The No. 38 has been one of the most successful cars in South Buxton Raceway history.
But the iconic Chevrolet Camaro will have one of the most successful drivers in recent track history behind the wheel for tonight’s eighth annual Canadian Fall Shootout.
Blenheim’s Andrew Reaume will pilot Kirk Hooker’s No. 38 in search of his third Late Model Shootout championship.
“I think it’s going to be cool seeing a young gun in the 38,” Hooker said of Reaume, the only driver to win back-to-back Shootouts with his 2009 and 2010 victories,
It appeared Reaume would have to sit out the Shootout after his own No. 88 car suffered serious damage in a late race crash three weeks ago in the World 100 at Eldora Speedway in Ohio.
“My car won’t be ready, we’re going to West Virginia on Sunday to get the new motor,” said Reaume, who will be in his own machine for the UMP Nationals at Eldora next weekend.
Reaume was battling for 11th place in the World 100 when he got caught in another driver’s spin and wrecked with eight laps to go.
Still, he called his 16th-place finish “the biggest moment I’ve ever had in racing.
“The Shootout, the championships … nothing compares to this,” said Reaume, who made history becoming the first Canadian to make the World 100 ‘A’ Main.
Past Shootout winners Brian Ruhlman, Curtis Roberts and Charing Cross’s Chris Ross were in the field of 123 entries who did not qualify for the ‘A’ Main.
One week earlier, Reaume earned his first feature win in the United States when he was victorious in an American Late Model Series race at Oakshade Raceway in Ohio.
“Everything was falling into place for us,” Reaume said of early September success.
After the accident at Eldora, Hooker approached Reaume to work on his car to get the No. 38 ready for the Shootout and the UMP Nationals.
“I was helping Kirk get his car dialed in, and he asked me if I’d drive it in the Shootout,” said Reaume.
“I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I was going to run the Shootout because they can’t get down to the States to see me race, so it’s all worked out.”
Hooker, South Buxton’s 2011 Late Model points champion, has only raced on dirt four times this season as he has concentrated on his asphalt program at Delaware Speedway.
“I’m getting closer to 50 and I want to have this car for Jake in a couple of years,” Hooker said of his 13-year-old son.
“So who better to work on the car and drive it this weekend than the best Late Model driver in Ontario,” he said of Reaume.
Reaume has not raced at South Buxton since his third-place finish to Ruhlman in last year’s Shootout. He did not race in Friday’s track championship night.
Ruhlman will be the driver to beat in both classes tonight after winning both the Late Model and Modified features last year. He also won the dashes for a perfect four-for-four night.
The Clarklake, Mich. native is undefeated in his Modified at South Buxton since the class was added to the Shootout in 2008. He is a perfect nine-for-nine winning all four features and heats plus the dash in 2009.
“A lot of luck is involved anytime you win,” Ruhlman said about his dominance in the Modified class.
Ruhlman has three wins running a limited Modified schedule this season as he has concentrated on his Late Model program, capturing his fourth career ALMS championship.
“We really didn’t race for any one track championship this year, we concentrated running for the ALSC points,” he said.
- Chris Ross will also be a driver to watch as the Charing Cross native, who made history as the first Canadian Shootout winner in 2008, won his second career U.S. feature earlier this year at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio. His first American win came a year earlier at Millstream Speedway.
- Last year’s Shootout drew 27 Modifieds and 17 Late Models including 10 American entries.
- The TUSA Mod Lites will be the third class tonight. The class was supposed to make its South Buxton debut last Saturday but the night was cancelled by weather.
- The order for the heats will be the Modifieds, Mod Lites and the Late Models. ‘B’ Mains will be run before intermission. The Shootout ‘A’ Mains will be 35-lappers while the Mod Lites will run a 20-lap feature in between.
- Blazin BBQ Ribhouse is the major sponsor for the Shootout. The popular Chatham restaurant will have its barbecue trailer at the race track tonight, offering its award-winning ribs and pulled pork for fans.
- The grandstand opens at 5 p.m. with the green flag waving at 7 p.m.