Driver Profile - Cameron Della Savia - #25 Factory Four
by Tom Stephenson
This is Cameron Della Savia's first year driving a stock car. He's been out at Laird Raceway off and on for the better part of this season and would have been out more often if not for some car problems. Cameron and his father Joe, make up the team. Neither of them had dreams of driving or owning a stock car until recently.
Cam's dad Joe said, "We first got into racing go carts a few years ago while we were in Flordia. We went to an indoor road course and had a blast. In the spring of 2010 I met up with an old friend, Brett Jackson who had his sons Dustin and Tyler in Kart racing already. He took us to Kinross on the first test and tune night. Cam took to the kart right away. We purchased a kart from Jackson and Cam ran all season on Monday nights in the Junior Kart category. We re-worked the kart, did what it took to compete and ended up winning the season points championship beating out Taylor Babcock by less than a kart length in the final feature of the season."
Joe continued, "Last year in 2011, Cam was 14 and wanted to run with the seniors, 15 - 19 year olds. Our current kart wasn't fast enough but at the end of the previous season we purchased a little better kart that we also ran at runway park on the ice track. This kart proved to be much better on the oval track as well. We started out last place for the first few races but Cam got much better as time went on. We never expected to win any races but we wanted to compete. One Monday in late July last year Cam got it all together and raced the track's super champoin Nick Hillman to get a heat win. Nick is the best kart driver out there and has the fastest karts. In the feature Nick switched to his regular fast kart and raced. He was leading the race coming into the final lap of the 20 lap race when the unexpected happened; he ran out of fuel! Cam took the feature win that night. It was awesome."
The father son pair were left without a place to race their karts this year when the Kinross track didn't open. The pair shifted their attention to stock car racing. Joe said, "Not knowing anything about Stock Cars we once again hooked up with Brett Jackson. We went out this year on the first test and tune night with the #61 black Neon which we intended to purchase. We had alot of problems early this year with this car. We started out in the extreme 4 division because the car was a little faster than the factory 4's and had a few things that made it illegal in that division. We put alot of work into the car, re-worked the body, painted it and had it lettered and ready to race, but we couldn't get it to run. Jackson was generous enough to lend us his blue neon to race a few weeks to gain some experience."
Cam and Joe were a bit frustrated and still wanted to run in the Xtreme Four class. Joe said, "We made a deal with a fellow in South Carolina to purchase his mod 4 race car. This was a super fast professionally built machine. When I went to the officials at Laird we were denied the ability to run this car. We missed that week at the track and almost dropped out of racing. Jackson convinced us to stay in it, and offered his car again that week. Coincidently, Keenan Spurway called us up saying he still had his car for sale, the #22 Black 96 Sunfire. We went and took a look at it and took a chance on it. The car didn't run for a while and needed work but it looked well built and safe as far as race cars go. We changed the number on the car to our original number 25 and dropped down to the Factory Four Division."
The frustration didn't end there though. Joe said, "The first night we blew the power steering line and went off the back end of the track. That didn't deter Cam though, he came back for the feature start and ran 11 laps until his arms were rubber , then he came off."
Cameron's experience in the go karts has prepared him well for the Factory Four cars. Unlike many rookies, you'll rarely see him lose his line, or spin. There have been just two occasions so far this year where he has spun or gone off the track, the one his dad mentioned above, and another just last race night. Cam said, "The first one, I had garbage tires, then slid a bit, then someone tapped the back end of my car and I went off corner 2. Last week I think I was spun off the backstretch into the infield. I'm getting better as time progresses."
Cam has also had a couple good runs at Onaway. Cam said, "The frist time we went I won a heat." Joe added, "That was our first win in stock car racing, it was pretty exciting for a 15 year old kid. That night he was sent to the back of the pack for the feature for beating his qualifying time by 2.4 seconds. Something clicked in the car to make it fast that night. He had time to work his way up to 6th in a field of 11 cars, but the single file start was too much to catch up." Cam said, "The second time we went I got second in both heats, and third in the feature in a field of 8 cars."
The team's main sponsor is Joe's business - Inside Out Contracting. They are also sponsored by Jack Scrap, Brett Jackson's business. The team are helped out in the pits occasionally by Cam's uncle Gerry, who lives in Guelph.
Cam said, "My mom is really nervous about my racing. She has only been to one race so far, last race night, the one with all the commotion. She came up to me the next day and said, 'A car flipped, and there was a fight.' I said to her, 'That doesn't happen every week, I swear!' Cam's mom should be reassured that the Stock Car is probably a better place for her son. Cam said, "It's safer. With a go kart you are one inch from the ground going 65 miles an hour, in the stock car you have a steel cage around you."
Cam is headed into grade 11 at St. Basils in September. In a couple years, Cam isn't sure which direction he'll be going yet. He said, "I'm pretty sure it will be science. It could be engineering, maybe physics, I don't know. I'm actually in AP (advance program) so next year in grade 12 I'll probably be taking a university course in math. I like chemistry, and physics, but not biology so much."
From an automotive perspective, Cam is also learning. He said, "Before I got into the car I knew nothing about cars, every week I'm learning something new about them; what all the parts do, and how to fix them. "
Cam said, "I've never dreamt of becoming a race car driver, it just happened. I'm going to continue, it's fun. My dad really likes the Factory Stocks. He says that's the class he'd like me to race in. The Modifieds and Late Models are kind of expensive."