Eye on the road

Thunder Bay’s newest professional race team, from left, John Trevisanutto, Daniel Trevisanutto, Logan Allen, Colin Chaschuck, driver Kolby Reed, Greg Reed and Patrick Trevisanutto attend a news conference earlier this week. The team will compete in a new Thunder Bay-based racing league at Dairy Queen Speedway in 2022.

Racing is more than cars rounding a track. It is a family of sports people uniting in a common interest. It is skill and grace under pressure combined with entertainment.

The new era of racing in Thunder Bay just took an amazing step forward. There has been a buzz in the racing community that is about to turn into a roar.

John Trevisanutto is making it a family affair as he is joined by his sons, Patrick and Daniel, of Halfway Motors Power Sports, along with veteran driver Colin Chaschuk as mentor to their new driver, Kolby Reed.

The senior Trevisanutto put the word out there and was presently surprised by the interest he received as he said he wanted to sponsor a race team.

“The goal of for my initiative is to give a young individual who may not have the opportunity a chance to race,” John Trevisanutto said.

“I received 38 resumes within a week. There were a lot of talented individuals who applied. If I was looking to build a winning team I would have had numerous great choices. My goal is not that. My goal is to have a young person get in the seat of a race car, learn the ropes and move on. Once I started getting resumes I realized that to make this work I would need to have someone on the team to mentor the young driver.”

The business move comes off the heels of the debut of the Dairy Queen Speedway outside Thunder Bay. The track hosted the Thunder Bay Truck Centre Dirt Nationals to big crowds and glowing reviews last month.

There are plans to hold a full season in 2022. For now, organizers have tagged Wednesday night as the race day. Rick Simpson has been named the track manager. More details and a full schedule will be determined at a later date.

Norm and Louis Nadin, the track’s owners are overwhelmed by all the positive feedback they have received.

Trevisanutto added Chaschuk’s presence will make a big difference.

“Colin knows the car so we go into this with a big advantage of not having to sort out a new car,” he said.

There was a vetting process for Trevisanutto to sign Reed. Reed was chosen after Trevisanutto asked opinions of several local driving veterans on who would be a strong up-and-coming competitor.

Reed sees this as an amazing opportunity not too many 15 year olds soon to be 16 get a chance like this, “ I am very grateful for this opportunity. I can’t thank everyone enough for all they are doing for me.” He continued, “ I really looked up to Davey Simpson he let me hang out in the garage and got me excited about racing,” Reed recalls.

Reed’s family is well known in the racing community, His grandfather is Melvin Reed and uncle is Don Reed. They worked on many race cars and spent many hours at Riverview Raceway. Randy Germain grew up with the Reed family and racing was a common bond. Kolby’s crew chief will be his father, Greg Reed, who spends many hours at race tracks. He was a pit man, racer and recently worked at track preparation. Logan Allen will turn wrenches on the car as well.

Chaschuk says the car Reed will be driving is an MB Custom Mars. Chaschuk has a direct line to the builder so that will help if the car has any issues. Chaschuk will also help out with set up and offer a spot for Reed’s new ride in the Chaschuk stacker hauler.

Thunder Bay racing just went professional in my opinion. The driver will now be expected to make appearances at local charity events around the city so race fans can get to know him.

“I am willing to learn and I want to represent Halfway Motor Power Sports to the best of my ability,” Reed said. “I am so thankful for this opportunity. It really means a lot to me and my family.”

There is a rumour out there that other sponsors may want to follow in Trevisanutto’s footsteps. We hope to keep you posted on any developments.

Johan Vass is a Thunder Bay-based writer. Reach her at jvass@tbaytel.net.