Story By: CAMDEN PROUD / PROUD MOTORSPORTS – OSWEGO, NY – Following a successful team fundraiser along with last month’s announcement that Pathfinder Bank SBS veteran Camden Proud has acquired the former Strong Racing No. 99 Supermodified with the intent of debuting the car as No. 04 this season, Proud Motorsports is pleased to reveal their plans to letter their new addition in Tim Proud ‘throwback’ colors leading up to the 62nd running of Budweiser International Classic Weekend this September.
“When we seriously got talking about buying this car from the Strong’s, one of the first things I wanted to consider was bringing back the 04,” said Camden Proud. “It was the number my Dad started and finished his Oswego career with, and also my number throughout my Quarter Midget career. We registered the 04 and that’s kind of when I presented my idea of a throwback scheme, so we’re gonna go for it and have some fun.”
The unique look that Proud Motorsports intends to duplicate for this season will be Tim’s bright yellow and white No. 04, which last competed at Oswego Speedway in May of 2002. Proud also ran his Supermodified as the No. 22 from 1998 to 2001 before switching back to his original number at the beginning of his final season. Mike Bond won 1999 Supermodified Rookie of the Year honors in the car while Tim qualified 19th out of 44 entrants for the 2000 International Classic followed by starting off the 2001 season with the best effort of his short big block career by finishing in 11th place on Opening Day.
“Doing our throwback scheme as the same 04 from 2002 not only made the most sense to me, but it really means the most to me as well,” Proud explained. “My Dad in that car is the last vague memory I had of him racing before he came back to race our Small Block in 2016. I have dozens of wins with the number growing up, and of course Ken’s Body Shop was the primary sponsor back then. Ironically, over a decade later, Ken’s made this entire new deal happen for me, so I just thought it was great timing and a perfect fit to bring out the 04 for my first Classic. It’s really a nice way to honor and pay tribute to everything my Dad does for me.”
Once again, primary sponsor Step One Creative will assist in re-creating Tim’s beautiful 2002 piece over the course of the next several months as Proud Motorsports plans to bring the car to the track for the first time in several mid-summer test sessions before determining additional plans ahead of the Budweiser International Classic 200.
“We’re taking it very slowly, one practice session at a time. My goal is to make the 200 and contend for Rookie of the Race honors. Additionally, the branding and funding is a bit different for the Super,” Proud mentioned. “We already have our main support system signed on with the Small Block so that’s why we are able to do the throwback, however I do know that Mark (Proud) from Step One Creative will be helping to re-create the 2002 livery.”
The team’s intent is to wrap the current body in that very same bright yellow, work together with the art team at Step One Creative to re-design the scheme, print the graphics, and then letter the car, but Camden says there will be a few challenges along the way.
“It’s kind of a big undertaking, not as easy as just tracing the car from an old picture,” Proud noted. “I’m not really sure what it will look like when we first bring it out for practice. It might be plain yellow, it might be completely ready to go, or it may even still be the purple and orange 99. The frame is powder coated black as opposed to the white, so that’s our biggest challenge right now. Obviously a lot has changed as far as the evolution of the Supers since then, but our goal is to get it as close to that very same look as possible.”
Camden will now join his father, Warren Coniam and Bobby Stelter, along with the continuation of that rather extensive list of drivers to pilot the famous Solvay Automotive fleet as current and former wheelman of the No. 04 in Oswego’s trademark division. Don’t count out the possibility of Tim getting behind the wheel with 04 on the car for one last time either.
“Obviously our main concern is getting myself comfortable and making sure the car is ready to go mechanically, but this whole throwback deal will be a lot of fun for my family and I,” Proud stated. “There’s a good chance my Dad will race the Super, but the future is uncertain as far as numbers, sponsors, and schemes for 2019 are concerned. I’m guessing that at one of our test sessions, we’ll probably send him out there to take some hot laps when the 04 is still on the car. That would really be a pretty cool moment for me.”
Fundraiser in the Books; Team Shifts Gears to Lighthouse Lanes SBS Series Opener Saturday, May 12
For the fifth year in a row, the Camden Proud Chicken BBQ Fundraiser which was held last Sunday, April 8 at Lighthouse Lanes in Oswego, resulted in a success for Proud Motorsports.
Hundreds of supporters filled in between the hours of 1pm and 5pm to purchase chicken dinners, buy 50/50 tickets, or take their chance on raffle items. Nearly two dozen different individuals ended up taking prizes home when the fundraiser wrapped up that evening.
“I was overwhelmed by the support we received at our fundraiser,” Proud said. “Thanks to all of my friends, family, and fans who stopped by as well as to all the businesses and individuals who so generously donated to help support our race team. They, along with my 2018 sponsors and partners, are all listed at ProudMotorsports.com. We kindly ask that you support those that support racing.”
With fundraising out of the way, Proud Motorsports now shifts gears to the Lighthouse Lanes SBS Series ‘Spring Championship’ Opener at the Evans Mills Speedway on Saturday, May 12. Team owner Tim Proud will be back behind the wheel of the Step One Creative No. 54 for the 30-lap special event at the Jefferson County oval. Proud’s return to the driver seat will come after nearly finishing runner-up in last year’s Lighthouse Lanes SBS Series ‘Fall Brawl.’
“After getting wrecked out of contention while running second at the Fall Brawl this past September, I’ve been looking forward to heading up to Evans Mills and getting Dad in the car just about as much as I have been to get out there myself,” Proud stated. “It should be a great event to kickoff the northeast Small Block Super season and I’m anxious to cheer from the sidelines before jumping back in the seat the following week at Oswego Open Practice. Hopefully we will be in contention for victory again.”