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Maritime Racing

By The Numbers – 2014 Season

The 2014 season of stock car racing in Atlantic Canada sure had some memorable moments.

From incredible finishes to hard wrecks, new faces in the sport to old faces making returns to victory lane, hundreds of features were run in the region producing dozens of happy winners from Miramichi, New Brunswick to Avondale, Newfoundland, Oyster Bed Bridge, Prince Edward Island to Kingston, Nova Scotia and all points in between. While it would be difficult to profile each and every one of them here, we have come up with a mix of different moments that shaped the 2014 season and we have them for you here in our second annual “By the Numbers” Year in Review on

Feature photo by Scott Sinclair

00 – The number of the late Scott Fraser. Fraser was honored on numerous occasions in 2014, by being inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in November, as well as having his #00 retired by the Maritime Pro Stock Tour at the Atlantic Cat 250. In that event, Ben Rowe and Cassius Clark drove tribute schemes to Fraser, with Rowe finishing second behind race winner Dylan Blenkhorn in the #00 Atlantic Cat Chevrolet. Lonnie Sommerville would also go on to race a black and gold #00 Atlantic Cat car at the Re/Max 250 open race at Speedway 660.

_1DS1024The Scott Fraser Racing crew takes a moment for a photo prior to the pre-race ceremonies at the 15th Annual Atlantic Cat 250. Fraser’s #00, which was driven by Ben Rowe in the race to a second place finish, was retired from Maritime Pro Stock Tour competition following the event. Photo by McCarthy Photographic

2 – The point margin between the top three in the Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman Series heading into their season finale at Scotia Speedworld on September 13th.

Darren Wallage and Harry Ross White, veterans of the sport and drivers who have been down the championship road before squared off with Sportsman sophomore DJ Casey for the prestigious track title. Wallage and HOSS had each won a pair of features in 2014 compared to Casey’s one. Both HOSS and Wallage, who won the 2013 championship, had Casey bested on tie breakers, so the task was simple for the #97 car – win and be sure you’re ahead of both cars in points at the end of the day.

The heat race saw Wallage gain the advantage on HOSS, who entered as the winner from the previous week, and Casey, with a second place finish. Casey stalked Chris Dingle late in the qualifier but the two made contact for the lead, sending Dingle around and both to the rear of the field late in the 10-lap heat with the no fault rule in play. HOSS finished just behind Wallage in third, with Casey coming home sixth.

Casey wasted little time in the feature as he made his way to the front and battled with the likes of Phil Barkhouse Jr and fellow sophomore Travis Roma for the lead in the 50 lap affair. HOSS and Wallage each had to pick their way from the rear of the 23 car field and when the final green flag flew on a restart with five to go, both were positioned within the top five in hopes of taking the championship in the late laps.

In a wild scramble in the final two laps, Wallage made his way from barely hanging onto the top five, to making a daring three wide move to put his #3 Blair’s Custom Metals Chevrolet into third, past Harry Ross White, to put himself in championship contention. Casey would go on to win his second feature of the season, with Barkhouse behind him.

3 – The amount of rain outs before Riverside International Speedway finally got their Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet Buick GMC 150 card in. Originally scheduled for Saturday, June 14th, the track made the decision on that Friday to pull the plug on the Saturday show and move it to Sunday due to an unfavorable forecast. Sunday proved to be a day that left a lot to be desired, weather wise, and the plug was pulled as the competitor gates were scheduled to open on the rain date.

Weeks later, the announcement was made the race would take place on Friday, August 15th, on the eve of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 race at Riverside. The Friday race with the NAPA Sportsman Series would mark the first time the Maritime Pro Stock Tour would run on a Friday evening in the 14 year history of the series, but Mother Nature put a damper to that and washed out the race to Sunday afternoon, August 17th.

It turns out she was a race fan on the fourth attempt, and the race went green on Sunday with NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Most Popular Driver J.R. Fitzpatrick going to victory lane in a wild 150-lap event after leading every single lap in the #3 Nova Racing prepared Ford. Dylan Blenkhorn and Donald Chisholm completed the podium in a race which saw title contenders John Flemming, Darren MacKinnon and Shawn Tucker finish over 40 laps down each.

_1DS2503Donald Chisholm (left) congratulates J.R. Fitzpatrick on his win at Riverside Speedway in August 17th’s Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet Buick GMC 150. Fitzpatrick led all 150-laps en route to the win in the #3 Nova Racing Ford. (MCCARTHY PHOTOGRAPHY)

3:37 – The run time of Christina Aguilera’s song “Genie in a Bottle.” The song topped the charts in August 1999, which was the last time Pro Stocks/Super Late Models ran at Speedway Miramichi prior to September 28th, 2014. Jason Carnahan and his staff brought back the division to the North Shore for the first time in 15 years in 2014, with a caution free 125-lap affair won by Jonathan Hicken of Brudenell, PE.

4 – The amount of track championships owned by Cole Butcher at Scotia Speedworld in the last five seasons. Butcher, the 2010 Hydraulics Plus Bandolero champion, has earned the last three consecutive Strictly Hydraulics Legends titles at the 3/10-mile oval. His 2014 championship came on the strength of seven feature wins in the first eight races of the season.

4 – Not to be outdone, four is the number of major Mini Stock titles won by JR Lawson in the province of New Brunswick in 2014. Lawson, from Shubenacadie, drove his Honda Civic to the Petty Raceway and Centre For Speed track championships, won the NB Big Dawg Challenge between Petty Raceway and Speedway Miramichi, and drove his way to the win in the Atlantic Championships for Mini Stocks. Next up for Lawson? The Coors Light Truck division at Scotia Speedworld in 2015!

7 – Debuts on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour this season. New Brunswick’s Ken Mackenzie, Brady Creamer, Robbie Fraser and Sarah McKay, Nova Scotia’s Ryan Mackintosh and Emily Meehan along with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton all made their first starts on the series in 2014.

9 – The amount of features held during the Caleb Dunn Memorial at Petty International Raceway on Sunday, August 3rd. Winners included Ken Mackenzie (Pro Stock), Russell Smith Jr (Sportsman), James Matchett and Marshall Barry (Street Stock), Cory Hall and Adam Meehan (Bandolero), Mike Edwards (Mini Stock), Amanda Wheatley (Eastern Super Mini Cup) and Ryan Messer (Atlantic Modified).

10am – The time of the green flag for the 14th Annual Re/Max 250 at Speedway 660. The race was washed out prior to Driver Introductions on Sunday of Labour Day Weekend due to persistent showers. The 2014 edition was the first time the race was rained out and run on Monday in the event history.

12 – The number of the late Scott Kelly, which was retired by the Maritime Pro Stock Tour during the Atlantic Cat 250. The numbers of Kelly and Scott Fraser are the only two numbers retired from competition on the biggest short track touring series in Canada. Donald Chisholm drove a #12 Parts for Trucks scheme in the Atlantic Cat 250 as a tribute to Kelly.

13 – The age of Atlantic Modified Tour champion Ryan Messer. Messer officially made the transition to “big cars” this season, winning three races and taking the Atlantic Modified Tour championship drivers who have more years in stock car racing than the Harvey, New Brunswick driver has years on this earth. Messer will make the move to the Late Model Sportsman division in 2015.

14 – The number of race tracks (oval, dirt, road) that hosted stock car racing in Atlantic Canada in 2014, including Nova Scotia’s Lake Doucette Motor Speedway (Salmon River), Valley Raceway (Kingston), Scotia Speedworld (Enfield), Atlantic Motorsports Park (North Salem), Riverside Speedway (James River), Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway (Sydney), New Brunswick’s Petty Raceway (River Glade), Centre For Speed (Shediac), Speedway Miramichi (Miramichi), Speedway 660 (Geary), Redneck Raceway (Norton), Prince Edward Island’s Oyster Bed Speedway (Oyster Bed Bridge) and Newfoundland’s Eastbound Park (Avondale) and Thunder Valley Speedway (Bishop’s Falls).

16 – The number of starts it took for Donald Chisholm to win in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1. Chisholm won the Wilson Equipment 300 at Riverside International Speedway in August, becoming the 15th different winner in series history, and also collected his first career series pole on the evening.

Wilson Equipment 300Donald Chisholm celebrates with his crew after winning the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 Wilson Equipment 300 at Riverside Speedway on August 16th. Photo by Matthew Murnaghan/Getty Images for NASCAR

18 – Wins racked up by Jason Baglole in the Mini Stock division at Oyster Bed Speedway, between heats, semis and features. Baglole also won the first feature race contested in Atlantic Canada in 2014 by winning the Mini Stock feature at Oyster Bed on Monday, May 19th.

22 – In one of the most controversial finishes of the year, the #22 of Remi Gaudet was awarded the win in the Atlantic Championships Sportsman 100 at the CENTRE For Speed in October after he spun following contact with the #61 car of Chris Cormier. The event, which was being run under the “no fault incident” system, saw the incident trumped by the “protect the leader” rule, which the track has had in their rulebook. Click here to read more on the finish to the event.

23– The number of female drivers who competed in stock car series in 2014 in Atlantic Canada, up by two from our 2013 count. Speedway 660 still holds the count for the most female drivers to compete on a regular basis, including 2014 Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman feature winner Alexandra O’Blenis, Street Stockers “The Port City Princess” Destiny Enkel, Heidi Cooper, Pro Stock rookie Alicia Mowat, Courtney Barton, who ran in the Sharp Shooter class and double dipped by helping her sister Kim Barton out in the Enduro class. Shelby Hughes also made her debut in the Enduro class in 2014.

They were joined in New Brunswick by Four Cylinder stars Samantha Flieger of Speedway Miramichi and Patricia Taylor of Petty International Raceway.

Three females took part in the Chris’s Bobcat Service Four Fun division at Oyster Bed Speedway, including Jillian Gregory, Lisa Stewart and Sarah Jay.

A six pack represented Nova Scotia based teams, led by Scotia Speedworld’s “Miss Rawdon Rocket” Emily Meehan, Megan Parrott, Marie Brown and “Hollywood” Chantel Ackles. Rhonda Kelloway and Ashley Vassallo took part in the CAT Rental Store Mini Stock division at Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway.

Whitney Farrell and Sara Thorne took part in the INEX program at the newly opened Eastbound Park in Avondale, NL, in the Legends and Bandolero divisions, respectively.

When it came to touring divisions, Sarah McKay of Quispamsis, NB made history by becoming the first full time female competitor, and Rookie of the Year, on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour, Amanda Wheatley of Warren Grove, PE won the Eastern Super Mini Cup Series title on the strength of six wins and Meehan campaigned her Legend car on the Maritime League of Legends Tour along with making her Parts for Trucks Tour debut in September.

In addition to the O’Blenis sisters and Wheatley, Taylor, Gregory and Meehan each won features this season. Gregory ended the season at Oyster Bed Speedway by winning the last two main features of the year.

_1DS7131Four of the 23 female drivers in Atlantic Canada race at Scotia Speedworld and are seen here during the 2014 Speedworld Awards Ceremony at the Best Western Plus Glengarry in Truro, Nova Scotia. From left – Marie Brown, Emily Meehan, Megan Parrott and Chantel Ackles. Photo by McCarthy Photographic

26th – July 26th, 2014 was a major day in Maritime motorsports, with three tracks holding big events. In Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway opened their doors for the first time under the ownership of Bill and Lynne Vasil, with the Gillis Home Hardware 100 for the NAPA Sportsman Series being the headlining card, which was won by Chris Reid. Mike MacLeod won the Street Stock portion of the event, while Kody Quinn topped the Mini Stock field. Aselin Debison played a pre-race concert as a part of the re-opening ceremonies for the track.

On Prince Edward Island, the inaugural Maritime Late Model 100 went green. The event invited Sportsman teams from the mainland to make the trek to the Island to run with the Central Engine Services Late Models for their longest race of the year. While Byron Bartlett and Andrew Hicken both experienced issues around the halfway point, it was Robbie MacEwen and Matt Palmer that stole the show at the finish, with the two swapping the lead late in the race. The win went to MacEwen, who would also go on later in the year to take the track championship.

At Speedway 660, Dave O’Blenis claimed his second consecutive Best of the Best Pro Stock 150 and a free ticket into the Re/Max 250 along with. O’Blenis was running third in the race with 20 laps to go when Maine legend Ben Rowe and Lonnie Sommerville got together for the lead, sending both spinning and to the rear of the field. O’Blenis was joined on the podium by Kevin Moore and Chris Duncan in a race which featured a 22 car starting grid.

28 – Street Stocks that took the green flag at the Atlantic Championships 100 at the CENTRE For Speed in Grand Barachois, NB. The event featured Street Stocks and Trucks from all three Maritime provinces. Geoff Tugwell crossed the line first, but failed post race technical inspection, giving the win to Prince Edward Island’s Mark LeClair.

33 – The biggest Pro Stock/Super Late Model field of the season at Speedway 660 for the Re/Max 250.

43 – Demolition Derby cars that showed up at Oyster Bed Speedway during their season finale event in September. With a derby canceled on the west side of the Island during the summer, it created an influx of cars for the derby at Oyster Bed Bridge, which was originally scheduled for Labour Day but was pushed back twice due to weather.

44 – A number that Sportsman competitors in the region saw plenty of times in 2014, Russell Smith Jr. of Lakeside, Nova Scotia captured his second consecutive track championship at Petty Raceway and captured the Maritime Sportsman Challenge championship by sweeping the three race series at Riverside International Speedway, Scotia Speedworld and Petty International Raceway. Smith also finished second on Speedweekend at Speedway 660 to Dave O’Blenis in the Irving Oil Blending & Packaging 150.

_2DS7293“The Bounty Hunter” took home his share of checkered flags from around the region in 2014. Photo by McCarthy Photographic

47 – Ralph Vokey announced at the end of the season that he will be hanging up the flags. Vokey, who got his start in Ontario flagging at various race tracks including numerous years at Sunset and Barrie Speedways, has 47 years under his belt at the end of 2014. Vokey has been throwing the flag for Scotia Speedworld and the Maritime Pro Stock Tour in recent seasons. All the best in retirement Ralphy!

47 – The amount of local race cards covered by Tim’s Corner Motorsports in 2014, with 22 taking place in Nova Scotia, 18 in New Brunswick and seven in Prince Edward Island.

50th – The River Glade International celebrated its 50th edition in 2014. The race, which originated at nearby River Glade Speedway, moved to Petty International Raceway when the track re-opened. The 2014 edition was highlighted by the Sportsman Jones Auto Body 100 and the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour Atlantic Dodge Dealers 150 features, won by Russell Smith Jr. and Jonathan Hicken, respectively.

51 – The car number of now four time Speedway 660 Enduro champion Pat Sharpe. Sharpe, who scored three straight Enduro titles at the track from 2009, 2010 and 2011, returned to the top this season in the three race series with one win and a pair of second place finishes.

sharpePat Sharpe and team celebrate a win in the first leg of the Enduro season at Speedway 660 on Sunday, June 29th. Sharpe went on to win his fourth Enduro title in 2014.

60 – Distance of the David Lambe Memorial Street Stock race in 2014. The 60 lap distance was chosen by the teams in the drivers meeting that day as opposed to 75 due to most teams not being able to run 75 on one tank of fuel. The race was won by Oyster Bed Speedway Stella Maris Credit Union champion Mark MacLean.

77% – The percentage of panel votes taken by Steve Ross and “the Two-Fer” in the Finish Line Vinyl Design Best Looking Car Award this season. The win by Ross means the award stays in Nova Scotia for the third consecutive year.

99.88% – Percentage of laps completed by Jonathan Hicken in the 12 Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour races in 2014. Hicken completed 1,798 laps of the 1,800 total on the series.

178 – The amount of feature races covered by Tim’s Corner Motorsports in 2014. Of those, 94 different drivers scored wins, with Cole Butcher scoring the most of those features with seven.

_1DS4003Cole Butcher won seven races this season en route to his third consecutive Strictly Hydraulics Legends track championship at Scotia Speedworld. Photo by McCarthy Photographic

218 – The amount of laps led by Antigonish’s Donald Chisholm in the IWK 250 presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body before having to settle for second to Halifax’s John Flemming. Much like was the case in 2011 event, the race came down to a restart with three laps to go, but this time it was Flemming who took the lead from Chisholm with three laps to go to seal his second win in the prestigious race. In that 2011 event, the shoe was on the other foot for Flemming, when he led 227 laps of the race and lost to Darren MacKinnon.

$300 – The payout for Tim Webster in winning the Jay’s Chicken and Ribs 35 at Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway. The race marked the biggest purse “to win” Mini Stock race in the region in recent years.

$500 – While the rule is there, it is a rarity to see the $500 restart fine in action during the Pro All Stars Series races. The dollar value itself is usually enough to score competitors away from jumping restarts. Fans at the PASS North 150 at Speedway 660 got to see it in action when Turner, Maine’s Glen Luce jumped a mid-race restart and cost himself $500.

1,640 – The amount of laps completed by Sarah McKay in her rookie season on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour. McKay took home the prestigious Exide Batteries Rookie of the Year Award on the series.

_1DS4911Sarah McKay (right) accepts the Exide Batteries Rookie of the Year Award from Karen McKinley of Exide Batteries following the Dartmouth Dodge 200 at Scotia Speedworld on September 13th. Photo by McCarthy Photographic

$1,800 – The difference between first place Andrew Rodgers and second place Brent Roy in the $3000-to-win Martin’s Home Heating 100 at Speedway 660 in June. The two youngsters put on a side-by-side show that is still on the tips of tongues in the Geary woods.

Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself!

$20,200 – The payday for Travis Benjamin during the Re/Max 250 at Speedway 660. Travis led 104 laps in the race, worth $5200 in lap money, and collected $15,000 for the win. Not bad for a Monday morning at the office, eh?

177,000 – The 15th Annual Atlantic Cat 250 was an internet hit, with over 177,000 listeners tuning in at one point or another during the race at

Our Year in Reviews are just beginning on Keep tabs to the website next week to find out what the biggest stories of the year were, traffic wise, on the Tim’s Corner Motorsports website in 2014. Tim will also serve up his thoughts on 2014 and look at 2015 in his annual New Year’s Eve issue of his Notebook!

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