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Maritime Racing

Green Flag Flies at Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway Saturday

The moment that Cape Breton race fans have been patiently waiting for is finally here.

The green flag will drop on a new era in racing in the region on Saturday afternoon at 2pm with the opening of Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway in Sydney. Formerly Island Speedway, the property was purchased by Bill and Lynne Vasil in January and has been overhauled to make way for four racing events in the 2014 season.

Anticipation is high from race teams as three divisions prepare for their first races on the track, which has sat idle since 2010. The highlight on the afternoon is the NAPA Sportsman division, who will be contesting 100-laps in the Gillis Home Hardware 100. Many of the finest Late Model competitors in the region are set to re-open the track in style, including local favorites Chris and Kyle Reid (Sydney), who will be joined by their father Robby as he makes his first start in a Sportsman in a decade. Dave Timmons (Inverness) is coming off a second place run at Riverside International Speedway last weekend and has to be considered a favorite as he rides the wave of momentum into Saturday afternoon.

If they plan on holding their hot hands into Saturday night, they will have to hold off over a dozen others with the same task in mind. Darren Price, Shawn Waterfield, Brian MacLeod and Ross Lewis are among those expected to defend their home turf against drivers who will be looking to plant the checkered flag elsewhere.

While an expected entry list for Saturday is not available, pre-registrations have been strong for all three classes. In the Cape Breton Trailer Sales Street Stock and Truck division, favorites like Joey Rudderham, John Halliday, Matt Hoblett and Vance MacDonald have all been chomping at the bit to get back out on the Speedway after a long break from racing in their back yard.

While many are gearing up for their first race of 2014, rookie Kody Quinn of Sydney already has nearly two hands full of starts at tracks throughout New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. He will try to take his first feature win of the season in his Nova Scotia debut Saturday in the Cat Rental Store Mini Stock. He will be tough to beat, but so will guys like Brandon MacMillan, Brian Axworthy and Josh Benac, just to name a few of the dozen registrations. Word on the street is that Patricia Taylor of Moncton, New Brunswick will be making the long haul to compete in the Mini Stock class. Taylor sits third in points at Petty International Raceway and was voted as the track’s Most Popular Driver in 2013.

Opening ceremonies on Saturday will also include a concert by Cape Breton’s own Aselin Debison prior to the green flag in the NAPA Sportsman Gillis Home Hardware 100. Debison has been a corner stone for the musical landscape of Cape Breton for almost 12 years. Her career began at the age of nine, when Aselin captured hearts of Canadians as she performed the unofficial anthem of Cape Breton, “The Island,” for a coal miners’ rally in her hometown of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. From that moment, Debison’s success has climbed steadily and is a perfect fit to open Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway!

Qualifying begins at 2pm with heat races for the NAPA Sportsman, Cape Breton Trailer Sales Street and Trucks and The Cat Rental Store Mini Stocks. Features for the Cape Breton Trailer Sales Street and Trucks and The Cat Rental Store Mini Stocks are slated for after 3pm, with the Pre-Race Show and Opening Ceremonies set for 4:30pm. The green flag for the Gillis Home Hardware 100 for the NAPA Sportsman is scheduled for 6pm.

Grandstand admission for the season opener at Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway is $18 for Adults, $8 for Students 13-18 and free for Children 12 and under. Pit admission is $25.

The event is the first of four slated for the 2014 season. The balance of the schedule includes Saturday race dates on August 30th, September 27th and the grand finale on October 18th.

For complete, up-to-date information on Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway, please visit or like the track on Facebook.

About Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway:
Formerly Island Speedway, Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway was re-opened  by Bill and Lynne Vasil for racing in July 2014, bringing life to the motorsport and stock car racing scenes on Cape Breton Island. The track features three classes, the NAPA Sportsman, the Cape Breton Trailer Sales Street and Trucks, and The Cat Rental Store Mini Stocks, on four race dates in their inaugural season. The track is located at 1162 Grand Lake Road in Sydney, Nova Scotia. For more information, please visit or find the track on Facebook, at


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