2015 TCM Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft – Honorable Mentions
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.
When discussing selections and rankings for this list, our panel of five selected a total of 16 drivers of the 25 that were on the original ballot to be in at least one of their top ten lists. With a “top ten list,” only ten can fit within that space, but we also wanted to give the next five a spotlight to shine in as well.
Which is why we bring you the “Honorable Mentions,” broke into two groups. The first group is the “Missing The Cut” trio, three drivers who were in the top ten last year, still have eligibility for this list but “missed the cut” in 2015. The second group is the “Fresh Faces,” two drivers who were discussed for the top ten list, that were not apart of last year’s list, that barely missed out on making the top ten in 2015.
The Honorable Mentions drivers are listed within their group, in alphabetical order.
MISSING THE CUT
Photo by Michelle Roy/Speedway 660
2014 TCM Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft Ranking – 6th
Drew Greenlaw had a very respectable 2014 season. Greenlaw took home the highly anticipated Rookie of the Year Award in the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman at Speedway 660. With that, he finished fourth overall in the competitive division, but was also relatively quiet in doing so. Like a fine wine, Greenlaw’s season got better with age, knocking out a couple of second place finishes to finish the point season.
While quiet is not necessarily a bad thing, there were ten other drivers that created waves enough for inclusion in this year’s top ten list. If his progression includes a few checkered flags, and we fully believe once the first one comes there will be many others to follow, and maybe even a championship, the Eastport, Maine teenager should once again find himself within the top ten in 2016.
We make a lot of the Legends and Bandolero classes producing a lot of our stars in this list, but they are not the only divisions breeding our future. It should be mentioned as well that this list shows the proving ground that the Sportsman division at Speedway 660 turned out in 2014. Three drivers between the top ten list and honorable mentions, along with three other drivers who made the final 25 ballot with class connections, were within the discussion for the 2015 edition of this draft. In total, six of the 25 drivers considered on the ballot made starts in the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman class, with one more below making his jump to the class at Speedway 660 in 2015.
Geary fans have a lot of young talent to cheer for!
Kenny Mackenzie Jr
2014 TCM Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft Ranking – 9th
You know this is a tough list to crack if Kenny Mackenzie Jr is on the outside looking in.
Mackenzie did everything he set out to do after a successful 2013. Mackenzie lit the Street Stock world at Petty Raceway ablaze, winning three of the first four features and never once finishing outside the top five en route to his first track championship in River Glade. Mackenzie also got his feet wet in a Late Model Sportsman car, which he will campaign full time in 2015 along with dabbling with the Street Stock from time to time.
With a boatload of potential behind the wheel, an animated individual off the track that speaks his mind to the point and a huge fan base behind him, expect Mackenzie to do great things in the coming years, including a return to the top ten in this list!
2014 TCM Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft Ranking – 7th
Like Kenny Mackenzie Jr., you know it is a stout list when you see Andrew Rodgers outside the top ten.
One of the aforementioned six Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman drivers considered for this top ten list, Rodgers finally got that monkey off his back on Pro All Stars Series weekend and visited Riverview Ford Lincoln victory lane for the first time! He enjoyed it so much, he was back two weeks later, this time in the $3,000 to win Martin’s Home Heating 100, which featured one of the best finishes of 2014 as he and Brent Roy went at it for the victory.
While he made a hard charge on the final point night at Speedway 660, it wasn’t enough to take the championship, falling nine points from the title after winning his third feature of the season to cap the year.
While Andrew, along with his brother Matt, whom also cracked the final ballot of 25 for consideration for this list, focused on Speedway 660 last year, the horizons are expected to expand for 2015. Andrew and his car “Lucy” are planning on a touring schedule for this season, including big races throughout the region, including his first foray to Halifax’s Scotia Speedworld. The schedule is sure to showcase his talent and will possibly move him back into the top 10 for the 2016 edition of this list.
Alexandra O’Blenis may have been the only female to crack our top ten this year, but three others were on our panel ballot – including “Miss Rawdon Rocket.”
In fact, Emily Meehan’s name appeared on two of the four panelist lists and was a contender for a top ten spot in this list down to the wire of discussions. Meehan continued her Legend career in 2014 by being the first driver to topple Cole Butcher in the Scotia Speedworld Weekly Legends and ended up on three podiums on the Atlantic Tiltload Maritime League of Legends Series. Those podiums, which included a runner-up finish at the 50th River Glade International at Petty Raceway, put her in third overall for the season on the touring series.
The notch on her resume that may have got her the most attention was a start on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour. Meehan became the second female in series history to compete on the premiere Late Model touring series in Atlantic Canada by running the Dartmouth Dodge 200 at Scotia Speedworld in a Stephen Henderson prepared race car in which Ben Rowe drove to a runner-up finish in the Atlantic Cat 250. Meehan finished the race, completing as many laps as she could and brought the car home without a scratch on it. Not bad for a driver with very limited experience in a full bodied car in one of the longest races of the year.
At this point, there are no plans for Meehan to move up to the Pro Stock Tour full time, though many within the industry believe she has what it takes to follow her peers to the top level. Whether she finds a car owner that needs a driver, or the Meehan Racing team finds the resources to field a Late Model for the Acadia University student, she’s a driver that has paid her dues coming up the ladder of the sport. We all await to see what 2015 has in store!
A touring championship will tend to get some eyes looking at you.
Ryan Messer, who is still over a year away from getting his license to drive on the road, is an Atlantic Modified Tour champion after the 2014 season. Messer took home four feature wins last season and dominated the last half of the season en route to the championship crown.
Messer has won championships in every stock car division he has been in, and will look to set his sights on the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman division at Speedway 660, which we have mentioned a few times already as being a great breeding ground. Though he has many, many years ahead of him in this sport, if he can take to the Sportsman class like he has the Bandolero and Modified divisions, it will spike an already rising stock for the Harvey, New Brunswick teen.
That wraps up the 2015 TCM Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft. Did we completely miss the mark somewhere? If so, post on our Facebook wall!
2015 TCM Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft
1st – Dylan Blenkhorn of Truro, NS
2nd – Cole Butcher of Porter’s Lake, NS
3rd – Cole Boudreau of Chipman, NB
4th – Cole Tanner of Shubenacadie, NS
5th – Alexandra O’Blenis of Boundary Creek, NB
6th – Cory Hall of Jolicure, NB
7th – Nicholas Naugle of Dartmouth, NS
8th – Brad Eddy of Lower Sackville, NS
9th – Braden Langille of Shubenacadie, NS
10th – Adam Meehan of Rawdon Gold Mines, NS
Honorable Mentions – Drew Greenlaw of Eastport, ME, Kenny Mackenzie Jr of Salisbury, NB, Emily Meehan of Rawdon Gold Mines, NS, Ryan Messer of Harvey, NB, Andrew Rodgers of Smithtown, NB
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!