A Dozen Canadians Ready for INEX Winter Nationals Beginning Monday
The 22nd edition of the INEX Winter Nationals is set to kick off Monday afternoon at Citrus County Speedway in Inverness, Florida. The event, in it’s third straight year at the 3/8-mile oval, has grown in popularity among Legend and Bandolero teams with this year’s race already exceeding pre-registration records.
While the winter weather rages on in Canada, twelve teams have decided to head south to take part in INEX Winter Nationals. The Canadian contingent is a mix of returning drivers and some who haven’t been at this event for a number of years.
Nine Legend car drivers from Canada have made the trek to Citrus County Speedway and will carry the Maple Leaf across three INEX divisions. Leading the charge is Nick Ledson, who returns to the event after competing in previous INEX Winter Nationals at Auburndale Speedway and Orlando Speedworld. The Bradford, Ontario driver is competing in the Pro division, a week long championship won by Jolicure, New Brunswick’s Cory Hall in 2018. With Hall turning wrenches across the state at New Smyrna Speedway for King Racing and fellow Legend car graduate Austin MacDonald, Ledson is hoping the title and bring it north for a second straight year.
A pair of Semi Pros from Atlantic Canada are looking to better their efforts from the 2018 INEX Winter Nationals. Michael Cormier (Grand-Barachois, NB) and Michael Neary (Portugal Cove, NL) have both returned with Cory Hall Racing and Scott Hall overseeing their cars. Six-time Maritime Late Model touring champion Wayne Smith is also a part of their crew for the week. Cormier is the 2018 Maritime League of Legends Tour Fleet Brake Atlantic Rookie of the Year while Michael Neary is the 2018 Eastbound Park Hanlon Realty Legend car champion.
One of the biggest car counts across the seven divisions at Citrus County Speedway is the Masters division. Like the overall car count, the biggest representation from Canada is in this class with six “old guys” from up North looking to grab at least one of the five checkered flags up for grabs. Former INEX Winter Nationals champion Kevin Foisy (Almonte, ON) and Canadian Legend Cars have adopted two east coast friends in Darren Sherwood (Cambridge-Narrows, NB) and Gary Dunning (Charlottetown, PE). Sherwood has raced in previous INEX Winter Nationals events but this is his debut at Citrus County Speedway. Newmarket, Ontario’s Craig Bruce and Shane Pollock have made the trek down to Inverness, Florida to compete in the February classic.
When it comes to the Bandolero division, four Scotia Speedworld based drivers are poised to take home the championship trophy. Sam Rogers (Lower Onslow, NS), winner of two of the five Outlaw features at INEX Winter Nationals in 2018 and reigning Petty International Raceway track champion, is competing in one of his last Bandolero events. Rogers is driving the No. 18 car from the Langille Racing shop in this event after their No. 12 car was sold shortly after the Maritime racing season.
Danny Chisholm (Canning, NS), who lost the Outlaw championship in a nailbiter on the final day of the 2018 event, has returned in a Jimmie Johnson-esque paint scheme on his Bandolero. Chisholm experienced wiring issues on the first practice day on Saturday prior to the team changing motors in their car.
The 2018 Scotia Speedworld Bandit track champion Owen Mahar (Hubley, NS) has moved to the Outlaw division for the 2019 season. Mahar is a former feature winner in the Bandit class at Citrus County Speedway, winning a Bandit feature in 2017. Mahar, who was the 2018 INEX state champion for Eastern Canada in the Bandit class, debuted new colors on his No. 66 at INEX Winter Heat in January. Both Chisholm and Mahar also compete with the CKRA Karting Club and run various major karting events throughout Canada.
Dylan Dowe (Bedford, NS) returns to INEX Winter Nationals after a one year hiatus from Citrus County Speedway. Dowe, son of new Sydney Speedway owner Greg Dowe, is running his Bandolero from home under the umbrella of Joe Ryan Osborne with help from Kody Quinn.
Eastern Canadian alumni of the INEX Winter Nationals include a number of familiar names including IWK 250 and Toromont Cat 250 champion Dylan Blenkhorn, two-time Atlantic Cat 250 titlist and Maritime Pro Stock Tour champion Cole Butcher, McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 at Speedway 660 champion Ryan Messer, 2017 INEX Asphalt Nationals Champion and current Maritime Pro Stock Tour competitor Nicholas Naugle, 2015 INEX Winter Nationals Bandolero Outlaw Champion Braden Langille, multi-time Bandolero track champion Cole Tanner, Maritime Motorsports Hall of Famer “The Legend” Cy Harvey and many more.
Fans can watch LIVE online with a monthly subscription to LegendsNation.tv. To watch all the action from Citrus County Speedway, log onto www.LegendsNation.tv and follow the simple instructions to subscribe to LNTV. Each subscription includes complete on-demand library access, allowing subscribers to watch any previously aired LNTV broadcasts through the “replay” tab of the site. LNTV also comes packaged as a convenient, easy to use Roku application. For instructions on installing the LNTV Roku channel, visit the website and click “Roku” on the menu.
Photo by McCarthy Photographic