Column By: JIM CLARKE / BROCKVILLE ONTARIO SPEEDWAY – BROCKVILLE, ONT – From its inception, the Rookie Sportsman division at Brockville Ontario Speedway has been a stepping-stone for drivers looking to gain experience in open-wheeled racing.
After getting their feet wet, some move to the next level and take-up a full-fledged Sportsman-Modified machine, while others might elect to make the transition to a DIRTcar 358 or Big Block Modified.
As early as the age of 3, Kingston’s Nathan Lambert was attending races with his father; all the while dreaming of the day he’d be on the other side of the grandstand fence.
After a couple false starts at getting his racing program underway with Street Stock projects, the father-son duo and the driver’s uncle Rick aligned themselves with local legend ‘Stockcar’ Steve Bilow during a casual conversation at the 2019 edition of the Northeast Fall Nationals and took the first step toward making their dream a reality.
“Heading out there without any experience was more than a little intimidating, but it certainly helped to have ‘Stockcar’ Steve involved in our program,” said Nathan Lambert, who enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with his family when not at the race track. “Uncle Rick has helped him for close to 30 years and he’s been around the sport for close to 50 years, so it was good to have his feedback, knowledge and information available to us when it came time to get rolling.”
Even though he wasn’t bold enough to set any career goals other than having fun and learning as much as he can, like any racer who has ever climbed behind the wheel and fastened the safety belts, Nathan Lambert was hoping for the best possible showing and to learn a little more with every race. As a raw rookie, the 25-year-old Class of 2014 KCVI graduate knew it was a step-by-step process. Lambert says that seat time helped him find a comfort level and build his confidence.
“COVID-19 meant we weren’t racing until the last few weeks of the regular season, but our team never missed a chance to practice,” said Nathan Lambert, who works as a Ferry Operator with Frontenac County Marine Services. “I can’t say enough about everyone associated with this car. I’m especially grateful to my father and my Uncle Rick who have given me the experience of a lifetime and to my younger brother Cory for his help. I also need to thank the wonderful friends I’ve made on and off the track for their unwavering support and encouragement over the last year.”