Connect with us

Maritime Racing

OBS Surf & Turf: Street Stock Showdown Part II

On the eve of the Maritime Street Stock Showdown at Oyster Bed Speedway, I thought it might be fun to take a closer look at some of the local competitors. I have committed myself to talking about some of the top Island contenders in the event. This is with all due respect to all the teams out there, as anyone can win this race and I know there is more than five teams from P.E.I. capable of winning this race.

My inspiration for this comes from someone I look up to — harness racing announcer Vance Cameron. In his weekly column for the Journal Pioneer newspaper in Summerside Vance will always preview the big yearly race at Red Shores Summerside — the Governors Plate – giving his opinion on who he feels are the contenders and the pretenders. While I won’t break down any “pretenders” I will pick who I think are SOME of the Island’s biggest contenders.

The pre-registration list has Island drivers out-numbered by mainland drivers, as organizers have made this event very accessible by covering a lot of expenses for travel through local sponsorship, which has resulted in the high number of cars entered. If I had to place money on any off- Island driver it would be the No. 17 of Mike MacLeod. He carries more than two decades of racing experience, not to mention some previous success at Oyster Bed Speedway. Both factors make MacLeod one of the best chances for a mainland win.

In order to win this race, a lot of factors will have to come together for the team. Stock-car racing, with large field, may be one of the hardest sports to handicap. Over the span of130 laps a lot can happen. So many things can go wrong, compared to what can go right to win. I looked at key factors in determining the leading contenders. First off, if they have already won championships and “big races,” along with driving habits and how they are performing right now.

The first on my list of drivers to watch is the No. 35 of Colton Ford. The 2015 Street Stock Division Champion has finished in the Top 5 in points four out of the last five years in the Street Stock Division. He already has a David Lambe Memorial win from 2015, Super Series Success, and already has a feature win early this season. Need I say more? In a gambler’s race for cash I wonder, though, if the former Most Sportsmanlike Driver will be as gentlemanly as he has been in the past.

The next driver on my list is two-time Street Stock Division Champion Nick Chaisson. After coming off back-to-back championship wins in 2011-2012, the veteran driver followed it up with a fifth and a second in the years to follow. After finishing outside the Top 5 in points for the past two seasons, it appears that the No. 27 team has a strong car early with two top-three finishes in the pair of features run this season. As fellow driver Jeff MacInnis stated, the Black and Yellow can be pretty intimidating when you see it coming up behind you.

The next driver on my list is another OBS veteran the No. 00 Jamie Stewart. After finishing second in the division last season, Stewart moved up to the Late Model Division this year. It looks as though Jamie is looking to put an exclamation point on his Street Stock career. This 100-lap race is well suited for his driving style, which is very smooth and patient and should leave plenty for the final 30 laps. Despite not turning a Stock Stock Division lap over the past eight months, Stewart will be ready.

Continuing on my list, I go back to the youth movement with the No. 80 of Amanda Wheatley. It is hard not to keep the current division leader off the list after racking up five top-three finishes in her first six races, including a pair of wins. Much like Stewart, Wheatley exhibits the kind of patience that can save a car, which also can give her a shot at the end. After a fifth place finish last season, Wheatley is among a number of Street Stock drivers who are on the verge of winning some big races. Is Saturday night finally the night for the No. 80?

The final car on my list is the No. 7 of Brandon Snow. After having a solid 2015 campaign in Street Stock Division, the young driver would be forced to sit out the 2016 race season. The team didn’t have to go far to find a relief driver, as Brandon’s dad, Kenny, jumped behind the wheel and drove the car to a Street Stock Championship. For Brandon in only his second weekend back he would hit the winners’ circle scoring an opening day heat win. Not stopping there he would go on to grab a victory in the day’s feature as well. We all know what this team is capable of after last season, and Brandon has proved to be a very talented driver. Much like the No. 80 I believe Snow is on the verge of winning some really big races.

There is my list.

And one more time to reiterate — I know there are many more teams out there. This is all meant to bring discussion and focus to the race, the track, and our teams. Please feel free to tell us your Top 5 when you share this on Facebook. Good luck to all teams this weekend. Time trials begin at 5 p.m. Saturday with the grandstands open at 2, and the Kids Fan Zone at 3. A rain date of Sunday is schedule, if needed.

Written By: OBS Track announcer Jeremy MacDonald

More in Maritime Racing