Column: Gavin MacFarlane Takes His Gear To The 358-Modified Division For 2023 Season
Column By: JIM CLARKE / BROCKVILLE ONTARIO SPEEDWAY – BROCKVILLE, ONT – After spending time in the Mini Stock and Novice Sportsman ranks, Gavin MacFarlane is ready to take the next step in his local motorsports development.
The 24-year-old second generation racer – who hails from Cornwall, Ontario – will start the 2023 schedule as a rookie in the DIRTcar 358 Modified division, with a weekly focus on action at Brockville Ontario Speedway and his hometown race track, Cornwall Motor Speedway. Following in the footsteps of his father Sandy MacFarlane – who recently returned to the sport after a lengthy layoff – the young racer says he is excited about the new challenge he’s about to face.
“Other than having fun and learning as much as possible, I haven’t set any goals about the transfer to the new division,” Gavin MacFarlane – who scored a pair of main event wins and finished 7th in the 2022 Novice Sportsman standings at Brockville – said. “I have some friends – along with my father – who’ll help with the transition. Local racers are always willing to step-up and lend a hand behind the scenes.”
A graduate of St. Lawrence Secondary School, MacFarlane says he plans to continue to use his familiar No. 17M, a number he originally selected after years of cheering for multi-time Brockville Speedway track champion and newly elected Hall of Famer Danny O’Brien. The team will still be backed by Champions Race Supply, Celtic Treasures, KushKings 2.0, Pommier Jewellers, Exteriors Plus, Brunette’s Renos, Sweet Yards Landscaping and Bounce & Bash Inflatables, with new marketing partners always welcome as the team marks its first year of Small Block Modified racing.
“I’d like to race at some different places like Weedsport or Eldora, but that’s still a while down the road,” said the driver who earns a weekly paycheque as a heavy machinery operator. “I want to see how things go during the first few weeks before I step too far outside my comfort zone. It would be nice to win 358 Mod rookie of the year at either Brockville or Cornwall, but I’ll take the season one race at a time.”
MacFarlane says he’d like to thank his father Sandy MacFarlane and his mother Samantha Butcher for their support and encouragement. His fiancé and good friend Nate Belyea are a solid foundation for his loyal racing family, with many others who help the team in the shop and at the track.
Catch the freshman efforts of Gavin MacFarlane and the No. 17M DIRTcar 358 Modified program at the track.