“I have a pretty good mindset going into the season,” he said. “After coming off last year with the success we had, it really helps a lot with motivation and everything going into the season. But I got my head held high and expecting for my team to go out there and be a top contender week in and week out.
“I want to be able to run up front and fight for the win, and I feel we have a package that will be able to do that this year. We spent a lot of time this winter going over our setup that we put into last year, and we’re just putting the final touches on it to make it good.”
Last year, his team was able to score nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes, including Latimer’s first career Late Model feature victory on September 2. He says the success they were able to have has certainly helped not only his confidence, but the team’s as well.
“Two years ago, we didn’t have a very good year,” he admitted. “We were out for a month or two just because we weren’t running good and got caught in accidents. But after last season getting the win and running up front every weekend, it proved to the whole team that we can go out and battle with the big dogs, and show them that we’re there. It really opened their eyes on how well we can run week-in-week-out.”
After completing last year ranked seventh in the standings, the thought of a championship at the end of 2018 sends chills down the young man’s spine.
“It would mean more than you could imagine; I don’t even know what my team would do if we went out there and brought home the championship,” he said. “As a kid growing up, I thought it was the coolest thing ever going to Barrie Speedway when the Late Models came out. I thought they were the best of the best, and now here I am older and racing in that class.
“It’d be a big deal for me, and it’d be a big deal for all of the crew members. Bringing Kevin (Reynolds) another championship – it’d be our perfect major event in getting under the JL Motorsports banner. I mean, we’ve gotten the win in thunder car, and a win in late model, but a championship is a whole new story.”
Although he’s confident in their own program, there have been changes made on the Late Model forefront surrounding the tires and engine package rules by the track. Latimer had a chance to test everything out this past week ahead of Saturday night’s season opener, and noticed how the 10-inch tires tightened the car up compared to the eight-inch tires.
“You are able to keep your speed through the corners, you roll through the center faster, but I think it will be good for this class,” he commented. “All the tracks are on the same tire pretty well, Peterborough and Sauble and Sunset – so it’ll be great for the Great Lakes Series and I feel the tire will make it more competitive because you can battle more with it.
“With this four-barrel for the crate motors, it will be more equal to the builts. So I think it will be a pretty good competitive year. I think you’ll see some good battles throughout the year.”
With how everything stands right now, he went on to add that he feels the division as a whole is in a good plate right now, despite some drivers choosing a new direction.
“That’s not a bad thing with people moving forward,” he said. “It’s a good competitive class and you still got a lot big names in it. I mean, you’ve got Dwayne Baker coming back I hear, and you’ve got Jason Parker there, Nick Goetz, Gord Shepherd – you have a lot of big names in the series. A lot of guys have been racing in the series for so long that I don’t think everybody is going to leave and the series is going to die; I think it’ll just evolve.”
JL Motorsports is proud to be supported by KICX 106, 104.1 The Dock, WIX Filters, Creechers Design, Kruger’s Electrical Service, and Kitchen Tire as sponsors for 2018.
Be sure to follow Jordan on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/LatimerJordan, and like the JL Motorsports facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/JLMotorsports/304091730527.