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Local racer will compete for top points on the track this season

April 2, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

It’s going to be Ryder White’s third season on the oval and after a successful racing season last year, he’s banking on his experience on the race track to provide another solid performance at courses around Ontario.

The 11 year-old racer won nine races last season and is hoping to increase that record once the rubber hits the pavement for this season.

“I’m going into my third season of racing this year,” Ryder explained. “We’ve got some new sponsors. I plan on racing at Sauble Speedway, maybe one or two races at Sunset, and we might go to Varney – but Varney’s pretty rough. It really tears the car apart.

Ryder was named Rookie of the Year in his first season.

He spent his first year learning the sport and taking it easy on the track. Part way through the season a go-switch turned on and Ryder had it all figured out. From then on, he became a real competitor in his class.

He finished second in points in his division last season.

Preparing for this year, he has his strategy figure out.

“I’m going to be patient and get to the lead,” Ryder explained. “My last race of the season I was really patient and went to the back of the pack once then drove my way back to the front in two laps. I have to plan my passes really well. I feel much more confident this year.”

The class is called Junior Late Models. The cars are scaled down versions of NASCAR cars and reach speeds of up to 60 mph.

Ryder and his pit chief, dad Mike, are currently getting the car prepped and ready for the season.

There’s a lot of thought that goes into making the car ready for the track. From balancing the wheels to determining which sprocket should be used on the chain drive – every adjustment will make a difference.

The sprocket makes a huge difference in the car’s performance.

“The smaller number of teeth makes the acceleration slower but the top speed high,” Ryder explained. “The more teeth makes the car accelerate faster but you lose top speed. I prefer the smaller teeth but it depends on the track.”

Mike is busy getting the car set up to run the way Ryder likes on the oval.

“You scale the car,” Mike explained. “There’s four independent scales and you can raise and lower the height of the tires to change the weight distribution of the car. Ryder likes to run at a particular cross weight.”

Getting the car scaled properly and according to what the driver wants is especially important on oval tracks where the cars will be running on an inclined track.

It it not yet determined if tracks in Ontario will be allowed to have spectators this year,

Racing season begins in just over a month and Ryder will be challenging for the top spot in his division.



         

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