TCM Three Stars + Weekend Agenda – August 18th, 2016
After the big 17th Annual Atlantic Cat 250 weekend at Scotia Speedworld last Friday and Saturday, the TCM Three Stars is a sweep from the Enfield oval.
From the opening laps on Friday night to the crowning of a new Atlantic Cat 250 champion on Saturday evening, the event lived up to all expectations on track and featured a bit of everything. Whether it was thrilling side-by-side racing, scary spills or raw driver emotions you sought last weekend, you got it on both evenings of racing.
We also have our second repeat star of the season, joining “Rational” Richard Drake who accomplished the honor last week with his second appearance on our Three Stars list for 2016.
Here are the TCM Three Stars from the 13th weekend of racing in Atlantic Canada.
Photos by McCarthy Photographic
Merle Corbin of Sackville, NS
While cars were flying off track and tempers flared, Merle Corbin stayed calm, cool and collected and would end up collecting his second career Toursec Thunder car victory in front of the biggest crowd of the season at Scotia Speedworld.
Corbin worked his way to the front of the Thunder car field on Saturday by waiting for opportunities. When Kyle Gammon got to the lead around Nic Baker, Corbin followed through. When he saw an opening to pass Gammon, as everything went on behind them, Corbin was able to make the smooth move to capture the lead and the eventual win in the appetizer round to the Atlantic Cat 250.
The driver of the #1 G&R Kelly Civic has been quietly going about his business in the class. In what has been a breakout season for him (and yes, an early favorite for a nomination in the TCM Breakout Performer of the Year category in October), Corbin sits now knotted in a battle for second place in the standings and not far behind Stevie Lively should Lively begin to stumble in the second half of this season.
For his win just before the Atlantic Cat 250, Merle Corbin takes a TCM Three Star for Weekend #13!
Cole Butcher of Porter’s Lake, NS
It was only a matter of time before Cole Butcher won a 250-lap race.
The glass slipper finally fit on Saturday night during the Atlantic Cat 250.
Butcher dominated the second half of the prestigious race, leading all 125 laps from the halfway break to take his first win in the Atlantic Cat 250, just 13 months after scoring his first Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour win in the Nova Truck Centres 150 at his home track of Scotia Speedworld. In the first half, Butcher battled with eventual second place finisher Craig Slaunwhite then slugged it out with Greg Proude, who wheeled a broken race car for many laps side by side with Butcher without touching fenders.
To top it off, Butcher held off Slaunwhite and Proude on a late restart to capture the flag first in the big race.
Like Corbin, Butcher has now inserted himself into the battle for second on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour and sits a mere 43 points out of Dylan Blenkhorn for the point lead.
For winning the Atlantic Cat 250 in dominating fashion, Cole Butcher receives a TCM Three Star for the week!
Russell Smith Jr of Lakeside, NS
**Second TCM Three Stars appearance, second driver to appear multiple times in feature**
It’s a second TCM Three Stars appearance for Russell Smith Jr for a combined effort on the 17th Annual Atlantic Cat 250 weekend.
On Friday night, Smith Jr. led the most important five laps of the Affordable Fuels 100 to take home an unprecedented fourth straight win in the race dating back to the 2013 race. While Colby Smith dominated a race that only featured two cautions and a 37-lap run to the finish, Smith Jr was relentless in his challenge in the second half. When Colby’s car began to fade, Russell was there to make the move for the top spot and hold it to the end for the win in the biggest Sportsman race in the Halifax area for the year. Not to mention, he took the Shriners Classic as well on July 1st.
The next night, in a caution filled Atlantic Cat 250, Smith Jr. was patient and waited his turn to turn up the heat aboard Daryl Mahar’s #66 car. He worked his way deeper into the top ten as the race progressed and found himself in the top five when all was said and done, racing for fourth with five-time Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour champion John Flemming.
Combining his winning weekend in his Sportsman, followed by a top five performance in the #66 Pro Stock for DM Motorsports, Russell Smith Jr has earned his second TCM Three Star of the 2016 season.
The Weekend Agenda takes a bit of a different look this year, but will give you a quick glance at the basics. If a track is racing, you’ll see the track name and location in green and if a track is not running an event on a weekend, their name and location will be red. The line proceeding will display the divisions running on the weekend and a start time, or a date of when the next event is at the track.
Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway in Sydney: OFF – Next Race on Saturday, August 27th
Lake Doucette Motor Speedway in Salmon River (outside of Digby): Championship Point Racing on Sunday, August 21st @ 1pm- V8 Stock, Sportsman, Four Cylinder Ladies, Four Cylinder Mens
Riverside International Speedway in James River: Highland Home Building Centres 100 on Friday, August 19th @ 7pm; NAPA Sportsman Series, Fast Four Cylinders
NASCAR Pinty’s Series Bumper to Bumper 300 on Saturday, August 20th @ 8pm AT; NASCAR Pinty’s Series, Upper Clements Parks Maritime League of Legends Tour
Scotia Speedworld in Enfield: Coors Light Night on Friday, August 19th @ 7pm; Strictly Hydraulics Legends, Coors Light Trucks, Hydraulics Plus Bandoleros, Affordable Fuels Sportsman
Valley Raceway in Kingston: Point Racing on Sunday, August 21st @ 1pm; V8, Four Cylinder, Unlimited
Petty International Raceway in River Glade: OFF – Next Event on Friday, August 26th and Saturday, August 27th
Shediac CENTRE For Speed in Grand-Barachois: OFF – Next Event on Saturday, September 10th
Speedway 660 in Geary: Fan Appreciation Night on Saturday, August 20th @ 6:30pm; Re/Max Group Four Pro Stocks, Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman, DMR Auto Street Stock, Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters
Speedway Miramichi in Miramichi: OFF – Next Event on Saturday, August 27th
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Oyster Bed Speedway in Oyster Bed Bridge: Championship Point Racing on Saturday, August 20th @ 6pm; Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini Outlaw, Mini Four Fun
Eastbound Park in Avondale: OFF – Next Event on Saturday, August 27th
Thunder Valley Speedway in Bishop’s Falls: Championship Point Racing presented by Action Car and Truck Accessories and the ECC 125 on Sunday, August 21st @ 2pm NT – Sportsman, Hobby Stocks, Bombers, Legends, Bandoleros
TCM Coverage Schedule – Weekend 14 of 2016
Friday, August 19th – Coors Light Night – Scotia Speedworld (NS) – 7pm AT (TCM Race #33 of 2016)
Saturday, August 20th – Bumper to Bumper 300 NASCAR Pinty’s Series – Riverside Speedway (NS) – 8pm AT (TCM Race #34 of 2016)
Sunday, August 21st – Championship Point Racing – Valley Raceway (NS) – 1pm AT (TCM Race #35 of 2016)
**Schedule Subject to Change Without Notice