, so I knew the machine was a winner.”
Crowe scored a win in the night’s opening round of qualifying, but when his closest championship rival – who had logged back-to-back feature race checkered flags a few weeks earlier – mirrored that performance in the second session, the crew went to work in the pits to get everything they could out of the #28 ride for the main event.
“I didn’t think we were likely to gain a bigger advantage on second place, but I definitely wanted to keep the margin as close to what it had been as possible,” said Crowe. “After being close in the past, I want to make sure the team does everything possible to clinch this year’s Thunder Car championship.”
When the 20 lap ‘A’ main took to the track, Howie Crowe started deeper in the field than the driver occupying the runner-up point position and when a caution flag waved before a single lap was completed, the pack regrouped. Crowe moved into second spot on the restart and played ‘follow-the-leader’ until well past the halfway point of the race. With 15 circuits showing on the scoreboard, the veteran of the United States Marine Corp took advantage of a slip-up by the leader and grabbed the spot. From there, he’d gain about a 3 car length advantage on the way to the checkered flag. Always humble, Crowe had a simple explanation for the win.
“The door opened and I had to take it,” said Crowe. “There is only one show remaining on this year’s schedule, so I’m hoping we’ll be in a good position to claim the crown.”
Howie Crowe’s 2016 season in Peterborough Speedway’s Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car division is proudly supported by Crowe Brothers Roofing, Trail’s End, Steelcase Tires, Custom Steering, Mayhew Graphics and Clarke Motorsports Communications.