Next Race: Saturday, May 20 @ 4pm | Lucas Oil 150 | Scotia Speedworld
Dodge Lucas Oil CAT Nova Truck Centres Irving Blending & Packaging Cummins Steve Lewis Auto Body Ron Mac

Tim's Corner
Issue 109

Race Notebook/Preview: Lucas Oil 100/Atlantic Dodge Dealers 100

If you wanted excitement, you certainly got it last weekend at Oyster Bed Speedway!

Dubbed as one of, if not the, most action packed race of our young season, Donald Chisholm went to victory lane on Prince Edward Island - his first career win at Oyster Bed Speedway. Chisholm, like most of our Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour drivers, has the ability to go out and have a shot to win every week. With this win though, it moves Donald closer to another special goal as a driver who has won a Pro Stock Tour sanctioned feature at each of the active tracks we visit. The #89 Keltic Ford Fusion driver has yet to go to victory lane at Scotia Speedworld (NS) and Petty International Raceway (NB) and with at least one show left at each of those tracks, he could easily join Wayne Smith as the only other driver to pull the feat!

Jonathan Hicken could also do the same by the end of the season if he wins this weekend at Speedway 660 and one of the two remaining races at Riverside International Speedway (NS). Hicken and Chisholm tangled more than once during the Lucas Oil 100 last weekend and left fans on the edge of their seats as they wondered “what’s next?” as the two lined up on the front row for a restart. Could we see this rivalry blow West to Speedway 660 this weekend? Guess you’ll have to be there to find out!

The driver who passed the most cars in the final quarter of the event last Saturday? Darren MacKinnon. MacKinnon got into the wall on the front straight with 28 to go, which brought out a caution. MacKinnon quickly picked off positions over the late laps and subsequent restarts to take third place at the end. The #18 had a great run the last time we went to Speedway 660, and with the #18 in second in the standings, you should keep your eye on the #18 Shaw’s Towing Chevrolet this weekend.

A tip of the cap this week goes to Leonard Boutilier. Boutilier, who became a grandfather this past weekend, finally “closed the deal” as we say in the sport and captured his first top five finish- to go with his seventh place run at Riverside two weeks ago. Boutilier has been a top ten car most of the season but some sort of misfortune has got in the way in a few of those races. Watch for Boutilier and the #45 NGH Industrial Services Chevrolet team to continue to gain on the car as they head to Speedway 660 this weekend.

There are a few teams who have some work to do this week prior to making the haul to the Geary woods. The big wreck last weekend with 21 to go took out many good cars, including Shawn Tucker and Brad Mann. Mann had the worse lick in the wreck, as he explained to me that “every bolt and part on the front was bent.” Mann has one of the most dedicated crews on the Tour, and I would expect them to be well in the mix this weekend.

Also announced on Saturday was the addition of two time Daytona 500 champion Sterling Marlin to the Advance Rentals 150 field the next time we hit the red dirt on August 4th. With Marlin in the field, an additional 50 laps added to the event and the action we saw on the tight Island oval last weekend, you better believe this will be one of the best races of the season and one you will not want to miss! Let’s shift our focus now to Speedway 660 this weekend. The Atlantic Dodge Dealers 100 is Round Six on the series, meaning we will be crossing the halfway point with this race. I mentioned a bit of a separation in points last week and I’m seeing a small breakaway of the Top Eight in the standings, which is about the norm for this time of the season. Chisholm leads the standings by seven over Darren MacKinnon and by 20 markers over three-time champ John Flemming.

Third to eighth is where everything gets a bit exciting. Between Flemming and eighth place driver Shawn Tucker, there are only ten points. A driver in this pack that can bust out a win at Speedway 660 and carry that momentum to the second half could be dangerous when other teams look at championship contenders. One point behind Flemming is Shawn Turple while the next four are even closer in the standings with two points between four drivers. Kent Vincent leads Jonathan Hicken and Mike Stevens by one point, with Shawn Tucker one point behind them. If you want to talk a bit of tri-province parity, we have three Nova Scotians, three Prince Edward Islanders and two New Brunswickers in the top eight in points - not too shabby, eh?

Last season, this race was dominated by Greg Fahey. Fahey has to be considered a favorite this weekend if he puts his hat in the ring. In recent years we’ve seen names like Moore, Gahan and current 660 Pro Stock point leader O’Blenis take on the best drivers in the Maritimes and we could easily see one of those guys battle for the win like Fahey did a year ago.

Call it a wildcard if you want to. We only visit Speedway 660 once a season, but the race always proves to be very pivotal in the championship chase. Take a look below at my “scorecard” for the top eight drivers in the current standings and where they have finished in the last three years at 660. This race has truly been Tucker’s playground in the last three years (don’t forget, he won the Speedway 660 250 here last season) in fact, only one of the eight drivers has not scored at least one top ten finish in the last three races. If you’re looking for a candidate to make it six winners in six races this year, I’d look towards John Flemming and Shawn Turple. Turple hasn’t finished outside the top seven in the last three races, including a third place run in his championship season, while Flemming has two top six finishes there in the last three seasons.

Completing the card on Saturday are the ultra competitive Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman division and RV World Street Stocks. Had the chance to see them a couple weeks ago and can say that these guys will put on a show that will be worth the trip! I hope you can join us this weekend at Speedway 660!

Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!

REPORT CARD - TOP EIGHT IN POINTS/LAST THREE 660 100-LAP EVENT FINISHES

Pos

Number

Name

2009

2010

2011

2012 Points

1

89

Donald Chisholm

--

7th

10th

964

2

18

Darren MacKinnon

24th

16th

3rd

957

3

97

John Flemming

2nd

18th

6th

944

4

0

Shawn Turple

3rd

4th

7th

943

5

8

Kent Vincent

6th

13th

12th

936

T6

5

Jonathan Hicken

11th

17th

13th

935

T6

4

Mike Stevens

5th

9th

20th

935

8

52

Shawn Tucker

1st

2nd

1st

934

FAST FACTS – PARTS FOR TRUCKS 100

The track: Speedway 660, 1/3-mile oval located in Geary, New Brunswick, approximately 20 minutes south of Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick.
Home province race: Seven of the eleven spring PST races have been won by New Brunswick drivers (Shawn Tucker, Lonnie Sommerville and Kevin Moore)
Drive for Five: Shawn Tucker can become the first driver to win five Speedway 660 spring races this weekend. He won his fourth last season to go with his 2009, 2003 and 2002 wins in the event.

Winners of Parts for Trucks 100 at Speedway 660:

2011: Shawn Tucker
2010: Lonnie Sommerville
2009: Shawn Tucker
2008: Lonnie Sommerville
2007: Wayne Smith
2006: John Flemming
2005: Kevin Moore
2004: Donald Chisholm
2003: Shawn Tucker
2002: Shawn Tucker
2001: Bobby White

BACK TO TIM'S CORNER ARCHIVES