By The Numbers – 2015 Season
The 2015 season will go down as a memorable one in Atlantic Canada.
While we will look at major events and stories that transpired throughout the 2015 calendar year in our year end wrap up on TimsCorner.ca, we bring you our first year in review segment, our annual By the Numbers feature. We will take a peek at some of the events throughout the season by numerical significance. Some will probably come to mind quickly, some you might have to read into as to where the number came from.
Let’s get into it, shall we? The 2015 season in Atlantic Canada, By the Numbers.
All photos by McCcarthy Photographic unless otherwise indicated
0 – If you add the win total of the top three in the Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters division, Kyle Boudreau, Malcolm Suley and Neil Miousse, you get a whopping total of zero wins throughout the 2015 season. In a season that saw championship contenders muddled in post race disqualifications and inconsistent feature finishes, Boudreau took home the title after the 10 race season with a season high finish of third, scored twice in the 2015 season. Suley, who was five points behind Boudreau for the championship, had one second and one third place feature finish while Miousse, who was 20 points out of the championship spot, had two second and one third place feature finish on the 2015 point season.
2 – JR Lawson and “Mister Maritime Hustle” Matt Crocker picked up where they left off in 2014 by winning their second consecutive Atlantic Championships in their respective four cylinder classes. Lawson, who also won the 2015 Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway and Speedway Miramichi track championships, won the Mini Stock feature for the second consecutive years after coming from the back of the pack early in the feature. Crocker put his #00 to the top once again for the second consecutive season, which capped a year that included a trio of feature wins at Speedway 660.
Not to be outdone though..
3 – “Racin'” Remi Gaudet and his #22 M&M Seafoods Chevrolet team came out for one Sportsman race in 2015 and they made good on it by winning their THIRD CONSECUTIVE Atlantic Championships for Sportsman at Shediac Centre for Speed on October 3rd. The race featured a 24 car field and Gaudet crossed the line first in the 125-lap main event over Josh Collins and a returning Cory Collins.
4 – Dan Smith of Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia scored his fourth consecutive track championship at Scotia Speedworld this season when he took home the Coors Light Truck championship. Smith has had a stranglehold on the title since he won his first in 2012 and while the 2012 and 2013 titles were won by closer margins, Smith was able to cruise to a more comfortable 42 point advantage over sophomore Matt Vaughan in 2015. No other driver has won four consecutive championships in the same division at Scotia Speedworld and Smith is showing no signs of slowing down as his 2016 season will kick off “the drive for five.”
5 – Pat Sharpe won his fifth Enduro championship this season at Speedway 660. Sharpe, who was the 2014 champion, won the championship with a second place finish and a win in the two race series.
5.25 – The average finish for Donald Chisholm en route to his first Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour championship. Another 5, Chisholm becomes the fifth driver from Nova Scotia to win the title, joining John Flemming, Wayne Smith, Shawn Turple and Rollie MacDonald as Maritime Pro Stock Tour champs from Canada’s Ocean Playground. Shawn Tucker is the only non-Nova Scotian driver to win the title in the 15 year history of the series.
7 – The amount of track championships owned by Butcher Racing, brothers Cole and Jarrett, in the past six seasons at Scotia Speedworld. Older brother Cole won his first championship in the Hydraulics Plus Bandolero class in 2010 and followed it up with three consecutive Strictly Hydraulics Legends track championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Jarrett took the Bandolero championship in two consecutive years in 2011 and 2012 (the only Speedworld Bandolero champion to do so) and picked up where his brother left off by winning the 2015 Legends championship.
In comparison over the last six years, the mark is impressive for the Butcher brothers. The only siblings that come close in that era are the Smith Brothers, whom have won five championships since 2010. All three brothers (Russell in 2010, Jorden in 2011 and 2012 and Deven in 2015) have won Chickenburger Lightning championships with Russell bringing home the Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman crown in 2015. Russell also won a Lightning title in 2006.
7 – The Irving Blending & Packaging 250 at Speedway 660 featured drivers from seven different US states or Canadian provinces – including Maine, New Hampshire, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and New Brunswick. The podium featured two Maine drivers (Cassius Clark, Johnny Clark) and one Nova Scotian (Craig Slaunwhite), who now have five 250 titles at Speedway 660 to their credit.
8 – When the Maple Leaf Monster Jam Tour rolled into Scotia Speedworld this season, they brought the biggest field of Monster Trucks seen in Atlantic Canada in over a decade. Eight Monster Jam stars rocked the Speedworld, including Grave Digger® driven by Randy Brown, Northern Nightmare℠ driven by Cam McQueen, Scooby-Doo™ driven Brianna Mahon, Monster Energy driven by Damon Bradshaw, Monster Mutt® Dalmatian driven by Cynthia Gauthier, Captain’s Curse® driven by Alex Blackwell, Team Hot Wheels® Firestorm® driven by Scott Buetow and Mohawk Warrior℠ driven by George Balhan.
12 – The Speedway 660 DMR Auto Sales and Service Street Stock season was comprised of 12 races, 11 point races along with the 50-lap affair on Speedweekend, and all of those races featured eventual champion Rob Raynes on the podium when the checkered flag flew. Raynes had plenty of competition all season long for the title that has eluded him over previous seasons, but the likes of Geoff Tugwell, Ryan Raynes, Roger Slocum and rookie Courtney O’Blenis could not stop the #41 of nabbing the season long crown.
12 – The number of race tracks (oval, dirt, road) that hosted stock car racing in Atlantic Canada in 2015, including Nova Scotia’s Lake Doucette Motor Speedway (Salmon River), Valley Raceway (Kingston), Scotia Speedworld (Enfield), Atlantic Motorsports Park (North Salem), Riverside Speedway (James River), Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway (Sydney), New Brunswick’s Petty Raceway (River Glade), Centre For Speed (Shediac), Speedway Miramichi (Miramichi), Speedway 660 (Geary), Prince Edward Island’s Oyster Bed Speedway (Oyster Bed Bridge) and Newfoundland’s Eastbound Park (Avondale). The number is down from 14 in 2014. Redneck Raceway in Norton, New Brunswick is reported as closed and no racing took place at Bishop Falls, Newfoundland oval Thunder Valley Speedway.
14 – A 14 month year never looked so better. McCarthy Photographic still has 2016 calendars available, which are 14 months full of beautiful bikini babes and Pro Stock cars. Click here to order yours now!
18 – While it wasn’t a familiar number in recent years for “The Legend,” Cy Harvey returned to victory lane at Scotia Speedworld in a #18 Coors Light Truck entry.
Harvey purchased the truck from Robbie Watts at the end of 2013 and ran the Lamborghini Green #10 truck in 2014. With one win, Harvey finished third in the standings.
He began racing 2015 in a Legend car but eased off his racing schedule when a shoulder issue aggravated the ageless fan favorite from Elmsdale, Nova Scotia. The team dug the truck out late in 2015 with Harry Ross White, Danny Harvey and Cy Harvey sharing the seat. The only driver to come away with a win though was Cy Harvey, winning on the final day of the season on September 26th.
24% – “The Camry Kid” Brent Roy took home 24% of the final round vote to win the 2015 TCM Most Popular Driver Award. Roy is the third New Brunswicker in a row to take the title, joining Sarah McKay of Quispamsis and the late Mike Stevens of Salisbury to win the prestigious banner. James Doucette of Miscouche, PE was the inaugural winner of the award.
27 – The number of female drivers who competed in stock car series (not counting Powder Puff/Women on Wheels events) in 2015 in Atlantic Canada, up by four from 2014 and six from our 2013 count.
While some names did not compete for various reasons and are expected to return in 2016, two dozen made laps in stock car series throughout the region. New Brunswick led the Atlantic provinces once again, with 11 calling the province home. The Speedway 660 Pro Stock division saw Alexandra O’Blenis and Alicia Mowat run full time every Saturday night in the class, while O’Blenis also took part in the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman division. Alexandra’s younger sister and Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Courtney O’Blenis led a group of female drivers in the DMR Auto Sales and Service Street Stocks with Lee Goodine, “The Port City Princess” Destiny Enkel and Courtney Barton making laps in the competitive class. Barton also ran a half season in the Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters, a division in which Allie Hall topped all other female competitors.
Photo by Michelle Roy/Speedway 660
Hall and Barton were joined by Miramichi’s Samantha Flieger and Petty International Raceway’s Patricia Taylor and Rhonda Chambers as Mini Stock racers hailing from New Brunswick. In fact, the Mini Stock/Four Cylinder class was where most female drivers called home. Prince Edward Island’s Sarah Jay, Lisa Stewart, Kelsey MacIssac and Isabelle Getson and Nova Scotia’s Victoria Whincup, Chantel Ackles, Rhonda Kelloway, Brittany Townsend, Sandy Wood and Ashley Vassallo make up over half of the 24 drivers on this list.
Brooke Dowe (NS), and the Thorne sisters that race out of Eastbound Park (NL), Sarah and Olivia, had the Bandolero count at three female drivers in 2015. Sarah Thorne won four of the ten Bandolero features at Eastbound Park in 2015 en route to a runner-up finish in the point standings.
Amanda Wheatley moved from the Eastern Super Mini Cup Series to compete at her home track of Oyster Bed Speedway in the Street Stock class. Megan Parrott made the move in 2015 from the Bandolero class to the Coors Light Truck division at Scotia Speedworld, where she won the Rookie of the Year Award in the class.
Sarah McKay and “Miss Rawdon Rocket” Emily Meehan remain the only two female drivers who compete full-time in touring divisions in Atlantic Canada. McKay runs full-time on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour while Meehan is the only female competing on the Atlantic Tiltload Maritime League of Legends Tour.
26 – In the season finale for the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour, the lead changed hands 26 times during the 200-lap duration of the Dartmouth Dodge 200 at Scotia Speedworld. The championship race for the series saw youngsters Cole Butcher and Dylan Blenkhorn battle tooth and nail for the lead in the race, with Blenkhorn sliding sideways across the finish line to take the win. As they battled for the win, Donald Chisholm was the driver who took home the championship after going from the front, to the back and back to the front again for a top five finish.
32 – It was a pretty big year for drivers with the #32 on their door in Atlantic Canada.
Ashton Tucker stole the show in most Bandolero circles with the #32 on the sides of his two cars. Tucker, of Lyttleton, NB, won seven races himself between Petty Raceway, Speedway 660 and the CENTRE For Speed, while Adam Meehan drove a Tucker #32 car to victory in a substitute effort at Petty International Raceway. Tucker won track championships at Petty International Raceway and Speedway 660, was 13th in INEX Outlaw Bandolero points (second in Canada) and won the TCM Breakout Performer of the Year Award.
Sarah McKay began her season by racing her #32 Pro Late Model entry at the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway. After a night one crash, McKay rebounded nicely on the quick, high banked 1/2-mile oval for two top ten finishes and a ninth place point finish for the week in a competitive Pro Late Model field in her first Speedweeks appearance. At home, McKay finished 11th in the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour while gaining more valuable seat time. Here’s a number for you – McKay completed 1,696 laps on the series, which was third for laps completed on the series. McKay was ninth in the Irving Blending & Packaging 250 and led dozens of laps early in the Mike Stevens Memorial 150 at Petty Raceway before a tangle with a lapped car took her out of contention.
“Super Stevie” Lively continued his winning ways in the Chickenburger Thunder division at Scotia Speedworld. The former champion of the division won three more features in 2015 and once again lit it up at the end of the season by finishing off the season with two straight wins. In total, Lively had five podium finishes in 2015 en route to a sixth place point finish in the most competitive Four Cylinder division in Atlantic Canada.
Also, if you are keeping score, since Lively switched from the #1 to #32 after his championship season in 2010, he has won a total of 18 features in the #32 car (four in 2011, five in 2012, three in each 2013, 2014 and 2015). Considering the competition and talent in that field every Friday night at Scotia Speedworld, that is impressive.
35 – Colton Ford led a podium full of “young guns” at Oyster Bed Speedway en route to the win in the 5th Annual David Lambe Memorial Street Stock race. Ford’s #35 Oyster Bed Rite Stop ride crossed the line first in the late August running of the event over Brandon Snow and Alex Sheehan. Ford joined a stout short list of drivers to have won the event, including former IWK 250 winner Darren MacKinnon, Stephen Gass, Geoff Boyle and Mark MacLean.
Ford also ended up on top in the season long championship chase, topping Sheehan and MacLean for the title in the competitive division.
38 – September 4th was a huge night for West Chezzetcook, Nova Scotia’s Travis Roma.
Roma sat on the pole for the Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman Series feature that evening after winning his heat race and drove his #38 Chevrolet to victory, leading all 38 laps in a caution free affair for his first feature win at Scotia Speedworld. Roma is a third year driver at the Speedworld competing in the Sportsman class. The features in the class are 38 laps in length in memory of his father Terry Roma and uncle Lockie Roma, who both passed away in 2012. Together, the duo won multiple championships and dozen of races at Scotia Speedworld in both the Street Stock and Sportsman division.
Travis went on to finish the season fourth in the standings and was voted by his peers as the Most Sportsmanlike Driver in the class. His season also earned him a nomination for the TCM Breakout Performer of the Year in 2015.
41 – The car count at the annual Halloween Spooktacular for Demolition cars at Speedway Miramichi on October 17th, the highest car count at any oval track for any oval event in 2015. The event, which was run under falling rain and snow, was won by “The Rexton Rocket” Brady Creamer.
48 – The amount of race cards covered by Tim’s Corner Motorsports in 2015, 26 of those took place in Nova Scotia, 17 in New Brunswick, three in Newfoundland and two in Prince Edward Island. This is the first season all four Atlantic provinces are represented in the year end event count for TCM.
50% – Darren MacKinnon and his #18 team led the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour in podium finishes in 2015, ending up on the podium in 50% of the 12 races on the schedule. He also finished on the podium at four of the five tracks the series visited, missing out on a top three finish at Riverside International Speedway. His best finish at Riverside was fifth in 2015.
61 – One of the biggest races of the year in the province of Newfoundland was the August 29th running of the Edward Collins Contracting 125 at Eastbound Park. From the wonderful weather to the pre-race concert from The Navigators and the great short track racing, it was an event to remember. The headlining Islander RV Sportsman feature was a tough one for most as the drivers failed to find a rhythm and was called after 68 laps following many cautions, the length of the card and the lights going out just past the Lap 50 mark. The winner was reigning division champion, 61 year old Ches Cole in the #61 car. Shane Coffen and Justin Ryan completed the podium. Joining Cole as feature winners were eventual 2015 track champions Waylon Farrell (Hanlon Realty Legends), Robert Petten (Atlantic Dodge Dealers Hobby Stock) and Owen Groves (Bandolero).
85 – The car number of Ken Mackenzie Sr., who hung up the helmet at the end of the 2015 season. Mackenzie, a multi-time champion in New Brunswick, fulfilled a “bucket list item” in the past two seasons by running seven races with the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour between Petty International Raceway and Speedway 660. Mackenzie’s son, Kenny Jr., will be behind the wheel of a Sportsman car once again in 2016.
87 – Like the number is to hockey and Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia’s Sidney Crosby, Placentia, Newfoundland’s Josh Collins made waves in 2015 by making his NASCAR Touring Series debut in the #87 car for Canada’s Best Racing Team. Shedding his familiar #56 for the team’s number, Collins not only became the first Newfoundlander to take part in any of NASCAR Touring divisions, he finished in the top ten in his first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series start at Riverside International Speedway. He followed it up a month later with a 12th place finish at Kawartha Speedway in the series finale.
144 – Scott Steckly of Milverton, Ontario led 144 laps en route to his 19th career NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 victory when he crossed the line at Riverside International Speedway first on August 15th. Steckly took the lead for the final time on Lap 157 and held on until the end to take the Wounded Warriors Canada 300, lapping every car except for himself and second place finisher, rookie Marc-Antonie Camirand. Steckly would go on to win the series championship for the fourth time.
160 – The amount of laps completed in the 2015 edition of the Atlantic Cat 250. A light mist plagued most of the race at Scotia Speedworld, like was the case in the 2012 running of the event. While the 2012 race made the distance, this year’s show was shortened to 160 laps after the mist turned heavy and saw heavier drops fall on the 3/10-mile oval. Cassius Clark picked up the win over Craig Slaunwhite and Donald Chisholm. For Clark, it was his third win in the race in the last six years after winning the Atlantic Cat 250 in 2012 and 2010.
170 – The amount of consecutive starts, from 2001 to present, for “the Ironman” of the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour Kent Vincent. Vincent, the 2015 IWK 250 winner, received the Ironman award at his home track of Oyster Bed Speedway in August. Vincent is the only driver to take part in every Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour event since series inception.
186 – The amount of features covered by Tim’s Corner Motorsports in 48 events in 2015. In those features, 98 different drivers went to victory lane. That is up from 174 features and 94 different feature winners in 2014. Of those 94 winners, Braden Langille won the most features we covered with eight victories.
242 – The amount of laps Cassius Clark led en route to the win in the Irving Blending & Packaging 250 at Speedway 660.
1,704 – The Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour contested a total of 1,704 laps over their 12 feature races in 2015. Series champion Donald Chisholm was the only driver to complete all laps, with Darren MacKinnon (1,702), Sarah McKay (1,696) and Kent Vincent (1,695) all being within 10 laps of running all the circuits on the 2015 season.
1,973 – The total of national points obtained in the 2015 season by Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia’s Braden Langille in the INEX Bandolero Outlaw standings. The total was not only enough to take the Canadian East title, but was enough for third in the world behind champion Ashton Higgins and David French. Langille had 15 100 point wins in the INEX system, including a clean sweep of INEX Winter Nationals in Orlando, Florida, out of 26 point races he took part in over the 2015 season.
2,192 – The amount of days the new entitlement sponsorship deal is between Pinty’s and NASCAR for NASCAR’s Canadian touring series. The deal is for six years, or 2,192 days when you include the fact that 2016 and 2020 are leap years.
$22,334.50 – The funds raised for various foundations and charities through functions put on throughout the season by Chase the Racecars Fundraising. A part of the fundraising, headed up by Mini Stock driver Patricia Taylor and 2015 Petty Raceway champion Mike Weagle, includes over $15,000 from the Baby Harlow benefit held in December. For complete information on the team, please visit their Facebook page.
$30,100 – Cassius Clark took home $30,100 when he won the Irving Blending & Packaging 250, a record payday for the event.
Stay tuned next week when we look back at the biggest stories of 2015, and Tim offers up his look back on the year that was on our annual New Years Eve sendoff.