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#TCMBestof2016 – Gas and Go; A Quick Snapshot of 2016

There was a lot that happened in 2016 and while it is hard to capture every moment that happened over the last 365 days, we have some of those wrapped up here for you.

We’ll take a look at a few of the events that shaped 2016 in our edition of “Gas and Go.” Think of it as quick pit stops, or snapshots, of 2016. We present these to you in no particular order.

Enjoy!

Feature Photo by McCarthy Photographic

– It was stormy in Prince Edward Island in the Summer of ’16 as Kenny Snow returned to the seat of a Street Stock and drove it to a championship at Oyster Bed Speedway. The Snowman returned to full time competition after his son Brandon was involved in an off-track accident in April.

– The Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman division at Speedway 660 saw a battle up front between Drew Greenlaw and Ryan Messer, two former Bandolero track champions who put on a show for the championship. If you add their ages together, you still don’t the age of Richard Atkinson or George Jamieson.

– Daryl Mahar, Sarah McKay and Nicholas Naugle all suffer hand or wrist related injuries during the season, sidelining them from a number of Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour races.

– Russell Smith Jr. substitutes for Daryl Mahar, drives to two top five finishes on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour at Scotia Speedworld including his first podium finish the week after Daryl’s injury at Riverside Speedway.

– Rob Raynes holds off Courtney O’Blenis and her hot hand to win second consecutive DMR Auto Sales and Service Street Stock championship.

– The “Dave vs. Stevie” battle at Scotia Speedworld in the Toursec Thunder division lived up to all expectations and then some. It does not get any closer than a tie for the championship in the final night of racing after 13 weeks. Congratulation Stevie Lively!

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Photo by McCarthy Photographic

– Donald Chisholm dominated the IWK 250 presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body and finally sealed the deal for his first 250 win. Chisholm now has a NASCAR Pinty’s Series victory, a Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour championship and a 250 victory all within a two year span from August 2014 to July 2016.

– Imports made their debut in the Sharp Shooters division on Speedweekend at Speedway 660 with Mike Weagle driving his Honda to victory lane in the event.

– Speedway Miramichi once again proved they are the King of Demolitions in Atlantic Canada with well over 30 cars showing up for the final Halloween Spooktacular.

– Emily Meehan missed a few races due to her role with Acadia University Women’s Rugby team, but her car was at every race. While she was out of town, the likes of Cole Butcher, “the Legend” Cy Harvey and Megan Parrott all filled the seat of the #75 Legend car. Talk about an All Star team!

– Greg Proude became the first Islander in the history of the Maritime Pro Stock Tour (2001 to present) to win a series race at Speedway 660, winning the Cummins 100 in July. The race was delayed to Sunday due to rain on Saturday.

– Petty International Raceway strapped Hoosier 1070 tires on their Sportsman cars in October for the Mike Stevens Memorial “Limited Late Model” 75. Some drivers, such as champion Luc Bourgeois and Laurie Cormier, struggled to get a handle of the cars while Kenny MacKenzie Jr found his way to victory lane for the first time in a Late Model. He was joined on the podium by Brady Creamer and his father, Ken Sr. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, this kid is the real deal!

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– Dylan Dowe and Nathan Langille, Darrell Ford and Mark LeClair, Darren Bezanson and Tony Leonard all found themselves involved in extra curricular activities throughout the year. Hey Joe, do you have a bell on that thing?!

– Olivia Thorne, Jacob Brewer, Tabitha Little, Tyler Hallahan, Victoria Whincup, Alan Whincup, BJ McNeill, Chris Kenneally and Colton Noble were among those that joined the roll over club in 2016, Dan Smith re-established his top ranking position within the club in August during Atlantic Cat 250 weekend.

– John Rankin and Brad Silliker Motorsports win wild B Feature at IWK 250 to lock themselves into the big show.

– Scotia Speedworld introduced the Beginner Bandit division for their Bandolero class, which made Tyler Hutchinson, Morgan Mosher, Tanner MacLean and Malcolm Jollimore winners at the track. Hutchinson would wind up the inaugural champion of the class.

– Chris Hughes returned to the Late Model division full time at Oyster Bed Speedway in 2016 – and ended off the year with a championship at his home track.

– Justin Ryan drives to a second place finish to Josh Collins in the Wounded Warriors Memorial Race, fighting a sideways car in the final five laps to the finish.

– Valley Raceway continues to gain fans for the unique racing experience. From racing on the dirt, to daredevil stunts with Guy Meister to Will Macintosh’s made to order creations at the canteen, it is something you must experience in 2017.

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Photo by McCarthy Photographic

– Remember the night at Scotia Speedworld when Travis Roma drove to the win in a Sportsman feature with a broken left front upper?! Yeah, that was a pretty popular win!

– Racin’ Remi Gaudet’s win streak at the Atlantic Championships for Sportsman was halted at three by Jacob Logan. JR Lawson extended his Atlantic Championships for Mini Stock win streak to three with his win this year.

– Sara Thorne wins Islander RV Bandolero championship at Eastbound Park – Ross Thorne was brought to tears during victory lane interview.

– Jeff MacInnis holds the record for the amount of cars owned, sold, switched, etc. on the season. He’s missing a race track on his resume though – hey, there is one for sale in Sydney!

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Photo by McCarthy Photographic

– Harry Breimer Jr. returned to Legend racing near the middle part of the season. Among his new sponsors upon his return include Coldstream Clear Distillery – which is now a favorite of TCM’s Tim Terry. Apple Pie never tasted so good.

– Noah Healey is a crowd pleaser – the young upstart Bandolero driver broke it down for the fans at Eastbound Park more than once in 2016.

– Dylan Blenkhorn won his first races at Riverside International Speedway and Oyster Bed Speedway in a Pro Stock. He won the first of three Tour races of the year at Petty International Raceway, though the last one at the track in August wasn’t an outcome to remember.

– John O’Shea and Wade Wilson are still among the Twitterless. We are (almost) in 2017 guys! #NewYearGoals

– From asphalt back to dirt, JP Arsenault won the Four Cylinder Fun Race Feature at Valley Raceway in October. On the asphalt he is the last Scotia Speedworld Truck champion not named Dan Smith.

– Once his brake problems were fixed, it was hard to stop Craig Slaunwhite! Slaunwhite was on the podium during the IWK 250 and the Atlantic Cat 250. He drove to victory for the second straight year in the River Glade International.

– “The Ironman” Drew MacEachern raised over $1,800 for charities fighting Autism by selling puzzle piece stickers for $5 a piece that were placed on his Mini Stock race car.

– Shannon Squires made his Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour debut at Scotia Speedworld in the Dartmouth Dodge 200, becoming the only Newfoundlander to make a start on the series on the year.

– “The Port City Princess” Destiny Enkel moved from the #BackofthePackCrew to #RiverviewFordVictoryLane after winning her first Street Stock feature at Speedway 660.

– Not to be outdone, the “Queen of the Tailgate” at Scotia Speedworld Megan Parrott would register her first feature win two weeks after Enkel’s 660 triumph.

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Photo by McCarthy Photographic

– Tom Betts lapped the entire field en route to the win in the season finale at Speedway Miramichi for the Atlantic Modified Tour. Justin Beers won the championship in the series.

– Speedweekend 2016 lived up to all the hype. The Pro Stock showcase presented by McLaughlin Roof Trusses was one to remember, especially for Joey Doiron, who won his first big 250.

– Scotia Speedworld signed a three year deal with CARSTAR to present the Weekly Racing Series. The CARSTAR Weekly Racing Series celebrates a 30th season in 2017.

– If the Ramsay’s Honda 100 on October 23rd ends up being the last race we see in Sydney for a while, the fans were treated to a great show with a single caution, a new champion in Kody Quinn having to come from nearly the back to the front and Josh Benac digging deep late to take the checkered flag.

– Andrew Lively, Merle Corbin and Chris Hatcher became winners where “the BEST Four Cylinder Drivers in Atlantic Canada” race every Friday night.

– The Legend division in Atlantic Canada provided some of the most exciting races of the year. Cole Butcher edging Nicholas Naugle in a spark show at Scotia Speedworld, Jarrett Butcher edging Jeff Cruickshank in an incredible show at the season finale in Enfield and Alex Pacheco making a last lap, last corner move on Braden Langille to win the Farrell’s Excavating 50 at Riverside Speedway are just three examples of photo finishes the division provided in 2016 – between six different drivers in total!

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Photo by Mike Franics/Racin Photos

– Jonathan Gahan made his debut in the Pro Stock division at Speedway 660 in his late brother Jordan’s car. Gahan made limited starts and his eyeing more track time in 2017. He even got to race side-by-side with his father Paul Gahan.

– Kevin Norman’s #65 Hobby Stock at Eastbound Park may have provided the most entertainment all season of any driver. Unfortunately, it did not result in a checkered flag.

– Shawn Waterfield finally climbed to the top and won the NAPA Sportsman Series. He, along with Shawn Cole and a number of others, also dabbled in race promotion to put on a mid-season showcase at Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway. Thanks for all you do for racing in Cape Breton!

– Dan Smith won his fifth straight Coors Light Truck title at Scotia Speedworld in 2016.

– We sponsored a Bandolero race at Speedway 660 this past September and yes, it was a blast! Congratulations again to Sam Rogers and thank you to all the teams who made it a success. We’re already planning for 2017, stay tuned!

– The Mini Stock division returned to the high banks of Riverside International Speedway for the first time in a decade. Matt Watson drove his CRX to victory. The CRX is now in the hands of Sarah Jay, who won a number of races in her Dodge Neon in the Oyster Bed Speedway Four Fun class in 2016.

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Photo by McCarthy Photographic

– Darren Bezanson married Christina Hinch on the front straight at Scotia Speedworld in August prior to the night’s card of racing.

– Cayden Lapcevich’s record breaking NASCAR Pinty’s Series season included a win at Riverside International Speedway during the Bumper to Bumper 300.

– Patrick Horne is one of the most dedicated drivers in the region – hauling nearly every week from the Halifax area to Oyster Bed Speedway with late season trips to Speedway Miramichi and Petty Raceway with his Ford Street Stock.

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– Rollie MacDonald; fourth at Riverside in the Lucas Oil 150. Need we say more?!

– Frank Fraser returned to the seat too – and finished on the podium at the River Glade International! We’re going to look past that three wide move into Turn Three in the opening laps of the race though.

– Among the first time winners in the region included Danny Chisholm and Owen Mahar, two popular wins for fan favorites in the Scotia Speedworld Bandolero Bandit class.

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Photo by McCarthy Photographic

– Colby Smith appeared in firm control of the Affordable Fuels 100 at Scotia Speedworld before his car faded late in the going, giving Russell Smith Jr a fourth straight win in the event. The final and only lead change took place with five laps remaining.

– While Cole Butcher had an incredible year – winning the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour title at 20 years old, taking home three wins including the Atlantic Cat 250, setting fast time twice in practice at 5 Flags Speedway en route to sixth place at the Snowball Derby – his brother Jarrett Butcher took home a championship at Scotia Speedworld in the Strictly Hydraulics Legends division in 2016 and is coming full-time Pro Stock Tour racing in 2017!

– The Maritime League of Legends had a series sponsor in 2016 in Upper Clements Parks, returned to Speedway 660 for the first time in over a decade and crowned a Newfoundland champion in Waylon Farrell. At their championship banquet, Ann Butcher announced she, along with husband Darrin, would be stepping down as President and Vice President of the Board of Directors for the series. No meeting has been called at this time to replace them.

– Speaking of meetings, Drew MacEachern and Mark Williams have been elected President and Vice-President, respectively, of the Maritime Mini Stock Tour, which is on target to hit the track in 2017.

– Cape Breton honored Poogie Hache at their big mid-season event in August with a 52 lap Street Stock feature in the late driver’s honor. A number of racers even pitched in to restore Poogie’s Street Stock to use as a pace car for the event.

– Brent Roy told TCM that we could stay after he won his first career Pro Stock feature at Speedway 660 in just his sixth start in the car.

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