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Issue 94

Rookie Preview: Dylan Gosbee

The man nicknamed “Mr. Feature” after incredible main feature performances in the PEI Modified division is eyeing a full-time run at the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour in 2012. Dylan Gosbee of Cornwall, PE ran five races in 2011 (the maximum allowed before losing rookie status on the Tour) and impressed in the five outings, which included a fifth place run on home soil during the Air Show Atlantic 100 at Oyster Bed Speedway. The effort, which saw Gosbee wheel the #16 Wendell Taylor’s Garage/Kent’s Auto Sales Impala owned by Pro Stock veteran Kent Livingston was successful enough for the team to buy a new car and announce intentions to run the full 12-race slate in 2012 in an attempt to bring home the Rookie of the Year Award to Prince Edward Island for the third time in series history. The feat hasn’t been pulled since 2004 though and if Gosbee can bring the top freshman title to the “Gentle Island” in 2012, he would be joining Charlottetown’s Geoff Boyle (2002) and West Covehead’s Dale Holmes as the only Islanders to do so in the Pro Stock Tour era.

Livingston confirmed to me earlier in the month that the team did indeed acquire a new car for the upcoming season and will look to attack the season full time. “We have some good equipment in place now [for Dylan],” said Livingston. “We’ll have the old car back together in time for the season as a spare as well. Dylan is a good kid and a great driver, he just needs a break. We’re also actively seeking sponsorship partners so we can run the full season and funding to maintain the new equipment in our stable.”

The 2010 Modified champion adapted quickly to the quicker Pro Stock car in his limited 2011 schedule. As with most drivers who are new to the series, Gosbee’s goals were quite simple last summer with the main objective being to get seat time. I remember two instances last season in which he showed some cautious optimism when approaching two new tracks he had never raced on before, Speedway 660 and Scotia Speedworld. As the cars rolled through tech, I had met with Gosbee at the entrance to the track from the pits as he surveyed the track prior to practice. “I’m just checking out what I’m getting myself into,” Gosbee told me in Turn Four with a smile on his face. Gosbee’s first race in a Pro Stock away from his home track of Oyster Bed Speedway proved to be a top 20 finish but once again, the goal of getting seat time in preparation for the 2012 season was met.

Gosbee took to the track at Scotia Speedworld for the first time in the ’11 season finale at the Dartmouth Dodge 200. Just as the first practice was about to begin, I remember driving past the Livingston hauler on the track golf cart when I asked him his outlook for the day. “I haven’t been out there yet, but I’m excited to get at it,” commented Gosbee. “This place really seems like a drivers track and looks like a place I could really do well at.” Again, that optimism was apparent in the voice of Gosbee as he prepared to get strapped into the Chevrolet Impala for the first practice. Gosbee’s race ended prematurely in an accident early in the race as he was logging those valuable laps at the helm of a Pro Stock car at a track in which he’ll see four times in 2012.

As I said a couple times here last season, Gosbee has a load of potential in this series. Not only is Gosbee a heads-up driver on track, he is also a gentleman outside the race car. He’s proven in the Modified division at Oyster Bed Speedway that he can certainly wheel a fast car around a race track and with experience under his belt, I have a feeling that he could easily be vying for a championship within the next few years. We don’t have to look far to find a couple of Island boys who have had breakthrough years in the past two seasons and 2012 could easily be the season that we see another crash the party and rack up the points (and wins) before too long on the Tour. With drivers such as Brudenell’s Jonathan Hicken, Charlottetown’s Darren MacKinnon, Crapaud’s Kent Vincent and Albany’s Terry Dougay just to name a few, we could easily see our first Island champion of the series in 2012!

To all of those out there who read the columns throughout the 2011 season, I thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedules to spend some time with me on this year. I wish you all a very Happy Holidays, a joyous New Year and I hope to see you back here in 2012 where we’ll be sure to do some bench racing all the way up to the season opening event at Scotia Speedworld on Sunday, May 20th, 2012.

Until next time, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!