Dylan Evoy is still a teenager, yet he already has the career record with 17 feature wins in the sportsman division at the Mohawk International Raceway in Akwesasne.
Evoy, a native of Brockville, Ontario, has won seven of the eight feature races this season and leads by almost 100 points (587-489) over runner-up Josh Van Brocklin.
Last year, Evoy won nine races and he won one race at MIR in the 2010 season.
Its pretty neat, Evoy said of his record. The competition over there is really good. The thing that wins you races is making the right decisions from the heat to the feature. The track changes so much as the night goes on. You need to know what needs to be changed for the feature and that gives you a lot more potential to grab a feature win.
What changes Evoy makes to his car between the heats depends on the order of features on a given night.
Its an educated guess, Evoy said. Every week you are in a different track condition. What you adjust one week might be the total opposite of what you do next. Its sort of a gamble, basically. You sort of throw something at it to see if you can achieve a balanced car for that track condition. If we run after the (358 modifieds), they wear the track out. If you run before them there is still quite a bit of grip on the track. Its a tough deal to try and predict whats going to happen with the track.
Evoys first full season at MIR was 2010, finishing second in the points standings to Chris Raabe, who now holds a slim lead in the 358 modified division.
When Raabe moved up last year, Evoy took advantage and has dominated the division since. Despite his success, he has no plans to change to a higher division, largely because of financial concerns.
The economy definitely doesnt help as far as the financial side, with sponsoring, Evoy said. You have to get the connections and know the right people at the right time. Right now Im having fun in the sportman division. Im learning a lot. You are never done learning. Theres always something new to learn every week. The financial cost of jumping to (358 modified) is too pricey for us. Weve got pretty good sponsors, but to do a modified program there is a lot of funding needed. Im not really interested in getting into something where you have a ton of money tied up thats your own money. You could blow a motor in a race and be done.
Evoys success has come from lessons learned the year he spent chasing Raabe as well as becoming an expert at studying his car.
Now I have a better idea what Im looking for in a car, Raabe said. You start getting to the point where you get the car fast, you feel like its a fast car and you come to the track and you need more speed, that its not going to be good enough. You can understand what the car is doing and what to adjust. These things are so temperamental in the chassis. The chassis stuff, some of it makes you scratch your head a bit.
One factor that makes Evoys season at MIR more impressive is, as points leader, he has to start in the back of the field in the features. That is because of the tracks handicapping system, which makes it more exciting for fans but harder for a driver who has just 20 laps to find his way to the checkered flag.
On an average night we are probably leading by halfway, Evoy said. Sometimes its sketchy getting your way through. You have to avoid wrecks and sometimes you get into lapped traffic and that messes things up too. You have to be up on your toes and be wheeling. From a fans perspective, its a great deal because you have to work harder for it. From my perspective, I dont mind it, but sometimes its harder on my equipment. If you have a good car you will go to the front. If you dont, thats my problem and I have to deal with it.
The thing with racing is everyone is there for the same reason, to win the races. They dont like to see the same car win on a consistent basis. I try to respect everybody out there. Its one of those deals. I put a lot of hours into this thing and work hard on it. Im not going out there to run mid-pack. I want to make it worthwhile. Its something I put a lot of effort into.