Saturday is the Day of 8s at Speedway Miramichi
Track Release/Photo by Brittany Hoyt
Speedway Miramichi returns to action on Saturday night July 13th – a weekend of a full moon which always leads to edge of your seat, wild and crazy action across the board at the speedway. With Saturday being the lone night race on the calendar, and the final event before September, fans will be in for a treat under the lights!
Heading into this event, which marks the halfway point of the 2019 season, we first glance back to the June event which was our first ever Kids Day. Also on a full moon, a rare occurrence occurred when the stock car racing portion of the card saw thewilder action – filled with wrecks and tempers, while the Demolition action was relatively mild and tame. For this Saturday, fans can only expect the unexpected.
This go round for the Demolition drivers will feature “The Day of 8’s,” an event which will see every Demolition event be contested over 8 laps, including the Dash for Cash, Back-Up, Powder Puff, Kidney, and Bag races, with the grand finale being a Figure 8 Enduro which will wrap up with a Demolition Derby when either 48 laps have been completed, or 8 cars remain in competition. The last car standing at the end of the demo will be declared victorious on The Day of 8’s.
Of course, it’s all about the championship hunt! On June 15th, veteran driver Kevin Tucker had possibly the best day of his entire career as he searches for his first championship in atwenty-plus year career. Tucker captured the victory in all 5 preliminary events and came up just one spot short in the final demo. This resulted in Tucker scoring 36 out of a possible 38 points and has allowed him to open up a massive point lead. Defending champion Joey Pitre is Tucker’s closest competitor, sitting 21 points back – a large gap, but still doable with 3 events remaining. Shawn Mazerolle, Kids Day Demo winner Jacob Smith, and Mathieu Brideau round out the top 5 in points.
From limos to vans and everything in between, fans can expect to see a diverse field of demo cars once again. Should a driver show up with a Hyundai Santa Fe, they may have a target on their backs after Santa Fe’s were victorious in the previous 2 demolition derbies!
The wildest action from the most recent event came in the Atlantic Modified Tour feature. The peak of the action came early in the feature when tempers flared between “Mr. Excitement” Doug Matchett and Yves McCray. Matchett, the defending Modified track champion, and McCray, a former track Sportsman champion, have split the first two features in Miramichi in 2019, have combined to win the past 5 Modified Tour features, and sit 2nd and 3rd in Speedway Miramichi points respectively. The pair will look to put past incidents behind them heading into this weekend. Both drivers enter The Day of 8’s chasing “The Racing Ranger” Kim Hallihan. With a pair of runner up finishes, Kim leads the way in the Miramichi Modified points.
A number of other drivers will be looking for redemption on Saturday. Braxton Stafford and Brandon Skidmore have each had fast cars at Miramichi in both events thus far, but circumstances have resulted in the results not reflecting their respective performances. Zean Dutcher was the class of the field in June and will also return looking for redemption this time around. Joe Hoyt and John Lyons have also each had some tough luck early in the year and hope to rebound on Saturday. Rounding out the field is a number of underdogs who sit poised to upset the competition and place on the podium. Steven Curtis is expected to be ready to hit the track after engine issues plagued his season thus far, while rookie driver Tyson Donovan looks to improve on his debut in June.
The Street Stock feature in June also resulted in some tempers and drama. Post race, the win was awarded to Chris Wilson. Wilson, last years runner up in points, leads the point standingsthrough 2 events. The action in June was highlighted by contact between rivals James “Hollywood” Matchett and Brad MacLean. Matchett would score a podium finish in his first start of the 2019 season in Miramichi, but it’s MacLean sitting 2nd to Wilson in points. Rookies JR Lawson and Jamie Jardine were in the mix in June, and sit 3rd and 4th in points respectively. While their cars may not be ready for this weekend, a number of Miramichi Street Stock cars are approaching completion. Among the drivers who expected to be on track soon includes Deryk Murphy, Jared Tozer, Bryar Ellis, Zean Dutcher, Brandon Hollier and Jacob Smith.
The class of the Mini Stock field in 2019 has been the JR Lawson Racing entries. Lawson has scored both feature wins, while teammate Chantel Ackles has chased him to the line both times. Michael Savoie and Mathieu Mallett have each rounded out the podium in events so far in 2019. One of the strongest competitors over the years, Guy Basque, suffered an engine failure in June, and will look to rebound. Sophomore driver Michel-Andre Poirier is closing in on his first podium performance, with improvements every race. Mitchell Poirier debuted a new car in June, one he looks to fine tune for the next race. Rookie driver Shawn Benoit will return to the track looking to improve on his May performance. Track management are optimistic that even more cars will be in attendance come race day.
The most successful driver in Speedway Miramichi history is once again on top of the points. Robert Legere has a total of 4 career track championships, including the Dukes championship last year. Legere was awarded the feature win in June, a win that vaulted him to first in points. He will be facing a new competitor come Saturday, with former Demo driver Jonathan Dickson debuting his new Dukes car. Dickson has painted his car to resemble Dale Earnhardt’s #3, which is sure to make the car easily recognizable on the track.
Pit gates open at 4pm Saturday, with grandstands opening at 6pm. Pre-race Kids Rides are slated for 6:35pm. The green flag for the only night race of the year will be in the air at 7pm sharp.
Admission for adults is $15, while youth ages 8 to 17 and seniors can be admitted for just $10! All kids ages 7 and under are free, while the popular family pass can admit a family of 4 for just $35, plus $2 per additional child. For one day only, youth admission is free for ages 13 and under, as opposed to the usual 7 and under. Pit admission is $20, and is restricted to those aged 18 and over, and youth 8 to 17 years of age with the requirement of a signed parental waiver form being necessary to enter the pits.
For more information, stay tuned to Speedway Miramichi’s social platforms, “Speedway Miramichi Inc.” on Facebook, “speedway.miramichi” on Instagram, and our website at speedwaymiramichi.com