Race Preview: Advance Rentals 150 @ Oyster Bed Speedway
A week off has set us up with an event that should have no shortage of action on Saturday.
Where do I start? How about with 50 extra laps at Oyster Bed Speedway this Saturday night! As opposed to last season, this race is now a 150 lap event, the first of two new 150ísthis season, the other being at Petty International Raceway. An extra 50 laps, especially at a track that is known for survival (and showed that fact in our June 100-lapper), should bring us a lot of added excitement to our event!
The driver who won our last event is the defending champion of the Fall Oyster Bed Speedway event. IWK 250 winner John Flemming broke through here last season to take the victory at Oyster Bed, and with momentum on his side, the big trophy on the mantle from last week and his sights on a fourth series title, you have to believe Flemming will be really tough to beat on Saturday. Flemming has a 22 point lead on Shawn Tucker heading into Saturday, who spent his off week trying to dial in his car at Speedway 660 in the Best of the Best 150. Tucker will be one of the first to say that he hasnít run as well as he had wanted to in the past on PEI, but a good run here to keep pace with Flemming and the #52 will be tough to beat down the stretch!
Itís really a make or break race for guys in the Top Ten on Saturday night when it comes to the standings. Shawn Turple is third in points with Jonathan Hicken and Donald Chisholm completing the top five. Turple is a former champion and knows how to perform the second half of the year, while Hicken carries a second place finish from the IWK 250 into his home track. Chisholm was the winner of the Lucas Oil 100 on the Island in June and will look to rekindle some of that magic as he sits 37 points out of the lead with five races to go.
Mike Stevens sits seventh in the point standings, just a short 29 points out of second place. Rollie MacDonald is eighth in the standings and will look to two time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin to pilot his #13 King Freight Lines Ford on Saturday. The Pictou based King team has had a star studded lineup of short track stars in the car this season from Cassius Clark to Colby Smith, Corey Williams and even the Hall of Famer himself, but to add Marlin to the list just adds to the already stacked talent list who has driven the #13 this year. Completing the top ten in points is Kent Vincent and Craig Slaunwhite, who sit two and three points respectively behind MacDonaldís #13.
One driver not on that list is seventh place point driver Darren MacKinnon. MacKinnon was suspended by the series last week following incidents in the IWK 250. Iíve heard many differing opinions on the suspensions dealt to the #18, #44, #41 and #94 teams and while Iím not going to get into it here, you have to admit that each of those teams violated procedural rules and some sort of penalty had to be dealt. Iím glad Iím not the powers that be that have to deal those penalties, because having to choose who got what punishment had to be a tough call.
Think back to our last race on the Island, we had a little bit of everything. Excitement up front, paint swapping and even the Oyster Bed version of ďthe Big OneĒ all added into a classic 100-lap event on the Island. Expect that same excitement as we add an extra 50 on Saturday night with the best Pro Stock drivers in Atlantic Canada on one of the regionís toughest bullrings!
Until Saturday, keep the hammer down and weíll see you at the track!
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