IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body Notebook
Wow, what a race we saw at Riverside on Sunday!
We had to wait until Sunday to let the fastest Pro Stocks in the North East loose for 250 laps, but once we did it made for one awesome show. With the conditions changing to a hot day from an overcast Saturday, it had crews scrambling up and down pit road to try to dial in the 37 racecars that had shown up to attack Riverside International Speedway's 1/3-mile high banked oval. Some crews struggled to get the handle of the changing track and some excelled at getting their cars hooked up for the afternoon show. In the end, it was the Smith and Smith show at Riverside International as Wayne and Regan (no relation) led a combined 191 of the 250 laps, including the last 167 circuits! When the brakes started going away on the #78 Bluewave Energy Ford Fusion though, while in the lead just before the 200 lap mark, the Oval Outlaw caught the Cato, NY driver and made the pass for the lead and what would eventually be the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body crown!
As the Timberlea driver started to pull away in his Chevrolet, a caution bunched up the field and with nine to go in the first Triple Crown event in the Maritimes, the drivers turned up the intensity another notch. Regan Smith and Shawn Turple ? who had been having a strong top five run all race long in the #0 Dexter Construction Impala after starting on the pole - had swapped paint down the back straightaway before contact between the two sent Turple spinning into the turn three wall. It's a tough way to end one of the biggest races of the year for one of the pre-race favorites but you can't blame the big boys of Pro Stock racing for racing hard with under ten laps to go - especially with thousands of dollars on the line! Regan rolled his Ford down pit road after a few caution laps and climbed out of his Bluewave sponsored entry nine laps short of the finish.
The boys of the Tour didn't disappoint in the final few laps as Kent Vincent and Wayne Smith ran side by side with the Oval Outlaw besting the #8 Vector Aerospace Dodge by 0.174 seconds at the line to win the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body - and a cheque worth over $13,000! Smith proceeded to "light 'em up" in turn one, producing a burnout rivaling the one done by the '08 titlist of the race Regan Smith. Regan's fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL), who was making his first Riverside start, finished 3rd followed by Lucas Oil 100 winner Greg Proude (Springvale, PEI) and Terence Bay's Craig Slaunwhite.
Speaking of the championship, we head back to the Geary woods this weekend to run the rescheduled Parts for Trucks 100 that was postponed last month due to Mother Nature. Obviously the #44 Jetco Contracting team is riding the biggest wave of momentum but many strong drivers have triumphed already in open competition at Speedway 660, including Matt Harris (Fredericton Junction) and tour front runner Lonnie Sommerville (Saint John). Shawn Tucker (Fredericton) is a two time tour winner this season and with track regulars the likes of Brent Wiggins (Hanwell) and Greg Fahey (St. Stephen) scheduled to make a start this weekend, the competition will be tough when the green flag flies for Time Trials at 6:10 presented by Atlantic Tiltload.
John Flemming and his The Roofing Connection #97 team from Halifax lead us into New Brunswick's Capital Region this Saturday night as our point leader. After a rough week trying to get the Dodge dialed in, expect John and team to be on top of their game at Speedway 660, a track that the team finished 3rd at in June during a PASS North 200-lap event.
The action is expected to be intense on Saturday. Will it be a Speedway 660 regular taking the checkers or will it be a CARQUEST Tour driver making his mark in Geary? Join us Saturday night to find out!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we'll see you at the track!
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