Photo by McCarthy Photographic.
Every driver likes to have the spotlight shed on them once in a while.
On most major cards in the region, the Late Model division seems to attract most of the glory. Whether it is a Sportsman feature or possibly a Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour race, the Late Models usually take top billing.
At the CENTRE For Speed on Sunday though, the true grassroots racers will be in the spotlight.
The Street Stock and Mini Stock divisions will both embark on their longest races of the season with both divisions running 100-lap features. With drivers expected to participate from across the region, the Atlantic Championships event for both divisions should have an “All Star Game” type feel when the green silk drops.
While there is no official list of entrants for either event, the CENTRE For Speed confirms that reigning Atlantic Champion for Street Stock Rick Cashol from Saint John, New Brunswick will be back to defend his title while Scotia Speedworld’s Kyle MacMillan (Mini Stock, Hammonds Plains, NS) and Chevy MacDonald (Four Fun, Stewiacke, NS) will also be looking to successfully defend their titles earned in 2012.
With a long race, strategy comes into play. How hard do you push and when do you pull the trigger to push that little bit harder? For those in the Mini Stock 100, pit strategy will also become something to keep an eye on throughout the longest four cylinder feature in the region for 2013. While some may be able to go 100-laps on fuel, the game may have changed for some of the competitors, especially those with multi-port setups in their Honda Civics. “With the dual port, we could make the 100-lap distance without stopping, no question,” said Scott Williams, driver of the #00 Civic from Scotia Speedworld, who has won extended lap races at the CENTRE For Speed in the past. With rule changes in the Thunder class two seasons ago at the Enfield, Nova Scotia based oval, multi-port gear was allowed to be swapped to an ’88 to ’91 style Civic, while the ’92 to ’95 generation was also factored into the division. “When you make your pit stop and when the cautions fall could make or break your race, it will keep us on our toes.”
If you are new to Four Cylinder classes and are confused with the “Mini Stock” and “Four Fun” monikers, let’s break it down like this. Your imports, which include all your Oyster Bed Speedway Outlaw cars and Scotia Speedworld Thunder entries are in your top class. Your “Four Fun” class blankets all Speedway 660 Four Cylinders, Scotia Speedworld Lightning and Oyster Bed Four Fun cars. Petty International Raceway is the only track in the region that runs a four cylinder division where both are mixed.
The Four Fun class will be up first on the afternoon with a 50 lap feature. If the Mini Stock class has less than 30 entries answer the call to the green flag, the top finishers in the Four Fun 50 can start the Mini Stock 100 to fill the field. With top runners like Scotia Speedworld’s Richie Moore and Speedway 660’s Jeremy Doran expected in the Four Fun field, they will not only be looking for the checkers in the 50 lapper, but they could potentially make some noise in the 100 should they be called upon.
While there is a halfway break in the Street Stock feature, the action is still expected to be the hard nosed, not give an inch competition that the division sees around the region. As with previous years, Coors Light Truck competitors from Scotia Speedworld are welcome in the season ending event and a handful of their drivers are usually present to take the green flag in the extra distance event. Keep in mind, the longest race of the season traditionally in the region is the David Lambe Memorial 75 at Oyster Bed Speedway and while some tracks host 50 lap events as their major events, the CENTRE For Speed will see double that, with a brief intermission to refuel in between. Cashol will have to be on his game though with the likes of PEI’s Mike Duskey and Stephen Gass, among others, rumored to be in attendance.
James Matchett will attempt to make history on Sunday in the Eastern Super Mini Cup Series.
Matchett, who has won all five features in the season for the touring series, will try to make it a clean sweep on Sunday at the CENTRE For Speed. He would become the first driver to do so in the short two year history of the series. Last week, he cleaned house by winning the heat and feature for the series at Speedway Miramichi, doing so on both occasions from the rear of the field.
Sunday marks the first stop of the series to the CENTRE For Speed in 2013. Courtney O’Blenis won this event last season, while Matchett and Chris Wilson also took ESMCS feature wins here in 2012.
Prince Edward Island’s Robbie MacEwen will be making his second Pro Stock start of his career on Saturday, but this time, it will be in his own car.
MacEwen, who drove the Pierce Racing #21 at Petty Raceway in July, has dropped a 604 in his Modified car that is run at Oyster Bed Speedway and will compete in the Pro Stock 150 portion of the Atlantic Championships. The #40 New Homes Plus Chevrolet is a multi-time winner in the Oyster Bed Speedway Modified class in 2013.
While no entry list for the Sportsman class has been released, the track is expecting a strong field of talent for the 100 lap feature on Saturday. Confirmed drivers to Tim’s Corner Motorsports expected to be at the CENTRE For Speed include veteran Bill Sommerville, Dana Duncan, Scotia Speedworld Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman competitor Brently Pirri, former champion Phil Barkhouse Jr., and multi-time Speedworld Sportsman and Shriner’s Classic Champion Jeff Dillman.
Looking for something to do Friday? Stop by the track for some practice and early arrival pit party. There’s no better way to kick off a big weekend in the Lobster Capital, am I right?
Updates on entries will be available on our Twitter feed each day as available and as time permits. If you’re not following us, it might be a good idea to do so!
Friday – Oct 4th