TCM Three Stars + Weekend Agenda – October 6th, 2016
There was a ton of racing excitement from the two tracks that put on stock car finales during the 20th weekend of racing in the Maritimes.
While the Atlantic Championships took centre stage, no pun intended, Oyster Bed Speedway got their final race in after two weeks of rain pushed their finale back into the month of October.
It was hard to narrow down the TCM Three Stars to three, but we have three deserving drivers who worked hard last weekend for the finishes they achieved. For two of those, this is their second time this season on the TCM Three Stars feature.
Three race tracks are in action this weekend running different types of motorsport activities. From stock cars to monster trucks to dirt racing and everything in between, there is something for everyone should you be looking for some high speed action this long weekend.
Here are the TCM Three Stars of the week!
All photos by Mike Francis/RacinPhotos.com unless otherwise indicated.
Jonathan Hicken of Brudenell, PE
**Second TCM Three Stars appearance, eighth driver to appear multiple times in feature**
For the second straight week, Jonathan Hicken has landed on the TCM Three Stars of the week.
Hicken had a strong car throughout the Atlantic Championships 200 at the Shediac CENTRE For Speed but really put the #13H King Racing Chevrolet on display during the second half of the race. Hicken led a majority of the laps in the second half, dodged all the excitement around him and held off the field on numerous late race restarts en route to his second big win of the season on the heels of the Mike Stevens Memorial the weekend before. Not to mention he had to hold off a returning Wayne Smith and a stout Kevin Moore who had one of the cars to beat all day long to win the race.
For Hicken, it also marks his third Atlantic Championships race win in four years after winning the event in back to back years in 2013 and 2014.
By laying down another impressive late season performance, Jonathan Hicken has landed himself on the TCM Three Stars for a second time in 2016.
Chris Hughes of Brackley, PE
Chris Hughes did exactly what he had to do to win the championship in the Late Model division on the last day of the season – win the Late Model 100.
On paper everything seems easy though.
The day started for Hughes with mechanical trouble heading to the tech shed which led to the team pulling the transmission and drive shaft from the #32 car. Not to worry though, because the team got the car back out on track for the feature and the former Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour veteran put his head down and went to work.
In the heat and semi, Matt Palmer gained points on Hughes and was looking to put the pressure on in a charge to defend his Late Model crown.
After a 60+ green flag run in the feature, Hughes found himself lining up second to Mark LeClair on a yellow with 28 laps to go in the feature. After that restart, he found himself in the lead. It was a lead he would not relinquish en route to the checkered flag, his fifth on the season.
The points also fell into line and Hughes collected his first career championship at his home track.
For the hard work and dedication from him and his crew to drive to a championship on the last day of the season, Chris Hughes earns a spot on the TCM Three Stars for the week.
Courtney O’Blenis of Boundary Creek, NB
**Second TCM Three Stars appearance, ninth driver to appear multiple times in feature**
What started out as a Sunday with the primary goal of defending her Atlantic Street Stock Championship turned into one of the biggest days in the young stock car career of Courtney O’Blenis.
Jerry Stafford showed up to the race track with his #91 Pro Stock car, but no driver. Braxton Stafford had prior commitments and Jerry began the search for a driver for the day.
Enter Courtney O’Blenis.
O’Blenis slid into the car and fit into the seat enough to head out and give the car a run in the final practice. The expectations weren’t set too high. O’Blenis was making her Pro Stock debut against a stiff field in a car that had its share of ups and downs throughout their rookie season in the top division of racing in Atlantic Canada.
So, if you put two and two together, if she came out in the top ten, maybe a lap or two down in a 200-lap race, the goal of seat time would be achieved and everyone would be happy.
But remember, this is Courtney O’Blenis we are talking about.
Minus a run-in under caution with Hall of Famer Rollie MacDonald (we’ll call that a rookie mistake), she kept her car clean for 200 green flag laps, battled hard with Ashton Tucker, Marty Prevost and John Rankin, among others, throughout the race and brought the car home fourth.
Fourth place, in one of the biggest races of the year against tough competition. The three drivers in front of her at the end – Hicken, Wayne Smith and Kevin Moore, each have more years racing in a Late Model than she does on earth period.
After racing 200-laps in a car she never ran before, she hopped into her familiar #48 Street Stock and drove 100-laps in that. With only three caution flags, the pace was quick compared to the 14-caution race she had just run. In the end, while she did not win her second Atlantic Championship in Street Stock, she did make a nifty move on “Five-Time” Dan Smith to secure second place shortly after the final caution of the evening.
For her two top five finishes, including a fourth in her Pro Stock debut, at the Atlantic Championships, Courtney O’Blenis has earned her second TCM Three Stars appearance of the year!
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 or crowned point champions their season for 2016!
Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway in Sydney: OFF – Next Event on October 15th and 16th
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: Non Point Fun Day on Sunday, October 9th @ 1pm; Unlimited, V8, Four Cylinder, Trucks. Congrats to 2016 Champions! Greg Banks (Unlimited), Sandy Wood (V8), Shawn Sanford (Four Cylinder, Robert McNeil (Trucks)
Petty International Raceway in River Glade: Mike Stevens Memorial Limited Late Model 75 Fall Final and Awards Recognition Ceremony on Saturday, October 8th @12pm; Mini Stocks, Street Stocks, Bandoleros, Atlantic Modified Tour, Limited Late Models. Awards Recognition Ceremony, Music and Karaoke to follow racing. Congrats to 2016 Champions! Luc Bourgeois (Sportsman), Craig Ward (Street Stock), Tim Webster (Mini Stock), Michael Cormier (Bandolero), Brenda Shortell (Women on Wheels)
Shediac CENTRE For Speed in Grand-Barachois: Atlantic Monster Nationals on Saturday, October 8th and Sunday, October 9th; Monster Trucks, Demolition, ATV Quads and more! Information at CentreForSpeed.com.
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: Congrats to 2016 Champions! Chris Hughes (Late Models), Kenny Snow (Street Stock), Ritske deBoer (Outlaw), Mitchell Montgomery (Mini Stock)
Eastbound Park in Avondale: Congrats to 2016 Champions! Jason Groves (Sportsman), Mark Best (Hobby Stock), Ryan Murray (Legends), Sara Thorne (Bandolero)
Thunder Valley Speedway in Bishop’s Falls: Congrats to 2016 Champions! Graham Tweedie (Sportsman), Robert Petten (Hobby Stock), Clary Hunt (Bombers) | Islander Cup Champions – Robert Petten in Hobby Stock, Gerald Hicks in Sportsman
TCM Coverage Schedule – Weekend 21 of 2016
Saturday, October 8th – Mike Stevens Memorial Limited Late Model 75/Fall Final/Awards Recognition Ceremony – Petty International Raceway (NB) – 12pm AT (TCM Race #50 of 2016)