RPW Column: Tyler Boniface Looking For More Good Things At Orange County In 2020

RPW Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – PINE BUSH, NY – Tyler Boniface had a good racing season in 2019, and one to remember for the young driver.

Boniface won an Orange County Fair Speedway 358-Modified feature and finished third in points. Also, at about the midpoint of the season, the team started to compete with a Big Block Modified as well. Shortly after they started, on August 10, Tyler put the Halmar #69 in OCFS Modified Victory Lane, and did so in spectacular fashion.

“I have had some big thrills in racing,” Boniface said. “The 2016 Eastern States Weekend Sportsman Race win was one, but that first Modified win was the highlight, no doubt.”

It’s hard to believe that the personable, young driver has already completed 12 seasons of racing. He started at Accord in 2008 and in only his second start, he made his way to Victory Lane.

Tyler went on a few years later to grab the Accord Sportsman Championhip in 2013. Not to be outdone, he’s also strapped into a sprint car, even collecting a CRSA feature in 2015.

The following season, Boniface was off to a fast start in his family-owned #69 Sportsman at Orange County. However, engine problems one night around mid-season put the team in a tough position.

RJ Smith let Tyler drive his car for the feature and that led to a victory. Smith then allowed Boniface to race his car for the balance of the season and the team ended up winning the track title. That was a very proud accomplishment for both Tyler and RJ.

“It was so nice of RJ to save our night when we had those engine problems,” Boniface said. “I was so glad to have him as a huge part of our championship season.”

Tyler went to the 358-Modified division for 2018 and secured his place in that division’s victory ledger on June 30th. He placed fourth in points that season. As stated, the young driver had a good season with the 358-Modified this past year, finishing thord in the points and winning on June 22nd.

“To finish third behind Anthony Perrego and Brett Hearn, we’re pretty proud of that,” he said.

However, it was the Modified feature of August 10th (carried over from August 3rd) that had the crowd buzzing. The track had been resurfaced for more than three weeks. With the way the schedule worked out, the Battle of the Midway rained out and the August 3rd program features rained out. That first Modified feature on August 10th was their first on the new surface, and what a race it was.

Tyler started 12th and immediately moved to the high groove. To say it better, he moved to the high, high groove. Boniface had that car screaming on the outside like it hadn’t been seen at OCFS in quite awhile.

Some fans stated that on more than one occasion, they saw sparks from his car after contact with the outside wall, but it didn’t matter. Boniface cruised to a convincing win and it showed what potential the new surface had for some great racing.

Tyler is very grateful for the opportunity to race both the 358-Modified and Modified divisions. He gives all the credit for this happening to Halmar’s Chris Larsen.

“Without Chris, we would still be racing Sportsman,” he said. “He does so much for our team and racing overall. We’re very thankful.”

The #69 team is going to have Orange County as their main focus for 2020. At the moment, they don’t have any other races planned, but they may possible hit some other tracks.

Halmar is the main sponsor on the #69 cars, however Tyler is very grateful to the sponsors who helped his team out as he progressed up through the divisions. They include Victory Lane Auto Care, Downe’s Forest Products, Ken’s Logging, Thorndale Dairy Farm and Pine Bush Equipment.

And like every young racer, Tyler wants to thank his family for all their support through the years. They include his Grandfather and Grandmother, his father, Ken Sr., his mother, Debbie, and his wife, Danielle.

Tyler Boniface’s Victory Lanes celebrations are an awesome thing to see with so many happy family and friends and he’s looking for more of these times in 2020.