Fog City Auto Spa 150 Up Next For SLMS Superstars!
(July 4th, 2023) – Let’s try this again! After an entire weekend of racing was washed out just over a month ago, the Super Late Model Series heads to Petty International Raceway to makeup the rescheduled Fog City Auto Spa 150 on Saturday.
Another stout and competitive field is shaping up for the make-up date, with twenty-three (23) Super Late Model teams ready to fight for victory on the high banks of Petty. Action kicks off at 6pm on Saturday July 8th, 2023 – with the Super Late Model Series superstars getting to race under the lights for the first time in series history!
Date: Saturday June 3rd, 2023 | Start Time: 6:00pm
Pit Gates Open: 11:00am | Grandstands Open: 4:00pm
Event: Fog City Auto Spa 150 / Super Late Model Series Round Three
Track: Petty International Raceway
Location: 4045 Route 106 River Glade, New Brunswick, Canada
Track Size: 1/4 Mile | Race Distance: 150 Laps
Support Classes: Sportsman, Legends, Bandolero
Race Day Tickets: Purchased at the Petty International Raceway ticket booth at the track, CASH ONLY!
SUPER SIX Super Late Model Series Storylines
A Superstar Returns to “His House”
For nearly a decade, Petty International Raceway was referred to as “Hicken’s House”. Jonathan Hicken was the dominant driver at the track, collecting a dozen victories over a stretch from 2012 until 2020 when he stepped into “semi-retirement”. Among those wins included four (4) Mike Stevens Memorial trophies (2015, 2016, 2019, 2020), and three (3) River Glade International crowns (2014, 2018, 2020).
Ironically, some of those victories for Hicken came after intense and often spirited duels with the car he will be driving for the Fog City Auto Spa 150. This weekend, Hicken climbs back behind the wheel driving the Brad Silliker Motorsports entry, filling in for Ashton Tucker (#2) in a car that is proven successful everywhere – including at Petty International Raceway. Hicken will have a shot to win in his SLMS debut in a “super sub” role, which is sure to be a major storyline heading into round three – but not only will he have a shot to win, but also turn the season around for the #2 team which sits thirteenth in points after two rounds.
Petty International Raceway to Serve as Regional Melting Pot
Race fans, welcome to the great equalizer.
After the first two rounds of the Super Late Model Series saw vastly different dynamics, we now race into Petty International Raceway, a centrally located track where all drivers have relatively even experience. New Brunswick drivers heavily dominated the Riverview Ford Season Opener at Speedway 660, claiming seven of the top 10 finishing positions, while PEI drivers took control of the Chapman Bros. 150 presented by Hynes Paving at Oyster Bed Speedway finishing in six of the top eight positions. Petty is set to level the playing field in round three.
Seven drivers representing all Maritime provinces are former feature winners at Petty, including PEI drivers Dylan Gosbee (#16) and Darren MacKinnon (#18), New Brunswick drivers Dave O’Blenis (#48), Cory Hall (#83), and Chris Duncan (#97) and Nova Scotia competitors Jonathan Hicken (#2) and Nicholas Naugle (#08). Additionally, many more are former podium finishers – Ryan Messer (#1), Robbie MacEwen (#40), Lonnie Sommerville (#23), Greg Proude (#29) and Steve Halpin (#03) to name a few.
The central location of Petty and diverse experience at the track through the field sets the stage for a thrilling Fog City Auto Spa 150, that truly will be anyone’s race to win.
Gosbee Ready for Turn at the Top
Dylan Gosbee has long been known as a top tier driver in Atlantic Canada, but circumstances and luck has led to many highs and lows throughout his career. Thus far in 2023, Gosbee is on the verge of emerging as the top talent on the new Super Late Model Series. Despite not scoring a feature victory yet, Gosbee’s first two races statistically have trumped all other drivers. With two heat victories, and a third and fourth place finish in each of the two features contested, the Kent Livingston Racing team has the best average finish and finds themselves on top of the Super Late Model Series points standings.
Fahey and Rasmussen Flying Under the Radar Thus Far
Through two races, Greg Fahey (#20) and Ian Rasmussen (#81) have quietly and consistently been having solid seasons in new-to-them cars that has placed them just outside the top ten in points.
Fahey has finished twelfth and eleventh in the first two races of the season, staying out of trouble and keeping his car together. Fahey had largely been out of the driver’s seat for the past three seasons and is seeming to find his groove back behind the wheel while improving every race. Eleventh in points, he is positioning himself to mix things up yet as we head into the stretch run of the season.
For Rasmussen, he has flown under the radar but certainly has faced his share of adversity. Caught up in an incident or two at the Riverview Ford Season Opener, Rasmussen would emerge with a sixteenth-place finish. At the Chapman Bros. 150 presented by Hynes Paving, Rasmussen missed his heat race with mechanical issues, but would join the feature at the tail of the field before racing to an impressive comeback ninth place finish at the end. Sitting twelfth in points, keep your eye on the New Denmark, NB driver the rest of the season.
Hall, Tucker, Duncan Amongst Drivers in Dire Points Situations
Many people’s picks to win the inaugural Super Late Model Series championship are in serious peril after just two events.
In addition to Ashton Tucker and Brad Silliker Motorsports team sitting deep in points, Cory Hall (#83) – another consensus majority pick to take the title – sits fourteenth in points after some tough luck. Adversity in both races has plagued their seasons, and while they rebounded to finish in the top ten at Speedway 660, anything less than a top five has historically been uncharacteristic of these stars. Oyster Bed Speedway, proved to bring more tough luck, as both Tucker and Hall broke on the 96th lap of the race, finishing outside the top twenty, and dropping to thirteenth (13th) and fourteenth (14th) in points respectively.
Dustin Tucker (#52) is another driver who has yet to find any luck. Caught up in an incident not of his own doing at Speedway 660, followed by mechanical issues at Oyster Bed Speedway, led to finishes of twenty-second (22nd) and twenty-fourth (24th) in the opening rounds. Deep in points, Tucker heads to Petty – a track he enjoys and has been very consistent at.
Chris Duncan (#97) is a former champion of both Petty International Raceway and Speedway 660. Duncan never made a lap of competition at Speedway 660 for round one, falling victim to mechanical woes. A fourteenth (14th) place finish at Oyster Bed Speedway was the start of a turn around, but Duncan is surely hoping momentum will build heading into a track here is much more familiar at.
MacKenzie Jr Leads Castrol Rookies Into Home Track
Kenny MacKenzie Jr (#85) continues to show the way for the Castrol Rookie of the Year battle. The season for MacKenzie has been the type of season you want to see out of any rookie – quiet and consistent. The first two races netted fifteenth (15th) and (16th) place finishes for the driver, while staying out of trouble. On top of the rookie battle, Kenny now heads into his home track – one where much of his success is from, including a Street Stock and Sportsman championship.
Ryan Raynes (#94) is MacKenzie’s closest competitor in points, after a respectable run at Oyster Bed Speedway to follow up a crash ruined Riverview Ford Season Opener. Raynes was one position behind MacKenzie when the checkers flew and enters Petty International Raceway ready to represent one of his sponsors in Fog City Auto Spa – the title sponsor of the race!
While MacKenzie leads the Castrol Rookie battle, Hudson Weston (#43) has found the most success this year – just not with the Super Late Model Series. Weston has a pair of podiums in Re/Max East Coast Elite Realty Pro Stock division competition, but has been snake bitten in SLMS competition, posting a last place finish at Speedway 660 before being unable to start at Oyster Bed Speedway. He has speed, he just needs luck to be on his side and the #43 car should be a contender.
Kenny Snow (#7) will miss this weekends event due to prior commitments but looks to have a substitute driver fill in to keep his team in the mix. Meanwhile, Brodie Lewis (#22) will be back on track to make his Petty International Raceway debut. Lewis missed the season opener at Speedway 660 but managed to hit the track for his series debut at his home track of Oyster Bed Speedway.
Stay Up To Date!
As raceday nears, fans are encouraged to stay tuned to social media for breaking news as it happens! Super Late Model Series can be found on social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter at @SLMSeries. Also be sure to check out our official website at SLMS.ca.
For more information on the Fog City Auto Spa 150, check out Petty International Raceway on Facebook, and online at pettyraceway.com