This week we looked into Canadian driver, Owen Mahar. He is a third-generation driver, who often takes the track with his dad at his home track of Scotia Speedway. He races all around North America, attending large events like Winter Nationals and Road Course World Finals. Coming off of a championship in the Maritime League of Legends, Mahar hopes his 2023 season is as successful as last year!

Hometown: Hubley, Nova Scotia
Division: Semi-Pro
Car Number: 66
Team: DM Motorsports and 860 Motorsports
Favorite Vacation Spot: Florida
Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Movie: Talladega Nights
Favorite Food: Burgers

1. What sparked your interest in racing? What made you want to start driving?

Growing up around the track with my dad, he was always racing. He raced pro stocks for a while, which are similar to a super late model, it's kind of the equivalent over there. Always being at the track, Legend Cars are often at the same sort of racetracks as the pro stocks. My grandfather raced as well, so third generation, after my grandfather and my dad.

2. What is your racing story? What forms of racing have you competed in?

I started in Bandos when I was eight. Started practicing when I was seven in a Bando, and then I raced go-karts as well for a few years. The go karts we raced a lot in the Maritime Provinces in Canada, so Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, [Prince Edward Island], kind of those few provinces. We did a lot in New Brunswick, as well as Ontario and Quebec. Did go karts for a few years, and raced Bandos every week at home throughout the summer.

Often came [to Florida] for Winter Nationals. I came to every Winter Nationals from 2015 to 2020, and then missed a couple years for COVID; we couldn’t travel. Now we’re back. We do Winter Nationals, we did Texas once with the Bando, did a little road racing at Charlotte in 2019. We did Asphalt Nationals in Vegas last year, and we did Road Course World Finals in New Hampshire as well. We struggled a bit in Vegas, every practice I was like 30th. I couldn’t figure it out, couldn't get the car to turn. Last practice, we thought we maybe had a bad tire. Ended up taking the right front tire and switching it to the left rear before qualifying, at that point it's trying anything to make the race. It worked and I qualified sixth. It was weird, when I was qualifying I had no idea how the car was going to handle. Obviously, it worked.

At Road Course World Finals, I ended up fourth in semi-pro. It was a fun race. We did a bit of road course racing in May and April, we had the cars down there before our season at home started. And then didn’t race any road course at all until we came back for Road Course World Finals. I kind of knew what I was doing, and knew the track some. But hadn’t been on a road course in a while so there was a little getting used to there. We lost a day because of rain, we didn’t get practice. It was fun though, hopefully we do it again next year. I like the road course a lot.

3. What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in the racing world?

I’ve been pretty lucky, I haven't had any wrecks that were too crazy. Lots of torn off wheels and fenders. At a track at home, Petty Raceway, in the Bando for probably three years I just struggled to find any pace there. I was faster at the other tracks, and I just couldn’t figure that track out. The last year of Bandos I figured it out a bit, I ended up winning a race and doing a bit better. In the Legend car, that's probably my best track. Kind of a weird turn around on that.

4. What is your favorite racing memory?

This [past] season was pretty cool, I ended up winning the championship for the Maritime League of Legends. I finished third in our weekly series at Scotia Speedworld. So, both of those were pretty cool. Last year, I was the Rookie of the Year in the Maritime League of Legends. We had over 40 cars compete throughout the season, so it's a pretty big series. To end up the champion, that was really cool.

5. What are the main tracks you race at?

Every Friday night, we race at Scotia Speedworld in Halifax. We travel on Saturdays and Sundays often with the Maritime Pro Stock Series, that's the Pro Stock Series at home. We race the Maritime League of Legends tour, that's a traveling series throughout the Maritime Provinces. At about 4 or 5 different tracks, we do that almost every weekend.

6. What does your 2023 season look like?

Coming off of the championship with the Maritime League of Legends, it's a big accomplishment to try to beat. I’d love to try to do that again. Have some fun racing at home, maybe do some more of the road course. I really seem to enjoy that. And track time, just try to get as much as possible really. I plan to stay with Legend Cars, [because] there's so many different places to race them across North America. Compared to a lot of the bigger series, there's not a lot of change over to go to different tracks. Legend Cars are the same. We can come race [at Citrus County Speedway], and then go home and race the car, make a couple of adjustments but nothing crazy. Very easy to travel with.

7. What is your ultimate racing dream?

I think it's good as something fun. I would love to race professionally, but I’m not really sure that's going to be a possibility. Racing at home, maybe try a pro stock at some point, that’d be a lot of fun. I like the Legends, so probably try to stick with them for a while. I want to be an engineer, I’m thinking. So maybe that’ll be something I can tie into racing a little bit. It would be cool to be around race cars every day.

8. Who is your biggest inspiration?

Probably my dad. As long as I can remember, every weekend he's at the racetrack. It's really fun. At home, most weekends we are on the track together. It's really cool to get to race with him after always looking up to him growing up. Lots of advice, he definitely pushes me to be the best I can. We are both very competitive, but he likes to go out there and have some fun. He was telling me a story, at home, he was running 4th or 5th. He said he had to keep trying to stay focused on what he was doing, because he kept looking ahead to see me battling for the lead.

9. If you were pulled into victory lane right now, who would you want to thank?

My parents, my grandparents, friends of mine Riley and Nathan at home that help us out all of the time. My girlfriend, Cayleigh. All of my sponsors so Steele Volkswagen, Maritime Fuels, English Jewelers, Wingnut Productions, everyone that makes it possible. A lot of work goes into it every week.

10. Outside of racing, what other hobbies or activities are you involved in?

A lot of working on race cars, there's a lot of time spent in the shop. Racing is a really big part of my life. I enjoy going snowmobiling in the winter at home. We didn’t get a lot of snow this year for that but snowmobiling is a lot of fun. A little bit of dirt biking and ATV-ing.

11. Do you have any advice to younger kids who are looking into getting started in racing?

Lots of practice, it takes a lot of practice to find speed. The first couple years in the Bandos, we went out every single Wednesday night to our local track for four hours and we’d practice. Just laps, and laps, and laps. Getting used to the feel of the car, and learning to drive in different ways to be as fast as possible. Bandos are a lot of fun, back home we had around 30 cars. It's a good field, and a great way to learn how to drive a race car.

12. If you could describe your racing style in one word, what would you say?

Not aggressive, I try not to tear the car up so I try not to take too many crazy chances. I will definitely be aggressive if I need to be.

13. If you were stuck on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring?

Definitely a race car, that's really all I need. A race car and gas.

14.Who is your favorite NASCAR driver, and why?

I’d go with (Martin) Truex. I like his driving style. He doesn’t seem to get into all the drama and he's level-headed.