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CARQUEST Tour Season Winding Down, But It's a Long Way From Over


HALIFAX, NS (August 20, 2008) - Only three events and 450 laps remain to decide the 2008 CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour championship - but with only 14 points separating the top two contenders, Wayne Smith and Lonnie Sommerville, it's anybody's race, literally.

Round nine of 11 for the regional stock car touring series goes this Saturday with the CARQUEST Tour 100 at Raceway Park in Prince Edward Island; it is the last 100-lap feature race of the season, as the season wraps with two extended length races, each progressively adding 50 laps to the total. Round 10 at Centre for Speed (Shediac, NB) September 6 is a 150-lap show and the season finale September 13 at Scotia Speedworld sees a 200-lap feature.

While Smith and Sommerville are the top two, for now, a pair of Shawn's (Turple and Tucker) are hot on their heels. Only 41 points separate the top four.

Besides the accolades that go with a series title, the champion gets a cheque for $10,000. That makes every position worth fighting fender-to-fender for.

Points are awarded based on finishing position with just two markers separating each spot; bonus points are also awarded at each meet - five for the driver that leads the most laps, and five to each driver who leads a lap.

Of the three tracks remaining Raceway Park is likely to play as big a part as any in the final outcome. The fast tight concrete-surrounded oval is expected to host 27 of the Maritimes top short track stock car racers Saturday. Since its repaving last year the surface has aged to offer a competitive surface for veterans and rookies alike.

Speaking of rookies, the battle for the 2008 EIT Race Radio Rookie of the Year crown is just as hotly contested as is the championship. Craig Slaunwhite moved to the top spot in that race with his win last weekend at Riverside Int'l Speedway, but holds only a 34-point advantage over Jonathan Hicken - but Hicken has home-track advantage this weekend at Raceway Park - where he won a modified division championship in 2006.

Besides Hicken, another dozen Island natives are among the expected entries for Saturday's event - hoping to defend their home turf with a clean sweep of the podium like they had with the series first visit to Raceway Park this year, in June - with Kent Vincent, Chris Hughes and Greg Proude finsihing 1-2-3, respectively.

Atlantic Tiltload Time Trials will start at 5:10 to determine the starting order for the Dash and heat races, which get underway at 6 p.m. Raceway Park weekly racing divisions will also be part of the show.

EXPECTED ENTRY LIST showing Car No., Name, Sponsor, Make, Hometown, Prov.

01 - Robbie MacLean® Charlottetown Bottle & Metal Monte Carlo Winsloe PEI
0 - Shawn Turple Dexter Construction Impala Enfield NS
4 - Dale Holmes Castle Building Centres (Maritime) Monte Carlo West Covehead PEI
5 - Jonathan Hicken® Reynolds Well Drilling Impala Brudnell PEI
6 - Lowell Affleck® Barter Centre Used Vehicles Monte Carlo Summerside PEI
8 - Kent Vincent Atlantic Turbines Charger Crapaud PEI
18 - Darren MacKinnon Shaws Towing; MacKinnon Bros Svce Ctr. Monte Carlo Milton PEI
19V - Darren Vanderaa Chappell Construction Monte Carlo Milton PEI
21 - Shawn Pierce Steve's Iron Works Monte Carlo Bridgewater NS
23 - Lonnie Sommerville A.E. MacKay Builders Impala Saint John NB
23S - Craig Slaunwhite® Mountain Wild Blueberries; Atlantic CAT Monte Carlo White's Lake NS
24 - Scott Livingstone Dalziels Auto Body Impala Charlottetown PEI
26 - Mike Stevens R. Stevens Mechanicals Monte Carlo Riverview NB
29 - Greg Proude Challenger Farm Equipment Charger North Wiltshire PEI
32 - Chris Hughes Pauley Equipment Camry Brackley PEI
35 - Brad Mann Subway Monte Carlo Glen Levit NB
37 - Kris Fournier Totally Tile Charger Charlottetown PEI
39 - Sandy Livingston Keybase Financial Group Monte Carlo Springhill NS
44 - Wayne Smith ICI Paints/Color Your World Bayers Lake Monte Carlo Halifax NS
48 - Dave O'Blenis Burger King Camry Boundary Creek NB
51 - Bob Neilsen n/a Monte Carlo Vernon River PEI
52 - Shawn Tucker Rockico Truck & Trailer Impala Fredericton NB
66 - Daryl Mahar Inglis Jewellers/ A1 Towing & Recovery Impala Hubley NS
76 - Roger Crane Montague Tire; Chapman Bros Constr. Impala Montague PEI
80 - Roger Miller Stan's Garage Monte Carlo North Noel Road NS
89 - Donald Chisholm Nova Construction Impala Antigonish NS
92 - Pete Miller® A.C.L. Construction Monte Carlo Kennetcook NS

Expected entry list is subject to change without notice.

Raceway Park is a 1/3-mile asphalt oval, repaved in June 2007. The facility is located in Oyster Bed Bridge, Prince Edward Island at the intersection of Routes 6 and 7 between Cavendish and Charlottetown.