A.J. Emms Reflects on Roller Coaster Season En Route to Top-Five Points Finish

A pair of heat wins. Six Heat Top-Five’s.

A feature victory. Four Top-Five’s. Six Top-10’s.

Despite some trying times throughout the course of the 2021 Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds presented by Just Foam It season, the consistency for Emms Racing led them to a solid top-five finish in the final standings.

“Overall with the year, I felt we had a roller coaster season with some really good highs like the first race at Sunset Speedway, and some pretty good lows with an accident also at Sunset Speedway in a heat race,” A.J. Emms commented. “That’s just a testament to a difficult year of racing. It really speaks to how racing can be such a humbling sport.

“I think we learned a lot this season although we struggled. We try to learn a little each year and hopefully we’re able to put some of that learning this off-season into use and try to find a little bit more speed.”

Ultimately, the year started off with the most memorable moment of the season in a whirlwind of a season opener. After getting married on Saturday, Emms elected to have Taylor Holdaway behind the wheel for qualifying at Sunset Speedway. Holdaway was able to get the job done, scoring a heat victory and runner-up.

Emms would get to the track prior to the start of the feature, getting behind the wheel of the modified – though having to start from the tail of the field due to the driver change. The climb to the front came quickly, though, as he put himself inside the top-five with 20 laps to go and was able to capitalize late to score the victory.

“He’s been a childhood friend of mine,” Emms spoke of Holdaway. “He’s a guy that I grew up a couple blocks from, we raced go-karts against each other, we go to Bristol, Tennessee each year together, and spent a lot of time together growing up racing, and it was really special for me to have him in the car.

“He did a great job when I wasn’t there for my heat races and then getting the car dialed in so we could start last and make it up to the front for the win. It has to be one of the most memorable moments of the year, if not my racing career.

“Another memorable moment would be getting put into the wall pretty blatantly in a heat race and destroying the car. That’s one that I definitely won’t forget moving forward.”

Returning back to Sunset Speedway two weeks later, the second heat event would not go according to plan. Battling for the runner-up spot in the early stages, Emms was pushed against the outside frontstretch wall, ultimately forcing him up on two wheels and stuck on the wall.

Despite the heavy damage to the car, the team did not give up in the face of adversity, making the necessary repairs – with help from others, to get the car back out for the feature. Starting from the tail of the field, Emms was able to make his way back through for a 10th-place finish.

“For me, I have such confidence in our team and the people that we have around us,” Emms commented. “I’m very thankful to have my dad working so hard on the car in terms of preparation. Ryan Ward, Peter Schotanus, Josh Lahay – everybody that puts in work to the car, I have confidence in them and know that they’re going to bring each and everything they can to the races every week and in doing so, it was great to see us rebound just to affirm some of those feelings.

“But definitely after the heat race woes at Sunset Speedway, I was incredibly proud of our team and all the people that came to help us out to get the car back together to get out on the race track. And with a green to checkered race, I thought it was very impressive to come from last even still with a bent-up racecar and finish 10th, especially with the field as stacked as it is.

“Like I said, I have a lot of confidence in the team and it was really positive to see the resiliency.”

The middle four races of the season ultimately kept the roller coaster feel going, as there were some positives, as well as a couple lows. A fifth-place finish at Sauble Speedway and a third-place finish at Delaware Speedway were ultimately countered with a 20th at Sunset Speedway following contact on Lap 1, and eighth at Flamboro Speedway after getting stuck on the outside to start.

The year would end off on a good note, though, as Emms scored a heat victory before running inside the top-four all feature long at the Autumn Colours Classic en route to a third-place finish.

“It was good to end the year at Autumn Colours with a third-place finish, especially with how competitive the OSCAAR Modified division is and not only a field stacked with great drivers, but also a field full of great cars,” he commented. “That third-place finish will help carry momentum into next year, and confidence in running up front most of the race. Ultimately, hopefully like I said, moving forward, we can minimize our mistakes not only on my driving end, but on the mechanical end so we can continue to be fast next season.”

Looking back over the course of the season, Emms says it emphasized the importance of having everything together. While some weeks they were great handling-wise, you need to also have the rest of the package to go with that.

“Honestly, the division now is so tight; like, you really need to have a car that’s going to be able to do everything and handle at all different tracks, especially with how our invert works now,” he explained. “You have to have that whole package so you can pass cars and try to get closer to the front especially when there’s fast cars starting at the front. So it’s really getting back to crossing all of our Ts and dotting all of our Is, and not that we weren’t doing that before, but we also have to step it up a little bit just because the competition is also doing that.

“I think it also helps with having a lot of great names in the division now, like Brian MacDonald is at the track working on cars, and you see Hanleys working on the car. You see so many great people that have a lot of great knowledge in our garage area so that just tells us that we need to everything that we can to be there each and every week.”

Emms Racing is proud to be supported by BAE Environmental, FMR Scrap Buyers and Recyclers, TL Tire, Klotz Canada, Speedy Glass Orillia, Mike Westwood Fabrications, Peter Built Racecars and Short Track Musings.

Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to the Emms Racing website at http://www.ajemms.com, as well as the team’s facebook page via https://www.facebook.com/ajemmsracing/.

By: Ashley McCubbin / AM Marketing – ashleymccubbin17@gmail.com.

A.J. Emms Scores Heat Victory, Podium Finish at Autumn Colours Classic

PETERBOROUGH, Ontario — Battling up front all weekend long, A.J. Emms was able to end off his 2021 Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds presented by Just Foam It season on a high note.

Emms started off the weekend on a high, scoring the victory in the opening heat. He then backed it up with a seventh in the second qualifier.

Starting fifth for the feature, a three-wide move on the second lap would allow him to move up to the runner-up position. He was able to remain there through the next 20 laps, before fading back to fourth following the third restart. He would keep in touch with the car ahead of him, though, making a move with a couple laps to go to cross the finish line with a third-place feature finish.

Despite an overall up and down season, the team was able to complete the season with a solid fourth-place finish in the year-end standings.

Emms Racing is proud to be supported by BAE Environmental, FMR Scrap Buyers and Recyclers, TL Tire, Klotz Canada, Speedy Glass Orillia, Mike Westwood Fabrications, Peter Built Racecars and Short Track Musings.

Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to the Emms Racing website at http://www.ajemms.com, as well as the team’s facebook page via https://www.facebook.com/ajemmsracing/.

By: Ashley McCubbin / AM Marketing – ashleymccubbin17@gmail.com.

A.J. Emms Scores Second Straight Top-10 Finish at Flamboro Speedway

MILLGROVE, Ontario — Despite falling back in the early stages of the feature, A.J. Emms made his way forward to score a top-10 finish at Flamboro Speedway’s Frostoberfest.

He scored a runner-up in his lone qualifying heat, setting him up to start sixth for the 40-lap feature. He would get stuck in the high line off the drop of the green flag, unable to get down, fading back to 12th in the opening five laps.

He would avoid an incident ahead of him on Lap 14 to move up to 11th, breaking into the top-10 just before the halfway mark of the feature. Despite being challenging to pass being a single-groove track, he was able to make a couple more passes, scoring an eighth-place finish.

The finish allowed Emms remain third in the standings, five points out of the runner-up spot heading into the final race.

The next event for the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds presented by Just Foam it is scheduled for Peterborough Speedway on Sunday, October 10. Qualifying will take place on Friday, October 8, and Saturday, October 9. Emms know what it takes to be successful at Peterborough, scoring his first career victory in the Autumn Colours Classic in 2016 there. Notably, he has no finishes worse than seventh in his last eight appearances there, with six top-five’s.

Emms Racing is proud to be supported by BAE Environmental, FMR Scrap Buyers and Recyclers, TL Tire, Klotz Canada, Speedy Glass Orillia, Mike Westwood Fabrications, Peter Built Racecars and Short Track Musings.

Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to the Emms Racing website at http://www.ajemms.com, as well as the team’s facebook page via https://www.facebook.com/ajemmsracing/.

Press Release by Ashley McCubbin / AM Marketing – ashleymccubbin17@gmail.com

A.J. Emms Scores Podium Finish at Delaware Speedway

LONDON, Ontario — Battling up front all feature long, A.J. Emms scored a podium finish on Saturday at Delaware Speedway.

“I think overall Delaware was a solid finish for us, especially after our run at Sunset Speedway,” he commented. “it was nice to get back into the top-three. We felt we made a lot of gains on the racecar with regards to handling and felt like our handling is getting close – just lacking speed down the straightaway, which is something we’re going to move on moving forward.

“Right now, we’re happy with a third-place finish and the fact that we kept the car in one piece, and excited to take that piece to Flamboro and see what we can come up with there.”

Emms started off the afternoon by scoring a second in his lone qualifying heat, setting him up to start sixth in the feature. There’d be contact off of the start in turn two ahead of No. 14 Modified, with Emms able to avoid everything without contact.

Restarting second, he’d slot in behind the race leader, remaining there through the first half of the race. He would hold off a challenge for the spot through a number of back-to-back laps, though ultimately faded back to third on Lap 23.

Emms never gave up, though, continuing to battle hard to cross the finish line with a third-place finish.

The finish allowed Emms to move back up to third in the standings, 15 points out of the lead with two races remaining.

The next event for the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds presented by Just Foam it is scheduled for Flamboro Speedway on Saturday, October 2.

“I really like Flamboro Speedway,” he said. “I think it’s a track with a lot of character and history – similar to Delaware in that aspect in having a lot of character and history. Coming to Frostoberfest – it’s a big event; I think it’d be really big to win that event to add it to the resume.

“We’re really just going to do the best that we can and hoping to come out with a win, but if that’s not the case, we’re going to leave it all on the table and give it our best shot.”

Emms has been strong there in the past, scoring two wins and a runner-up in his last three starts at the Hamilton-based oval.

“One of the biggest challenges coming to Flamboro is really having your car dialed in and being there for the end of the race,” he continued. “A lot of times we often get some long green flag stretch at Flamboro, so making sure your car doesn’t fade away on you on the long green flag stretch, and really, keeping your nose out of trouble.

“Getting near the end of the year, a lot of people are maybe increasing their aggression levels – and that goes for all divisions. So it’s going to be really important to keep our nose clean and really make sure the handling is there, avoid accidents, and stay up front.”

Emms Racing is proud to be supported by BAE Environmental, FMR Scrap Buyers and Recyclers, TL Tire, Klotz Canada, Speedy Glass Orillia, Mike Westwood Fabrications, Peter Built Racecars and Short Track Musings.

Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to the Emms Racing website at http://www.ajemms.com, as well as the team’s facebook page via https://www.facebook.com/ajemmsracing/.

Press Release by Ashley McCubbin / AM Marketing – ashleymccubbin17@gmail.com

A.J. Emms Ready for Rebound at Delaware Speedway

INNISFIL, Ontario — After a rough outing at Sunset Speedway, the Emms Racing team is ready to turn things around this coming weekend at Delaware Speedway.

Emms started off the weekend at Sunset Speedway scoring a runner-up in the first heat, followed by a third in the second qualifier.

Starting seventh for the feature, Emms would make contact with a fellow driver on the opening lap of the event. Restarting from the back, he was unable to make the progress forward with the resulting damage, crossing the finish line in 20th.

As a result, Emms drops to fourth in the standings, 15 points out of the lead with three races remaining on the schedule.

The next event for the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds presented by Just Foam It is at Delaware Speedway on Saturday, September 25. Emms knows his way around the half-mile, scoring a third and a win in his last two appearances.

“I am really looking forward to Delaware,” he said. “Delaware has always been a good track for us that we’ve had some success at. Looking forward to redeeming ourselves, and having a good run.”

When asked as to what has been the secret to his success there, it’s a combination of a good handling car and the driver behind the wheel.

“I’ve always ran well there,” he commented. “I’ve always been fortunate to have really good handling cars there, even dating back to my days with ADAMS Motorsports. But I also think there’s things that you can do behind the wheel as a driver to manipulate the car to do what you want it to do.”

Emms Racing is proud to be supported by BAE Environmental, FMR Scrap Buyers and Recyclers, TL Tire, Klotz Canada, Speedy Glass Orillia, Mike Westwood Fabrications, Peter Built Racecars and Short Track Musings.

Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to the Emms Racing website at http://www.ajemms.com, as well as the team’s facebook page via https://www.facebook.com/ajemmsracing/ for details as they’re released.

By: Ashley McCubbin/AM Marketing – ashleymccubbin17@gmail.com

A.J. Emms Scores Top-Five Finish at Sauble Speedway

SAUBLE BEACH, Ontario — Running at the front of the field all night long, A.J. Emms scored a top-five finish on Saturday night at Sauble Speedway.

“I think overall a good night for us, after a bit of a disaster at Sunset Speedway in our last outing,” he commented. “I think we really just wanted to have a solid night where the car came back in one piece. Again, we learned, like every time we go to the race track. (We) had a solid fifth-place run, I think we could’ve scored a little bit better, but we missed it on a few different points; but we’re hoping the next time we go back to Sauble Speedway, we’re able to capitalize on those mistakes that we’re made.

“But overall, a good night – a bit of rough night on the race track. There weren’t a lot of cautions, but there was some beating and banging out there, so hopefully everybody got it out of their systems and we can have some clean racing for the rest of the year.”

With qualifying cancelled due to rain, the starting line-up was set by points, with an eight-car invert, resulting in Emms starting eighth for the 40-lap feature. He would move up through the field quickly, running fifth as of Lap 6. However, he was quickly challenged for the spot, fading back to seventh over the next couple of laps.

He would avoid a spin ahead of him to move up to sixth, getting through the next couple back-to-back restarts cleanly to make the move with five to go for fifth.

He would then cross the finish line in fifth, marking his second top-five and third top-10 in three races this season.  Notably, Emms has only seven finishes outside of the top-eight in his past 38 series starts.

As a result, he currently remains the point lead, three markers ahead of the second-place spot.

Emms will be back behind the wheel of the No. 14 Modified for the next Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds presented by Just Foam It event, which takes place on Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19 at Sunset Speedway.

“I think we just have to go back to our notes,” he said. “I think we got to really go out there and ensure we’re capitalizing on others mistakes, and making a few mistakes as we can. So heading back to Sunset, I mean, it’s not obviously my favourite race track, but we’ve had some success there. So we’re hoping to use some of the momentum that we have at that speedway and use that to our advantage to come out with a solid run.”

He has had success at Sunset Speedway previously, having scored two wins and 10th in his last three appearances at the Innisfil, Ontario oval.

Emms Racing is proud to be supported by BAE Environmental, FMR Scrap Buyers and Recyclers, TL Tire, Klotz Canada, Speedy Glass Orillia, Mike Westwood Fabrications, Peter Built Racecars and Short Track Musings.

By: Ashley McCubbin / AM Marketing – ashleymccubbin17@gmail.com.

A.J. Emms Rebounds from Qualifying Wreck for Top-10 Feature Finish

INNISFIL, Ontario — Despite riding the frontstretch wall at Sunset Speedway in qualifying, A.J. Emms was able to rebound for a top-10 finish in the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds presented by Just Foam It feature.

Emms started off the afternoon with a second-place finish in his first qualifier.

Unfortunately, the second heat did not go as well. As Emms made the move for second, his fellow competitor would push him up on the frontstretch off of turn four, resulting in the No. 14 getting into the outside wall, before climbing it. Emms would ride the full frontstretch wall on his side.

Thankfully, he was uninjured in the crash, with the team immediately going to work to make the necessary repairs to get out for the feature. They would have them done in time, but would forfeit their eighth-place starting position due to being uncertain whether it was fully repaired.

Starting from the tail of the field in 18th, he would move up to 15th in the early laps, getting up to 12th by the halfway mark. He would continue making passes, taking over 11th on Lap 23, followed by a pass to break into the top-10 two laps later.

Emms was unable to reel in the next competitor in line, crossing the finish line with a 10th-place finish.

As a result, he currently sits atop of the standings, tied for the top spot with Kelly Balson.

Emms will be back behind the wheel of the No. 14 Modified at Sauble Speedway on Saturday, August 21. The last appearance for the team at the beach in 2017 resulted in a victory, with his only appearance previous to that being a third-place finish.

Emms Racing is proud to be supported by BAE Environmental, FMR Scrap Buyers and Recyclers, TL Tire, Klotz Canada, Speedy Glass Orillia, Mike Westwood Fabrications, Peter Built Racecars and AM Marketing.

Press Release by Ashley McCubbin / AM Marketing – ashleymccubbin17@gmail.com

A.J. Emms Drives Through Field for Sunset Speedway Victory

INNISFIL, Ontario — Despite starting tail of the field after missing qualifying, A.J. Emms worked his way through the field to score the victory in the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds presented by Just Foam It feature at Sunset Speedway on Sunday.

“Almost speechless,” he said afterwards. “What a great day for our team. Big thanks to Taylor Holdaway for jumping in this morning. Obviously had prior arrangements so couldn’t be here, but Taylor and the crew did an awesome job getting the car where it needed to be.

“Really tough decision whether I was going to drive in the feature, or get Taylor into me, but the racer in me had to jump in and roll the dice. So we had start at the back there, but we were able to persevere, avoid the accidents, and be there at the end. A lot of fortunate / luck that really supported us; that definitely helped us, but we definitely had the car where we could put ourselves in position. Obviously, it was an awesome day.”

With A.J. Emms busy with post-wedding commitments after getting married on Saturday, he would miss practice and qualifying. The team made the decision to put 2015 Sunset Speedway Late Model Champion Taylor Holdaway in the car, and it paid off.

Following a pair of solid practice sessions, Holdaway won the first qualifier, followed by a runner-up in the second.

With Emms getting there in time for the feature, he would start 23rd, avoiding a couple incidents in the early laps to move up to 11th by the third lap. Restarting just outside the top-10, he would get alongside Jake Watson for ninth when the third caution came out on Lap 8.

He would continue to move forward after the restart, battling for sixth on Lap 11, getting the spot three laps later, followed by breaking into the top-five on Lap 16. The progress would continue as he moved into fourth on Lap 23, and then up another spot six laps later.  

It would seem as though the climb would be complete there, with the top-two having a full straightaway advantage. However, their battle would result in contact, with one of them going around. with both drivers moved to the back of the field as involved cars, Emms would inherit the lead.

Restarting on the front row, he held off the late-race charge from series veteran Kelly Balson and rookie Steve Lyons to score the victory. It marks his seventh career OSCAAR win, and second straight at Sunset Speedway following last September.

Afterwards, Emms admitted it was a tough decision whether to get in the car, weighing the risk vs. the reward in doing so.

“You obviously start to think about getting in accidents on your way through, especially at a track like Sunset, and first time out,” he commented. “It made the decision very difficult, but at the same time, we had such a great piece today that I really wanted to drive it.”

Following the first event of the season, Emms holds a seven-point advantage over Kelly Balson in the series standings. He also leads the Hard Charger Bonus standings, as well.

The next race for the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds presented by Just Foam It is at Peterborough Speedway on July 31. Fans wishing to attend can purchase tickets via the track website.

Emms know what it takes to be successful at Peterborough, scoring his first career victory in the Autumn Colours Classic in 2016 there. Notably, he has no finishes worse than seventh in his last eight appearances there, with six top-five’s.

“We do have some work to do on the car this week just to keep fine tuning, but I am excited to get to Peterborough,” he said. “I know a majority of the field is going to be strong at Peterborough, and a lot of guys don’t make mistakes especially at a place like Peterborough. We’re going to have to be on top of our game and we’re just going to come in with the same attitude; at least we’ll be here the whole day next week. We’ll try to make again as few mistake as possible and try to be there at the end.”

Emms Racing is proud to be supported by BAE Environmental, FMR Scrap Buyers and Recyclers, TL Tire, Klotz Canada, Speedy Glass Orillia, Mike Westwood Fabrications, Peter Built Racecars and AM Marketing.

Emms Racing Welcomes Back Speedy Glass Orillia

As preparations kick into high gear ahead of the 2021 season, Emms Racing is proud to welcome back Speedy Glass Orillia as a returning sponsor.

Located at 315 West Street South, Speedy Glass Orillia can repair or replace any type of auto glass whatever the make, model, and age of the vehicle. They will always try to first repair your existing windshield, usually saving you both time and money.

They also offer additional products and services including trailer hitches, bike racks, camera recalibration, deflectors, truck bed liners, side bars, water repellent and weatherproofing treatment, car floor mats, windshield wipers, mirrors, and tinted windows.

The Speedy Glass name has been linked to window repairs since 1934, with a focus on delivering top-shelf service, expertise, and product quality through each of their service centres across the country.

You can learn more about Speedy Glass Orillia on their website at https://www.speedyglass.ca/en/service-centre/ontario/orillia/247-315_west-st-s-.html. They can also be reached at (705)325-3500.

Emms Racing is currently preparing for A.J. Emms’ seventh season in the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds. Despite a shortened 2020 campaign, he was able to score a victory at Sunset Speedway and three top-10’s in four races to back up his series championship in 2019. Emms is currently ranked second on the series all-time top-five list with 37 to his credit.

“I think it’s going to be a really strong year for the OSCAAR Modified division with a lot of good talent coming in and a lot of great racecars,” he said. “I think the competition will be the highest been in the series, and I know for us, and our entire team, we’re working at making sure we’re competitive this year. We’ve done a lot of work this off-season, like everybody else has, to make sure our car is prepared and be up to the task of competing.

“I think last year we learned a lot and were able to try some different things with the shortened season and not having points, and we’re hoping we can take some of the things that we learned last year and implement them. Hopefully we’re up for the challenge and I’m excited to just get back in the racecar and turn some laps.”

Speedy Glass Orillia joins FMR Scrap Buyers and Recyclers, BAE Environmental, TL Tire, Klotz Canada, Mike Westwood Fabrications, Peter Built Racecars and AM Marketing as marketing partners for the 2021 season.

Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to the Emms Racing website at http://www.ajemms.com, as well as the team’s facebook page via https://www.facebook.com/ajemmsracing/ for details as they’re released.

By: Ashley McCubbin/AM Marketing – ashleymccubbin17@gmail.com

Emms Racing Welcomes Back Peter Built Racecars

As preparations kick into high gear ahead of the 2021 season, Emms Racing is proud to welcome back Peter Built Racecars as a returning sponsor.

When it comes to racecar fabrication, Peter Built Racecars is where you need to go. Utilizing years of experience in the sport, Peter Schotanus is known for great setups, as well as his craftsmanship. His work speaks for itself, as shown through some of the current OSCAAR Hot Rod builds that have been rolling out. Be sure to inquire with him today if you’re needing a hand with your next project.

Emms Racing is currently preparing for A.J. Emms’ seventh season in the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds. Despite a shortened 2020 campaign, he was able to score a victory at Sunset Speedway and three top-10’s in four races to back up his series championship in 2019. Emms is currently ranked second on the series all-time top-five list with 37 to his credit.

“I think it’s going to be a really strong year for the OSCAAR Modified division with a lot of good talent coming in and a lot of great racecars,” he said. “I think the competition will be the highest been in the series, and I know for us, and our entire team, we’re working at making sure we’re competitive this year. We’ve done a lot of work this off-season, like everybody else has, to make sure our car is prepared and be up to the task of competing.

“I think last year we learned a lot and were able to try some different things with the shortened season and not having points, and we’re hoping we can take some of the things that we learned last year and implement them. Hopefully we’re up for the challenge and I’m excited to just get back in the racecar and turn some laps.”

Peter Built Racecars joins BAE Environmental, TL Tire, Klotz Canada, Mike Westwood Fabrications, and FMR Scrap Buyers and Recyclers as marketing partners for the 2021 season.

Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to the Emms Racing website at http://www.ajemms.com, as well as the team’s facebook page via https://www.facebook.com/ajemmsracing/ for details as they’re released.

By: Ashley McCubbin/AM Marketing – ashleymccubbin17@gmail.com