RE/MAX EAST COAST ELITE REALTY 250 ENTRY LIST GROWS TO OVER TWO DOZEN CARS
Track Release/Photos by Michelle Roy
(SEPTEMBER 1ST, 2020 – FREDERICTON, NB) – Race fans in Atlantic Canada have been waiting all season for SpeedWeekend 2020 at Speedway 660 and their wait is almost over. On Friday night, September 4th, racing action kicks off for three intense days of short track competition on the Geary, New Brunswick oval. The most anticipated event of the season is the culmination of the weekend, the 20th Annual RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty 250 on Sunday afternoon, September 6th and with that comes a list of over two dozen entries that are looking to take away the title of champion.
The pre-registration list for the event is stacked with talented drivers from within the Atlantic Bubble. At the top are the two previous RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty 250 winners in Ashton Tucker (2019; Lyttleton, NB) and Ryan Messer (2018; Harvey, NB). The pair have won all but one Pro Stock feature at Speedway 660 this season with Tucker taking home both the Riverview Ford Lincoln 100 and the Best of the Best 150. The young guard has certainly been tough to beat over the last calendar year and both will look to become only the fifth repeat winner of the event in 20 seasons.
Two of those former multi-time champions are also slated to compete this weekend. Lonnie Sommerville (Barnesville, NB) is a two-time champion of the race, winning the event in 2006 and 2009. Shawn Tucker (Fredericton, NB) is a three-time titlist with victories in 2004, 2011 and 2013. Sommerville purchased a new Rowdy Manufacturing car over the winter in which he finished on the podium in during the Best of the Best 150 in August. Tucker has two top ten finishes in extended lap competition at Petty International Raceway in 2020.
Six former champions of the event have signaled their intent to try and win another on Sunday afternoon. Craig Slaunwhite (2008, Terence Bay, NS) and Dave O’Blenis (2002, Boundary Creek, NB) will be on the hunt to rekindle former glory in a race they have triumphed in before. Slaunwhite, a veteran of Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour competition, was 11th in the Best of the Best 150 in August. O’Blenis, one of New Brunswick’s most recognizable stock car stars, returns to a track he has six Pro Stock championships at for the first time since July 2019.
Speaking of Pro Stock track champions, in addition to O’Blenis, Sommerville and Tucker that is, three drivers will look to add their name to the Champion’s List of the 250 for the first time. Reigning and two-time track champion Brent Roy (Hanwell, NB), two-time and inaugural track titlist Chris Duncan (Hampton, NB) and four time Pro Stock champion Greg Fahey (St. Stephen, NB) have the goal of etching their name into the 250 history books on Sunday. Roy landed on the podium one season ago finishing third in the RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty 250.
Steve Halpin (Saint John, NB) has been strong in every race he has competed in during the shortened 2020 season. Halpin owns podium finishes in both the Riverview Ford Lincoln 100 and Petty Raceway’s Brycon Construction Bubble Buster series and will aim for his first 250 title on Sunday. Halpin has multiple podium finishes in the big dance, the most recent one coming in 2018 when he finished to Messer. Cory Hall (Jolicure, NB) also has a similar 2020 resume, finishing on the podium in both the Riverview Ford Lincoln 100 and the 56th Jones Auto Body River Glade International at Petty Raceway in August.
Jonathan Hicken (Brudenell, PE) has been one of the most successful drivers in recent seasons across the Maritimes but is still looking for that break through victory at Speedway 660. Hicken, who was runner-up on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour in 2019, won both the Brycon Construction Bubble Buster Round One and the 56th Jones Auto Body River Glade International at Petty Raceway this season. In two starts this season at Speedway 660, Hicken has failed to put the No. 5 in the top five, falling short on both occasions with top eleven efforts. If the team hits the setup right on Sunday, they will be tough to beat.
Two-time Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour champion Cole Butcher (Hantsport, NS) has one Pro Stock feature win to his credit at Speedway 660 but its been a while since that victory came in 2015. Butcher, who placed third in the 2019 Snowball Derby in Pensacola, Florida, was third in his most recent trip to Speedway 660 during the Best of the Best 150 in August. His brother Jarrett Butcher (Porters Lake, NS) started up front in that affair, finishing fifth in his first start at Speedway 660 since 2017. The Atlantic Tiltload/Make a Wish Atlantic Provinces entries will both look to win on Sunday but with Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane only big enough for one car and over two dozen entries with the same goal, it will be tough.
Speaking of drivers that have seen success in the South over the last 12 months, Nicholas Naugle (Dartmouth, NS) has his eyes set on a 250 victory this weekend. Naugle won a feature event during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing this past February at the New Smyrna Speedway. Naugle has seen his share of success and heartbreak from mechanical failures in a short career in the 250 but aims to swing the roller coaster to a high point this Sunday evening.
The RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty 250 has never had a Prince Edward Island based champion but this could be the year that changes. Including Hicken, six Island drivers are looking to conquer Speedway 660 on Sunday. Robbie MacEwen (Sherwood, PE) showed the way for Island drivers in 2019 with a sixth place finish in the race. Chris Hughes (Brackley Beach, PE) knocked on the door of a top five effort in 2018 before a late race mechanical failure relegated the No. 32 to 14th in the final running order. Darren MacKinnon (Charlottetown, PE) placed third in a Pro Stock Tour event at Speedway 660 in 2015 and will take his first run at the RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty 250 in several seasons. Dylan Gosbee (Cornwall, PE) is always a threat when the No. 91 Hynes Racing Ford shows up to the Geary woods, finishing fourth in his most recent start at 660 in August. Robbie MacLean (Charlottetown, PE) is also scheduled to slide back into a Pro Stock at Speedway 660 for the first time since the RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty 250 in 2014.
That just scratches the surface of the talent lined up for Sunday’s 20th Annual RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty 250. Local names like John Rankin (St. Martin’s, NB), Devin Snell (Saint John, NB), Ben Pelletier (Saint John, NB), Ian Rasmussen (New Denmark, NB) and Kevin Moore (Fredericton, NB) will look to follow in the footsteps of Ashton Tucker and Ryan Messer by keeping the crown in the Province of New Brunswick. Drivers like Kyle Reid (Sydney, NS), Brad Eddy (Lower Sackville, NS) and “Canada’s Ironman” Gary Elliott (Truro, NS) will be searching to take the title back to the Province of Nova Scotia.
ENTRY LIST – 20TH ANNUAL RE/MAX EAST COAST ELITE REALTY 250 AT SPEEDWAY 660
**Updated September 3rd
#03 Steve Halpin – Saint John, NB
#08 Nicholas Naugle – Dartmouth, NS
#1 Ryan Messer – Harvey, NB
#2 Ashton Tucker – Lyttleton, NB
#9 John Rankin – St. Martin’s, NB
#10 Devin Snell – Saint John, NB
#11 Cal Hatfield – Saint John, NB
#17 Brad Eddy – Lower Sackville, NS
#17M Robbie MacLean – Charlottetown, PE
#18 Darren MacKinnon – Charlottetown, PE
#20 Greg Fahey – St. Stephen, NB
#23 Lonnie Sommerville – Barnesville, NB
#24 Ben Pelletier – Saint John, NB
#26 Brent Roy – Hanwell, NB
#32 Chris Hughes – Brackley Beach, PE
#32S Sarah McKay – Quispamsis, NB
#36 Gary Elliott – Truro, NS
#40 Robbie MacEwen – Sherwood, PE
#42 Kyle Reid – Sydney, NS
#48 Dave O’Blenis – Boundary Creek, NB
#52 Shawn Tucker – Fredericton, NB
#53 Cole Butcher – Hantsport, NS
#54 Jarrett Butcher – Porter’s Lake, NS
#81 Ian Rasmussen – New Denmark, NB
#83 Cory Hall – Jolicure, NB
#88 Kevin Moore – Fredericton, NB
#91 Dylan Gosbee – Cornwall, PE
#97 Chris Duncan – Rothesay, NB
#99 Craig Slaunwhite – Terence Bay, NS
The RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty 250 entry list is subject to change without notice. With entries continuing to roll in for every division, SpeedWeekend 2020 will be a busy place to be beginning Friday. Pro Stock teams will be able to practice beginning on Friday evening with the Pro Stock Happy Hour following the Atlantic Modified and Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter racing action. Saturday the RE/MAX 250 teams will have several chances to practice and run through technical inspection in the afternoon. Sunday, their journey to become champion kicks into high gear with qualifying beginning at 2pm.
Speedway 660 would like to welcome RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty back as the presenting partner of the 20th Annual Pro Stock 250 on SpeedWeekend. RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty has supported the Pro Stock division for many years at the Geary oval and most recently presented the 250 in 2014.
Tim’s Corner Motorsports and their TCMtv crew will be at Speedway 660 to produce video on-demand episodes of the three nights of SpeedWeekend 2020. Their coverage will be available the following afternoon of each event with a Video On Demand pass to each race at www.timscorner.tv. Passes are on sale now with a portion of each sale going back to support Speedway 660.
SpeedWeekend 2020 will kick off with a new addition. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the traditional Corn Boil, Concert and Bonfire cannot be held within the infield of Speedway 660. Fans will be able to watch some racing to start SpeedWeekend though, as the Atlantic Modified Tour and the Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters will open the weekend on Friday, September 4th at 8pm. A Pro Stock Happy Hour practice will follow the racing action, giving the teams a chance to put down laps on the oval in a night time setting on 250 weekend prior to the big race. Grandstand admission for the Friday evening racing action will be $5.
Saturday’s racing card will once again be anchored by an extended distance Sportsman show as Martin’s Home Heating presents a 125-lap feature for the class. The Legend and Mini Stock divisions will compete in their only feature events of the weekend while the Tim’s Corner Motorsports Bandolero Blast kicks off with the first of two 25-lap features on SpeedWeekend 2020. The Mini Stock division will compete under Petty International Raceway Mini Stock rules. The start time for the Saturday SpeedWeekend show is 6pm.
SpeedWeekend 2020 will be capped on Sunday, September 6th with the 20th Annual Pro Stock 250. The 250 is the third of four races in the home and home series with Petty International Raceway for the Pro Stock division and is expected to draw the best talent from across Atlantic Canada to compete for the $10,000 top prize. The Atlantic Modified Tour will be back to contest their fourth of six scheduled point races on their 2020 season. The DMR Auto Street Stocks, Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters and Tim’s Corner Motorsports Bandolero Blast will round out the show. Qualifying begins at 2pm on Sunday, September 6th.
Advance tickets and campsites for SpeedWeekend 2020 are selling fast and are available now by calling the Speedway 660 office. For more information about SpeedWeekend 2020, or any event at Speedway 660, visit Speedway660.com, like @Speedway660 on Facebook or call the Speedway 660 Raceline at (506) 454-7223.
About Speedway 660:
Speedway 660 is one of Canada’s premier stock car racing facilities. Located in New Brunswick’s Fredericton region, it attracts race teams and fans from the Maritimes, New England and Quebec. The Speedway 660 racing season runs from mid May until Labour Day Weekend. SpeedWeekend, one of the most prestigious short track events in eastern North America, wraps up Speedway 660’s racing season.