Kingston’s Shanessy Aims to Rebound After Rocky Two Years
Bronson Shanessy was well on his way to establishing himself as a bonafide contender in the Late Model Sportsman ranks around the province of Nova Scotia.
Then came June 22nd, 2013, and a crash that has made Shanessy take the long way around to the top.
Being involved in racing since the age of 13, Shanessy began dabbling in Sportsman racing at Scotia Speedworld in 2009. He and his #66 Trim Tech/MAX Automotive Chevrolet ran part time seasons when their schedule permitted at the Enfield, Nova Scotia oval until he took on a meatier schedule in 2012, finishing 12th overall in the point standings. Shanessy and team also ran at Riverside International Speedway as a part of the NAPA Sportsman Series.
Shanessy and his Kingston, Nova Scotia team had created many racing relationships, including one that saw his team work close with Darren Wallage and the Blair’s Custom Metals team of Oakfield, Nova Scotia. With a full time season under their belts, marketing partners on their side and a technical alliance to lean on with one of the front runners in Late Model racing in Atlantic Canada, things were looking bright for Shanessy in 2013.
After the first two races of the season, Shanessy entered the Lockhart Truck Center 150 weekend fourth of 23 in the standings on the strength of two top ten finishes. In front of Shanessy in the standings? Veterans of the Speedworld including Wallage, defending Sportsman champion Aaron Boutilier and Chris Dingle.
The 50 lap affair on June 22nd changed the course of Shanessy’s season.
Working his way up through the field early in the race, Shanessy was caught up in a wreck that also ended the night of 2010 champion Colby Smith and other heavyweights like Dave Timmons and Mike Banks. The wreck was a big one that sent the #66 car head on into the backstraight concrete at the Speedworld, and Shanessy’s car sustained major damage.
Shanessy found himself in the middle, three wide with Colby Smith (77) and Dave Timmons. The end result was hard hits for all three cars on the backstraight wall. Photo by Mike McCarthy.
As Shanessy recalls, the car wasn’t the only thing that got dinged up in the wreck.
“We started 2013 strong,” said Shanessy. “We ran well, we hung around the top five and got a few finishes that, we felt, were not really indicative of how we ran in those first few races. The wreck with Dave (Timmons) at the end of June destroyed the car. It was a complete write off. It was a hard hit, one that I have felt for some time now. I had a broken back sternum, broken ribs and a bruised heart from the wreck. Obviously, some of the injuries sustained in the wreck have lingered for a while.”
Out of what he calls “pure stubborness,” Shanessy was back on track three weeks later preparing for the IWK 250 weekend at Riverside Speedway. Shanessy and team entered two major races at Scotia Speedworld at the end of 2013, finishing 18th in the Dartmouth Dodge 100 in August and 23rd in the Dartmouth Dodge 50 in September. Shanessy also substituted for Wallage at Riverside International Speedway at the end of the season to keep Wallage’s #3 team in the hunt in the NAPA Sportsman Series.
With injuries still nagging him, Shanessy ran one race in 2014, finishing 17th in the season opener at Scotia Speedworld. He attempted to run the Dartmouth Dodge 100 in August, but a rainout and a rescheduled date forced the team to miss the race.
His light schedule in 2014 has given Shanessy, a member of the Royal Canadian Navy Boarding Team, the chance to heal up from some of the lingering side effects from the June 2013 crash and is ready to hit the track running this season.
“It is a new year for us,” commented Shanessy on 2015. “I was able to get back on track for a few races after the crash (in 2013), and a couple races last year, but it was a struggle physically. It has let some of my sponsors down and the respect I have earned from my competitors has suffered as well. Physically, I feel better than I have in the last two years and am confident we can get back on track to what we were building on at the beginning of 2013, to kick down those doors we were opening. I am hoping our confidence as a team can be shared with our fans, supporters and sponsors.”
Shanessy would like to thank his fans and longtime supporters MAX Automotive, Bill at Trim Tech, Blair’s Custom Metals and the Wallage family for sticking with his teams through the past two years, and he hopes to see them all out at Scotia Speedworld and Riverside Speedway this Summer to cheer on the #66 car!
Photos by McCarthy Photographic