In the first official race of the season at Pemberton Speedway on May 13, Scotty Newman powered through to a win in the hornet class.
The Whistler resident took the checkered flag in the small final to let the other drivers know he's a force to be reckoned with this season. He now sits second in the overall standings, three points behind Aaron Groen and three up on Danny William.
With the track having undergone some renovations in the offseason, Newman acknowledged there were a few difficulties getting acclimatized in the early going.
"Race day was a learning experience right from the start. I drew No. 1...and hit the track when it was pretty slick. I ended up not qualifying in the top 4 so I missed out on the trophy race," Newman wrote via Facebook Messenger.
"My crew chief Adam Gabel assured me I was looking fast and we looked forward to the next races. The final race played out about as good as it can, I got a really good jump on the start and was able to take the lead in turns one and two. Once I was out front, I just tried to stay calm and put down the best laps I could until I saw that checkered flag."
While Newman was happy to get a victory under his belt early in the season, he acknowledged he may be getting a little unwanted attention because of it as well.
"It's amazing to start out with a win for sure but it also means I've got a target on my back. It's a bit of a blessing and a curse," Newman reasoned.
Newman grew up racing field cars on his family's farm in Ontario, noting he wasn't even tall enough to reach the pedals when he first became interested in the sport. He plans to complete the other three Pemberton Stockcar Association races at the track this season, with the next one set to go on June 17.
With free admission offered to the season opener in the hopes of drawing some new fans to the track, Newman said he definitely noticed an enthusiastic group giving the drivers a boost from the stands.
"The atmosphere was amazing. There was a big crowd and everyone was really into it. Cheering on all the racers, I'm pretty sure I heard some cowbells. Hats off to everyone that showed up," Newman wrote.
The hobby class also raced on Saturday night, with Dave Hennessey leading the standings by a single point over Clayton Sutherland and three points over Tim Brooksbank. Complete standings are online at www.pembertonstockcars.com.