Race Notebook: Cummins 100 @ Speedway 660
Greg Proude has once again reminded us why he is one of the best on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour.
Proude’s win at Speedway 660 in the Cummins 100 was huge for many reasons. The win broke a six year, sixty plus race winless draught dating back to the opener at Riverside International Speedway on June 19th, 2010. To put it into perspective, a lot has changed since then. Wayne Smith, Shawn Tucker and John Flemming have since retired from Tour competition. The series only visits Oyster Bed Speedway and Speedway 660 once after visiting both of those track multiple times in 2010. Petty International Raceway was added as a venue on the series. Stephen Harper was the Prime Minister of Canada. Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg topped the Billboard Music charts with California Gurls.
Okay, now that our small history lesson is done, here are a few more reasons why this win is big.
Sure, the win has championship implications. It takes Proude to sixth in points with only 19 points between himself and third in the standings. Obviously, with the IWK 250 coming up and a big field expected, Proude could easily rocket closer to the front with a strong run at Riverside in a week and a half.
When it comes to the history books, Proude moves to a tie for eighth all time on the wins list with six. Maybe more important to the history buffs is that Proude is the first driver hailing from Prince Edward Island to record a win at Speedway 660 in the Tour era and only the 13th different driver to record a win there in 28 races at the venue. He is one of only eight drivers to record 10 or more top tens at the track as well. Proude is only missing one active track on his resume to win a race at, only missing Petty International Raceway on his checklist for Tour victories.
The win did not come easy though as he had to hold off no more than four drivers who made spirited challenges for the top spot.
While Donald Chisholm was the only other driver to lead laps, Cole Butcher, Darren MacKinnon and Cassius Clark each put up a fight to Proude from the second place spot. Craig Slaunwhite and Shawn Turple, both of whom had to come back from struggles earlier in the day, also made runs to the front. Slaunwhite, who finished third on the night, found the beach in his heat race and started last in the 20 car field. Turple had the rear end gear come apart on him as he pulled up the hill for practice and spent the rest of the morning putting the rear end back together. It is efforts like these that create championships and while the top two are pulling away a bit from the pack, keep Geary in mind if we are talking about Turple or Slaunwhite at the Dartmouth Dodge 200.
MacKinnon and Butcher each found misfortunes of their own during the race. MacKinnon, who won his heat race, spun in the first handful of laps battling for the lead while Butcher overcooked it on the outside going down into Turn One and ended up stuck in “the beach” trying to wheel out of trouble. Both came back to finish in the top ten which was a nice recovery for the pair.
Kent Vincent had a really strong start to the race and while it was Proude in victory lane after 100-laps, Vincent put the moves on early and ran many laps in the first half in the top five of the race before sliding to ninth in the final running order behind Dylan Gosbee. Gosbee ran a new-to-him car from Dale Shaw Racecars to an eighth place. Not to mention he made a masterful save around the first set of corners that had Wade and I holding our breath in the tower.
While Braxton Stafford’s debut did not go as planned for the Blackville teen, Devin Snell had a pretty good run going in the Cummins 100. Snell was poised for a top ten finish but a slide at the end of the race put him to 14th place finish at the end of the race. I’d love to see both of these guys at more Tour races in the future as they, along with 11th place finisher Matt Rodgers, are great additions to our series.
Nevin Scott and DJ Casey both had top five qualifying runs, though the results sheets show finishes less than desired I’m sure for the pair. I was really impressed with Nevin Scott for his first run at Speedway 660, especially during his heat and early laps of the race. While Harry Ross White was the top rookie with a 10th place run, this second portion of the season is sure to be exciting as both freshmen will be gunning hard for the prestigious Exide Batteries Rookie of the Year and it is shaping up to be an incredible tilt.
Before we leave Speedway 660, a shoutout to Darren MacKinnon’s #18 team. During the day on Sunday, Byron Bartlett’s #7 team misplaced a radio and headset which the MacKinnon team found and returned to Bartlett’s crew. The #7 Bartlett Granite team is still trying to hit the setup right on their car but I’m sure with a little more work, the right adjustments and the experience of coming back to tracks they’ve only seen once so far, it will help them to move up the ranks with the series.
I also want to thank Wade Wilson for joining me on the call of the Cummins 100. I’ve worked with Wade for a few seasons now and we have a ton of fun upstairs and hopefully that bleeds over to what you hear in the stands. Not to mention he is really knowledgeable on racing throughout the region and has a memory bank as big as mine when it comes to history. I’m looking forward to the next time Wade and I get to call a Tour race!
Next week, we will preview the IWK 250, the point picture heading into the big dance and who could shock us to win the show and immortalize themselves into the history books.
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track.
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