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Oyster Bed Speedway

Oyster Bed Speedway Gears up for Busy 2024 Season Starting Sunday

Track Release/Photo by WingNut Productions

(CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – May 16, 2024) – The weather’s getting warmer and the clock is ticking towards a new season of racing at Prince Edward Island’s only paved stock car oval in Oyster Bed Bridge!

Oyster Bed Speedway is set to begin its 2024 schedule this weekend with the annual Victoria Day Weekend Season Opener on Sunday, May 19 at 2 p.m. From that day onward, the 2024 season will be highlighted by six house classes, three super series, four regional touring series, and two demolition derbies. The Mini Stock, Outlaw, and Street Stock divisions will welcome back Super Series competition with three races per division. The A&S Scrap Metals Bombers have been given a separate class after some test runs alongside the Mini Stocks in 2024.

On select weekends, the house classes will be joined by the Easy-Kleen Pressure Systems Super Late Model Series, East Coast International Pro Stock Tour, Cross Roads Maritime League of Legends Tour, and Heart of a Champion Hot Rod Classics.

Demolition derbies will commence after the races on May 19 and September 12. Fan Appreciation Night returns on June 1 with fan discounts. The popular Power Wheels races will run with 24-volt and 12-volt classes on May 19, July 13, and September 7. Kids Rides will occur on June 1, June 29, and September 2.

With many familiar faces ready to return and plenty of freshmen arriving on the scene, the 2024 season looks to be another thrilling and historical one filled with entertainment for the island faithful. Coming off a season hampered by Mother Nature, the Oyster Bed Speedway family is eager for a wet-free and sunny summer. This article previews what’s to come for the new season, who’s back, and who’s new.

 

2024 OYSTER BED SPEEDWAY SEASON OPENER STORYLINES

 

P.E.I. Prospect Pool Remains Hot and Familiar in Bandoleros

The Reliable Motors Bandoleros won’t see many changes as nearly every driver from 2023 is back and set to put on more epic championship battles, and several new faces will begin their racing careers. Like last year, there will be separate classes, with the young guns running in the Beginner class and the experienced racers running in the Outlaw class. As for who’s racing in each class, that is still to be determined, but considering last year’s results, there is an idea of what to expect this summer.

Mason Gillis (#9) enters 2024 as the defending Beginner Bandolero champion, who won two features and 10 heats/semis last year. Championship runner-up Andrew O’Connor (#63) fell four points short after winning three features. Third-place points finisher Hudson Linzel-Waddell (#57) fell out of the title battle in the final few weeks but held on to the bottom end of the championship podium with two feature wins, including the Tim’s Corner Motorsports September Shootout Beginner Feature.

Andrew’s sister, Juliana (#10), fan favourite Rhyan Burke (#01), Best Appearing Car award winner Ashtyn Gariepy (#11), and Most Dedicated Driver award winner Payton Gallant (#42) form a passionate group of young female racing stars who are all eager to improve from their past campaigns. Burke scored multiple feature podium finishes and Gallant surprised everyone with a feature win in September.

The O’Connor duo won’t be the only sibling tandem this summer. Oliver Rayner (#23), who ran part-time in 2023, will fight for a championship and be joined by sister Charlee (#24). Regan (#23) and Landon MacBeth (#34) arrive from Pisquid West. Another rookie, Kace Scott (#81), joins the roster from Clyde River.

Nova Scotia phenom Landon Pierce (#19) returns as the defending Outlaw Bandolero champion. After falling 35 points short of the 2022 title, Pierce dominated the field in 2023 with four feature wins and a podium finish in all but two races (including heats and semis). The momentum doesn’t end there as Pierce had plenty of success across the Maritimes, including a Bud’s Speedway championship (Sydney, N.S.), Mike Stevens Memorial win (River Glade, N.B.), and SpeedWeekend Bandolero Blast win (Geary, N.B.).

His third season at Oyster Bed could be his biggest challenge yet, however, as the Doyle brothers, from Stratford, also ride some momentum. Championship runner-up Cole Doyle (#12) had a rough start to his fourth career season but eventually turned things around with dominant runs in August and September, which included two triple wins. Brother Simon Doyle (#91) visited victory lane only once but was very consistent and clean all season.

Hunter MacKinnon (#07), the son of Pro Stock driver Allison MacKinnon, hopes to continue his career resurgence as he still recovers from a terrifying crash a few years ago. Oyster Bed Bridge’s very own Wyatt Peters (#33) had a roller coaster of a season in 2023 which included a Mid-Summer Shootout win in July and the Hard Charger award at the season’s end.

Bombers Advance to Full-Time Competition

The Alvin’s Auto Sales & Repair Bombers have stepped up to a separate, full-time class in 2024 after completing test runs last year alongside the Mini Stocks. With the help of dedicated racers like Jamie Ronaghan (#59) and Zachary Chappell (#44), multiple cars were built over the offseason and will hit the track on June 29, July 13, August 24, and September 7.

Ronaghan, a 14-time race winner in 2018 and the 2021 Street Stock Rookie of the Year, will run on a part-time basis, while Chappell, a multi-time Mini Stock race winner in the early 2010s, is expected to compete for the division’s first-ever year-long championship.

Souris native Spencer Paton (#35) joins Chappell as another driver returning from a long hiatus. The former Outlaw driver, who last raced in 2018, will join Chappell in the battle for the championship, along with former staff member Caycie DesRoches (#16). Miscouche’s Kate Bridges and Ryan Cormier enter the field with the #05 team.

Mini Stocks Welcome Dynamic Rookie Class

The Chris’s Bobcat Services Mini Stocks will have a mixture of familiarity and youth in the mix in 2024 as several popular faces move on to other divisions and a new core of drivers enter the division. With drivers like fan favourite Corey Bridges and multi-time winner Brandon Forsyth going to Outlaws, the championship will be wide open for anyone to take. Some names will be expected to carry the torch, while others are full of mystery and untapped potential. The 2024 title battle could be the division’s best in years.

Three returning drivers are expected to be championship favourites. Veteran Randy MacTavish (#76) might have the biggest advantage of them all with his 13 years of experience and a pair of feature wins in 2023. Reigning Rookie of the Year Cash Bridges (#69) enters his second full-time season as a prime title candidate after finishing fifth in the standings and claiming one heat win. Most Improved Driver Ricky Bedell (#2) exits a campaign full of hits and misses, which included an unexpected triple win on Labour Day and a crash at the Shediac Atlantic Championships in New Brunswick.

Behind the three returnees is a group of freshmen who are eager to make an immediate impact. Campbell Stewart (#3), son of winning race couple Tyler Gauthier and Sarah Jay, will make his Oyster Bed Speedway debut in Brandon Forsyth’s former car. A plethora of former staff members will get behind the wheel, including Austin Corrigan (#10) and Corbin MacAulay (#17). MacAulay fulfills a childhood dream after a decade of building sim racing prowess, which will play a key role in his transition to the real racing world.

Last year’s Most Dedicated Driver Adam Holland (#01) is set to run full-time. Rookie Rosie Kitson (#13) and two-time and defending Mini Stock champion Jeff Bridges (#95) will compete on part-time schedules.

Competition Expected to Ramp Up Further in 4-Cylinder Outlaws

Throughout 2023, the Moore Well Drilling Outlaws were highly praised by fans for their consistent entertainment and driver attendance. Now, the praise might get even stronger as this summer’s roster offers a massive crop of well-known veterans and a pair of racers coming over from other divisions. On paper, this year could be one of, if not the best for this division.

Last year was the Ricky Millar (#17) show, as Millar was in victory lane almost every weekend and had the championship clutched weeks before the season finale. The fan-favourite racer earned five feature wins (plus six heat/semi wins) and added a regional title in the Ahead of the Rest Mini Stock/Outlaw Challenge. Millar will not take part in this summer’s championship fight due to his move to Alberta, but he is expected to return to defend his RE/MAX Rumble crown. Last year’s championship runner-up Ryan McKnight (#46) will also not participate as he focuses on managerial duties for the AOTR Mini Stock Challenge and Petty International Raceway’s Mini Stock division.

Two sibling groups headline the division and are expected to put on a wicked battle for the championship. The LeClair brothers have been contending for the Outlaw title for years but still have yet to achieve title fame. Jordan LeClair (#47) finished second in points while Jessie (#46) finished fifth, and the pair combined for only one win in all of 2023. Behind them is the Bridges family, where Corey Bridges (#04) moves over from the Mini Stocks after three straight years of finishing third or higher in points. Cash Bridges (#69) and Jeff Bridges (#95) will run part-time and potentially eye a Super Series championship.

Corey is not the only driver moving over from Mini Stocks, as Brandon Forsyth (#3) will join him and keep familiar battles going from recent years. Forsyth is exiting a season where he scored four feature wins and a third-place championship finish.

A plethora of veterans are back, including former champions Layton Delaney (#7) and Harley Cornish (#13) and multi-time award winners Bradley Richard (#49) and Jamie Cummings (#81). Former track champions Jonathan Fitzpatrick and Tyler MacLean (#78) return to the track for the first time in several years and will share a car. The #5 car is back with a collaborative effort from multi-time track champion Matt Palmer, 2019 Outlaw champion Matt Watson, and James Doucette. Ethan (#11) and Brady Albert (#38) will make several appearances along with Scotchford’s Charles Cleal.

New Title Sponsor, Dramatic Silly Season for Street Stocks

Oyster Bed Speedway’s headline division might have the most significant maneuvers out of them all both on and off the track. Off the track, the Street Stock division welcomes a new title sponsor in Gauthier’s Auto Repair, owned and operated by reigning division champion Tyler Gauthier. On the track, the division is coming off a spectacular championship battle that ended with an eight-point gap between first and second. This summer, the title war sees a different dynamic as last year’s top two drivers have other plans.

Gauthier will hand the reigns of his award-winning car to his fiancé Sarah Jay (#30), who returns behind the wheel for the first time in a while. Jay is a former Mini Stock and Outlaw winner and will be the first full-time female Street Stock driver since two-time champion Amanda Wheatley, who last raced in 2018. Female racing fans will certainly be hyped to witness her fierce and lively personality face off against the best of the best. Jay also intends to run in the Maritime All-Star Street Stock Series on the mainland.

Last year’s championship runner-up, and two-time champion, Colton Ford (#35) won’t be seen near as much this summer due to other commitments. With Gauthier and Ford not in the running for this season’s championship, we’ll be seeing a passing of the torch of Oyster Bed Speedway’s most illustrious crown.

Multi-time champion and fan favourite Randy Millar (#77) returns for his 31st consecutive year of racing seeking his first Street Stock championship since 2008. Last year was a turbulent one for Millar, filled with car problems, crashes, and personal grief, but no matter what happened, his work ethic and humbleness kept him pushing, and he’ll be hungry to take advantage of the holes left by Gauthier and Ford. Reigning Most Dedicated Driver award winner and veteran Andrew Thompson (#4) is back and looking for improved speed and results after an up-and-down 2023 campaign.

Former Piston Cup champion Mike Duskey (#42) returns with over 25 career wins and was consistently fast in his 2023 appearances. Last season’s Rookie of the Year Tyler Doucette (#24) enters his third summer at the track, which will be his second in a Street Stock. The 2022 Mini Stock champion moved over from Mini Stocks midway through 2023 and he quickly proved his worth in the track’s headline class. Former championship runner-up Brandon Albert (#37) seeks to build off his three 2023 feature wins and use the momentum to chase after the year-long championship and Super Series title. Oyster Bed Bridge’s very own Randy Snow (#26) is back on a full-time schedule for the first time since 2016, a year when he won eight races.

2023 Speedway Miramichi Street Stock champion Brodie MacQuarrie (#28), former Mini Stock race winner Zach Chappell (#44), Summerside’s Mitchell Arsenault (#51), and Matthew Ford (#86) will run part-time, with some of them eyeing the Super Series championship.

With more part-timers and mainland drivers likely to show up over the summer, this may be the best Street Stock championship feud we’ll ever see at Oyster Bed Speedway.

Two Dates & New Title Sponsor For Returning Easy-Kleen Super Late Model Series

Atlantic Canada’s newest stock car racing series is back at Oyster Bed Speedway this year with two dates and a new title sponsor. The Easy-Kleen Pressure Systems Super Late Model Series announced its 2024 schedule on Nov. 30, 2023, which revealed returns to P.E.I. on Saturday, June 15 and Saturday, August 3. Chapman Brothers Construction, with support from Hynes Paving, and Universal Truck and Trailer returns as title sponsors for this year’s events.

The sponsors were swapped for this season, so the Universal Truck and Trailer 150 will occur in June while the Chapman Bros. 150 presented by Hynes Paving will commence in August.

The series is coming off a successful inaugural campaign that drew in widespread popularity and excellent, competitive racing. With an average of 25 cars each race and having procedures such as the passing points system, the choose cone, and zero competition cautions, the Easy-Kleen Super Late Model Series returns to Oyster Bed Bridge hoping to keep the region’s newfound energy going. Two-time Oyster Bed Speedway champion Dylan Gosbee (#16) won the series’ inaugural championship with one feature win, one pole, and four top-five finishes.

Last year’s SLMS races at Oyster Bed Speedway were nothing short of successful and breath-taking. Combining both races, there were two different winners (both being past track winners), five different race leaders, and an average caution count of 5.5, a historic rarity. The Chapman Bros. 150 on June 17 saw Greg Proude (#29) and Darren MacKinnon (#18) fight neck-and-neck for the win, with Proude coming out on top in a dramatic finish. The Universal Truck and Trailer 150 on August 6 saw two-time track champion Troy Burke (#01) dominate the first 100 laps until Gosbee caught up and sailed away with the win.

Most Island-born drivers from 2023 are back and eager to follow in Gosbee’s footsteps, including Proude, MacKinnon, Brodie Lewis (#22), and Robbie MacEwen (#40). Four-time Modified champion Kent Vincent (#8) returned to full-time competition starting in the recent Fog City Auto Spa 150 at Petty International Raceway, where he finished fourth in spectacular fashion.

2016 Late Model champion Chris Hughes (#32) intends to run several races. New Brunswick’s Ashton Tucker (#2) and Cory Hall (#83) are expected to be the title favourites and will look to spoil the island party. Tucker is a former Yard Gard 250, Mike Stevens Memorial, and Summer Clash 250 winner. Hall won a Pro Stock 150 at Oyster Bed in 2022.

Fans can stay up to date with all news and information from the Easy-Kleen Super Late Model Series by checking out their official website at SLMS.ca and their social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and X at @SLMSeries.

Pressure Is On For Pro Stock Tour To Repeat 2023 Race Success

The East Coast International Pro Stock Tour is back at Oyster Bed Speedway in 2024 with one date. The distinguished Atlantic Canada tour announced its 2024 schedule on Dec. 22, 2023, which revealed a return to P.E.I. on Saturday, July 27. BJ’s Truck Centre returns as the title sponsor for this year’s event, which will be round seven of 10 on the Pro Stock Tour schedule. It’s a race expected to serve a key role in the championship, especially as the “monkey in the middle” to the prestigious IWK 250 and Summer Clash 250.

The tour is coming off a season where Craig Slaunwhite (#99) earned his third-straight championship and won the IWK 250 at Riverside International Speedway in dramatic fashion. Slaunwhite is reducing his schedule to part-time runs, which creates a big opportunity for other drivers to step up and form a battle for the ages. Jarrett Butcher (#54) fell 53 points short of last year’s title, but he won three races, including the BJ’s Truck Centre 150 at Oyster Bed Speedway with a late pass for the win.

That race was touted as one of the best pro stock/super late model races within the region due to a heated battle between local and mainland drivers. Troy Burke (#01) and Darren MacKinnon (#18) clashed with each other for most of the race, keeping everyone up on their feet wondering who was the better local talent. A late restart brought the field back together, and contact between the two track champions with nearly 10 laps remaining, giving Butcher the lead and his second-career Pro Stock Tour win.

Notable P.E.I. drivers returning to the tour this year are Allison MacKinnon (#07), Tanton Wooldridge (#28), Chris Hughes (#32), and Mark LeClair (#51). Hughes will carry East Coast International as his main sponsor for most of the season, which will feature a return to Oyster Bed for this year’s event.

The pressure is on to echo the success of the 2023 BJ’s Truck Centre 150. Don’t be surprised if more drivers show interest in making the long haul to Oyster Bed Bridge to get in on the action of the late July showdown.

Stay tuned to www.maritimeprostocktour.com for all the latest news or follow them on X, Facebook, or Instagram at @prostocktour.

Legends and Hot Rods Add Boost to Regional Entertainment

Two regional series will join the Easy-Kleen Super Late Model Series on different race cards this season, with the Cross Roads Maritime League of Legends Tour running on June 15 and the Heart of a Champion Hot Rod Classics powered by Conrad Bros running on August 3. Between two weekends across the summer, fans will witness young racing phenoms clash in the Legends and vintage pros show off the building foundation of racing within the Maritimes.

Last year, both series saw Nova Scotians come out on top. Caden Tufts won the MLOL Island ICF 50 on July 29 in a thrilling event. Jim Rankin won the Subaru of Charlottetown 35 in a photo finish. Tufts will be back to run for the regional Legends championship and Rankin’s “Screamin’ Demon” will be on full display across the Maritimes all summer long.

2022 Oyster Bed Speedway Bandolero champion Daniel Vandenburg is set to advance from regional Bandolero runs to the Maritime League of Legends Tour in 2024. The Truro, N.S. phenom had a season for the ages in 2023 with a Tim’s Corner Motorsports Bandolero September Shootout win and championships at Petty International Raceway and Scotia Speedworld.

More Information

Stay up-to-date on our website and social media pages for more breaking news and updates as they happen across the 2024 season and beyond.

Oyster Bed Speedway can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok at @oysterbedspeedway, and @obspeedwaypei on YouTube and X.

Merchandise is available at www.obsmerch.ca.  Shop Samantha Busch merch is available.

About Oyster Bed Speedway

Oyster Bed Speedway is Prince Edward Island’s premier auto racing facility and features fun and excitement with weekly stock car racing special events throughout the season. The 1/3 mile paved oval is located in Oyster Bed Bridge at the intersection of routes 6 and 7, halfway between Cavendish and Charlottetown on beautiful Prince Edward Island.

Website: www.oysterbedspeedwaypei.ca

 

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