Four Former Series Champs Register For '08 CARQUEST Tour
HALIFAX, NS (April 15, 2008) - The four maritime stock car racing heroes who have claimed championships during the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour's seven-year history have filed 2008 series registration forms.
Four different champions - all with the same agenda - in two different places.
They are: Wayne Smith (2001 title); John Flemming (2002, 2003 and 2006 titles); Shawn Tucker (2004 and 2007 titles); and Rollie MacDonald (2005 title).
Their agenda is simple: they all plan to challenge for a championship.
In two different places? While Smith, MacDonald and Tucker are all tossing their helmets in the ring as contenders for the Maritime's CARQUEST Tour title, Flemming will chase New England's PASS North series title.
Smith, from Halifax, who barely missed the '07 title, has built a new racecar for his '08 title challenge.
"We're looking forward to going racing this year," said Smith, driver of the No. 44 ICI Paints/Color Your World Bayers Lake entry. "The old car was built 15 years ago so this one should be a little faster."
"F-a-s-t-e-r" may spell "trouble" for the competition as Smith won five of 10 series races in '07 with that "old car" - which incidentally is on stand-by at his shop in case the new car isn't quite as good as he hopes.
As the only three-time series champion, Flemming is looking to expand his racing horizons by competing full-time with the Pro All Stars Series North division - hoping to showcase the Maritime regions high calibre of competition to short track racers and fans throughout New England.
"We feel we can be competitive on the PASS circuit," said Flemming, from Halifax, driver of the No. 97 The Roofing Connection car. "We realized last year by trying to run the Tour and PASS that we were going to have to go full-time with PASS to be a serious contender. We hope to be a good representative for the CARQUEST Tour and the Maritimes as we carry the Canadian flag south of the border."
Flemming hopes to make his '08 CARQUEST Tour debut June 7 at Riverside International Speedway.
Tucker looks to defend his '07 title by totally rebuilding the chassis he used to clinch the championship.
"We felt we were a little off last year," said Tucker, from Fredericton NB, driver of the No. 52 Rockico Truck & Trailer entry. "So we reworked the old car in major ways. We're serious about defending the title."
But MacDonald's bid for the '08 title may be the biggest surprise of all. Not because he lacks the talent or the will to do it - but because veteran regional race fans hold their breath every off-season wondering if this will be the year the popular Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame member will announce his retirement. MacDonald's love for the sport has kept him going around in circles, literally, for 44 years.
"If I don't soon win another title, I'll be too old," laughed Pictou's MacDonald, driver of the No. 13 King Freight Lines/Westville Mobile Wash entry. "Our plan is to run the entire season. The crew is up for it and so am I. But if we have a couple of bad races that plan might change."
A plan reminiscent of MacDonald's pre-season outlook in 2005 - when the then 62-year-old grandfather won three races and completed 1,200 of 1,200 laps en route to the series championship.
MacDonald will drive the chassis he used last year, rebuilt over the winter "bolt by bolt."
The CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour season kicks off with May 24 the Lucas Oil 100 at Scotia Speedworld.
OTHER PRE-SEASON NOTES
The CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour will be at this weekends Radical Speed Sport Car Show in Moncton (NB). Stop by their booth Friday through Sunday.
Lonnie Sommerville, the '07 EIT Race Radio Rookie of the Year, has his own booth this weekend in Moncton at the car show where he will unveil his '08 racecar.
2005 champion Rollie MacDonald will also be at the Moncton car show - displaying a 1966 Coronet muscle car he has rebuilt bolt-by-bolt over the last six years.
CARQUEST Tour management has announced a date change for the series stop at Centre for Speed this year. The Lucas Oil 150 was originally scheduled for August 2, and is now August 3; a move necessitated by the recent official announcement that the "Eagles" will be in concert at nearby Magnetic Hill August 2. The updated schedule follows...
2008 CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour Schedule - as of April 15/0
May 24 - Scotia Speedworld - The Lucas Oil 100
June 7 - Riverside International Speedway - The Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet 100
June 21 - Speedway 660
June 28 - Raceway Park - The Parts for Trucks 100
July 5 - Scotia Speedworld - The Forbes Chev Olds 150
*July 19 - Riverside International Speedway - The IWK 250 Presented by DuPont Refinishes
July 26 - Speedway 660 - The Parts for Trucks 100
August 3 - Centre for Speed - The Lucas Oil 150
August 16 - Riverside International Speedway - The Parts for Trucks 100
August 23 - Raceway Park
September 6 - Scotia Speedworld - The Parts for Trucks 200
*supershow - special rules apply
Schedule is subject to change without notice.
About CARQUEST Auto Parts
With nearly 4000 locations in North America, CARQUEST Auto Parts supplies the professional automotive service repair industry as well as do-it-yourselfers with replacement parts, tools and equipment.
About the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour
The CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour is owned and operated by Maritime Pro Stock Tour Limited and features an annual series at five venues in the three Maritime Provinces of Canada. Former champions include John Flemming (2002, 2003, 2006), Shawn Tucker (2004, 2007), Wayne Smith (2001, 2008) and Rollie MacDonald (2005). For more information, call 902.481.2531 or click www.maritimeprostocktour.com.
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