BIG MONEY, FAST CARS - AND SUPERSTARS - STAGED FOR SATURDAY'S IWK 250
JAMES RIVER, NS (July 15, 2009) - All of the ingredients for a summer sport "spectacular" are in place for Saturday's IWK 250 presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body at Riverside International Speedway.
Just as the annual 250 at one of Canada's premier racing facilities is rich in history, the winner of the 2009 edition of the event offers its entrants the chance to become "rich" in their own right. The "winner-take-all" portion of the $100,000+ purse posted for the event exceeds $25,000 and since it is the first of three races in the 2009 Triple Crown of Maritime Pro Stock Racing, the winner of Saturday's race also becomes eligible for a $50,000 bonus payable if they win all three 250-lap races in the mini-series sanctioned by the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour.
The lure of history, tradition, competition — and money — has prompted entries from 41 of the best short track racers in Canada and the U.S., including two of NASCAR's newest biggest drivers: recent Sprint Cup Series winner David Reutimann and '08 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Regan Smith, also the defending champion of the IWK 250. This trip to Nova Scotia will be Smith's third — having made the trek for the last two 250s at Riverside, and Reutimann's first — for the race and to the Province.
"I've looked at pictures and heard it's a nice race track that produces some competitive racing," said Reutimann. "I expect the calibre of competition to be strong."
With Smith the defending race champion Reutimann feels even more pressure to do well at Riverside.
"Anytime a fellow competitor from your series excels before you it raises the bar higher," said Reutimann in anticipation of the IWK 250.
Four other drivers on the expected entry list - Rollie MacDonald, Wayne Smith, Shawn Tucker and John Flemming - have a combined 12 titles among them, and Maine's Johnny Clark, the most recent entry — is a three-time PASS North champ.
The temptation of the significant stature of the event along with one of the most stout entry lists for a Maritime stock car race in recent history has prompted advance ticket sales to exceed previous records.
"If we're lucky enough to get a great weather day we should have a full house," said Paul McLean, general manager of the track, which can host upwards of 10,000 spectators.
Both NASCAR drivers will visit with patients of the IWK Children's Hospital during their stay in Nova Scotia complements of Steve Lewis Auto Body and Riverside International Speedway, which uses its premiere event to raise both awareness and funds for the health care facility. More than $40,000 has been donated to the IWK in the past two years through funds raised in conjunction with the event.
To make the hospital visit even more special the children will be invited to make their mark on Reutimann's IWK 250 "CAT Car for Kids" racecar as honourary co-sponsors with Atlantic CAT.
Weekend activities at Riverside start Friday evening with the Napa 100 for the Highland Home Hardware Sportsman Series along with the Lockhart Truck Centre Legends Tour race. More than 30 teams have entered the two races planned for Friday night, when racing starts at 7 p.m.
Saturday will see a full day for pro stock teams starting at 8 a.m. when the pit gates open. The green flag for the IWK 250 is slated for a little more than 12 hours later, at 8:15 p.m. but not before three rounds of qualifying have taken place to set the 32-car starting grid. The grandstand gates open, and practice starts at 10 a.m., time trials go at 3 p.m., followed by an autograph session and opening ceremonies.
Advance tickets are still available by calling 902.863.2410; general admission tickets will be available at the track Box Office both Friday and Saturday.
IWK 250 EXPECTED ENTRY LIST, by car number01 Robbie MacLean Winsloe PE
02 Mike MacKenzie Dartmouth NS
09 David Reutimann Zephyrhill FL
0 Shawn Turple Truro NS
1 David Heino Barrington Passage NS
5 Jonathan Hicken Montague PE
6 Lowell Affleck Summerside PE
8 Kent Vincent Crapaud PE
10 Dan Eddy Lower Sackville NS
13 Rollie MacDonald Pictou NS
17 Brent Wiggins Fredericton NB
18 Darren MacKinnon Winsloe PE
20 Greg Fahey St. Stephen NB
21 Shawn Pierce Bridgewater NS
23 Lonnie Sommerville Saint John NB
24 Scott Livingston Charlottetown PE
26 Mike Stevens Salisbury NB
29 Greg Proude Wiltshire PE
32 Chris Hughes Brackley Beach PE
37 Kris Fournier Charlottetown PE
39 Sandy Livingston Amherst NS
44 Wayne Smith Halifax NS
48 Dave O'Blenis Boundary Creek NB
51 Josh Jaillet MacDougall Settlement NB
52 Shawn Tucker Fredericton NB
54 Johnny Clark Hallowell Maine
55 Jason Carnahan Stilesville NB
60 Cy Harvey Elmsdale NS
66 Paul Gahan L. St. Mary's NB
66 Daryl Mahar Hubley NS
76 Roger Crane Montague PE
78 Regan Smith Cato NY
80 Roger Miller Kennetcook NS
87 Matt Harris Fredericton Junction NB
88 George Koszkulics New Glasgow NS
88 Kevin Moore Fredericton NB
89 Donald Chisholm Antigonish NS
92 Pete Miller Kennetcook NS
97 Chris Duncan Hampton NB
97 John Flemming Halifax NS
99 Craig Slaunwhite Terence Bay NS
Entry list and schedule subject to change without notice.
Round two of the Triple Crown is scheduled for August 8 at Scotia Speedworld near Halifax, and round three will be September 6 at Speedway 660 near Fredericton, NB. While the Triple Crown races are sanctioned by the CARQUEST Tour, special rules apply, including one which awards an equal number of year-end championship points to each entrant.
About the IWK
The IWK Health Centre, while located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is an essential resource for women, children, youth and families from across the Maritimes and beyond. Each year, thousands of Maritime children and women come to the IWK requiring emergency care, surgery for critical illnesses, and inpatient care for ongoing medical conditions.
About Steve Lewis Auto Body
Steve Lewis Auto Body is located on Beech Street in Sydney. The company is in their 32nd year of business and proud to support many community and charitable efforts, including a 14-year involvement with the IWK. Call them at 902.539.2848.
About Riverside International Speedway
Riverside International Speedway, a 1/3-mile high banked asphalt oval, is located in James River, between New Glasgow and Antigonish, at exit 30 off Trans Canada Highway 104. Opened in 1969, the facility was totally rebuilt in 2006 to become a premiere motorsports site, comparable to the best short tracks in Canada and the U.S. To learn more about Riverside Int'l. Speedway, please visit www.riversidespeedway.ca or call 902.863.2410.
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