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Issue 35

“I made a rookie mistake.”

Those were the words from three time CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour titlist John Flemming following the Parts for Trucks 100 on Sunday. Flemming led seventy of the 100-laps on the beautiful Sunday afternoon rain date but failed to lead the last six on a count of a “brain fade” on lap ninety-five.

“Between the stuff that was shooting out of the car onto the windshield and me glancing up at the leaderboard I had a brain fade,” said Flemming after the race. The #97 Roofing Connection Dodge had been overheating most of the main feature, which made the car look more like a geyser when it rolled to a stop. “The next thing I knew I was in the wall back there and that was it.”

Enter Jonathan Hicken.

The Tour regular from Brudenell, PEI had methodically worked his way up from his eighth starting position and spent numerous laps battling fellow Islander Greg Proude for the third spot. Once Hicken got past Proude and battled with then second place driver Shawn Turple for his position shortly following a restart, he found himself behind Flemming. When the #97 caught the wall on the back straight it gave Hicken the full opening that he needed to slide into the lead – one that he would not relinquish in the last six circuits.

“Thank heavens,” said Hicken about Flemming’s misfortune after emerging from his Chapman Brothers Construction/Castle Building Centres Chevrolet Impala. Hicken also thanked his sponsors and the crew following the race. “It’s awesome to get our first win at our home track.”

When asked about the next event at Scotia Speedworld, Hicken was optimistic. “We like Scotia and we’ve run well there in the past,” commented the pilot of the #5. Look for my Lockhart Truck Centre 100 Preview later in the week on!

Many drivers were fast on the weekend but found themselves behind the eight ball during the 100-lap event. Mike Stevens from Salisbury, New Brunswick had a super fast G. Bourque – Artic Cat/R. Stevens Mechanical Ford Fusion throughout practices and qualifying but an early break on the #26 on the ninth lap sent the crew scrambling to repair. Stevens got back up on the wheel and drove back into the top ten before having to settle for eleventh.

Craig Slaunwhite was another driver who brought the heat to the Parts for Trucks 100. Slaunwhite and Shawn Tucker made contact in their Dartmouth Dodge Heat Race and was relegated to a 21st starting position in the main feature. That didn’t slow the Terence Bay, Nova Scotia driver though as Craig put his #99 Halifax Glass and Mirror/Archibald Drilling and Blasting Impala into the top five after 100-laps. Slaunwhite, who now is the holder of two consecutive top fives at Oyster Bed Speedway will be one of the favorites the next time we head to Prince Edward Island on July 31st for the Lucas Oil 100!

As was demonstrated on the racetrack and as many drivers commented throughout the weekend, Oyster Bed Speedway can be a very tough place to pass. The runs made by Hicken, Stevens, Slaunwhite and a couple others in the field were great to watch and will make the Lucas Oil 100 a must see in July!

With two events complete it is Enfield, Nova Scotia’s Shawn Turple a top the point standings with a slim six point advantage on Springvale, PEI’s Greg Proude. Wayne Smith (Timberlea, Nova Scotia), Flemming, Hicken, Donald Chisholm (Antigonish, NS), Kent Vincent (Crapaud, PEI), Shawn Tucker (Fredericton, NB), Slaunwhite, and Chris Hughes (Brackley Beach, PEI) all sit inside the top ten and all sit with just forty five points (or less) between them. Who has the momentum and the statistics to back up a great performance at the Lockhart Truck Centre 100 finish on paper? Come on back to later in the week to find out!

Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!