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TCM Three Stars + Weekend Agenda – June 23rd, 2016

While this past weekend produced lots of big name, and in some cases repeat, winners like O’Blenis, Clark, Snow, MacCallum, Rogers and Harris, among others, this week’s edition of the TCM Three Stars takes a look at three drivers who turned heads that might have been lost in the busy fifth weekend of the season. Two of these drivers make impressive moves late in their respective features to capture a checkered flag while one make a huge statement in a major touring series.

It’s a “big moves” edition of the TCM Three Stars selection, and here they are!

THIRD STAR

Sara Thorne of Chance Cove, NL

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Sara Thorne got up on the wheel on Sunday afternoon at Eastbound Park and made a daring move to take away her first point paying victory of the 2016 season.

Thorne had battled back and fourth with Owen Groves for numerous laps leading up to the Lap 12 move that saw Thorne take the lead for the final time in the race. As Groves and Thorne approached lapped traffic, Thorne drove deep into the inside of Turn Three in the #06 car. As Groves took the high line to drive around the lapped cars, Thorne made it stick on the low side of the traffic and Groves to come out the other end of the three wide move with the top spot. While Groves put pressure on Thorne at the end of the race, it was not enough for Thorne to crack as the #06 car drove to the checkered flag first.

It has been a while since we’ve seen a Bandolero driver make a move quite as daring as Thorne did and made it stick. At these speeds, the kids have to make split second decisions, putting fear at bay and hoping the reward is there for them on the other side. Along with a checkered flag, the move has earned Thorne an appearance on the TCM Three Stars list.

SECOND STAR

Russell Smith Jr. of Lakeside, NS

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As much as the discussion after the Nova Truck Centres Make a Wish 150 at Scotia Speedworld was about Cassius Clark driving from the rear of the field back to the front, it was also about a driver making the most out of an opportunity.

Russell Smith Jr., one of the most accomplished Sportsman division drivers in Atlantic Canada in the last decade, had the door open to drive in the third round of the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour and wowed the crowd to a third place finish.

The chance came along when Daryl Mahar dislocated his thumb during the second round of the series at Riverside International Speedway. With the thumb still in a cast on Saturday, Mahar tabbed Smith to run his car in the next round at Scotia Speedworld. Smith hung out just outside the top five for most of the race before turning up the heat in the late stages of the event. Smith drove by championship contenders Greg Proude and Craig Slaunwhite to put himself into a podium spot but ran out of time as he tried to run down Shawn Turple and Clark at the front of the field.

For Smith, it was his first top ten finish with the series in only a handful of starts. Not bad considering he had limited seat time in the car prior to the race and is only planning on running a limited amount of Sportsman races as his girlfriend Chrystal is expecting the couple’s first child together. Smith may have to make room on his schedule though as this will not be the last time you see him in a DM Motorsports car in 2016.

For his run in the Nova Truck Centres Make a Wish 150, Russell Smith Jr has earned his way onto the TCM Three Stars selection this week.

FIRST STAR

Stevie Lively of Shubenacadie, NS

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Two features last Friday night at Scotia Speedworld presented Stevie Lively with two close finishes – one where he finished on top and one where he ran out of time and had to settle for second.

Lively and Dave Matthews had been the story coming into the Toursec Thunder season. Matthews, a multi-time champion and the reigning TCM Power Performer of the Year, had led the most laps in the first Thunder feature of the afternoon as a makeup for the May 22nd feature that was lost. Lively kept right with Matthews though, shadowing his back bumper and waiting for a mistake out of the #99. Lively tried the outside line on a couple of occasions but it appeared he could not get enough grip off the corner to make the move stick.

Until the last two laps.

Knowing he would have to use the high side of the race track to win the race, Lively set out to the outside in one last ditch effort to get by Matthews. Lively got to the outside on the white flag lap and when they came back around, the yellow of Lively’s front bumper barely edged out Matthews to take the checkered flag in a photo finish.

Later on that evening, Lively had to come from the rear of the field in a caution free affair before getting to the back bumper of the leader. Andrew Lively would ultimately go on to win his first main feature of his career at Scotia Speedworld but even admitted in victory lane he was nervous to see the colors of Stevie in his back bumper, saying that he was the last driver he wanted to have to hold off for the win.

The night as a whole equates to Stevie Lively taking two trophies out of Scotia Speedworld and extending his point lead. It also gives him his first TCM Three Stars appearance of the season at the top of the selections for this week.

WEEKEND AGENDA

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.

NOVA SCOTIA

Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway in Sydney: Race #2 on Saturday, June 25th @ 2pm; NAPA Sportsman Series/CB Trailer Sales Sportsman, Ramsay’s Honda Mini Stock, Saf-way Auto Parts Street Stocks

Lake Doucette Motor Speedway in Salmon River (outside of Digby): OFF – Next Event, Saturday, July 3rd

Riverside International Speedway in James River: OFF – Next Event on Friday, July 15th

Scotia Speedworld in Enfield: Kiddie Night on Friday, June 24th at 7pm; Hydraulics Plus Bandolero, Affordable Fuels Sportsman, Toursec Thunder, Strictly Hydraulics Legends, Coors Light Trucks | TRACK RELEASE

Valley Raceway in Kingston: OFF – Next Event on Saturday, July 3rd

NEW BRUNSWICK

Petty International Raceway in River Glade: Petty 100 on Saturday, June 25th @ 6pm – Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour, Leisure Days RV Bandoleors, Mister Transmission Mini Stocks, Extreme Window and Entrance Systems Street Stocks | TRACK RELEASE | SERIES RELEASE

Shediac CENTRE For Speed in Grand-Barachois: OFF – Next Event on Saturday, August 6th

Speedway 660 in Geary: Weekly Point Racing on Saturday, June 25th @ 6:30pm; Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman, Re/Max Group Four Realty Pro Stock, DMR Auto Street Stocks, Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters | TRACK RELEASE

Speedway Miramichi in Miramichi: OFF – Next Event on Saturday, July 16th

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Oyster Bed Speedway in Oyster Bed Bridge: Back to the ’70s Night on Saturday, June 25th @ 6pm; All Classes (Late Model, Street Stock, Mini Four Fun, Mini Outlaw) + Kids Rides at 5:30pm

NEWFOUNDLAND

Eastbound Park in Avondale: NASCAR Whelen All American Series Race #4/INEX Asphalt National Qualifiers on Sunday, June 26th at 2pm NT; NAPA Auto Parts Sportsman, Atlantic Dodge Dealers Hobby Stock, Hanlon Realty Legends, Islander RV Bandoleros | POINT STANDINGS HERE

Thunder Valley Speedway in Bishop’s Falls: OFF – Next Race on Sunday, July 3rd

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TCM Coverage Schedule – Weekend Six of 2016

Friday, June 24th – Kiddie Night – Scotia Speedworld – 7pm AT (TCM Race #14 of 2016)

Saturday, June 25th – Parts for Trucks Maritime Pro Stock Tour Petty 100 – Petty International Raceway (NB) – 6pm AT (TCM Race #15 of 2016)

Sunday, June 26th – Race #4/INEX Qualifiers – Eastbound Park – 2pm NT (TCM Race #16 of 2016)

**Schedule Subject to Change Without Notice

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