Rob Flindall Brings ‘Class’ to the Speedway
By Jim Clarke, Kawartha Speedway PR/Clarke Motorsports Communications
Short track stock car racers share a unique passion for their craft. Wherever they race; whatever the division, most understand that at this level of competition, what they do is more of a hobby than a vocation. There is money to be made in the world of motorsports, but doing so often requires taking many steps up the ladder and considerable personal sacrifice. Rob Flindall is quite familiar with the joys and pitfalls of his chosen leisure-time activity. Throughout his 11 years behind the wheel, Flindall has come to the realization that what he does is more about a fun than fortune.
Like his father ‘Huck’, Rob Flindall earns his regular paycheque as a high school teacher. The 39 year-old – originally from Trenton – instructs transportation technology students at Adam Scott high school in Peterborough, Ontario. Flindall also followed in his father’s footsteps and cut his racing teeth at the controls of a street stock, late model and Canadian modified on the hometown clay at Brighton Speedway Park. Practically growing-up at the neighbourhood raceway, Rob Flindall says his evolution as a racer was a natural transition.
“Growing-up, racing was always part of my family. Dad drove at Brighton for as long as I can remember and once he retired, he moved into the announcer’s booth,” said Flindall. “My sister used to take pictures in victory lane and even worked as my crew chief for a number of years. I’ve been able to meet so many great people over the years through racing. Win or lose on the track, it’s a great feeling to be around the speedway.”
After a few seasons away from the game, Rob Flindall returned to racing in 2011 and currently campaigns an Acura Integra in the Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stock division at Kawartha Speedway. His red #57 machine is the combined effort of former student Wyatt Harvey and the auto shop students at Adam Scott Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Peterborough, with help at the track from Dave Harvey. Flindall – who also had former Kawartha mini stock champion Mike Nelson as a student – says having the kids from the high school working on the car is more than just getting them to turn wrenches. It also provides some valuable life skills, including the importance of working together as part of a team to get the job done.
“My father had students working on his car and I guess I’ve picked-up the ball from there,” said the driver of the driver of the State Farm Insurance – Kirk Morris/Sidey Auto Supply/Kal Tire/Excel Tower Service/Ennismore Towing/Custom Graphics and Signs/Vinyl Solution Sign Company 4 cylinder machine. “We’re not the fastest or even the best looking car in the class, but we’re working on more than just a race winning car.”
When it comes to career highlights, Rob Flindall immediately mentions 2 of his favourite racing moments. In 2007, he was voted sportsman of the year at Brighton Speedway – the same honour his father earned during his tenure at the track. A 2011 mini stock invitational win at Mosport Speedway allowed him to share a new racing trophy with his 7 year-old son Adam and wife Kristina. After finishing 12th in points last year, Flindall says he’s disappointed about having to wait all winter to get back into action and chase that elusive track championship.
“No matter how well you might run, until your name is on a championship trophy at the end of the season, you always feel like there is some unfinished business to take care of,” said Flindall. “We’ll spend some time working on the car through the winter to make sure everything is ready for the new season. Setting goals during the off-season is easy, but realistically we’re looking for some more consistent finishes come 2012.”
Kawartha klips: 2012 race action gets started with an open test session Friday, May 25th. Fans can see the complete schedule and the latest off-season news anytime at www.kawarthaspeedway.com
Photo attachment: Rob Flindall collection
Students in Rob Flindall’s Transportation Technology class at Peterborough’s Adam Scott Collegiate will be working on their teacher’s Kawartha Speedway mini stock during the off season.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications firstname.lastname@example.org
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