10th Anniversary Pro Stock Tour Year in Review Extravaganza - Part 4
CLARK CASHES IN AT ‘CAT 250
As the event has had for many years previous, the Atlantic CAT 250 at Scotia Speedworld had international flair in 2010. With $10,000 Canadian dollars on the line for the winner in the prestigious event and American neighbors Ben Rowe and Cassius Clark in the field, the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour regulars knew that they would have to step up their game in order to keep the dump truck title on this side of the border. Maybe more important to the likes of Turple, Tucker, Smith and others that run weekly on the Tour was the points implications in a full blown championship event such as this. One minor slip with a big field could knock you from the penthouse at the top of the standings to scraping the bottom of the championship barrel.
Unlike any other event on the CARQUEST Tour sked, the Atlantic CAT 250 is comprised of a two day format with the Atlantic Tiltload Time Trials and the Dartmouth Dodge Qualifying happening on Friday with the main event roaring to life on Saturday. After qualifying on Friday, which saw Ben Rowe win the pole for the CAT 250 and a trackside party and auction which went to benefit the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame, the drivers, crew and fans were revved up to see the 250-lap affair unfold. Before the event, the crowd was treated to one of the best Sportsman races of the season which ended in a last lap, turn three pass where Colby Smith got by Darren Wallage to take the win. The Pro Stock boys knew they had a big task in following up the Sportsman drivers and they delivered.
Throughout the race, Ben Rowe and Cassius Clark battled for the lead out front. On the restarts, the two PASS North regulars would duel it out before Clark, who was subbing for Jonathan Hicken in the #5 car would take advantage. Behind them meanwhile, the action was hotly contested as twenty-seven of the top drivers from the region raced to call themselves a Triple Crown race winner. With rivalries climaxing and paint being swapped against fellow competitors, the fans were kept on the edge of their seats all night long.
In the end, Clark had the #5 Chapman Brothers Construction/Castle Building Centres Chevrolet Impala up front for 227 laps en route to the win. Shawn Tucker got by Ben Rowe for second while Dave O’Blenis and Donald Chisholm completed the top five. For his efforts, Clark took away over $15,000 in cash between lap money, bonus dollars and the $10,000 first place award. Not too shabby for a two night vacation to Enfield, Nova Scotia!
COMPETITION IN SPOTLIGHT AS TEN DRIVERS SCORE FEATURE WINS
We left the 2009 season with Shawn Tucker on a rapid run at the front. After all, Tucker won four features last season and was second when the season ended to Shawn Turple, who had recorded one race win. This season started out with Greg Proude winning at Riverside International Speedway. Proude had two wins in 2009 and was looking to top that number in 2010.
What we wouldn’t find out until September though was that only one driver would get multiple feature wins this season. As the season wore on, the competition was ramped up. Jonathan Hicken got his first career win at Oyster Bed, Turple trumped the field on his home turf, Kent Vincent returned to Riverside’s victory lane in their biggest race of the season while part-timer Lonnie Sommerville won in a wild dash to the finish in Geary. Cassius Clark and Johnny Clark joined Vincent as Triple Crown race winners while Wayne Smith returned to the top of the order in Prince Edward Island. Hicken was joined by Mike Stevens in August as a first time winner while Donald Chisholm won his first event on the Tour since 2004.
In the first ten races we had ten different winners and at times during the Parts for Trucks 200 it looked like it would continue on to eleven but Jonathan Hicken would put a stop to that as he became the only two time winner in 2010. On the other side of that coin, drivers like 2010 Champion Shawn Tucker, Craig Slaunwhite and John Flemming went winless while Shawn Pierce, Chris Hughes and Daryl Mahar among others came close to winning their first event on the Tour. This season has us asking one question for 2010 – how many different winners will grace the top of the podium in ’11?
Next week, we conclude the Year in Review just in time for the Awards Banquet in Charlottetown.
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!
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