Eleventh Heaven in ’11
Here we are, staring down the barrel at 2011.
With the holiday season near complete and January 1st celebrations ready to ring, the drivers and crews of the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour begin to ready their race chariots for one of the most anticipated spring seasons in recent memory. The end of the 2010 calendar year has given us two big news stories - one of those being the Parts for Trucks title sponsorship announcement at the Awards Banquet in Charlottetown this past November. The other featured a Maritime racing legend on track to re-open a track that hasn’t seen action since the 2000 season, one year before the Maritime Pro Stock Tour was formed.
Five-time Maritime and two-time Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour titlist Wayne Smith, along with Craig McFetridge and Brett Benoit have purchased Petty International Raceway in River Glade, New Brunswick. Smith is the second active Pro Stock Tour driver to step into a track ownership in recent years as Prince Edward Island driver Robbie MacLean entered a similar role with Oyster Bed Speedway. Smith has indicated he will be gunning for his sixth Maritime crown this season as his #44 will once again be one of the drivers to beat when we throw the green flag on the Tour in just a few short months.
Smith not only owns two Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour titles but is also the all-time leader when it comes to feature wins on the Tour. According to the statistics website ShortTrackHistory.org, Smith owns twenty-three feature wins over the past ten seasons, nine more than his closest rival in the category Shawn Tucker. The only other driver with double digit feature wins in series history is another three-time champ John Flemming who owns eleven triumphs on the Tour. Twenty-one of the twenty-eight drivers who have graced victory lane on Tour took green flags in 2010 with many of those expected back in 2011 to gun for the first title under the Parts for Trucks banner.
Speaking of gunning for big wins, a few of those drivers who grace the win-list on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour will look to strike gold in North Carolina in April. “The Race” as it is dubbed is a big money race at the recently revived North Wilksboro Speedway and is attracting some pretty big names to run for the guaranteed $75,000 top prize. Among those include Springvale, Prince Edward Island’s Greg Proude, Saint John, New Brunswick’s Lonnie Sommerville and Halifax, Nova Scotia’s Flemming which, when combined account for nineteen feature wins on the Pro Stock Tour. When you add Dartmouth, Nova Scotia native Dean Clattenburg to the list of drivers in the running for a big Spring payday you have the makings for a fantastic race.
While others make travel plans, some are getting laps under their belts from the comfort of their own home. Shawn Pierce has been wheeling a virtual racecar on the iRacing Motorsport Simulation throughout the month of December and in his first seven starts the Blockhouse, Nova Scotia speedster bagged three wins. Scotia Speedworld Sportsman standout and future Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour driver Mike Alexander is also a familiar face on the simulation racing circuit along with dozens of other Maritime region racers and fans.
Whether this part of the off-season calls for work on the racecar (real or virtual) or it demands a little rest and relaxation one thing is for sure. Within the next five or so months (which will seem like an eternity to many) we will hear motors fired and soon enough we will see race cars whipping around our favorite short tracks across the region. While we wait, think of warm temperatures and sunny skies – maybe Mama Nature will listen to those ponderings during the time she pounds us with snow and sub-zero temps!
If you have any news you would like passed on during Tim’s Corner you can do so by looking up Tim’s Corner on Facebook or email Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!
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