Riverside is Ready for Super IWK 250 Weekend – Storylines
Track Release/Photo by McCarthy Photographic
JAMES RIVER, NS (July 15, 2019) – Riverside International Speedway is ready for the 2019 edition of the IWK 250 Super Race Weekend which kicks off this Thursday and runs through Saturday. Race cars, racing stars and music legends are ready to entertain the thousands of fans expected to attend.
Former NASCAR driver and television broadcaster Kenny Wallace, from St. Louis, Missouri, tops the list of highlights as he returns to the event the defending champion, having won the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis last year. Wallace will face over 30 of the top stock car racers from the region in hopes of becoming the first back-to-back IWK 250 champion in the event’s modern era. The winner can take home as much as $22,850 with a guaranteed $10,000 and will see their name etched on the coveted John W. Chisholm Memorial Cup, the events perpetual trophy.
Besides the IWK 250 on Saturday fans can enjoy exciting racing action on Friday with the Henry’s AUTOPRO 100 for the NAPA Sportsman Series and the Schooner Contracting Legends Challenge for the Maritime League of Legends. Altogether, to-date, 73 teams have registered to compete in the three races.
The weekend kicks off Thursday with the IWK 250 Tailgate Party featuring a concert by east coast music legend Matt Minglewood and his band.
Wallace will do two autograph sessions over the weekend, on Friday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. behind the tower, and on Saturday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. as part of the IWK 250 pre-race meet and greet where fans are invited on track to see the cars and meet the stars of the IWK 250.
Since its inception in 2007, the IWK 250 has raised awareness and more than $481,000 for the IWK Foundation.
IWK 250 Entry List is Stacked With Talent
The expected entry list for the IWK 250 sits at 33 teams including drivers from five provinces and two states. There are seven IWK 250 champions (Wallace, Donald Chisholm, Dylan Blenkhorn, Kent Vincent, John Flemming, Darren MacKinnon, and Shawn Tucker), five Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour champions (Chisholm, Flemming, Tucker, Shawn Turple, Cole Butcher), one Pro All Stars Series champion (Cassius Clark) and three drivers who can become the region’s first Triple Crown winner (Clark, Craig Slaunwhite, Lonnie Sommerville).
Heat Races Will be Intense
With 33 teams entered in the IWK 250 and attempting to qualify for a 30-car starting grid, the Atlantic Tiltload Heat races will be fierce. The top four in each of an anticipated five heat races will transfer to set the top 20, then the rest will run the Last Chance Race in which the top two will transfer to the IWK 250. The balance of the starting spots will be set with provisional spots as determined by PST and track officials. Qualifying heat races to set the starting grid for the IWK 250 will start Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Looking for Back-to-Back Wins
Three drivers have the chance to go back-to-back in Riverside’s Victory Lane over the IWK 250 Super Race Weekend. Colby Smith won the sportsman race last three years, Cory Hall won the Legends Cars race the last two years and Wallace in the IWK 250.
Back in the Saddle
Two well-known racers from the region who are semi-retired from racing will be on track over the IWK 250 weekend. Frank Fraser, from Shubenacadie, has entered the Henry’s AUTOPRO 100 on Friday and Shawn Tucker, from Fredericton, NB, has entered the IWK 250. Fraser is a Hall of Fame driver, builder, and car owner with hundreds of wins spanning 57 years. Tucker – also a driver, builder, and car owner – is the 2013 IWK 250 champion, a 3-time Maritime Pro Stock Tour champ, and 3-time champ of the 250 at Speedway 660. Both drivers have numerous wins at Riverside.
50 Years Later
With Fraser’s start in the Henry’s AUTOPRO Sportsman 100 on Friday, he will become the only current race who also competed at Riverside on its opening day, May 18, 1969. And not only did Fraser race that day – he won all three Charger class races.
IWK 250 Starts Second-Half of PST Season
The IWK 250 is a championship points event on the 2019 Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour (PST), round seven of 12 and so it kicks off the second half of the season. 2017 IWK 250 champion Dylan Blenkhorn (1237 points) leads the charge into Riverside with a 13-point lead over Jonathan Hicken (1220) who comes to Riverside as winner of the last two PST events. Series sophomore Jarrett Butcher is third (1185), trailing Hicken by 35 markers. Craig Slaunwhite is fourth (1163) and Dylan Gosbee is fifth (1140). The complete PST point standings can be found at www.maritimeprostocktour.com.
No Winners Will Start in Top 10
With the new-for-2019 PST rule, no driver who has won a series feature this year can start in the top 10 for the IWK 250. The rule was put in place to add excitement for the fans as they watch top drivers work their way through traffic. Drivers who have won PST features this year include Jonathan Hicken, Cole Butcher, and Dylan Blenkhorn – all at two wins apiece.
Two drivers are doing double duty over the IWK 250 weekend. Chris Reid has entered the IWK 250 and the Henry’s AUTOPRO Sportsman 100 for a total of 350 laps around the high banked 1/3-mile oval and Waylon Farrell has entered the Schooner Legends Challenge and the IWK 250 for a total of 300 laps on the weekend. Reid, originally from Sydney, is coming from Fort MacMurray, AB for the race and Farrell from Conception Bay South, NL.
Quest for the Cup, the John W. Chisholm Memorial Cup
The majestic custom made trophy was unveiled in 2015 and instantly became a symbol of excellence representing its namesake, the late John Chisholm – founder and builder of Riverside International Speedway and co-founder of the IWK 250. Having their name engraved on this majestic custom-made trophy is equally as meaningful as all the other accolades that go with being an IWK 250 Champion.
Going for 100 Grand, Plus
The total purse being offered for the weekend is $106,800. The winner of the IWK 250 is guaranteed $10,000 and can take home as much as $22,850.
RIS50 Lap Leader Bonus – Double the Money
The leader of each lap in the IWK 250 traditionally receives a $25 bonus per lap led; this year, in celebration of the track’s 50th anniversary, they have match what the lap sponsors pay to make the bonus $50 per lap led. That’s 12,500 extra reasons to make the race even more exciting.
While 2019 marks the 13th edition of the IWK 250, Riverside has hosted this historic event since 1977 when Ontario’s Billy Watson became the inaugural winner. Other “Riverside 250” winners include the late Scott Fraser (five wins), the late Don Biederman (three wins), five-time Maritime champion Greg Sewart (two wins), Maritime racing legend Frank Fraser (two wins), North America short track legend Junior Hanley (two wins), four-time Maritime champion Terry Clattenburg, two-time Maritime champion Rollie MacDonald, NASCAR racers Regan Smith and Kenny Wallace, Maritime racing veteran Mike MacKenzie, Maine’s Ben Rowe, Blenkhorn, Chisholm, Flemming, MacKinnon, Vincent, Halifax’s Wayne Smith and Fredericton’s NB’s Shawn Tucker. Scott Fraser, Sewart, Biederman, MacDonald, and Hanley are members of both the Canadian and Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame, and Frank Fraser, Clattenburg, and MacKenzie are members of the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Opening Act – Sportsman & Legends On Track Friday Night
The NAPA Sportsman Series will see round two of four in their 2019 title chase on Friday with the Henry’s AUTOPRO 100.
A full field is expected with several “outsiders” looking to challenge series regulars. With a $10,000 purse, this race is the richest on the regional sportsman circuit. Also on the card Friday night is the Schooner General Contracting Legends Challenge sanctioned by the Maritime League of Legends, round four of 10 in the series chase for the championship; last year’s edition of this event saw one of the biggest Legends fields ever – with 19 drivers already entered this year is shaping up to give it a run. This event is one of two stops at Riverside for the series this year. Both series will qualify with heat races to set the starting grids for the features. Both races are championship points races for their respective sanctioning series.
Legends Race Should Be Legendary
Friday’s Schooner General Contracting Legends Challenge is the biggest race of the year for the Maritime League of Legends (MLOL). After three of 10 events, the points leader is Braden Langille, one of five racers on the series this year who is using a new-for-2019 FZ09 motor package. Even though four of the top five finishers in the most recent MLOL event had this motor, it is yet to be tested in competition on the high banks of Riverside. Langille leads Craig MacDonald by 14 points. Emily Meehan is third, with Shelby Baker and Darren Sherwood rounding out the top five. Besides the championship points and the race purse, teams will be competing for INEX Class Bonus Awards presented by Fleet Brake Atlantic. Twenty-two teams have registered for the Schooner General Contracting Legends Challenge, coming from all over Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. For complete MLOL point standings and more on this race, please visit www.maritimelegends.ca.
Entry Lists Online
Expected entry lists for all three races are at www.RiversideSpeedway.ca, on their respective event pages. Entries are added to the lists after their Official Entry Form has been filed. As of July 15, there are 77 teams expected at Riverside this weekend, for the three races combined. They hail from five Canadian provinces and two states in the U.S.
Toromont Cat Kids Tent
The Toromont Cat Kids Tent will be alongside Kenny Wallace and the Cat Car for Kids during the autograph session (5:30 p.m. on Saturday) and have free swag for the kids.
Toys For Kids
Heart of a Champion will host Toys For Kids this year with a collection center set up at the track entry Thursday to Saturday. All donations of toys, books, or cash will go directly to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. Items must be new, unused and unwrapped. Heart of a Champion, formed to help preserve Maritime racing history, will have its vintage open wheel modified race car on display Friday and Saturday and also make a special announcement in regard to its future on Friday evening during the Sportsman and Legends show.
Fans Urged to Get Advance Tickets & Arrive Early
With a large crowd expected to attend the IWK 250 fans who want to avoid line-ups are encouraged to take advantage of advance ticket sales and to arrive early. Plenty of good seats remain and can be purchased using the Order & Pay Online system at RiversideSpeedway.ca. Advance ticket sales close Thursday, July 18 at Noon. Tickets will be available at the track box office Thursday evening and starting at 4 p.m. Friday and at Noon on Saturday. Please note reserved seats are only available in advance so must be purchased by Thursday, July 18. Fans with advance tickets will save $ on their purchase and be able to use the express entry lane at the gate on race day.
Camping at the IWK 250
All camping (RV’s, tents, etc.) at Riverside over the IWK 250 requires an advance reservation. With over 900 reservations already processed, sites are in very, very short supply. The advance reservation system is now closed; there will be a very limited number of last-minute sites available starting Wednesday at 5 p.m. of a first-come, first served, basis. Anyone looking for a last minute site should check in at the Family 1 registration tent. All overnight parking on Riverside property from July 16 to 21 requires a permit (issued at check-in).
Mark Your Calendar
Thursday evening it’s the IWK 250 Tailgate Party featuring a concert with the Matt Minglewood Band. The IWK 250 practice session runs from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (free admission from 4:00 to 7:00), the Tailgate Party starts at 9:30 with the concert scheduled for a 10 p.m. start – the box office opens at 7 p.m. Racing starts Friday at 7 p.m.; the box office and grandstand open at 4 p.m. On Saturday the grandstand opens at Noon; Atlantic Tiltload Heat Races start at 3:30 p.m., the pre-race show featuring an autograph session and live entertainment with “Kitchen Criminals” is at 5:30 p.m. The Opening Ceremony starts at 7 p.m., followed by the green flag for the IWK 250.
About the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour:
The Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour (PST) is considered the highest level of stock car racing in Canada. The Tour is recognized in the industry as one of the healthiest stock car racing series in North America. PST visits four tracks throughout the Maritimes during its May through September season. The Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour is owned and operated by Maritime Pro Stock Tour Limited. For more information, call 902.481.2531 or click www.maritimeprostocktour.com. You can also follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/prostocktour and like on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prostocktour.
About Riverside International Speedway:
For 50 years, Riverside International Speedway has been recognized as a premiere stock racing facility in Canada. The 1/3-mile high-banked asphalt oval roars to action several times a year for special events. It is the home of the IWK 250 – widely known as the best stock-car race in Canada, and of the Bumper to Bumper 300 – eastern Canada’s only NASCAR event. Located in James River, between New Glasgow and Antigonish, the facility is easily accessible at exit 30 on Trans Canada Highway 104. For more information please visit www.riversidespeedway.ca.