Kevin Cornelius to join the OSCAAR ranks in 2013By Ashley McCubbin
After experiencing success at the Limited Late Model level, Kevin Cornelius is making the move up to the OSCAAR Super Late Model division. Cornelius unveiled the car last weekend at the Mega Speed Custom Car and Truck Show.
“I can’t remember the last time I was this pumped up for the start of a season,” he said. “The car looks amazing.
“We have added some new guys to the team and we are probably a couple of weeks away from doing some single car testing.”
Cornelius will be running a McColl Racing Enterprises chassis, which marks the first OSCAAR chassis for Mike McColl and his staff.
“I really wanna get out in this MRE chassis and start to get a feel for this car,” the Orangeville, Ontario driver said. “I have done a lot of talking with some SLM drivers and just wanna get out and see for myself how these things handle.”
Going into the season, Cornelius admits that he doesn’t really have any expectations with how they will run.
“I just want to be competitive and run up front every race,” he said. “If we do that and the points take care of themselves, I have all the confidence in the world that we have the right guys on this team, and combine that with the MRE staff, its a good feeling when you are preparing for a race season.”
While he may be running an OSCAAR for the first time, the same group of guys will be back for the new season, with only a small change as Ed Almand has stepped in as crew chief.
“I’m really looking forward to working with our new crew chief this year Ed Almand,” Cornelius said. “I have known Eddie for along time and he and I are usually on the same page when it comes to racing.”
Cornelius actually got interested in racing while doing his internship at Almand’s shop.
“I started my apprenticeship at a small shop for mechanicing in Alton, Ontario, working with Ed Almand and he raced at the time at Sauble Speedway so naturally I went up with him to help out with his car,” Cornelius recalled last season. “There happened to be what they’d call Enduro Cars or Street Stock for sale for $400 and that was big money for us back then. So we were going to buy it, but something came up so we couldn’t buy it. So actually Ed and his wife Susan actually ended up buying me the car.”
In the first race that he ran at Sauble Speedway, he won, but was DQ’ed. “Apparently the rear end was locked and we weren’t allowed that.”The following weekend also brought some excitement when Cornelius brought his parents to the track, not telling them that he was racing.
“They thought they were just coming to watch Ed race, and we pulled out in the car and it ended up in one of the heat races, we put it on its roof,” he said.
As previously mentioned, Cornelius enters the season with limited late model experience under his belt, including two competitive back-t0-back sesaons at Sunset Speedway.
Last season didn’t go as Cornelius would have hoped as he finished third in points after a pair of disappointing runs mid-summer. There were some highlights, though, as he was able to pick up four feature victories.
“Looking back on last year, that seems like along time ago now,” he commented. “This winter has dragged on way to long if you’re a race fan or racer; I really don’t have much to say about it.
“I have kinda forgotten about it now. It was a frustrating year for sure but we still came away four features, a bunch of heat wins, and third overall, so I guess we should be happy with that.”
However, the 2011 season went much better as Cornelius won the track championship while picking up four feature victories and 16 heat wins, and in addition, two invitational features. In the interview, he admitted to remembering that season more so than last year.”We were so dominate that year and had such a good season,” he said. “It was unbelievable (and still is) walking outta Sunset that year knowing we had won the championship and knowing that no matter what we do now, we will always have that.
“Those two seasons I was so impressed with the guys and the effort they put in. They had no quit in them at all and they were the reason why we had so much success.”
For their support in past seasons and the season ahead, Cornelius and KDR Motorsports team would like to thank their sponsors: Halton Crushed Stone Lee Sand and Gravel, Hanson Concrete Products, Sandbox Tech Child Care, Alliston Transmission, Ed’s Automotive, Triple Concrete and MacMaster Buick GMC.
For more information on Kevin Cornelius, check out http://www.kdrmotorsports.ca.