Entering the 2015 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Season, Mark Dilley is wearing two hats. He is the General Manager for Sunset Speedway, which will host their inaugural series event this June, while also being a driver in the series.
About a month ago, news broke that Sunset Speedway would be part of the 2015 schedule, with the inaugural Leland Industries 300 presented by Johnsonville scheduled to take place on June 20th.
“We’re really excited at the speedway to have the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race there,” Dilley commented. “It’s something that we’ve been working on for a while and it’s finally come, so we’ll try to make the best of that. I think it’ll be a great track to watch a race at with Dwayne (Baker) and all the guys and gals. Racing all those guys over the years, I know the caliber of show that could go on there. It’ll be excellent. It’ll be a good time.”
Dilley will once again race in the series, splitting the schedule with Kerry Micks for the third straight season. Dilley is set to run the ovals, including Sunset Speedway, while Micks runs the road courses.
“Obviously I’d like to race every weekend, but with Kerry and I, it has worked great,” Dilley commented. “With running Sunset and all the stuff, the road courses are a lot of time away on weekends. Kerry and the guys in the shop do a great job getting the cars ready. I was at Trois Rivieres last year, sitting there and laughing. I thought ‘this was pretty cool’ with him, (Andrew) Ranger and (L.P.) Dumoulin battling. You know, he can still run – he’s fast. I don’t know how old he is – I think he’s 50+, a couple years older than that. But they call him the energizer bunny for a reason. He goes fast, and keeps going and going.”
Being Sunset’s track promoter and having ran a couple late model events, some have hinted that Dilley could have an advantage over his competition. However, that isn’t something that looks to be the case, so far.
“I thought I was doing good and Baker came and tested and went three tenths faster,” Dilley commented. “We test there a little more for stuff – we’ll probably test a little more this year trying to get ready. But we go to all kinds of different race tracks and the teams are good, they adapt fast and the drivers adapt fast.”
Rather than focus on who should be quicker, Dilley points the race winner towards the driver that is able to be there at the end of the event.
“After 300 laps, whatever is running and has all the panels on it, has the advantage,” he commented “I think it’s going to be a great show. We’ve had a great response, and as a whole, I’m looking up here and there’s lots of new blood. That’s a good sign for racing, the Canadian Tire Series and NASCAR in Canada. It’s exciting for us, for sure.”