THE NOTEBOOK - RON MACGILLIVRAY CHEVROLET 100
TUCKER STOMPS COMPETITION EN ROUTE TO TITLE DEFENCE IN RMC 100
Mother Nature, a seventy-nine lap green flag run, lapped traffic and a late caution. What do all of these things have in common? They couldn't stop the Rockico Truck and Trailer Impala driven by Shawn Tucker from virtually steam rolling over the field in the Ron MacGillvray Chevrolet 100, which the Fredericton driver won for the second year in a row!
"The guys worked real hard on the car and it worked great today," Tucker remarked after a Sunday afternoons drive behind the wheel. He also thanked the sponsors that have supported him throughout the young season and in seasons past, including Rockico Truck and Trailer, A.L. Gullison Disaster Kleenup, Tucker Racing Products and Northside Ventilation. Car #52 started second on the twenty-eight car field but took the lead after the drop of the green and motored on for his first win of '09.
In two weeks we move to the picturesque scenery of Prince Edward Island and Raceway Park, a place that Tucker said he'd like to come out strong at. "We bounced off the wall there a couple times in the past but we hope to have a good run there." The #52 finished fifth in August when we were there last season for the Parts for Trucks 100.
TURPLE SETTLES FOR SECOND
Enfield's Shawn Turple had a fast car all afternoon long in James River, eventually finishing second in the #0 Dexter Construction/Municipal Group Chevrolet. Turple was one of the fastest cars all weekend at Riverside International and showed it early as he paced the two practice sessions he ran in, including turning a lap of 13.301 seconds during practice number two — blistering fast considering the lap was only 0.03 slower than the qualifying mark set by Crapaud, PEI's Kent Vincent at the event last year held in the late afternoon. Turple backed up his practice mark with a second fast time in the Atlantic Tiltload Time Trials, clocking in behind another fast Islander, Greg Proude (Springvale). Shawn drew seventh for the Dartmouth Dodge Dash for Cash, eventually finishing ninth. Turple piloted his Impala methodically through the field, spending most of the event in the top three — late in the going battling hometown favorite Donald Chisholm for the position.
Like race winner Tucker, Turple was optimistic when asked about the next event in two weeks at Oyster Bed Bridge. "We've struggled at times over there but we?re hoping for the best in the race." Though noting the track is tough, Turple has posted three top fives in the last four races at the ¼-mile oval in Prince Edward Island, including a 3rd in the June event in 2007, making him one of the possible favorites for the Lucas Oil 100 on June 20th.
SOMMERVILLE ROARS BACK TO THIRD
If you were to look at the practice speeds from Sunday morning, one might be scratching their head asking "Where's Lonnie?" The driver from Saint John posted a second place run here in August but was no better than ninth in the three sessions on Sunday morning. Most racers know that practice speeds don?t mean much though when it comes to racing and the LSR team proved that Sunday as the A.E. MacKay Builders team tuned the #23 car throughout the progression of the afternoon and in the end they were rewarded with third in the feature.
After turning in a time of 14.559 in Atlantic Tiltload Time Trials, the former Peterbilt 250 champ started on the front row for his LiteCo heat race. He battled Kennetcook's Pete Miller side-by-side for the duration of the heat, nipping him on lap ten for the victory. Sommerville started 12th in the Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet 100 and started picking off positions during the long green flag run, entering the top ten on lap nine and entering the top five at the halfway mark in the 100-lap event.
Sommerville is looking forward to his next two events, not only the Lucas Oil 100 in two weeks but the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) 200 lap event this Saturday at Speedway 660 in Geary, N.B. "We think we're going to have a good shot at it and give those guys a run for their money," Lonnie said following the event at Riverside.
The event is scheduled to be a heavyweight battle of SLM stars featuring the likes of Maine's Ben Rowe, Cassius Clark, Chris Staples, Adam Bates and Kelly Moore. Massachusetts' young gun Derek Ramstrom and New Hampshire's DJ Shaw are expected to battle former Maritime Pro Stock Tour starters Travis Benjamin (last seasons Atlantic CAT 250 winner), Johnny Clark, and Kirk Thibeau. For ticket and other event information, visit Speedway660.com. The CMPST will be in two for the first of two stops at the track on June 27th for the Parts for Trucks 100.
TOUGH LUCK BITES TOP POINTS RUNNERS AT RIVERSIDE
A hard impact on the front straightaway saw the hopes of great runs in the Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet 100 dry up for Pete Miller and Daryl Mahar. Hubley?s Mahar was coming off a second place run at Scotia Speedworld and was racing hard for position when the two cars came together off turn four and ended up making heavy contact with the inside pit wall and retaining fence, ending the day for the two drivers on lap nine.
A few laps later the Atlantic Tiltload Time Trials winner and points leader Greg Proude pulled it down pit road with problems. The crew worked on the car but to no avail as one of the Riverside favorites fell victim early in the event. Expect Proude to be a top contender when we return to the track next month for the IWK 250 presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body.
Defending champ of the series Wayne Smith (Timberlea) also found bad luck on Sunday as the Jetco Contracting #44 car found the wall on lap eighty seven of the event. The multi-time champ was working his way up from twenty-fifth after a pit stop on lap nine and was eleventh on track before the impact with the turn three wall which ended his day. The Oval Outlaw was fourth in points heading into the Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet 100 and will look to rebound in two weeks at Raceway Park — a track in which he won at last August!
CARNAHAN'S CREW GETS STILESVILLE DRIVER INTO FEATURE
Practice makes perfect is a phrase thrown around often. Jason Carnahan had put in many practice laps at Riverside this weekend, getting accustomed to the track and getting the #55 Irving Oil Marketing Chevrolet Impala dialed in for Sunday. The rookie ended up starting the feature deep in the field and made a few laps before pulling it into the pits — but the track time and experience will pay off for the Stilesville, NB driver down the road.
Before the event, Jason stopped me on pit road and told me though the driver may be from outside Moncton, the crew members that work on the #55 are a bit further away. "My crew is one of the most dedicated group of guys out here," Carnahan commented before practice on Sunday. "They come in from the Miramichi area during the week to work on this racecar and again when we haul to these races. These guys love this sport and are glad to be apart of this series."
The #55 crew includes Terrance Sommers, Steve Curtis, Dyson Waterbury, Chris Wilson, Kevin Rogers and David Neilson among others who help the Carnahan Motorsports crew get to the track on raceday. The sponsors on the #55 team also include Fleet Partner Truck and Trailer, Carnahan Property Management and Sherwin Williams Paints along with Irving Oil Marketing. Carnahan is currently battling another NB driver, Josh Jaillet (MacDougall Settlement) for EIT Race Radio Rookie of the Year honors.
Next week we preview the Lucas Oil 100, round three on the CARQUEST Maritime Pro Stock Tour. Enjoy the off weekend everybody!
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