Maritime Late Model/Sportsman Open 100 Set for Saturday at Oyster Bed Speedway
Track Release/Photo by Marlie Paynter
The Late Model Division at Oyster Bed Speedway this season has been filled with tight racing, driver outbursts and some healthy rivalries developing between a number of drivers on the circuit. Add in the fact that this weekend the Speedway is opening the pits to cars throughout the Maritimes and throwing out a healthy size purse for the drivers an exciting night of racing is expected. Both Sportsman and Late Model Cars from the Maritimes are invited to participate in the 100 Lap shoot-out. Adding to the intrigue, Speedway Officials and Drivers have agreed to make it a points race for the local Season Championship.
Guaranteed to the winner of the race will be a prize of $1000 and the top finishing Sportsman Car will get an added $500 plus their prize money for their overall position.
Driver rep and defending division Champion Kris Fournier who has been hitting his stride as of late scoring three wins including a Feature win over his last three weekends, explains that despite the dominance of one driver; the current division Leader Robbie MacEwen, many drivers have having good seasons.
“You have four different drivers with Feature wins this season, Allison MacKinnon had one of his best runs in last weekend’s feature leading many laps, eventually finishing second. A lot of drivers are beginning to narrow the gap and it is highly competitive out there.”
The top three drivers in the division are only separated by 40 points.
When asked about the various incidents between different drivers in the division this season Fournier had this to say.
“There has been some healthy rivalries developing this season and that is a component that the fans love to see. I can tell you that all the drivers in this division try their best to keep their noses clean but sometimes things happen in the heat of the moment and it’s the fans who win in the end.”
With some expressed interest from various drivers throughout the two other Maritimes Provinces, organizers are hoping for a good field.
Fournier adds, “It is always tough the first time you put on an event like this and open it up to other tracks. We did what we can but some of the factors are out of our control. Scotia Speedworld races Friday night and if some drivers from that track plan on coming but get into some wrecks Friday night they won’t be able to attend. Mother Nature is a big factor as well. Drivers don’t want to commit until they see the forecast the day before as well.”
Another interesting component is some rumors around the track that some drivers who used to run the Late Model division in PEI but have since moved on to the Pro-Stock ranks might be making an appearance for the 100 lap feature. Nothing has been confirmed as of yet but a few surprises are expected in that regards.
The purse for the event will carry at least an $8,000 payout, with the winner receiving at least a guaranteed $1,000. Full purse breakdown will be announced as the event nears.
The top finishing Sportsman car will receive an additional $500 – making the event worth a minimum $1,500 to win if a Sportsman car takes the checkered flag. If the highest finishing Sportsman car is second, then he will take second place purse money plus the $500 bonus, for example.
Sportsman cars from the mainland will be able to run their rules (complete with the Maritime Tracks Rules Amendments) with the addition of being able to purchase Oyster Bed Speedway track tires. The OBS Late Model division runs on a used Hoosier Pro Stock tire. Tires are available for $30 each on a first come, first serve basis. Teams may also use their used Sportsman tires or source their own used tire should they opt to do so. No new tires may be used in this event.
TCM Note – From Dale Holmes, in addition, Sportsman cars will be able to weigh 2900lbs for this event. Island Late Models have a weight rule of 3000lbs total.
Qualifying heat races (along with semis and a “B” feature, if necessary) will set the field for the 100-lap feature.
The full card of racing will kick of Saturday night at 7p.m. with the pits opening early afternoon.
Jeremy MacDonald is the track Announcer at Oyster Bed Speedway. Some information in this article was supplied by Tim Terry from www.timscorner.ca