2009 Season Recap
The 2009 season of the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour is in the books and it was, without a doubt, a fantastic season! Throughout the summer over 50,000 fans enjoyed 5 different winners through 11 races. The CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour first had to make it through the first half of the season, where rainy weekends were aplenty and four of its first six races postponed, before it could settle into the final chase for points. It ran full fields all season with many events sending drivers home prior to race time.
In the end Shawn Turple and his Dexter Construction/Municipal Group Impala (Enfield, NS) took home the coveted title of CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour Champion! He didn't come by it easily though as the point battle continued through the final laps of the season. Going into the final race - the Parts for Trucks 200 at Scotia Speedworld - Turple had a slim 19 point advantage over Wayne Smith. He needed a top five finish in the race to maintain his lead and at the end of 200 laps he accomplished just that and became the Tour's fifth different champion in its ninth season.
It took patience, perseverance, and consistency to get Turple to the celebrations on the Scotia Speedworld front stretch on Saturday, September 12, 2009. The 2005 Rookie of the Year won the Parts for Trucks 100 at Riverside International Speedway in August and found himself in the top three at five races (an average finishing position of fourth in regular points races). Alongside Turple accepting a cheque for $10,000 was his dedicated pit crew. He later attributed his success to them and the sacrifices of both his own and his pit crew's family.
Turple had stiff competition as always this season. The AL Gullison Disaster Kleenup/Rockico Trucker and Trailer Impala driven by Shawn Tucker (Fredericton, NB) was a force to be reckoned with this season accumulating four race wins as drivers battled it out at four different racetracks in the three Maritime Provinces. He had some bad luck on two occasions and ended up second overall in points in 2009. John Flemming (a previous CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour Champion from Halifax, NS) returned in his The Roofing Connection Charger as a full time driver this summer. Although he didn't manage to bring home a feature win, he found himself on the podium five times. He finished third overall in the point standings.
Wayne Smith (Timberlea, NS) had some tough luck at the Parts for Trucks 200 as he tried to secure his sixth Maritime Championship. He suffered damage to the front left side of his JETCO Contracting Monte Carlo early in the race and didn't return until after the half way mark. At the end of the season he had won two races (one being the prestigious IWK 250) and finished fourth overall in points.
In amongst the 8 championship point paying races, the drivers participated in the inaugural Triple Crown of Maritime Racing - a mini-series which was comprised of the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body, the Atlantic CAT 250, and the Peterbilt 250. The amalgamation of these three already prestigious events drew attention from south of the border and saw many PASS drivers as well as NASCAR heroes join in the competition. The local drivers proved that the Tour has some great pro stock drivers here in the Maritimes and held their own against NASCAR's Regan Smith, David Reutimann, Sterlin Marling, and Travis Kittleson.
Lonnie Sommerville and his AE McKay Builders Impala (Saint John, NB) won over $30,000 in the Triple Crown Series with wins at the Atlantic CAT 250 and the Peterbilt 250. He was only nine grid positions shy of the $50,000 bonus to have been awarded to any driver who won all three Triple Crown events. Sommerville found himself in the top five more often than not with six top five finishes and rounded out the top five in the Championship point standings.
This year's Rookie of the Year battle was fought between two drivers - Jason Carnahan (Stilesville, NB) and Josh Jaillet (MacDougall Settlement, NB). When all was said and done, Jaillet bested Carnahan on the track nine out of eleven times to become the 2009 Rookie of the Year. The highlight of Jaillet's season was a strong top ten finish at Oyster Bed Speedway in August. Jaillet finished eleventh overall.
The 2009 season of the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour would not have been possible without the support of their generous sponsors: CARQUEST, Parts for Trucks, Lucas Oil, Forbes, Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet, Atlantic CAT, Peterbilt, Forbes Chevrolet, Coast Tire, LiteCo, Atlantic Tiltload, EIT Race Radios, and Dartmouth Dodge. If you are ever in need of a product or service they provide, please make sure to support them and let them know you are a fan of racing.
See you in 2010!
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