Belleville, ONT — December 6, 2009 – By Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications
Cut him and his blood flows red, just like everyone else – but racing is in Gage Morin’s veins. The 17 year-old from St. Andrews West, Ontario was born into one of the best known motorsports families in south eastern Ontario, so there is no denying his natural connection to the sport. His grandfather, Ron Morin has owned and operated Cornwall Motor Speedway since 1980. His aunt Carol has been the track’s manager for the past 22 years, while his mother Denise looks after the comings and goings at the quarter-mile oval’s back gate. It was only a matter of time before the St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School student began his own transition into the family ‘business’.
At the ripe young age of 12, Morin first belted into a racing machine. His weapon of choice at the time was a go-kart, run primarily at his familiar stomping grounds along-side the eastbound lanes of the ‘401’ highway. At 14, he set-out to explore the 4 cylinder ‘rookie’ division, picking-up a number of wins along the way. By the time he’d turned 15 years of age, a modified called his name. With endless years of motorsports involvement – including time as a driver himself – Ron Morin takes great pride in sharing knowledge and experience with his grandson. Over the years, Gage has sharpened his racing skills under the watchful eye of his current DIRTcar small block modified car owner Doug Young.
On the rare occasion when his mother Denise managed to escape the confines of the back gate sign-in booth, her nervous pacing wore an easily recognised path in the grassy area next to the track. Even though there was only 1 seat available, she virtually drove every lap next to her youngest charge.
“I can’t help but be concerned when he’s racing,” admits Denise Morin. “I don’t want to hold him back when it comes to pursuing his dream, but my biggest concern is that he’s safe. I can’t control what any of the other drivers do – and while I don’t want to be tagged as an overprotective mother – I don’t want him to think he’s bullet proof. I’ve been around the sport almost my entire life. I’ve seen what can happen to even the best drivers and I don’t want that legacy for my kid.”
Tagged by many as one of the DIRTcar world’s rising stars, Gage Morin is actually shy and quiet when it comes to talking about his own on-track performance. When the cameras and microphones come around, he’s quick to praise the support crew that keeps his #16 D & A Tractor Sales/Sweet Dreams/ 730 Truck Stop/Olson Fab/B & L Metals/Mark’s General Maintenance Bicknell on the race track and running competitively during a very busy race season. In an arena with drivers often more than twice his age, he understands there is a great deal to learn and he looks forward to gaining more experience every time he straps into the racecar.
To start the 2009 season, Gage Morin and his team decided on an aggressive 3 race per weekend schedule with action at Autodrome Edelweiss, Brockville Ontario Speedway and Cornwall on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights respectively. Midway through the year, there was a switch of Friday night homes to the revamped Mohawk International Raceway, but the young hot shoe secured enough points during his brief time at Edelweiss to finish 8th in the year’s final rundown.
A flip at Cornwall sidelined the team for a short period while the crew spent some time checking welds on the frame and chassis and waited for new sheet metal to be installed. The 17 year-old speedster also had engine problems keep him out of some late season events at all 3 tracks, but scored enough points to finish 12th at Mohawk, 15th at Brockville and 11th at Cornwall. Despite a few rough spots during the season, Gage Morin – who is itching for the chance to try a sprint car – says he’s thrilled with what they were able to accomplish.
“It would have been great to make every show at each track, but that’s just racing luck,” said the 12th grade student. “We learned a lot. We raced a lot and at this level – especially at my age – experience is what it’s all about. I don’t mind winter, but I can’t wait to start the 2010 season. I think we have some unfinished business to take care of.”
With bright, young talents like Gage Morin coming through the ranks, fans of DIRTcar modified racing have a great deal to look forward to.
Media contact: Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications
firstname.lastname@example.org, 613/968-6410 or 613/922-0654