“I’m ecstatic to get back in the car – I’m counting the hours,” beams Latimer. “I’m getting close to driving the car up and down the street in front of the shop just to shake the rust off”
Budget restrictions set by the team during the off-season has restricted Latimer to competing in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series events only – which means that, as most of his peers competed in Sunset’s ‘Spring Velocity’ invitational on May 16th & 17th, Latimer has not seen action since May 9th.
“We don’t have the budget that a lot of these teams do – so we’re only able to race the regular season events at Sunset,” explains the personable freshman. “We didn’t have sponsorship to run the Spring Velocity [on May 17th], so it’s been an entire month since we’ve had the car in race trim”
“It’s especially tough because we ran so well the last time out,” continues Latimer. “We were fighting some mechanical issues and still managed a pair of top-15 finishes”
“That was a huge confidence booster, and it really made us feel like we’re moving in the right direction with the changes we’ve been making. I want nothing more than to get back to the track and see how we can put together a strong follow-up”
And though Latimer has not strapped into his Ridge Road Racing-backed No. 90 in a month, it hasn’t stopped the teenager from keeping busy.
“We’ve been putting the time off to good use. It feels like from the moment we brought the car home from our last race [on May 9th], we’ve been working to make it better,” explains the third-generation star. “We’ve found some problems with the carb and the spark plugs and wire. So, when we unload at Sunset this Saturday, we’re hoping to be even more competitive”
After a month’s worth of labour, Latimer is ready to put his hard work to the test.
“Our team sets goals for ourselves every week. The hauler doesn’t pull into the pits without all of us knowing exactly what we’re aiming for,” says the Rookie of the Year contender. “Next Saturday – it’s a top-10”
“I believe with everything in me that we have a program strong enough to run inside the top-10 at Sunset. We just need to come out strong in time trials and secure a good starting spot for the feature. If we can do that, I know that we have what it takes to run up front”
Latimer will enter June 13th’s event as the top-ranked freshman on the Sunset roster – a feat that he credits to the strong cast of supporting characters that have followed the former Karting standout from his early days on the Barrie Speedway Thunder Car roster.
“I’ve learned so much in my first four Late Model races. I’m incredibly lucky to be surrounded by some insanely intelligent people,” smiles the fan-favourite. “Everyone from [Late Model veteran] Mike Brown to Peter Schotanus to [Ridge Road Racing co-founder] Gord Shepherd have taken the time to pull me aside and help me out”
“I had no Late Model experience before this season – and they’ve been amazing with teaching me about setting the car up on bump stops and how the car works differently than our Thunder Car did. I could never explain just how much that means to me to have them around”
“The season – as short as it’s been so far – has gone great. I’m just excited to get back on track and do what I can to race this car into the top-10.”
Details, including gate times and ticket prices, for Saturday’s event can be found at http://www.SunsetSpeedway.ca.
Marketing support for Jordan’s season is provided by KICX 106, 104.1 The Dock, Creechers Design, Kitchen Tire, Krueger Electrical Services, North River Motorsports, Tax Smart, T&C Construction & Welding, AC Electric, TSS Top Shops, HWY 400 Transmission, Shepherd Family Trucking, JRH Auto Body, EPIC Racewear, Get Jack @ RE/MAX and OnePromo.ca.
Fans can follow Jordan on Twitter @LatimerJordan and stay up to date on the team by visiting the official JLMotorsports page on Facebook.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)