LAST SEASONS WINNERS IN THE WOODS LEAD TOUR
A stock car race can be remembered for many reasons. Maybe a driver won his first race, ran fast in qualifying or a spectacular wreck happened that will stick in the minds of fans for years to come. Well, if you are Saint John, NB's Lonnie Sommerville, his first win on the CARQUEST Maritime Pro Stock Tour will be one to remember. Not only did Lonnie come to his home track at Speedway 660 last July attempting to win the Parts for Trucks 100, he dominated the day. Sommerville set fast time around the tight Geary oval, drew hat number one for the Dash, led all ten laps of said Dash en route to leading 100 more in the main event and waxing the field in the feature for his first series triumph. Sommerville will return to his home track, not only as one of the defending race winners last season but as co-point leader of the tour. Ironically, he shares that title with the other gentleman that won a race at Speedway 660 last June, Shawn Turple.
The driver from Enfield, NS got up on the wheel last year in event number three on the '08 campaign and had to battle Wayne Smith (Timberlea) for the race win, something those two are accustomed to, especially in the Geary woods. In this event back in 2007, the two drivers raced to the closest finish in CARQUEST Maritime Pro Stock Tour history and likely will rival any finish that has been seen in this area in quite some time — a 0.004 margin of victory with Smith besting Turple. Turple finished third in the July event at Speedway 660, behind Sommerville and the only other driver besides Turple to score two top three's last season in the two NB capital region races — Boundary Creek's Dave O'Blenis! Expect the Burger King Toyota Camry to be up front battling with the best as he tries to get out of Geary this weekend with another Tour win on his home track!
With pro stock favorites the likes of '09 race winners Shawn Tucker (Fredericton, NB) and Greg Proude (Springvale, PEI), '08 Peterbilt 250 champ Craig Slaunwhite (Terence Bay, NS) and Speedway 660 regulars Brent Wiggins (Hanwell, NB), Greg Fahey (St. Stephen, NB) and Matt Harris (Fredericton Junction, NB) expected to be part of a healthy field of CARQUEST Maritime Pro Stocks to attack the Geary oval, we are in for one heck of a show Saturday night. Add to the mix that John Flemming (Halifax, NS) scored a third place run two weeks ago at the track during a PASS North event at the facility and you have the makings of not only a great battle on paper in the points, but on the track as well!
OH YEAH, AND MAMA NATURE WILL BE THERE TOO!
During the rain delay on Friday last season at the Atlantic CAT 250 at Scotia Speedworld, I joked with a couple of officials how the girl upstairs wasn't being too kind to us. Granted that a lot of rain fell on the area last season, Scotia Speedworld escaped a lot of it with only a few events being postponed or canceled. I guess "Mama Nature" is making up for it this year — canceling one race and postponing another at Scotia Speedworld and doing the same on the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour.
One of the hardest jobs, not only in stock car racing but, in any event that takes place outdoors is trying to predict what the weather is going to do and then plan around said prediction. Though green in racing is a good color to see on the track, when that green is over the racetrack on a radar picture, it's a different story. When that green is expected to produce a lot of wet weather over a racetrack that requires dryness in order to run at full speed, someone has to make the decision whether to push on and attempt to wait for or completely wait out the weather. I don't envy the people that have to make that decision one bit. When you factor in that most people travel over 150+ kilometers on average to attend, race and officiate these events every week it makes that small decision ever so bigger. My two thumbs up to the crew last week for making a decision early in the morning on the event for the weekend and even though some report that the Island was relatively dry last Saturday, Mama could have went the exact opposite way as well.
Even though everyone wants to go racing, the consensus of fans Friday night in Halifax at Scotia Speedworld that I talked to were hoping that if a decision was to be made, it would be made early. They got their wish, something we hope we don't have to talk about the rest of the season!
Short and sweet this week, until Saturday — keep the hammer down and we'll see you at the track!
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