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Issue 41

The Notebook - Parts For Trucks 100

You could blame it on the full moon over Speedway 660 if you wanted to but Saturday evening’s racing in the Geary woods was nothing short of wild.

The racing was wild in the sense that we had our share (and then some) of yellow flags. It seems like every time we started to get in a rhythm of green flag racing there would be a couple of drivers make contact which would draw a caution period. One of those caution periods on lap ninety eight set up a green white checkered finish – which would give us one of the wildest two lap shootouts the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour has seen in its ten years of racing around these Maritime provinces!

Coming down to that final restart, it looked like it was going to be a battle between the two former Scotia Speedworld Sportsman champions. Craig Slaunwhite had worked his way up to the front of the field and positioned himself in a winning spot heading down towards the finish. On his outside on the final restart was Shawn Turple. Turple had led the majority of the laps and was looking for his second feature win of the season and his second in three starts. Behind them were two home track favorites. Lonnie Sommerville had an eventful night after having to come from the rear of the field two times while Shawn Tucker had to come from the rear of the pack within the last twenty laps as well following a spin down the front straight. When the green flag came out, Sommerville didn’t waste any time by working his way on the inside line to get past Turple and Slaunwhite, leading about a half lap to the checkered flag for the victory. Tucker followed suit to take second place with Slaunwhite, who led coming back to the green finished third.

Sommerville, the part-time Tour driver in 2010 was pleased to be back in victory lane after a busy stretch of racing. “If the Costal Blending 150 hadn’t have been rained out we would have had four races in a span of two weeks,” said the Saint John driver after the race. “The last time this car ran a Tour race was in PEI. Ron Hornaday ran this car a few seasons ago in the Peterbilt 250. We used this as a parts car the past couple seasons, it feels great to put it in victory lane!”

Sommerville will look to return to the hallowed ground at 660 during the Peterbilt 250 weekend in September but is also eyeing another trophy. “We’d like to go back-to-back in the CAT 250 at Scotia. That’s our next goal.”

While Sommerville and team celebrated in the infield, Slaunwhite and his #99 Halifax Glass and Mirror/Archibald Drilling and Blasting/Howard Little Excavating Chevrolet team stood on the front straight with their third place trophy. When asked if the Terence Bay driver learned anything that he could use in the Peterbilt 250, the answer was simple. “Yeah, you have to beat Lonnie Sommerville,” said the dejected driver. On a bright note, Slaunwhite heads into Oyster Bed Speedway next week, a track in which the #99 was on rapid run to the front of the field in June before time ran out. Watch for Craig to be near the front on Saturday night!

Speaking of drivers who will have momentum heading into Oyster Bed Speedway this weekend, let's talk about Chris Hughes. After a 5th place run at the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body, he followed it up with a 6th place finish at Speedway 660. Not only did the #32 Pauley Equipment/Pauley Paving Toyota Camry have a solid run, he picked up his first career checkered flag at the track. “The Dash was the first ever win I’ve had here,” said Hughes the following day. From the pole, Hughes led seventeen laps and moved up to seventh in points with the run. With the Tour returning to the Oyster Bed Speedway this Saturday the time could be right for Hughes to score his first main feature victory of his career.

With his fourth place finish, Shawn Turple extended his point lead to thirty-one points over Wayne Smith. For the third race out of the five so far, the 2009 champ led the most laps in the event, which scored him ten bonus points (five for leading a lap, five for leading the most laps). In fact, Turple has led over two times as many laps as his nearest competitor in that stat category (246 laps led for Turple, 112 laps led for Shawn Tucker) this season. The #0 Dexter Construction/Municipal Group Chevrolet has amassed thirty-five bonus points this season and even though it may be “still early to talk points,” those championship markers are starting to add up!

Now we head back to Oyster Bed Speedway for this weekend’s Lucas Oil 100. With the likes of Hughes, Vincent, Hicken, MacLean, Proude, MacKinnon and Affleck among others looking to defend their home turf by taking the victory, it will be another great evening of racing on Prince Edward Island! We hope to see you there!

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