by Kathy Johnson
Cape Sable Island’s Colby Smith brought home the hardware from the Scotia Speedworld Awards Banquet in Truro on Nov. 6.
Smith captured the track’s 2010 Sportsman class championship this season, nailing the title on Sept. 12 after accumulating 1,096 points for the crown in what has been described as a “breakout season” for the 25-year-old driver, where he nabbed the checker flag in three races, including two of the biggest of the summer.
“In the second half of the season we didn’t finish outside of the top five,” said Smith. “This year everything went right.”
This is Smith’s third season racing at Scotia Speedworld and his fifth in the sport.
“I started out in the four cylinder class at Lake Doucette in a Dodge Neon,” he said, winning the track title in his class both years.
Wearing #77, Smith doubled up a notch to a ’09 Chevy Impala 350 in the move to Scotia Speedworld.
Things began coming together for Smith about mid-season this year, with sponsors coming on aboard, and an apprenticeship working with Scott Fraser Racing (SFR) in Shubenacadie.
“That was a big help,” said Smith. “I learned a lot. It’s a big help when you can go around guys like that.”
The late Scott Fraser, as well as his father Frank Fraser, are both inductees in numerous motorsports’ halls of fame at the Canadian, Maritime and provincial level.
The support of local sponsors Harlow Construction, Mood Transport, Smith & Watt and JB’s Restaurant also gave Smith a boost.
“For the first half of the season we didn’t have sponsors but when they came on board it really helped,” said Smith. “There’s a ton of expenses with this sport and when that isn’t on your mind it’s so much better.”
Winning the Sportsman championship is his third year at the track was totally unexpected, said Smith, who finished fourth overall in 2009.
“It’s unexpected to win the championship in your third year,” said Smith. “Even after you win one you can’t expect it to happen again. It’s luck as much as anything.”
Looking towards next season, Smith is hoping to build a new car in the same class and expand his horizons to the Maritime circuit, but that all depends on sponsorships and financing.
“This one has been raced for three years and is getting pretty well worn out,” he said. “The new car would be in the same class but I’d do a few things a little bit different. Hopefully it would be a little bit better.”
Besides a loyal following of fans, Smith is also backed by dad Craig Smith, uncle Graham Smith and long-time friend Blake Nickerson in the pit.
“It’s good to have a bunch like those guys around, he said, noting they make personal sacrifices in support of his racing career, for which he is very thankful.