Parts for Trucks 200 Notebook
Another season on the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour is in the books and we have a NEW champion of stock car racing in the Maritimes - Shawn Turple!
On the podium on Saturday following the Parts for Trucks 200 at Scotia Speedworld, Shawn reminded us that this championship just wasn't one race. "It's a long season," Turple remarked after his fifth place finish. "We worked hard all season long. It's not just a one race deal, it's a full season of races.""
And a long season it was and over those eight point paying races, Turple was the most consistent. Though the Enfield driver only had one win, he finished every race that paid points for finishing position in the top ten! In fact, Shawn's worst finish in those regular season point races was seventh! Just ask Matt Kenseth, consistency creates championships and by the way the #0 team ran this year when it counted, this could be the first of many titles for Turple.
Even though Turple had a consistent year, Shawn Tucker also had a consistent year - of winning! Tucker put up "W's" in four of the eight point races this season. Even Turple was worried in the late laps about Tucker taking away the championship but Tucker would still end up being a handful of points out in the end. "My hat is off to the 0 team, they did a great job all season long." Tucker said following his 200-lap victory on Saturday. All the drivers can attest to the fact that it is difficult to win one race on this tour but to do it four times at three different tracks in one season is something special, especially with the competition on this tour. Tucker said the #52 Impala will be back next season going for its third tour title and if the momentum transfers to 2010, the crew from Fredericton should be hard to beat!
Give a call out to Mike Stevens and Donald Chisholm for solid runs on Saturday. Stevens has been plugging away on the tour for a few years now and has been creeping closer every race to that coveted checkered flag on the tour. With many solid runs this season, including a pole start at Scotia earlier this season and a few heat wins, it shouldn't have been a surprise to see the #26 Extreme Window and Entrance Systems Impala up front. While Donald Chisholm and Shawn Tucker were up front leading the race, Stevens ran comfortably inside the top ten. Stevens started picking up positions before the halfway break and continued on his march to the front in the second half of the race, eventually getting a couple of cracks at Tucker on the outside on late restarts. The two ran hard and clean for the lead in the late stages but after about five laps on the restarts, Stevens faded back a bit. He held on to second, but when asked if he thought he could of caught Tucker if there was a few extra laps in the race, he replied "oh yeah," with a big smile on his face. Next stop for Stevens in 2010: Victory Lane on the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour.
Donald Chisholm meanwhile had a different path to the front. While drawing for a spot in the dash, Chisholm was a bit optimistic about the day. "We need to make changes to the car, not sure if it'll be a winning car but we'll see where we are and keep adjusting to it," That was the general game plan for Chisholm just before the Dartmouth Dodge Dash at 2pm. A few hours later, he stood on the podium after finishing third and leading the most laps in the feature! For a long time in the main feature, it looked as if the Nova Construction/Pioneer Coal ride would be finishing first in the event as he had a fair size lead on the rest of the competition as he weaved through lapped traffic on Saturday afternoon. Chisholm, a multi-time race winner on the CARQUEST Tour has had a lot of late season momentum, finishing third in the final two regular point races at Riverside and Scotia and will look to carry that momentum into the Komat'su 300 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series event on Saturday. The Antigonish driver will look for a solid run behind the wheel of the #98 Chevrolet, a car that resembles his Pro Stock ride that Maritimers are accustomed to seeing up front during Tour races! For information on this weekend?s events, which includes Legend and Sportsman action on Friday, visit RiversideSpeedway.ca!
Saturday also saw the return of a familiar face behind the wheel of a Pro Stock car for only the second time this year. Marty "MEGA" was back at the track on Saturday for his first CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour event of the season with his new car. The vehicle was driven by Regan Smith (Cato, NY) to Victory Lane in the 08 edition of the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body and had only been on track one time since then at a PASS North event at the beginning of the season. The crew worked on the car all day and easily got it into the feature as Mr. Prevost took the checkered flag in the "B" Feature! It was great to see Marty back behind the wheel and we hope to see more of him next year on the 2010 edition of the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour.
We'll touch on this more as next season rolls around but we are going to have a great rookie crop next season on the tour! Sportsman veterans Jerome Kehoe (Sydney, NS) and Leonard Boutilier (Dutch Settlement, NS) were at Scotia shaking down their pro stock rides for next season while Brad Brown (Williamswood, NS) was in the driver's seat of the #9, which has been made familiar to race fans in the Maritimes by his father Stephen. With those names and others expected to be added to the docket for drivers vying for the EIT Race Radios Rookie of the Year title in 2010, it is set to be one of the biggest and hungriest classes of rookies the tour has seen in years!
While we are on the topic, congratulations to MacDougall Settlement, N.B.?s Josh Jaillet, who will be crowned as the EIT Race Radio Rookie of the Year at our Banquet in January. Expect Jaillet to be a top ten point driver next year as he started to hit his stride at the end of the season, posting some solid top fifteen runs, including a ninth place finish at Oyster Bed Speedway in PEI.
While the racing on the Pro Stock Tour is over, there are still a few chances to get out to see some stock car racing before the snow falls. Yes, I said snow. To go with the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series mentioned above, the owners at Oyster Bed Speedway are planning a big event next weekend (September 26th) featuring Sportsman, Modified, Street Stock and Four Cylinder race cars. If you were with us when we visited Oyster Bed Speedway earlier this summer, you saw some great racing as the under-card to the tour and with no points on the line, the racing will be that much more intense. Gates are set to open at 10am on the 26th with racing to commence at 2pm!
We will also have a preview of the Atlantic Canadian Stock Car Championships at the Centre for Speed here as the event nears. Wayne Smith and George Koszkulics put on a great show up there last year in the Pro Stock portion of the event and it is one of those "must attend" events on the Maritime stock car schedule.
My plan is to keep these weekly articles going throughout the winter. Keep tabs on MaritimeProStockTour.com for all the Pro Stock rumblings in the off season!
Until next week, keep the hammer down and we'll see you at the track!
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