Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet Buick GMC 100
We finally got to kick off the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour season at Riverside International Speedway on Saturday night and I don’t think we could have asked for a better event than the Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet Buick GMC 100 to do so. The event featured action, excitement and a fantastic finish which kept the fans on the edge of their seats all night long. What more could we have asked for from a Saturday Night, Short Track, Shootout, Under the Lights type event in James River?
Going into the event we had a stacked field of drivers in which any one of them could have came away with the win on the high banks. The main feature on Saturday can be broken down into two parts – the long green flag run we saw at the beginning of the event and the second half which featured a few caution flags. Enfield’s Shawn Turple picked up right where he left off one season ago by collecting the pole for the Ron MacGillivray 100 and led fifty-four laps in the first half to not only collect the Scotia Emergency Vehicle Services Most Laps Led Award but also the Ledwidge Lumber Halfway Award. The #0 Impala was by far the car to beat in the first half of the event but that changed as the second half of the event played out.
In the second half of the event it was Wayne Smith and Greg Proude who put on a show for the Northern Nova Scotia fans. The Oval Outlaw from Timberlea led a bulk of the laps in the second half of the event but Proude closed in on the #44 Jetco Contracting Chevrolet Impala in the late stages and got by Smith on a late race restart to lead the final fourteen laps to victory. As with any great short track battle though some tempers were flared and paint was swapped between the two and some of that spilled over to victory lane. Smith commented on the style of driving of the eventual winner and mentioned that “if he wanted to race that way that he’d race him that way.” It could make for an interesting show at Oyster Bed Speedway this coming weekend, a track which leaves very little room for error.
Meanwhile, Proude was excited to be holding the big trophy after the event. “Wayne is tough to beat,” said Proude following the win, his first at Riverside. Of note, Proude has now won the last two season opening events after winning the Lucas Oil 100 at Scotia Speedworld to kick off the ’09 campaign.
While on his way to the front, Proude had an encounter with the early race leader Turple. The two came together while slowing up to take a yellow flag, sending Proude around in turn four. The two then had some “extra-curricular” contact under the yellow which brought a rise, good and bad, from the crowd. Rivalries are what makes short track racing some of the most exciting to watch and after Saturday night it looks like there are a few of those in the blossoming stages!
The Nova Racing team had a great run on Saturday night as well. Unlike the other drivers in the field, Donald Chisholm did get some racing in on June 5th as he and his team took part in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series opener at Delaware Speedway outside London, Ontario. “We were running great up there before we got caught up in a wreck and finish laps down,” said Chisholm prior to the dash. “We have a brand new Pro Stock here today and it’s got a lot of speed.” Chisholm displayed the speed onboard the #89 Keltic Ford as he drove it to third at night’s end. Teammate George Koszkulics spent many laps racing in the top five after leading the race’s first circuit from the high side. The #88 Pioneer Coal/Nova Construction Ford Fusion settled for sixth at the end of the day.
Jonathan Hicken and John Flemming deserve a tip of the cap as well for their performances on Saturday night. The drivers started on the tail (23rd and 24th) of the field and worked their way up to top ten finishes, coming home in 8th and 9th respectively. Both had to make adjustments after the Atlantic Tiltload Time Trials as Hicken was underneath his #5 changing the clutch following qualifying. Flemming’s crew worked right up to the main feature on The Roofing Connection Dodge and the multi-time champ then got up on the wheel to drive his #97 to the front.
Another driver who had a solid top ten run going for most of the feature was Lowell Affleck. Affleck, from outside of Summerside, Prince Edward Island moved from his mid-pack spot and ran many laps in the top ten Saturday which included a great battle with the aforementioned John Flemming. Affleck, who signed new sponsorship deals with Valacta and Traction Summerside in the off-season, is excited for the season to come and if the Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet 100 is any indication we could see the former Atlantic Open Wheel titlist up front more often in 2010!
Kent Vincent also found himself scratching his head after Time Trials. The driver from Crapaud, PEI missed the dash at a track that he has won at before but hit his stride in the feature making a late race push to the front. The #8 this season is sporting a black scheme as opposed to the purple that has been on side the Vector Aerospace Dodge in previous seasons. “It was time for a change,” said Kent prior to his Dartmouth Dodge Heat. “We also looked at it from an economical sense too, it’s a little bit easier to repair black fenders if they need replaced.” Vincent, who came home with another top five run will look to keep the momentum up on Saturday at another track he’s won at before – Oyster Bed Speedway.
Speaking of Oyster Bed Speedway, you’ll see my preview for the Parts for Trucks 100 in a few days here on MaritimeProStockTour.com. As with the first two previews, I will offer up the top five drivers to watch according to the statistics from the last four years at the track. The statistics from last week’s article for the Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet 100 had three of the five drivers appearing in the top five.
Who do you think is going to be in the top five following 100-laps at the tight Island oval? Let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get your prediction on later in the week!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!
|BACK TO TIM'S CORNER ARCHIVES|