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Weekend Notebook – May 31st and June 1st

Story by Tim Terry, Featured Photo Credit: McCarthy Photographic

The busiest weekend so far in the Maritime Racing scene is upon us with four events taking place over two days at three different race tracks, not counting the Maple Leaf Monster Jam Tour at Scotia Speedworld. While we have a moment, let’s take a look at what is going on around the region and scratch the surface of some storylines to follow if you are going to the track this weekend!

Our coverage of the Petty International Raceway double header is presented by Imaginit Designs and Pizza Delight Amherst.

PETTY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, RIVER GLADE, NEW BRUNSWICK

Friday, May 31st at 7:30pm – GT Enterprises Sportsman 100, Atlantic Open Wheels, Bandoleros, Street Stocks. Event Format Here.
Saturday, June 1st at 6pm – Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour Fast Eddie Racewear 100, Maritime League of Legends Atlantic Tiltload 50, Mini Stocks. Event Format Here.

STORYLINES:

Turple Leads PST into PettySee series release here.

John Flemming has won the last two Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour races to close off 2012 and begin 2013. Turple grabbed the point lead back after leading the most laps and finishing second in the Lucas Oil 150. Turple has 15 consecutive series top tens dating back to August 27th, 2011 when he finished second at Petty International Raceway to kick off the streak. The current number of 15 puts him tied for third with Lonnie Sommerville for the longest streak. The current series record is 25 set by Shawn Tucker, set between 2009 and 2011, while Flemming is second on that list with 19 – set back in 2002 and 2003.

Hicken’s Playground

Petty International Raceway played host to three Pro Stock races last season when you add in the Oktoberfest Invitational in October. Jonathan Hicken and his #5 team won two of those three races, falling less than 10 laps short of the other when a panhard bar broke on the #5 while in the lead. Hicken will look to rebound from a broken trailing arm bolt at Scotia Speedworld two weeks ago.

MacQuarrie Debuts, Clements and Halpin are Back, Smith Jr in Uncle’s #44

One new face and a trio of returning faces highlight the 30 car entry list for Saturday night. Up and coming PEI star Brodie MacQuarrie will debut in the Tom Nicholls owned #63 Chevrolet sponsored by Island Excavators. The car MacQuarrie will drive is a former Darren Vanderaa Impala which Vanderaa last drove in 2011 to two top ten finishes at Oyster Bed Speedway.

Stacey Clements will return to the seat of a Pro Stock Saturday for the first time since 2007 as he will run one of two Oval Outlaw Racing cars in the field. The other will be driven by Russell Smith Jr., who will slide into the window of the #44, made famous on the series by his Uncle Wayne Smith.

Also returning to the series is Steve Halpin. Halpin, the 2012 Exide Batteries Rookie of the Year on the series will be racing a part time schedule with the Tour in 2013, beginning with this week. The top rookie last year will get to strap in against four freshmen battling to take the crown he did one year ago. Of those, Cole Butcher and Dylan Blenkhorn are former winners in Legend cars at Petty International Raceway, Colby Smith has won in a Sportsman car at the track and Denver Foran will see the track for green flag competition for the first time on Saturday.

More interesting bits and pieces for this weekend’s Pro Stock Tour, including some stats and my top five, can be found at MaritimeProStockTour.com

 AOW Modifieds Take to Track for Race One

The Atlantic Open Wheel Modifieds will contest their first race of the 2013 season Friday night at Petty International Raceway. Their new website boasts a schedule of ten races, which will see the Tour visit Petty Raceway, Speedway Miramichi and Spud Speedway, along with two TBA dates (which line up with previously announced dates at the Centre for Speed). A dozen drivers are registered for the series, including defending champion Mike “Sparky” Raeburn.

League of Legends Prepare for Petty Saturdayseries release here.

Petty “House” Divisions Set to Shinetrack release here.

Russell Smith Jr (Sportsman), Martin Landry (Street Stocks), Mike Weagle (Four Cylinders) and Drew Greenlaw (Bandoleros) lead their respective divisions into battle on Friday and Saturday (in the case of the Four Cylinders). Watch for the Bandoleros and Street Stocks to pick up where they left off on May 18th with some tight, side by side racing.

Meehan Racing carries hot hand to Petty International Raceway

When I think of teams putting up solid numbers two weeks into the season, a few teams come to mind. Brady Creamer of Miramichi,NB  and Russell Smith Jr of Lakeside, NS had solid runs at both Petty Raceway and Scotia Speedworld in the first two weeks and MacKenzie Racing had a great opening night at Petty (more on those guys in a bit), but when it comes to two car teams, it’s pretty hard to dispute that Meehan Racing has started off this season pretty strong.

The brother/sister combination out of Rawdon, Nova Scotia has four top fives in four races between them, three of those being podium finishes and one of those being a win. Adam Meehan owns the feature win amongst the pair after winning last weekend at Scotia Speedworld in his #6 Bandolero. Adam will return to Petty International Raceway Friday, a place where he finished fourth two weeks ago in the first Bandolero feature at the track in 2013.

His sister Emily is also putting together a solid opening to 2013. Like a Harry Gant or Tony Stewart, Emily tends to put up more numbers on the backhalf of the season as opposed to the front half but two third place finishes in as many weeks at Scotia Speedworld has Meehan third in points in the Scotia Speedworld Weekly and Maritime League of Legends Tour standings. The Tour is heading into their second stop of the season at Petty International Speedway, a track where she finished, you guessed it, third at in August. Emily enters her third year of racing a Legend car in 2013, Saturday is her third race of the season, she is in search of her third career Legend win, the aforementioned Harry Gant drove #33 for years. 3.

SPEEDWAY 660, GEARY, NEW BRUNSWICK

Saturday, June 1st at 7pm (Bandolero and Four Cylinder Heats at 6:20) – Riverview Ford Lincoln 20th Anniversary Season Opener – Pro Stocks, Sportsman, Street Stocks, Bandoleros, Four Cylinders – Track Release Here.

Rookies Galore at Speedway 660

Between the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour and the Speedway 660 Street Stock class, we have two of the biggest and deepest talented rookie classes the racing scene in this region has seen in a long time. When you look at the Street Stock class at 660, you have Kenny MacKenzie Jr. and Destiny Enkel moving up from the Bandolero class, Justin Cole and 2012 champion Luc McLaughlin moving up from Four Cylinders and Gregory Cashol, making it at least a five way dance for the title. Add to that Alex O’Blenis, who you may see on a partial basis in 2013 (team is not running for Rookie of the Year in Street Stocks at 660) and you have a crop of young blood that will be exciting to watch throughout the summer.

Glyn Nott and Dana Hamm will be going at it in the Pro Stock class for the Rookie of the Year and rumors were the Rankins (Calvin and John) were going to dabble in a Pro Stock as well. Devin Snell will be making his first laps in a Sportsman this season at Speedway 660. That’s just a taste of the new blood in new classes!

Gahan Returns to Pro Stock Class

gahanJordan Gahan’s car is scaled prior to Saturday’s opening event. Photo from Jordan Gahan Racing on Facebook.

After a couple of seasons on the headset for his son Jordan, Paul Gahan will return to the seat this season aboard a new car to the team. The Gahan combo will look to top the likes of Dave O’Blenis, Chris Duncan, Kevin Moore and more as they look to take the championship in 2013!

MacKenzie Racing Carries Strong Start to 660

Kenny MacKenzie Sr and Jr each started their season on the podium at Petty International Raceway on May 18th, something they will look to continue this weekend.

Junior scored second in the first race of his rookie season at Petty Raceway aboard the team’s #85 Street Stock. That second place finish was by feet as Martin Landry edged him out for the win at the checkered flag. That came shortly after Mackenzie’s heat win, where he had to hold off girlfriend Alex O’Blenis for the win.

Senior also started off the season strong with a third place run in the Lafarge 150 at Petty Raceway on May 18th. The former Speedway 660 Sportsman champion had to start scratch on the field after he blew a tire in his heat race and endured the rash of caution fever throughout the event to march to third at the checkers.

Both drivers will be running as much as they can at Petty International Raceway and Speedway Miramichi but their main focus is Speedway 660, where Junior will begin his Street Stock rookie campaign on Saturday and Senior has his eyes on a top five point finish in his sophomore year in the Pro Stock!

REDNECK RACEWAY, NORTON, NEW BRUNSWICK

Saturday, June 1st at Noon – Race run after opening event was rained out last weekend. More information at their website.

OYSTER BED SPEEDWAY, OYSTER BED BRIDGE, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Saturday, June 1st at 6pm – Full Card + Mini Stock Super Series #1

STORYLINES

Stephen Gass leads Street Stocks into action

Former David Lambe Memorial winner Stephen Gass picked up where he left off one season ago by pocketing Race One of the Stella Maris Credit Union Street Stock division on Opening Day two weeks ago. Mark LeClair and Matt Boyle are in chase of the #88 MacKinnon’s Trucking Chevrolet in the standings, while two-time and defending track champion Nick Chaisson will have to come from seventh after race one to take another division title.

Millar, Doucette familiar faces on top

Randy Millar (Central Engine Services Modified) and James Doucette (Duffy’s Service Centre Outlaw)  lead the point standings after picking up championships in their divisions last season. While Doucette is only planning a partial schedule in the Outlaw class, Millar will look for his second consecutive championship in the Modified class in 2013 after two seconds and a first place finish on Opening Day. Jeff Gallant leads the Chris’s Bobcat Mini Stock after Victoria Day after two firsts and a third in the feature.

Snow purchases Hickox Modified

After his wild ride on Victoria Day, Brandon Snow has shed the neck and knee braces and will climb back into a Modified car to continue his rookie season in the top Weekly Racing Series class at Oyster Bed Speedway. The team purchased the car formerly driven by Joel Hickox in 2012.

We had originally noted on our Master Schedule that Lake Doucette Motor Speedway was slated to start June 2nd. Their website has changed their season opener to June 17th. Any info on these races would be appreciated and can be emailed to info@timscorner.ca.

NEXT WEEK

Scotia Speedworld continues their Weekly Racing Series on Friday, June 7th at 7pm. June 8th is a busy night, with the opening of Speedway Miramichi for the 2013 season, featuring the Atlantic Open Wheels, Street Stocks, Four Cylinders and a Demolition. Oyster Bed Speedway is in action with a full card, including the first ever Bandolero race on Prince Edward Island and the first race of the Outlaw Super Series. Speedway 660 will see the Pro All Stars Series take to the track for their only stop in the Maritimes as they contest a 150-lap feature. Street Stocks and Sportsman will also be on the card.

Note: While this feature may change format in coming weeks, we hope to have this available each week to let everyone know what races are going on each week.

About Tim’s Corner:
Tim’s Corner began as a weekly stock car racing column appearing on ScotiaSpeedworld.ca and MaritimeProStockTour.com, penned by track and series announcer Tim Terry. It has now grown to include basic media services for motorsport teams big and small. TimsCorner.ca, the official website of Tim’s Corner, also features Tim’s Corner Unplugged, a podcast hosted by Terry which focuses on the motorsports scene. For more information on Tim’s Corner and services offered, visit TimsCorner.ca!

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