Story By: ASHLEY MCCUBBIN / ACL MOTORSPORTS – ONTARIO, CA – After spending the last several years working as a crew member, Chris LeBarron is ready for his chance to get behind the wheel.
“My first thought is to have fun on and off the track,” he said. “I work hard all week in the shop, all day at the track and finish things off with a few cold ones. I take racing very serious. Whether it’s driving or working with a crew, but if we can’t have fun, then what’s the point?”
The ACL Motorsports driver will pilot a Honda Civic Mini Stock full-time at Sunset Speedway, while traveling across the province to run events at Flamboro Speedway, Sauble Speedway, Jukasa Motor Speedway, Peterborough Speedway, and Full Throttle Motor Speedway.
Being his rookie campaign, he admits that there are no expectations heading into the year, with a focus on having fun and learning while mixing it up with his fellow competitors.
“I bought an awesome piece built by Will Gibbons,” he added. “It’s a proven winner. With some more seat time, I hope to be running with the front pack each race. I’m making some updates and improvements to the car this winter so ACL Motorsports should have a great season.”
Admittedly, he will have some experience on his side. As previously noted, he has been crewing for guys in motorsports for awhile, including spent time with Cliff Hodgkinson, Shawn McGlynn Racing, and Emms Racing.
“I learned the most from my time with Roger McGlynn at McGlynn Motorsports,” LeBarron said. “He took the time to show me and teach me what adjustments had to be made and why we made them. Every time I spoke with Roger, I was like a sponge soaking up more and more info.
It also won’t be his first time behind the wheel, either, as he got his first chance a few years ago courtesy of Cliff and Dave Hodgkinson.
“I worked on their cars week in and week out at the shop and at the track,” he recalled. “They had a dozen or so cars so it was fun. To my surprise, Cliff let me take one of his Pro4 Modifieds for a rip. From there, I was definitely hooked and knew one day I had to get myself a car.
“I raced on and off for a few years at Sunset Speedway, Flamboro Speedway and Sauble Speedway. What a blast those cars are with the power to weight ratio and 10” wide slicks. I learned so much from Cliff and the entire Hodgkinson family.”
He already got a chance to drive his Mini Stock, as he took part in Flamboro Speedway’s year-end Frostoberfest special.
“What a difference from driving a Pro4 Mod,” he noted. “It was definitely a huge learning curve and once I figured out I had to drive in second gear and not third, I was turning some good laps. With more seat time in the mini stock, I’ll get my line much smoother and improve my time even more.”
Out of the tracks that he set to make a stop at in 2019, he admits that he’s most excited to get on-track at Jukasa Motor Speedway.
“It’s such an awesome track and fast,” he commented. “Being there for test days and crewing with Emms Racing in the OSCAAR Modified series and crewing with Shawn McGlynn Racing in the APC Auto Parts United Late Model of Ontario Series, I can’t wait to get out there July 25th and turn some fast laps.”
For LeBarron, his interest in racing started at a young, but not through stock cars, rather instead motorcross.
“I was hooked on going as fast as possible,” he said. “In my early 20’s, I got the speed bug again and drag raced for a few years. But I was always a stock car fan, going to the track with family and helping whenever I could. Then I met Shawn McGlynn on a job site in Barrie and now I’m where I am today getting ready for my rookie season at sunset Speedway this 2019.”
ACL Motorsports is proud to receive marketing support thus far from Digital Obsession, Essential Cleaning Solutions, Obsessed Details, Auto Trim Design Barrie, Hwy 400 Transmission, and AM Paving & Sealing. The team would like to also give a special shout-out to Elizabeth Rubino, Kenny Racing, and Will Gibbons Racing for their help, as well.
ACL Motorsports continues to search for marketing partners, and encourages any interested parties to contact AM Marketing to learn how to become involved.