10th Anniversary Pro Stock Tour Year in Review Extravaganza - Part 5
TUCKER TIES FLEMMING WITH THIRD TITLE IN CARQUEST TOUR ERA
Being consistent and being near the top of the leaderboard at the end of races will win you championships in auto racing. Last season, Shawn Turple took that approach to the top of the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour world en route to winning his first championship. Unlike his second place competitor in 2009, Turple claimed one feature victory compared to the multiple feature triumphs by Shawn Tucker. This season, Turple and Tucker would find themselves on familiar ground battling for the top spot in the Maritimes in 2010 but would be joined by four others who had a mathematical shot at the crown on Super Sunday in September.
At the start of 2010, the top of the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour standings were Shawn Turple’s playground. Consistent finishes combined with his ability to bank bonus points by leading laps propelled the #0 to the top of the standings. After the first three events, which included Turple’s dominant win at the Lockhart Truck Center 100, Turple had a thirty-point lead on Greg Proude and was looking to be on a mission to take his second consecutive Tour title in 2010. What might have been more impressive after the first three races was that second place Greg Proude only had a forty-one point advantage on tenth place driver Chris Hughes. One small slip from any one of those nine drivers would spell trouble for them as the summer months were ahead.
Even with the second place finish in the 100-lap affair at Scotia Speedworld on the first weekend in July, Shawn Tucker found himself forty-five points out of the lead in sixth place. The fourth event was played out at Riverside International Speedway and with the many twists and turns the IWK 250 presented us, the standings changed drastically. For some like Tucker, the gap became smaller to point leader Turple and for others like Greg Proude, the mountain became a bigger climb to the 2010 title.
A small chink in the armor of Turple came at Oyster Bed Speedway on July 31st as the #0 Dexter Construction/Municipal Group Impala came home in eighth place in the Lucas Oil 100. With the #44 Jetco Contracting Chevrolet Impala driven by Wayne Smith taking the victory, he closed Turple’s once thirty-point lead to just seven markers after six events. After a fifteenth place finish the next week for Turple, Smith would take the top spot in the standings with Tucker hot on his tail. Tucker’s #52 A.L. Gullison Disaster Kleen-up Impala rode another second place Speedworld run during the Atlantic CAT 250 to within five points of the championship spot after seven of the eleven races in ’10!
With three regular point paying events left to go in the season it became evident that the top six had a legitimate shot at becoming the champion in the Tour’s tenth year. Smith (1374 points), Tucker (1369), Turple (1367), first time race winner Jonathan Hicken (1361), IWK 250 winner Kent Vincent (1340) and Donald Chisholm (1333) all had a shot at the top spot should they bring their “A” game to the final races of 2010.
The Parts for Trucks 100 at Riverside International Speedway would once again throw a curveball into championship plans of some running for the title. Point leader Wayne Smith was involved in a late race collision which relegated the two-time CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour champ back to fifth in the standings. Donald Chisholm won the event, bringing him up to fourth in the standings while another podium finish for Shawn Tucker would put him atop the sheet by six points over Turple and just twenty markers over Hicken. Tucker took another second place run at the Speedworld during the Lucas Oil 100 seven days later and would extend his point lead to sixteen points over Turple. Tough luck would bite Jonathan Hicken and Kent Vincent in the 100-lap event on August 21st, making them long shots for the title heading into the final regular season point event – the Parts for Trucks 200.
With the spotlight on the point battle, the top four headed into the event with thirty-two points between them. Sixteen of those points stood between second place driver Shawn Turple and leader Shawn Tucker as they attacked the Scotia Speedworld track for the final 200-laps of the season. With Tucker having to navigate traffic early in the race and what looked to be a loose racecar in the early going, the Fredericton driver did what he had to do by finishing ahead of Turple to take his third championship in the past seven years. With the title, he tied three time titlist John Flemming of Halifax as the leader when it comes to championships in the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour era!
The final points tally came in with Tucker winning the 2010 crown by twenty-eight points over Shawn Turple. A second place run at the 200 brought Donald Chisholm up to third in the standings with Jonathan Hicken, Wayne Smith and Kent Vincent rounding out the top six.
YEAR END BANQUET GOES ON THE ROAD AGAIN IN ‘10
As we get ready to celebrate the accomplishments of the season that was in 2010 this weekend, for the second consecutive year the scenery will change. For many years, Truro, Nova Scotia was the home for the year-end CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour Awards Banquet with the end of October being the time of year for the gala event. Last winter, the Tour Banquet was taken on the road as the show went down Highway 102 to the Holiday Inn Harbourview in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
At that event in January of 2010, it was announced by General Manager Ken Cunning that the Banquet would move from its 2009 location to beautiful Prince Edward Island in 2010. With two events and many of our teams hailing from the province, it makes perfect sense for the celebration of the season to happen in the city of this country’s confederation – Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
This Saturday the drivers, crews, officials and fans of the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour will congregate at the Delta Prince Edward to bring a close to the 2010 season. This tenth season we had on Tour brings a lot to celebrate – whether it be a first win, an improved point finish or quite simply reminiscing about the good times had this past summer, the Awards Banquet holds much importance in the season.
Until Saturday night, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the Banquet!
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