Donovan Races to Big Firecracker 50 Win in Miramichi
Track Release/Photo by Tanya Everett
Tyson Donovan (#63) scored the biggest victory of his racing career Saturday night, following in the footsteps of one of his racing idols and fellow Renous driver Kim Hallihan by adding his name to the elusive list of Firecracker 50 winners! Donovan led wire-to-wire in the 2nd Annual T&L Abatement Bomber Firecracker 50 and held of a hard charging Axten MacLean (#13) in the closing laps to take the win. Counting laps led, the victory was worth $1000 for the driver of the #63 car, along with capturing a 4-foot-tall trophy. MacLean came home second while Johnathan Dickson (#3) finished third for the second year in a row.
Donovan had the luck of the draw to earn the lead through the pole shuffle, after pill #7 was drawn. The race got off to a slow start, with contact between Marc Maillet (#15) and Axten MacLean in turn 3 drawing the races first and only yellow flag. MacLean had a fast car but had to drop to the rear for the restart after the incident.
MacLean wasn’t alone at the back – drivers like Timmy Blakely (#69), Johnathan Dickson, Alex Duguay (#11), Riley Connell (#43) and Billy Pelletier (#18) all joined MacLean in getting to work coming through the field post pole shuffle. Alex Duguay appeared to have the fastest car on the track, and at the halfway mark was just a few car lengths behind Donovan, but he ran into issues and had to pull into the infield, ending his effort. This allowed MacLean to assume the second position ahead of Dickson, and MacLean drove hard closing in on Donovan, but it just wasn’t enough.
Riley Connell and Dan Dionne (#55) rounded out the top 5. Sixteen drivers partook in the T&L Abatement Firecracker 50.
MacLean and Timmy Blakely captured victories in 10-lap heat races to kick-off the day. This was the second career Bomber feature win for Tyson Donovan, and first of the season. Overall, it was Donovan’s third career main event win at Speedway Miramichi having captured a Demolition Derby in 2014. This win was by far the biggest of the three.
In Demolition action, the storyline of “Bathurst versus Tracadie” ultimately ended with the grand prize of $2250 heading to Bathurst! After going winless in the title season, 2021 Speedway Miramichi Demolition champion Tyler Chamberlain captured the Firecracker Demolition subbing for Dylan Doucet (#02), besting Jason Vienneau (#34) and Alexander MacIntosh (#55) for the win.
The #027 made the final hit on the #34, which saw both cars disabled and the win going to Chamberlain, but video review confirmed the 027 car had timed out when stalled on the track prior to making the final hit. Thus, this placed the #027 in fourth behind Chamberlain, Vienneau, and MacIntosh.
A large field of twenty-nine out of the estimated forty-six cars in attendance started the wild and dusty final Demo. The most dramatic moment came when Jonathan Leclair (#10) almost made it a trifecta of flips, getting up on his side and almost rolling over.
JR Lawson (#81) looked to kick-off a new feature win streak on Saturday, returning to victory lane in convincing fashion by winning the thirty-lap feature leading wire-to-wire for the win. Lawson took the checkers ahead of Rob Poirier (#0) and Chantel Lawson (#30), while Mitchell Poirier (#28) and Guy Basque (#27) rounded out the top 5.
JR Lawson and Mitchell Poirier won 10-lap heat races. All Mini Stock racing was run caution free, with the only incident being Nathan Richard (#35) taking a slide into the infield after contact with Conrad Murphy (#89) but Richard kept going without drawing a yellow flag. Twelve Mini Stocks were in attendance.
This was JR Lawson’s twenty-second career Mini Stock victory at Speedway Miramichi, and his third of the 2022 season.
Brad MacLean (#13) followed in his son’s footsteps from the last race, by putting his Street Stock to the outside and proving speed can be found up top – speed which vaulted the veteran driver to a feature victory and a guaranteed top 6 starting spot in October’s 6th Annual Street Stock 100. A heated battle ensued in MacLean’s mirror, with Tom Nicholls (#28) coming away with his first career podium finish and the points lead, while 2020 Street Stock champion Bryar Ellis (#95) rounded out the podium in third. The thirty-five-lap feature ran caution free, but several cars dipped out of the race with mechanical issues.
MacLean also nabbed the win in the 10-lap heat race, grabbing the lead with a dramatic three-wide pass on lap 1, going from fourth to first in less than half a lap! Six Street Stocks were in attendance.
The win was MacLean’s seventh career Street Stock feature win, and twenty-second career main event win at Speedway Miramichi. This moves MacLean into a tie for third on the all-time Speedway Miramichi wins list with Mini Stock feature winner JR Lawson, all with 22 wins. Yves McCray holds down first all-time with 24 feature wins, while Ray McCray has 23 feature wins.
Jean-Francois Basque (#21) kept his bid for a championship going strong in Demolition action with his third consecutive Dash for Cash win. Basque had a heated battle with Norm Robichaud (#666) all race long in the wild battle but held on to take the win.
Georgia Estey (#13) earned her first career Powder Puff victory, overcoming a heated battle with Monique Benoit (#21) for first place. Estey drove away in the closing laps, as Benoit edged out Ericka Lesage (#019) for the runner-up position in a great ten-lap show. Fifteen cars started the Powder Puff race.
The closest finish of the night came in the five-lap Back-Up race. Marc-Andre Benoit (#81) narrowly edged out Zachary L’Huillier (#16) to earn the victory. Twenty-seven cars started the Back-Up race.
Demolition points leader entering the day Randy Girouard (#8) had himself a solid effort, taking the Kidney Race victory in a red/checkered situation. On the final lap of the race, as Girouard was coming to the checkers, Gilles McGraw (#939) spun and slid into a parked car, flipping onto his roof and drawing the red flag. With the race almost over, the result was declared official. Twenty-eight cars started the Kidney Race.
The Figure 8 race was cut short due to visibility issues, after Mathieu Brideau, driving the #420 SUV, flipped in the middle of the “X”. With heavy dust, officials decide to cut the race short and give all drivers equal points.
Alex Duguay earned another win in the Burnout Competition, earning the most applause from the crowd.
The next event at Speedway Miramichi is coming up on August 20th, with the Crash for Cash Demolition. Atlantic Modified Tour, Bomber, and Mini Stock racing is all on tap for this show, with a 4pm start. Mark your calendars!
2nd Annual T&L Abatement Bomber Firecracker 50 Results
- Tyson Donovan #63
- Axten MacLean #13
- Johnathan Dickson #3
- Riley Connell #43
- Dan Dionne #55
- Billy Pelletier #18
- Samantha Blakely #96
- Randy Girouard #8
- Dylan Doucet #02
- Riley Harris #1
- Dylan Phillips #32
- Jacob Smith #60
- Timmy Blakely #69
- Adam Plourde #87
- Marc Maillet #15
- Alex Duguay #11
Heat Winners – Axten MacLean #13, Timmy Blakely #69
Mini Stock 30-Lap Feature Results
- JR Lawson #81
- Rob Poirier #0
- Chantel Lawson #30
- Mitchell Poirier #28
- Guy Basque #27
- Mathieu Mallet #80
- Conrad Murphy #89
- Nathan Richard #35
- Matthew Lloyd #21
- Jamie Turner #26
- Kevin Kinney #17
- Tom Ackles #130
Heat Winners – JR Lawson #81, Mitchell Poirier #28
Street Stock 35-Lap Feature Results
- Brad MacLean #13
- Tom Nicholls #28
- Bryar Ellis #95
- Mark Kingston #97
- Alex Michaud #04
DNS – Matt Pelletier #16
Heat Winner – Brad MacLean #13
Firecracker Demolition Podium
- Tyler Chamberlain #02
- Jason Vienneau #34
- Alexander MacIntosh #55
Dash for Cash Winner – Jean-Francois Basque #21
Powder Puff Winner – Georgia Estey #13
Back-Up Race Winner – Marc-Andre Benoit #81
Kidney Race Winner – Randy Girouard #8
Burnout Competition Winner – Alex Duguay