Double Header Weekend To Crown NASCAR, INEX Champs at Eastbound Park
Photos by Nicole Breen/Eastbound Park; Feature Photo by TCM
The stock car racing season in Newfoundland will come to a close in a big way this weekend with two massive racing cards. The Parts for Trucks 150 and the Wounded Warriors 75 Memorial Race will take to the track on Saturday and Sunday and will crown champions in four division, including those in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Divisions I and II.
The NAPA Auto Parts Sportsman division has seen victory lane virtually owned by Wayne Walsh and Shane Coffen. The pair has won eight of the 12 feature races contested in the NASCAR Whelen All American Division I at Eastbound Park, with Walsh having five victories to Coffen’s trio of wins.
Walsh, from Conception Bay South, has a comfortable 61 point lead over “Mr. Consistency” Jason Groves. The 2016 Provincial NASCAR champion from Hearts Desire typically finds his way to the front of the field when it counts and while he has a big gap to make up on finale weekend, nothing is out of the question with three feature races on the table including the Parts for Trucks 150 on Saturday evening.
Coffen of Chance Cove, Mitchell Fahey of Carbonear and Sportsman freshman Mark “The Beast” Best from Goulds find themselves deadlocked for third in the standings. They, along with the ageless Ches Cole of Torbay, will look to battle it out for the top five in points with three races on tap this weekend.
Five drivers have visited victory lane in NAPA Auto Parts Sportsman feature action. In addition to Walsh and Coffen, Best, Brandon McFarlane of Placentia and Dean Martin of Torbay each own wins on the season. A total of 30 drivers have participated in the class this season, making it one of the healthiest Late Model type divisions in Eastern Canada.
The battle in the Atlantic Dodge Dealers Hobby Stock division is sure to go down to the last laps on Sunday afternoon to determine a 2017 champion. Shane Collins of Placentia enters the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Division II title fight with a slim three point edge of Shayne Petten of Conception Bay South. Both have been in a see-saw battle all year and have had plenty of success but only one will be able to call themselves a NASCAR champion!
Collins has a slight edge on feature wins with three while Petten has two to his resume in 2017. Of note, Collins was the most recent winner, taking two wins during the K&N Filters Night festivities on August 19th.
Third through sixth in the standings find themselves with an 18 point window heading into Saturday and Sunday’s main events. Robbie Cable of Conception Bay South has the advantage entering by holding the third place spot with Andrew Morgan of Carbonear, Cody Lake of Placentia and Randy Cable of Conception Bay South all fighting for the final valuable championship points on the line.
Mark Best, Devon Morgan and Andrew Morgan each have single feature wins in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Division II Atlantic Dodge Dealers Hobby Stocks with two races on the table this weekend.
Photo by TCM
The closest point battle at Eastbound Park heading into the final weekend of the year is in the Hanlon Realty Legend division. The INEX sanctioned division sees “The Mohawk Warrior” Lloyd Eason Jr of Conception Bay South lead the standings by five points over Chris Cooper of Old Shop and by six points over Johnaton Norman of Shea Heights. Eason Jr. and Norman each have a pair of feature wins on the season, while Cooper scored a popular win on Hickman Automotive Night on July 29th. Winterton’s Ryan St. George won the opening two features of the season back in May.
The youngest stock car drivers in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador will duke it out once more in the Automotive Supplies Bandolero division. The drivers aged eight to 15 years thrill fans every time out on the track and will have two more chances this weekend to grab checkered flags before the snow flies.
Owen Groves of Hearts Desire leads sophomore driver Michael Neary of Portugal Cove by nine points heading into the double header weekend. Groves was the 2015 champion of the division and has won five straight races on the season.
The only other feature winner on the season has been reigning champion Sara Thorne of Chance Cove. Thorne will be focused on defending the third place point position over the two days of racing with Nick Codner of Torbay and Matthew Rideout of Conception Bay South hot on her heels.
The Parts for Trucks 150 and the Wounded Warriors 75 Memorial Race will close off the 2017 season at Eastbound Park and is the final stock car race in the province on the year. The Parts for Trucks 150 gets underway Saturday at 2pm with grandstand gates opening at 1pm. Sunday’s Wounded Warriors 75 Memorial Race, honoring No. 59 Dennis Weir and No. 68 Chris Ryan, will see the green flag fly at 1pm with grandstands opening at 12pm.
General Admission Grandstand Tickets for each day are $20, with Kids under 12 years of age admitted for $15. Family Passes (two adult, two kids) are $60 and the Hot Pass (five General Admission Adult Tickets, can be used for both days) are $80. Tickets are available at the gate or in advance at North Atlantic Orange Stores and online at EastboundPark.com.
QUICK GLANCE – Top Five in Points
NAPA Auto Parts Division 1 NASCAR (3 Races Remain)
1.) Wayne Walsh – 371 Points
2.) Jason Groves – 310 Points
3.) Shane Coffin – 255 Points
4.) Mitchell Fahey – 255 Points
5.) Mark Best – 255 Points
Atlantic Dodge Dealers Hobby Stock Division 2 NASCAR
1.) Shane Collins – 221 Points
2.) Shane Petten – 218 Points
3.) Robbie Cable – 180 Points
4.) Andrew Morgan – 179 Points
5.) Cody Lake – 168 Points
Hanlon Realty Legends:
1.) Lloyd Eason Jr – 132 Points
2.) Chris Cooper – 127 Points
3.) Johnathon Norman – 126 Points
4.) Ryan St. George – 106 Points
5.) Chad Lawrence – 90 Points
Automotive Supplies Bandolero:
1.) Owen Groves – 149 Points
2.) Michael Neary – 140 Points
3.) Sara Thorne – 109 Points
4.) Nick Codner – 104 Points
5.) Matthew Rideout – 102 Points