by Chris Jenson
The O.T.R.A. starts its 40th season on the 22nd of April, 2017 and it looks to be another exciting year. The 2016 season had 7 different main event winners, lead by George "the Jet" Jenson driving the #25 1933 Dodge Sedan, ending the year with 5 Feature Wins including Yakima Washington, Roseburg Oregon, and 3 at Western Speedway. Wins at Yakima and Roseburg came in Jenson’s first ever starts at the tracks. Jenson captured the Ronny Mayell Memorial, and Denny Rand Memorial at Western Speedway. Jenson considers his victory in the Denny Rand Memorial to be the most precious of all his victories, as Denny was his Brother in law.
The Jet will have a tough year repeating his 2016 success as Troy Tarbuck in the #24 Terry Cessford rebuilt tribute car and 2016 Rookie of the year Doug the slug Richens' #54 1929 ford, entering their sophomore years, will be strong contenders for more Feature wins in 2017. Troy finished 2016 with two wins, along with one for Doug. Driving the #35 1929 Ford, Kail "the snail" Beck had a strong 2016 season including a win in Roseburg Oregon. He will be looking for his first win on his home track Western Speedway. Chris Miller #71, 2016’s Most Improved Driver will also be on the hunt for his first win. Veteran drivers Joe Dardengo #09, Larry Joyce in the new #22, Roger Beck #42 and Jim "papa smurf" Giles #03 will make for an exciting mix of old and young drivers mixing it up. 2017 will showcase a strong rookie class including George Jenson’s daughter Kaylyn Jenson in Daryl Simpson’s #12, Chris "the Hammer" Hamber in the #18 formerly Larry Joyce’s car #22, Robin Trotter #2 in Duane Zeinstra’s old #11, and Blaze Bateman bringing back a very fast car from the 1980s, the former Rob Scott #32. Rounding out the OTRA 2017 field is Kiff Saunders, Matt Verhagen, and Andrew Hawthorne sharing the drivers duty of the #34 car, The Mother Son duo of Shawn Morrison #82 and Cornelia Morrison #28, Doug Richens’ Dad Dave Richens in the #17 car, and Paul Verhagen in the #43.
The 2016 the racing season saw Troy Tarbuck return the Terry Cessford #24 car to the track and in the 2017 season after being fully restored, and made better than before the #00 car driven by Tracy Cessford will be making its way back to Western Speedway. Andy Muir’s car #79 could also see the track, along with a new surprise owner of the #1 1930 Hudson, formerly owned by James Campbell. Rumour has it that we may see the return of a few veteran drivers to pilot the #1 Hudson that could include O.T.R.A. legends Rob Scott and Dan Morneau. The new owner of the #1 Hudson is a household name in Langford and his continued commitment and support of Western Speedway and O.T.R.A is great for the Community. Watch for him to be revealed and assume the driving duties on a few occasions during the 2017 season.
The First race of the 40th Season for the O.T.R.A. is the Vapour Solutions Night at the Races on April 22 and will also feature the Galaxy Motors Stock Cars, Richlock Rentals Non Winged Sprint Cars, Sooke Disposal Mini Stocks, and the Marlin Motors Hornets.