TCM Three Stars + Weekend Agenda – September 22nd, 2016
We’re getting down to the final laps of the 2016 season but that does not mean that the action is anywhere near done this year.
Scotia Speedworld and Thunder Valley Speedway contested their last races of the season last weekend and as long as weather plays nicely, Eastbound Park, Oyster Bed Speedway and Petty International will join the ranks of “done for the year” by the end of the weekend. If you’re keeping score, heading into this 19th weekend of the season, we have five tracks live with racing over the next three days, five that have run their last laps until Spring and two New Brunswick tracks waiting until October to crown their final race winners of the year.
While there was great racing at Speedway Miramichi and Thunder Valley Raceway last weekend, our TCM Three Stars list focuses on Scotia Speedworld and three champions that were crowned at the 3/10-mile oval over finale weekend. Two of those champions celebrated in their respective division for the first time while it was a welcome back party for one champion who had been dry for over five years.
Here are the TCM Three Stars from Weekend #18 in the region!
All photos by McCarthy Photographic
Stevie Lively of Shubenacadie, NS
**Second TCM Three Stars appearance, fifth driver to appear multiple times in feature**
Call it what you will, but Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia’s Stevie Lively did what he had to do to win a championship on the last night of the Toursec Thunder car season.
Lively, the 2010 Toursec Thunder champion at Scotia Speedworld, had two fourth place finishes heading into the season finale. With three weeks to go in the season, Lively held an 18-point advantage over Dave Matthews and the rest of the field. With a win and a second place feature finish by Matthews and strong qualifying efforts, Matthews had closed the gap to three points heading into the final night of the season. After the heat race on Finale Friday, Matthews gained a point on Lively, meaning the advantage for the #32 car was two points, or one position, heading into the final 25-laps of the year.
Matthews took the lead from Chris Hatcher at the halfway point and began to drive away with the top spot. Lively would begin to reel in the #11 but would also begin running out of laps. Coming to two laps to go, Lively had to make a move to get the one spot he needed to be in championship contention and made a late move on Hatcher in Turn Three, sending both cars sideways and on the edge of spinning out of a top three spot in the race.
The end result was Lively being able to grab the second place spot in the next set of corners and hold off Hatcher and Merle Corbin, who had closed in after the pair slid around Turn Three, for second place and a tie in the season long championship.
After 13 races, Lively and Matthews had the same amount of points. It would come down to a tiebreaker, with Matthews two wins being edged by Lively’s four victories. For Matthews, the 2015 Tim’s Corner Motorsports Power Performer of the Year, it was another narrow miss for a championship. For Lively, it was his second championship in the division since 2010, becoming the fourth two-time champion of the class since 2008 – joining Matthews, Derek MacCallum and Matthew Warren in the elite company.
This is also Lively’s second TCM Three Stars appearance of 2016 after being here back in June. Could we see Lively in some late season races to keep the TCM Power Performer of the Year banner within the Thunder division in Halifax?
For now, Lively is the TCM Third Star from the Scotia Speedworld Finale weekend!
Pete Miller of Kennetcook, NS
Last season, Pete Miller returned to the Affordable Fuels Sportsman division at Scotia Speedworld. After being a regular in the class over a decade ago, Miller had then ran a number of races on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour on a part-time role.
Miller’s official homecoming took place Friday night as he raced his way to the Affordable Fuels Sportsman championship at Scotia Speedworld.
It did not come easy though.
Like Lively, Miller did not have the easiest of paths to the Finale Friday showdown. A wreck with three races to go cut his point lead and put Jordan Veinotte within sights for a championship charge.
Veinotte did everything he had to do to steal the title away from Miller last Friday night, but in turn, Miller did everything he had to do to keep his point lead in tact and he did just that to win his first Sportsman track championship.
Miller worked his way up to second during a long green flag run that would go to the checkered flag in the 38-lap feature. While Veinotte was setting a blistering pace up front, Miller wasn’t too far off the lap times off the leader as could be seen by the gap as they both worked lapped traffic. While the gap between the top two on track was big, it was not enough for Veinotte to top Miller in points and Miller had enough laps to keep Boutilier, Roma and Moore from catching him.
The two drivers battling for the championship were quick to thank the other in victory lane following the feature. While the championship will go down with only one feature win over the season for Miller, he let another handful slip away in the waning laps this season. Consistency wins championships and Miller’s track record was just enough to edge out the championship.
For his first Affordable Fuels Sportsman championship and the run in order to keep that point advantage in tact, Pete Miller has earned his way onto the TCM Three Stars list for the week.
Cole Butcher of Porter’s Lake, NS
**Second TCM Three Stars appearance, sixth driver to appear multiple times in feature**
Cole Butcher did not have to win the Dartmouth Dodge 200 at Scotia Speedworld to win the 2016 championship on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour. The 20-year old from Porter’s Lake only had to start the feature to clinch his first championship.
So, why not go out and win the last race of the season, right?!
Butcher’s second consecutive Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour win at his home track was done in dominating fashion. He quickly put a heat race altercation with his brother Jarrett behind him and stormed to the front of the field. He appeared on the top of the CSS Insurance Leaderboard at the track for the first time on Lap 44 of the 200 lap race. It was a spot he would not relinquish for the remainder of the evening.
The win was without challenges though. A number of restarts throughout the race kept the driver of the #53 Atlantic Tiltload Chevrolet up on the wheel. As the checkered flag neared, it was Butcher pulling away over a scramble for second behind him to win his third race of the season.
Butcher will now have his name etched beside Wayne Smith, John Flemming, Shawn Tucker, Shawn Turple, Rollie MacDonald and Donald Chisholm as champions on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour in the last 16 years. He is also the youngest champion on the series and first driver to work his way through the Bandolero and Legend program from US Legend Cars International and INEX to win the biggest prize in Atlantic Canadian stock car racing. Not to mention he has won a handful of championships in those cars moving up through the ranks as well.
This is Butcher’s second appearance on the TCM Three Stars after his first stop in this feature after his Atlantic Cat 250 win. He joins “Rational” Richard Drake, Russell Smith Jr., Sam Rogers, Ryan Messer and Stevie Lively as the only drivers to make multiple appearances here in 2016. Like we mentioned with Lively, could this mean a TCM Power Performer of the Year nomination as well is in the future for Butcher?
Until then, for his dominating run at the Dartmouth Dodge 200 and his first Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour championship, Cole Butcher is the first star in the TCM Three Stars feature for Weekend #18!
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.
Blue indicates a race track has completed their season for 2016!
Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway in Sydney: Championship Point Racing on Sunday, September 25th @ 2pm; NAPA Sportsman Series, Street Stock, Mini Stock
Lake Doucette Motor Speedway in Salmon River (outside of Digby): Congrats to 2016 Champions! Shaun Burke (Sportsman), Joe Hari (V8), Brittany Townsend (Four Cylinder Ladies), Justin Goodwin (Four Cylinder Mens)
Riverside International Speedway in James River: Season Complete.
Scotia Speedworld in Enfield: Congrats to 2016 Champions! Pete Miller (Sportsman), Dan Smith (Trucks), Jarrett Butcher (Legends), Stevie Lively (Thunder), Deven Smith (Lightning), Sam Rogers (Outlaw), Nathan Langille (Bandit), Tyler Hutchinson (Beginner Bandit)
Valley Raceway in Kingston: Championship Point Finale on Sunday, September 25th @ 1pm; Unlimited, V8, Four Cylinder, Trucks.
Petty International Raceway in River Glade: Mike Stevens Memorial Weekend Night One on Friday, September 23rd @ 7pm; Limited Late Model 75, Legends 50, Mini Stock 50, Atlantic Modified 50
Mike Stevens Memorial 200 on Saturday, September 24th @ 4pm; Super Late Model 200, Street Stock 75, Bandolero Twin 25s
Shediac CENTRE For Speed in Grand-Barachois: OFF – Next Event on October 1st and 2nd
Speedway 660 in Geary: Season Completed – Congrats to 2016 Champions! Greg Fahey (Re/Max Group Four Realty Pro Stock), Ryan Messer (Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman), Rob Raynes (DMR Auto Street Stock), Kyle MacKinnon (Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters)
Speedway Miramichi in Miramichi: Off – Next Event on Saturday, October 15th
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Oyster Bed Speedway in Oyster Bed Bridge: Season Finale and Late Model 100 on Sunday, September 25th @ 2pm; Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini Outlaw, Mini Four Fun (Event rained out from September 18th)
Eastbound Park in Avondale: Parts for Trucks 150 Final on Saturday, September 24th @ 4pm; NAPA Auto Parts Sportsman, Atlantic Dodge Dealers Hobby Stock, Islander RV Bandolero, Hanlon Realty Legends
Thunder Valley Speedway in Bishop’s Falls: Congrats to 2016 Champions! Graham Tweedie (Sportsman), Robert Petten (Hobby Stock), Clary Hunt (Bombers)
TCM Coverage Schedule – Weekend 19 of 2016
Saturday, September 24th – Parts for Trucks 150 – Eastbound Park (NL) – 4pm NT (TCM Race #47 of 2016)