2015 TCM Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft – Selections Six to Ten
The wait is over!
After weeks of panel deliberation, the 2015 Tim’s Corner Motorsports Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft list is ready.
Our four person panel, comprised of local industry professionals whom have seen many laps over their racing careers, have come together with Tim Terry of Tim’s Corner Motorsports to form the second annual list, ranking the young talent in the region.
The objective? To recognize Atlantic Canada’s up and coming talents in the sport. Those that could, in the future, upend a Shawn Tucker, John Flemming or Shawn Turple to give us a new Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour champion. You could look at it as a scouting report for, if the opportunity came along to put an Atlantic Canadian driver in a seat down south, to put him or her in it. Our list is based on talent, on and off the track. If a driver was to uproot and head down south looking for a ride, and money was not an option, who would be best suited for the ride and who would be able to turn heads?
The panelists were presented with a list of 25 drivers, aged 21 and under as of 2015, with a brief list of accomplishments, along with a write-in option, with to create their own top ten list. These lists, along with fan nominations from earlier this year, were used to create the final list.
Our panel was given these eligibility requirements to keep in mind when making their selections:
– Must not turn 22 prior to December 31st, 2015 (drivers aged 21 and under as of completion of 2015 (drivers born between 1994 and now) are considered).
– Must have competed on Atlantic Canadian soil during the 2014 season. Those who have plans to compete in Atlantic Canada in 2015 was also a strong criteria consideration in the nomination and ranking process.
– Must be born in Atlantic Canada or have Atlantic Canadian roots.
So, without further adieu, here is the first of three parts of our TCM Atlantic Canadian Short Track draft – selections ten to six!
All Photos by McCarthy Photographic, unless otherwise indicated.
#10 Adam Meehan
2014 Scotia Speedworld Bandolero Runner-Up (Five Wins)
2014 Petty Raceway Bandolero Third Place in Points (One Win)
2013 Scotia Speedworld Bandolero Champion (Six Wins)
2013 Petty Raceway Bandolero Runner-Up
2011 Scotia Speedworld Bandolero Rookie of the Year Runner-Up (Third Overall)
2014 TCM Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft Ranking – Selection #8
Meehan came close to once again winning the Scotia Speedworld Bandolero title in 2014 as he and Braden Langille dueled it out for the title coming down to September. He made his presence known in his final season of Bandolero racing though, scoring six wins, five of those coming at Scotia Speedworld along with a breakthrough feature win on Caleb Dunn Memorial Weekend at Petty Raceway. He graduates from the Bandolero program in Halifax as one of the winningest drivers with 15 feature victories. Add in heats, he has carried 28 checkered flags around the infield of the 3/10-mile oval in four seasons.
He is among the growth in the Atlantic Tiltload Maritime League of Legends Series and will run that series along with the Scotia Speedworld Weekly Legends in 2015. The potential that Meehan carries, especially with his Bandolero stat line, is huge. He will make starts at Riverside International Speedway, Oyster Bed Speedway, Atlantic Motorsports Park and the “big oval” at his home track of Scotia Speedworld for the first time. If his adaptability to a car he has two starts in, combined with his adaptability of new venues, is seamless, Meehan will not only be a dangerous contender for the Rookie of the Year Award, but also for feature wins and an overall series championship.
#9 Braden Langille
2015 INEX Winter Nationals Bandolero Outlaw Champion (Five Wins)
2014 Feature Winner at “The Bulling” at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway
2014 Scotia Speedworld Bandolero Champion (One Feature Win)
2014 Chi City Showdown (Speedway Miramichi), Atlantic Champion (CENTRE For Speed) Race Winner
2014 Petty Raceway Bandolero Runner-Up (Two Feature Wins)
Multi-time INEX Canadian East Bandolero Champion
2014 TCM Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft Ranking: Not ranked
Let the age debate begin.
At Scotia Speedworld, Langille’s home track, house rules state a driver must be 16 before he climbs aboard a race car to race against adults. Most tracks in the region will allow a 14 year old to compete in any stock car class at their track, most given that the driver in question has proven themselves able to compete at that level.
Enter Langille, who we have in our records at 14 years of age in 2015. He has done about everything in a Bandolero car and last year scored wins at four different race tracks in the region – not including a trio of wins south of the border. He began 2015 with a clean sweep of INEX Winter Nationals in the Outlaw division. That event also included Langille’s first competitive laps in a Legend car, in which he recorded a top five finish in the Young Lions class in his first career start.
When you become a big fish in a small pond, most would have the reaction to move up. For Langille, that is not an option at Scotia Speedworld.
Langille will compete in Bandoleros locally in 2015, in search for a back-to-back championship at Scotia Speedworld and a National championship. He will also get his feet wet at other tracks in the region in his Legend car on the Atlantic Tiltload Maritime League of Legends Series.
Either way, Langille has a huge amount of talent, that has shown in the Bandolero ranks in recent years. Question remains – what will the future bring?!
#8 Brad Eddy
2014 Parts for Trucks Tour – 6th in Dartmouth Dodge 200
2014 Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown – 12th place
2011 NASCAR Whelen All American Series Track Champion – Tri County Motor Speedway (NC)
2009 Scotia Speedworld Bandolero Champion
2006, 2007, 2008 Scotia Speedworld Bandolero Runner-Up
2014 TCM Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft Ranking: 4th
Okay, let’s call a spade a spade, 2014 wasn’t a huge “banner year” for Brad Eddy.
Sure, Eddy became the first Canadian to ever compete in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, finishing 12th in his first appearance at South Boston Speedway and his first NASCAR Late Model Stock start since his Tri-County Speedway championship season in 2011.
Eddy was on his way to a top ten finish in the IWK 250 presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body, but, as the story goes, he got rear ended by Matt Crafton as the field slowed for a yellow and it sidelined the #02 Autofair Chevrolet.
While the Atlantic Cat 250 didn’t go well for Eddy, he was sixth in the Dartmouth Dodge 200 after running many laps near the front.
During the summer, the Brad Eddy Racing team sold his Pro Stock car to Vance Hanes, which he ran in the IWK 250. He ran with Mike MacKenzie in his car at the end of the season. Long story short – to our knowledge, Eddy doesn’t have a car to run with this year and we are unsure of his plans for 2015. He set up a GoFundMe account to raise funds for the season and the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, but was unsuccessful to raise the funds for the race which ran this past week.
So why is he here, in his final year of eligibility for this feature, with plans unknown for 2015? The kid can wheel a race car!
While he might not have the funds, his talent level is huge. We all know the racket. There’s not many Canadian companies that want to sponsor a Canadian driver to go race down south because they won’t see any return on investment when their company is based up north. A lot of U.S. companies do not want to sponsor a Canadian and choose instead to invest in one of their countrymen. With this feature, we take talent into consideration and while Brad has had limited chances in the last two years to showcase it, he has a ton of it.
Remember when he hopped into a King Racing car at Riverside that had been struggling in 2013 and put it in the top five at the end of the year? It’s something a former IWK 250 champion in Darren Mackinnon couldn’t do with the team at the same race a year prior.
His limited seat time and unsure future plans have him slipping on this list – but his talent keeps him on the radar of many in this local industry.
#7 Nicholas Naugle
2014 Atlantic Tiltload Maritime League of Legends Runner-Up (Rookie of the Year, Three Wins)
2014 Scotia Speedworld Legends Runner-Up (Rookie of the Year, Two Wins)
2014 INEX Canadian East Semi-Pro Legends Champion
2013 Scotia Speedworld Bandoleros Sixth Place (One win)
2014 TCM Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft Ranking: Not Ranked
Nicholas Naugle sure put himself on the radar this past season if he wasn’t there already.
After a season that included a feature win in a Bandolero at Scotia Speedworld, 2014 began with a roller coaster ride at his Legend debut at INEX Winter Nationals in Winter Haven, Florida. It was a rough introduction to Legend car racing, which featured more frustration than happiness over his finishes during the five day event.
The transition left him relatively overlooked when this list was tabulated in April last year. My, oh my, how a year has changed things!
Naugle returned home and was quickly establishing himself as a contender at Scotia Speedworld during their Friday night program and during the Atlantic Tiltload Maritime League of Legends Series. The Maritime League of Legends is where Naugle struck first, scoring a win at Petty Raceway in late June during the Atlantic Tiltload Challenge. He would return in August and complete the sweep of the two race series while winning the Scotia Tire 50 at Scotia Speedworld in between. Two wins at Scotia Speedworld on the Weekly Racing Series, including an INEX National Qualifier on August 22nd, would cap off the local season for Naugle. Point wise, Naugle finished second in both the Scotia Speedworld Legends and Atlantic Tiltload Maritime League of Legends Series, where he went into the R&D Performance Road Course Challenge tied with eventual series champion Justin MacNeill.
The 2015 season down south hasn’t started the way I’m sure Naugle would have wanted to. While the 2014 INEX Canadian East Semi-Pro champion had a couple of runner-up finishes at Concord Speedway (NC), it was feast or famine at the INEX Winter Nationals. While he scored three top five finishes, he found himself outside the top 20 in two features.
He plates an aggressive style of driving, which can be rewarding but can also get under the collars of some drivers (just ask Jeff Cruickshank after the Scotia Speedworld finale last year). While it can get you to the front, the at times “bull in a China shop” style of racing can also find you on the wrong end of a bumper. So far, it has rewarded Naugle more than it has thwarted his progress, and he has the trophies to prove it. For his sake, hopefully he doesn’t upset the wrong teacup this year.
With the way he ran last season, he has to be the heavy favorite heading into the Scotia Speedworld Legends division with three-time consecutive champion choosing not to return full time. He should play into the equation for the Atlantic Tiltload Maritime League of Legends Series title as well.
He has a dedicated team with great sponsors and talent behind the wheel that could take him to the upper levels of this sport. Are we seeing the next Wayne Smith in the making here?! Could this be a kid we see move up the ranks and win multiple Parts for Trucks Tour championships, or even go to the next step in the sport? Keep this kid on your radar over the next few seasons!
#6 Cory Hall
2015 INEX Winter Nationals Fifth Place – Semi Pro Legends
2015 Concord Speedway Feature Winner – Legends
2014 Petty Raceway Bandolero Champion (One Win)
2014 INEX Canadian East Bandolero Outlaw Champion
2014 Wins at Scotia Speedworld (two), Speedway 660 (three, including Speedweekend), Oyster Bed Speedway (two), Petty Raceway (one)
2013 Atlantic Champion – Bandoleros at the CENTRE For Speed
2013 Petty Raceway Bandolero Third Place (One Win, Rookie of the Year)
2014 TCM Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft Ranking: Not Ranked
Cory Hall makes his mark on this year’s list as the highest debuting driver in the top ten and the driver on the list with the least amount of over racing experience in his career.
Hall began racing Bandoleros at Petty Raceway in mid-2012, making a handful of starts at his home track. It only took him three starts the next year to find victory lane in the competitive class at the high-banked River Glade, NB oval. Overall, he finished third at Petty Raceway in 2013, earning himself the Rookie of the Year honors at the track. At the end of the season, he found himself in victory lane at the Atlantic Championships held at the CENTRE For Speed, a track in which his father Scott carried many checkered flags at in a Mini Stock car.
The 2014 season was a head turner which saw Hall’s stock rise greatly. He won at four different race tracks, including two wins at Scotia Speedworld, a trio of wins at Speedway 660 (including a win on Speedweekend), a pair at Oyster Bed Speedway and one at Petty Raceway. One of his biggest accomplishments on the year was the track championship at Petty Raceway, upending Cole Tanner’s bid for a three-peat. He also took home top honors from INEX when it came to the Canadian East Bandolero Outlaw championship.
As if his previous season wasn’t enough to get him on this list, his early start to 2015 surely secured his spot and nearly put him into the top five.
In the final weekend of the Winter Heat Series at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Hall posted two top fives in his first three Semi Pro Legend races. He backed that up with four top six finishes at the 2015 INEX Winter Nationals in Orlando, Florida. With the Semi-Pro Legend field pushing nearly 30 cars in each feature, for a rookie in the Legend division, the four top five finishes and fifth place in points for the week in Orlando was a pretty stout number to put up.
In April, he raced at Concord Motorsports Park, where he went to victory lane for the first time in their season opener for Legend cars. Albeit a shorter, combined field, he still beat some pretty stout cars, including the one that is ranked one spot lower on this list.
His transition between Bandolero and Legend cars has been flawless so far. It brings back memories to some of how Cole Butcher and Dylan Blenkhorn moved between the two cars. Those two are now stars on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour – could that be the future for the 16-year old Jolicure, NB driver? Only time will tell, but it seems like a safe bet right now.
The top five selections will be revealed Saturday, April 25th with the “Honorable Mentions,” those who barely missed our top ten, coming up on Sunday, April 26th.
About Tim’s Corner Motorsports:
Tim’s Corner Motorsports (TCM) is your destination for all your regional stock car racing news in Atlantic Canada. Tim’s Corner began as a weekly stock car racing column appearing on ScotiaSpeedworld.ca and MaritimeProStockTour.com, penned by track and series announcer Tim Terry. TCM has grown to include basic media services for motorsport teams big and small. TimsCorner.ca, the official website of Tim’s Corner Motorsports, also features Tim’s Corner Unplugged, a podcast hosted by Terry which focuses on the local motorsports scene. For more information on Tim’s Corner Motorsports, visit TimsCorner.ca!