Max Speed

New Speed Motorsports co-owner Max Preston was at Shannonville Motorsports Park for the NSM NASCAR Test Days on Thursday and Friday. He was there to keep everyone calm and relaxed, and help with driver training.

Max took Daniel, Zach, Nolan and Jake (plus Thursday driver Liam) out in Chris Demaras’ lifted CMC pickup truck to show the boys the ‘racing line’. While the vehicle was big enough to fit six passengers, Max said it “…felt like I was driving a building…”.

Max then demonstrated the racing line at speed in a C7 Corvette with one of the racer’s mom as his passenger!

Max’s main message to the drivers in NSM’s NASCAR Test Day was that they were not competing against each other, and shouldn’t be trying to top Anthony Simone’s lap time. The message was to enjoy the experience, show that you deserve to be there by pushing yourself further each session…but don’t throw it off the track!

Taking a bunch of teenage racers and putting them in a 600 HP beast of a car on a closed course…he knew they wouldn’t listen.


Here’s video of Daniel Demaras’ third session of the day in Anthony Simone’s NASCAR Pinty’s Series racecar that normally runs as the No. 1 Silverline Tools Dodge Challenger.

On October 22nd and 23rd the car was decked out in sinister black with only the New Speed Motorsports logo in honor of the NSM NASCAR Test Day at Shannonville Motorsports Park. Thanks a million thanks Anthony!

Also, a special thank you to Zach Boam for remembering to turn on his GoPro!

Driving a NASCAR at Shannonville

~ by Daniel Demaras ~

This year, I’ve had a lot of firsts in racing. New Speed Motorsports helped me earn my first pole position, first win and first series championship. I also had my first opportunity to drive performance cars on a race track. At Toronto Motorsports Park I drove both a Ferrari F430 in August and a Reynard F2000 open wheel racecar in early October. However, the most exciting opportunity is one I’ve been waiting for since February, and it finally happened last week. A test in a NASCAR racecar at Shannonville Motorsports Park.

New Speed Motorsports press release before the start of the kart racing season spelled out the opportunity. To help promote the new team, top drivers in the TRAK Series and KartStars Series would get a one day test in Anthony Simone’s NASCAR Pinty’s Series racecar.

On Friday, October 23 2020, Jake Cowden (Briggs Senior), Zach Boam (KartStars Senior) Nolan Bower (ROK Junior) and myself (Briggs Masters) took on the challenge of stepping into a 3,500 pound, 600+ HP, V8-powered stock car and attacking Shannonville Motorsports Park’s road course. This was something new to all of us, and would take some figuring out.

After watching the other three drivers, I anxiously awaited my first session in the racecar. I climbed in through the window and squeezed myself into the seat for the first time. Anthony helped tighten up the seatbelts and put the steering wheel back on. Then, I started the car, put it into gear and headed out on track.

My first few laps were very tentative. I cruised around the track, figuring out how to properly shift and brake, feeling how much input the steering required. There was so much more to do than in my No. 412 Briggs & Stratton kart. As my session continued, I became more confident in my ability. Downshifting required briefly putting the car in neutral and rev-matching (without using the clutch pedal) before putting it into a lower gear. It was so much to do at this stage that I just kept my shifts to a minimum, mostly running in 2nd and 3rd gear. I was occupied enough just navigating the massive NASCAR around the twisty road course and trying not to lock up the brakes. I gained confidence towards the end of my session and pushed my braking zone even later going into the high-speed Turn 1 corner…and I ran wide into the grass. No major damage was done, but I understood the unforgiving nature of the car.

The feeling of driving the car was absolutely mind blowing. The V8 engine was deafeningly loud, I could feel my ears ringing as I drove the car, and there was no escape from the sound. Even off throttle, the engine was screaming. The G-forces through the corners surprised me. While I was strapped in tight enough not to move under braking, I found myself trying to hold onto the wheel or the shifter through the high-load corners. This car was a monster.

As I watched the other drivers, I became aware of how sensitive the brakes could be, and how crucial it was not to lock them up. When I went out for my next session, I drove faster while still remaining cautious. I had some oversteer in the tighter corners as a result of carrying too much speed, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle.

Just when I was feeling more in control, I was met with a new challenge. The car began losing power, only going when I absolutely floored the throttle. I tried to go through the gears to see if I had damaged one of them in some way, but it was the same is issue in every gear. I knew I had to pit, but the car lost power and I just coasted in. Once my panic dissipated I realized…I ran out of gas. I was so scared that I’d broken Anthony’s $200,000 racecar!

My third session was the best one of the day. One of the other racers got aggressive in Turn 1, jumped the curb and popped a tire, so Simone’s crew retrieved the car, bolted on a new set of slicks and sent me out on track. I was more proficient and confident in driving the car quickly. I was smoother with my inputs to the steering wheel and more aggressive with the gearbox. Although I triggered some nasty wheelspin a couple times, I kept it going as fast as I could. Compared to the other two sessions where I was just holding on, this time I felt I was in control. The pit board went up, signaling me to come in. I brought the car back into the pits and my dad walked over to the window to tell me I’d just set the fastest time of the day!

For my fourth and final session, I knew everyone’s times were getting quicker and I had to make one last push.

I knew that going out last would give me an advantage. With all the rubber laid down on track, I’d get the best track conditions…but I went too fast into the second last corner and spun off into the grass, ending my day early. That was going to be a monster lap time if I could have held it for two more corners.

Though I wasn’t perfect, the experience to test a real NASCAR racecar was unlike any driving experience I’ve had. Compared to my racing kart, visibility in the NASCAR is extremely limited, with huge A-pillars blocking your view. The Ferrari I drove at TMP was so easy by comparison; it had paddle shifters and even doors! The F2000 car was cool, but with only 200 HP, it was nothing compared to this fire breathing NASCAR that could spin the tires in third gear.

I spent a whole day with three other drivers that I normally see at the track each weekend during the summer. We’re friendly with each other, but after this day, its different. There were no egos. Nobody hid how scared they were, or how hard it was to drive the car. We all got to live out a dream together, while pushing each other to be as fast and smooth as possible.

I know what you’re thinking. Who was the best? That’s easy.

The star of the show was, of course, Anthony Simone. He dreamed up this entire experience and had the will to make it happen. Few people would allow a bunch of teenagers to borrow their car, let alone drive their NASCAR on a racetrack! But Anthony was both generous and trusting enough to give us this opportunity.

For that, I will always be grateful.


The all black New Speed Motorsports NASCAR that will be turning laps at Shannonville Motorsports Park on Friday October 23 2020 with Daniel Demaras at the wheel.

Karting ace Liam Rhodes put the NSM NASCAR through it’s paces on Thursday…in the rain!

Ready for Shannonville

This Friday, Daniel Demaras will get the chance of a lifetime; to drive a 750 horsepower NASCAR racecar on track. The car is owned by Anthony Simone of New Speed Motorsports, who competes in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series in the No. 1 Silverline Tools car. Several standout drivers from the TRAK and KartStars Canada series visited Simone’s race shop in Bradford for seat-fittings in the racecar.

For many of them, it was the most powerful car they’d ever sat it.

Daniel’s young teammate at Rocco Simone was at the race shop, happy to show Daniel all the cool stuff; spare engines, extra transmissions, different springs colour coded to their spring rate.

After Anthony’s crash course on how to get in the car, Daniel climbed through the window and got strapped in.

Chris Demaras suggested to Anthony that it would probably be a good idea to start up the car, so Daniel could get used to the sound of the V8, but Simone explained that it takes nearly an hour to pre-heat the oil (dry-sump engine) before start-up.

Nice try.

Our Friend French

This past weekend, James French earned his first SCCA National Championship at Road America. He shared the podium with his father Brian French, who won the SCCA National Championships 21 years ago.

Even more astounding is James achieved the result in the same car his dad raced in 1999.

James French put the No. 46 Swift 014-Toyota on pole and went on to a dominant win. The same car raced in Formula Atlantics at the turn of the century (when the senior French dad raced it) but it has since been modified with some additional bodywork to make it a Prototype.

If you hang around the race track long enough, you’d be surprised what happens.

Several years ago, in the week leading up to the Honda Indy Toronto, several professional racers showed up at local Goodwood Kartways for some competitive fun in an A&D race. James French (Prototypes) and James Vance (Nascar Pinty’s Series) were on the podium at Goodwood that day, with French on top. They shared the moment with a young Daniel Demaras who’d also won his race at the same karting event.

Happy Thanksgiving

The whole family at Demaras Racing hope you are having a Happy Thanksgiving with your family.

(Yes, American friends, this weekend is Thanksgiving. We schedule ours earlier to get the best turkeys.)

Dragstrip Experience

~ by Chris “#16” Demaras ~

Daniel and I had visited Cayuga before, when he was just a kid. We made trips to the track to watch NHRA events, and especially the jet-dragsters. Drag racing has never been our favourite form of motorsports, but some of it is so bizarre…you just have to watch!

Driving to the track on Wednesday morning, I asked Daniel what he thought of drag racing now, and if he would ever try it. The answer he gave was exactly what you’d expect from a road racer. That drag racing seemed very simple; more an engineering contest where the driver just holds on and points it straight down the track. No late braking or early apexes here.

After the F2000 Experience, I hadn’t planned anything else for our day at the track. But when I stopped into the main building at TMP to say bye to Cindy, I made the snap decision that Daniel and I would join the Drag Racing Experience…right now!

The event had started a few minutes earlier, so track officials slotted in a Daniel ‘vs’ Chris round immediately, then had us switch cars and race again. Talk about trial by fire!

On the first run, Daniel had me beat. His reaction time was so much better in the Mercedes AMG that the power of the Chrysler Hemi-powered SRT8 couldn’t make up for my shortcoming.

As I approached the end of the quarter mile, thoughts started creeping into my head. Why am I doing 175 km/h in a strange car, racing against my teenage son? Why does this car feel like it’s floating at this speed? Are the brakes good enough to stop this thing before I reach the catch fence?

No time to over-think it. One our practice runs were complete, Daniel and I were seeded into a 14 man tournament. Everyone would be sharing the cars, which were very evenly matched. It would come down to reaction time, and driver skill at feathering the throttle to eliminate wheel spin.

TMP staffers Christine and Dov gave us plenty of advice. After telling me I was sleeping at the tree, they explained that I had to anticipate when the light would turn green, not react to it. Daniel added in; go on yellow!

Both Daniel and I advanced through the first round. Since 7 competitors advanced, I was given a “bye-run” in the second round, where I would race against…nobody. All I had to do was set a time. But Daniel went up against the most feared woman at the track; Linda.

Daniel put up a real fight in his round, but was edged out by 0.07 seconds at the line. His day was done. Now I would have to carry the Demaras family name into battle in the third round. I was seeded against…you guessed it…Linda!

A perfect start in drag racing is a triple zero, meaning the car accelerates off the line 0.000 seconds after the light turns green. It’s very rare to see, even in professional levels…but just like Daniel San catching the fly with chopsticks, I set a reaction time of 0.001 seconds in my final run.

Daniel and the track staff cheered as I laid down an incredible start time. Yes, I then spun the tires and lost to Linda, but that didn’t dampen my enthusiasm. She beat me and Daniel both straight up, then went on to defeat her husband in the Final Round! I didn’t feel so bad long to the champ.

I don’t see Daniel giving up karting to run a dragster anytime soon, but the experience was still amazing. Totally outside of our comfort zone. I can see how people get hooked on the speed and adrenaline of the quarter mile.

The Limits of Grip

Here’s a great video from the Open Wheel Experience at Toronto Motorsports Park. The more laps Daniel drove, the harder he pushed, exploring the limits of grip.

The full split screen video of the moment Demaras went out on track.