Race Preview - Ron MacGillivray Chev Buick GMC 100
I hope everyone enjoyed their off-weekend from Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour racing. I say this because for the next four weekends, we roll our Maritime party across three provinces to four different race tracks. This stretch of the season will take us to the halfway point in the 2011 championship run and will separate the contenders from the pretenders in the championship.
In the first two races of the season we have seen teams experience some major ups and downs. Many stories and budding rivalries are beginning to build out of the first two events of the year and are expected to continue this Saturday at Riverside International Speedway during the Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet Buick GMC 100. One of those rivalries at the forefront may just be the home track boys. At the conclusion of the Lucas Oil 100 at Petty International Raceway, Donald Chisholm and Jerome Kehoe were seen trading paint all the way up to the line. When the dust settled it was Chisholm awarded with a second place run and Kehoe with his career best finish in third. With the two heading back to their home track on Saturday, they will be looking to advance their positions up the podium from two weeks ago.
Chisholm will have two teammates this weekend as well. Joining the #89 Keltic Ford Fusion will be the familiar #88 Nova Construction/Pioneer Coal entry driven by George Koszkulics. The Nova Racing fans will also have one more car to cheer for as Appin, Ontario’s Jason Hathaway will be making his first Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour appearance this weekend, driving the #09 Vortex Brakes ride. Hathaway is currently sixth in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series standings after three races and will be one of the stars battling for the win when that series comes to Riverside in September.
Two feature winners in two races. We’ve seen this story play out before. With the talent we have set to attack the high banks this weekend that number could roll up to three. Former champs Shawn Tucker, Wayne Smith and John Flemming are at the top of the board so far through two events and with Flemming the only one of the trio being left out of the win column, the #97 Dodge could make a huge statement this weekend by pulling The Roofing Connection colors into victory lane. Kent Vincent is fifth in points and with two strong tracks coming up for the #8 Vector Aerospace Dodge we could see Vincent vault closer to the lead than the fifteen points that separates him from the top after two races. Did I mention he’s the defending IWK 250 titlist?
Marty Prevost pulled out of Petty with a car that was in one piece and a fourth place finish to boot. Prevost has run well at Riverside in the past so expect the Fall River, Nova Scotian to back up those strong runs this weekend. Greg Proude is the defending winner of this race and has ran at the front in the first two 2011 races before circumstances have relegated him to a finish not indicative of how the “Red Rocket” has performed.
Craig Slaunwhite and Shawn Turple are former winners at Riverside but have started the season out slower than they would like to. Neither Scotia Speedworld Sportsman graduate has recorded a top five finish this season and sit ninth and sixth in the point standings respectively. Watch these two to turn their seasons around as they kick off a four race stretch at tracks both have experienced a great deal of success at in recent years.
So who will take round three of the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour this weekend and who will come out with the point lead? The action begins at 5:10pm on Saturday with the Atlantic Tiltload Time Trials followed by qualifying for the Pro Stocks and NAPA Sportsman. The Sportsman will take to the high banks of Riverside for a 50-lap main event before the Pro Stocks go green for 100-laps presented by Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet Buick GMC! Don’t miss the excitement on Saturday!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!
FAST FACTS – RON MACGILLIVRAY CHEVROLET BUICK GMC 100
Track: Riverside International Speedway; 1/3-mile high banked oval located in James River, Nova Scotia
Last five winners at Riverside: Donald Chisholm (August 14th, 2010), Kent Vincent (July 17th, 2010*), Greg Proude (June 19th, 2010), Shawn Turple (August 22nd, 2009), Wayne Smith (July 19th, 2010*)
*indicates extra distance race (IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body)
Most top five finishes in last five races – Kent Vincent and Wayne Smith (four each). Vincent and Shawn Tucker have two consecutive Riverside podium finishes leading into Saturday’s Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet Buick GMC 100.
Share the trophy! – Riverside has seen eight different Pro Stock winners in their last eight races, including Chisholm, Vincent, Proude, Turple, Smith, Tucker, Craig Slaunwhite and Regan Smith.
Champions of Spring Riverside this event:
2010 – Greg Proude
2009 – Shawn Tucker
2008 – Shawn Tucker
2007 - Mike MacKenzie
2006 – Not Held (first RIS event in 2006 was a 200-lap race in August, won by Shawn Turple)
2005 – Rollie MacDonald
2004 – John Flemming
2003 – Wayne Smith
2002 – Shawn Tucker
2001 – Wayne Smith
Shawn Tucker has won this event thrice, more than any other driver in series history.
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