McKay Set For Inaugural Mini Stock Tour Race; His First Riverside Start
Greg McKay, driver of the #42 Mini Stock from Halifax, will make his first start at Riverside International Speedway on Friday night during the inaugural East Coast Mini Stock Tour race. He offers his thoughts heading into the big race.
For more information on the race, please check out RiversideSpeedway.ca, the official news site for everything racing at the track this weekend.
Photo by McCarthy Photographic
Where to start?
I’m going to a new track, under a new rules package with new talent all chasing the same goal.
Friday night in James River I’ll be joining the field for the inaugural race for the MJS Holdings Ltd. East Coast Mini Stock Tour. It has been a long wait to finally get a race in on the newly organized touring series for Honda Civic models in Atlantic Canada. There will be some very confident drivers going into the weekend. The likes of JR Lawson, Dave Matthews and Tim Webster are having some of the best seasons of their careers and will be very tough to beat on the high banks. Lawson and Matthews were fast last year battling back and forth for 50 laps as their cars came alive. These drivers along with Matthew and Andrew Warren seem to be able to set up a car in their sleep, so it will be no surprise to see them pacing the field. Mr. Honda, Scott Williams, is another guy who can build a car with his eyes closed. He has been hard at work all year with the #22 of Darren Flemming, #71 Neil Miousse and #55 Bob Landry and these cars just keep getting faster and faster.
The most experienced drivers in this event have only 70-80 circuits around this place since its rebuild in a Honda prior to practice starting Friday afternoon. Mark Williams has made a few trips over the years to Riverside International Speedway in a Legend car but never in a mini stock. Will his experience pay off in a car that weighs 800-900 lbs more than what he is accustomed to? Chris Hatcher has Scotia Speedworld figured out as a past feature winner. He had all the tools and tricks out this week to get his #11 set up for the high banks but as Chris mentioned, how do you set up a car for a track you have never raced?
As for me, I am relying on set up notes and driving tips from “The Sheriff” Kyle Gammon, “The Ironman” Drew MacEachern and hometown hero Corey Breen to keep from getting embarrassed in front of a big crowd. I am also going to count on my Scotia Speedworld “drafting partner” Nic Baker to gently push me through the field.
With the 10 lap Stickerfool.com heat races determining the starting order, I expect to see the most exciting racing in those short shootouts. With more money up for grabs from EIT Race Radios for the Hard Charger award drivers will be hustling through the field to pad their pockets.
Winning in this sport is difficult on the best of days. Sometimes just finishing the race can be a win for a driver and crew, myself included. With a minimum weight restriction/engine package rule, no camber limit and a ride height rule, pre-race tech could be an interesting place to be a fly on the wall. I’m as guilty as the next fan.
Just two years ago, I remember saying “Dad, that must be harder than it looks.” Guess what… it is!
Fifty laps pinging the rev limiter and brake fluid boiling as these cars do not run fans or brake ducts to cool the systems. Throw on a set of old hardened tires made for a car three quarters the size, try to squeeze the last bit of life out of them and top it off with patience, short tempers and mid-season rivalries… do you want to buy tickets yet?
With this being the first race in the highly anticipated tour, a driver only gets one shot at calling themselves “inaugural champion”. Will the race director allow the famous “bump n run” or adopt a “no bumpers” strategy? Will the drivers let up in the entry to set up the pass off the corner or dive in and send a car sideways into traffic? A lot of these drivers have raced together for a long time but there are also a lot of new faces who have yet to make their mark on the racing scene.
I’ve never been more excited or nervous to run a race in my short career. I hope everyone comes out to have fun, place nice and win! I am going to have one of the best seats in the house for the action!