Thanksgiving Thunder Sunday at Sydney Speedway
Expected forecast condenses weekend into one day event
(SYDNEY, NS – October 10th, 2019) – The stock car season in Atlantic Canada will come to a close this Sunday with the inaugural Thanksgiving Thunder at Sydney Speedway. The oval on Grand Lake Road in Sydney, Nova Scotia will host six unique stock car divisions in their season finale. Racing begins on Sunday afternoon, October 13th at 12pm Noon.
The Thanksgiving Thunder was originally scheduled for a two day show with racing taking place on Saturday, October 12th and Sunday, October 13th. With a rain system forecast for Saturday afternoon for the Province combined with several teams making a long haul to Sydney, the decision was made on Thursday afternoon to combine the two day event into one on Sunday, October 13th. If further needed, Monday, October 14th has been set aside for a rain date. An updated Sunday Race Day Format can be found on the Sydney Speedway Facebook page, along with any other weather updates, as needed.
The headlining feature on Sunday afternoon, October 13th is the Robby’s Tractor Trailer Services Late Model Sportsman 100. Approximately a dozen Late Model Sportsman cars are expected to compete for the checkered flag, including New Brunswick drivers Laurie Cormier (Riverview) and Brady Creamer (Miramichi). Cormier’s car owners have roots in the Sydney area and Cormier will hope to add a win on Cape Breton Island to his vast resume that includes Atlantic Championships, River Glade International and Mike Stevens Memorial victories. Speaking of the Atlantic Championships, it is a race that Creamer picked up one week ago in his Sportsman ride outside of Shediac, New Brunswick.
Both drivers also qualify for the “Big Weekend Bonus,” given to drivers in eligible divisions who finished on the podium in select special events throughout the Maritimes in September and October. Should any of those drivers win at Sydney Speedway on Sunday, they will receive an additional $250 added onto their paycheck. Cormier qualified via his win in the Mike Stevens Memorial weekend at Petty Raceway in September, while a podium finish at the Martin’s Home Heating 100 at Speedway 660 on SpeedWeekend made Creamer eligible for the bonus.
Former NAPA Sportsman Series champion Shawn Waterfield (Sydney, NS), who finished runner-up in July at the Season Opener, leads a stout field of local talent into Sunday’s Robby’s Tractor Trailer Services 100. Waterfield will have to fend off some hometown hot shoes in the likes of Lynden MacDougall (Sydney, NS), Darren Price (Main-a-Dieu, NS), Jason McNeil (Sydney, NS), Vance MacDonald (Sydney, NS) and John Biron (Sydney, NS). An entry from the Robby’s Tractor Trailer Services team will also be competing with a driver to be announced.
Ryan VanOirschot (Antigonish, NS), fresh off his Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour debut, will hop back into a Sportsman car for Sunday’s Robby’s Tractor Trailer Services 100. Jeffrey Breen (Antigonish, NS), who competed in the last October Sportsman race held at the track in 2016, will look to drive the No. 66 car to the front to cap off their year.
The PPM Incorporated Street Stocks will compete in an extended distance event on Sunday as a part of the Thanksgiving Thunder and two teams are looking at making the long haul from Miramichi, New Brunswick. James Matchett and Jared Tozer will both look to take their skills honed at Speedway Miramichi and apply them to the tight quarter mile bullring in Sydney. The home track talent will be tough to beat though with Colton Beaver, John Halliday, September Bomber winner Glen Cooke and Kody Quinn, subbing in for Brennan MacInnis, all scheduled to battle for the checkered flag.
The Colbourne Auto Group Legend, Steve Lewis Auto Body Bandolero, Mini Stock and Bomber classes have thrilled fans in the first two events at Sydney Speedway and their drivers will look for one more checkered flag on Sunday afternoon to close out their year.
Quinn, who will do triple duty on Sunday, was a winner in both the Colbourne Auto Group Legend and Mini Stock divisions during the September event in Sydney. While both victories will be tough to defend, the Mini Stock victory will not come easy as Dave Matthews (Kennetcook, NS) will look to back up his two wins in July with two more in the Mini Stock Twin 30s on Sunday. Matthews will also look to complete the “Big Weekend Bonus” in Mini Stock competition after his Passione Flooring & Interiors East Coast Mini Stock Tour win at Speedway 660 on August 31st. Quinn also has a shot at the “Big Weekend Bonus” cash if he can nail down a Colbourne Auto Group Legend victory after qualifying for the extra cash at Speedway 660 on the same night.
Allison Hall (Oromocto, NB) and Ryan Bernard (Harvey, NB) will be heading to Sydney Speedway Sunday from the Capital Region of New Brunswick. Hall and Bernard may call Speedway 660 home, but Hall’s family is routed in Sydney. Bernard also qualifies for the “Big Weekend Bonus” from his finish at Speedway 660 on SpeedWeekend.
Some of the most exciting racing in September came from the Steve Lewis Auto Body Bandolero divisions. While only four drivers showed up two weeks ago, the competition was fierce between Emily Chisholm (Antigonish, NS), Brooke Dowe (Bedford, NS), Austin Tanner (Shubenacadie, NS) and eventual winner Dylan Dowe (Bedford, NS). With this being the final Bandolero event of the year, it is expected that a few new youngsters will make the haul to Sydney to compete on the final weekend, including Petty International Raceway Beginner Bandolero track champion Ayden Christensen (Windsor Junction, NS).
The Bomber/Endurance race, which was scheduled for Friday evening, has been moved to Sunday and will complete the afternoon of racing at Sydney Speedway. In an intense battle up front all race long, Glen Cooke edged out “Yellow Jacket” David Webb for the win. The Bombers will run 35-laps on Sunday.
The open practice is still scheduled for Friday afternoon, running for all stock car competitors from 12pm to dusk. Admission to the pit area for practice is $10 per person, while the grandstands will be open for spectators free of charge. A bonfire and social hour will follow after the completion of practice. The Demolition Derby scheduled for Friday has been canceled due to a saturated infield ring area.
Adult grandstand admission prices for Sydney Speedway events (per race day) are $15 (aged 16 and up), Youth eight to 15 years of age are $6 each with children aged seven and under admitted to the grandstands free of charge. A family pass (two adults, two youth) is $35. Pit admission is $25 and is restricted to those 18 years of age and older, or aged 14 to 17 with minor waiver form signed. Pit gates open for competitors on Sunday at 8am, grandstand gates open for fans at 10am with racing beginning at 12pm. Tickets are available at the gate on race day, cash only. Camping is available on site (no services or hookups) free of charge.
About Sydney Speedway:
Opened in 1975, Sydney Speedway has built a racing tradition on Cape Breton Island over the past four decades. Purchased in 2019 by local businessman and racing enthusiast Greg Dowe, the track is home to a number of stock car racing divisions, a destination for local touring series and motorsports events. For more information on Sydney Speedway, find them online at SydneySpeedway.ca and on various social media platforms at @SydneySpeedCA.