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Tim's Corner

Issue 80

The Notebook - Air Show Atlantic 100

For the first time since 2006, John Flemming is back in victory lane on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour.

The #97 has come so close so many times in the past few years to grabbing the checkered flag – including at least twice this season. Flemming grabbed the win in exciting fashion by holding off a hard charging Jonathan Hicken and a hungry Darren MacKinnon for the win. MacKinnon’s #18 got by Flemming for a moment but the veteran behind the wheel of The Roofing Connection Dodge regained his composure and made the move back on MacKinnon a few laps later. Lapped traffic also played havoc with the leaders which made for some excitement to watch from the stands and I’m sure some tense nerves inside the Pro Stock racecars.

Kudos has to go out to the whole NOVA Racing Team after their efforts on Sunday afternoon. Driver Donald Chisholm set fast time in the Atlantic Tiltload Time Trials and was battling for a top three position in the Fast Eddie Racewear Dash for Cash when an incident saw the #89 head up the track and towards the Turn Three wall. Now, I’ve said before here on Tim’s Corner (see issue 39) that the #89 crew is one of the hardest working crews on the Tour and they displayed that Sunday after the Dash. From the time the Shaw’s Towing crew dropped the #89 in the pits, the crew went to work. The determination and drive of the team to get that car back out was incredible. Well done guys!

The qualifying wasn’t just busy for the Chisholm team though. Mike Stevens, Jonathan Hicken and Terry Dougay’s teams among other had work to their cars following a grueling set of 10-lap heats. On the opposite side, the feature itself only featured two yellows and an impressive 67-lap green flag run to the finish. Some of the reviews after the race had the Air Show Atlantic 100 as one of, if not the best Pro Stock Tour race on the Island in recent seasons.

Darren MacKinnon and his third place finish gained the Charlottetown driver ten points on leader Shawn Tucker on Sunday. MacKinnon has already made history this season by winning the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body (which was heard around the globe on The Score) and could continue re-writing the history books by becoming the first Island based driver to cash in the $10,000 championship bounty on the Tour in September. Twenty points and Wayne Smith sit between he and history while Tucker will be looking to make some history of his own. If the #52 car is victorious this season, he becomes the only driver to win FOUR championships in the Pro Stock Tour era (2001-present). He is currently tied with Flemming for the most with three.

Tucker and MacKinnon will have to battle Smith for the title though. With Wayne leading laps on Sunday, it moved “the Oval Outlaw” to within two main feature positions (or four points) of that championship hot seat currently occupied by Tucker. Flemming sits in fourth with the win while Kent Vincent and Shawn Turple are clinging on to life when it comes to championship aspirations with four races to go. It will for sure be a run to the wire once again in this series!

I said a few weeks ago here that Dylan Gosbee will be a future star on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour. I guess the future arrived Sunday afternoon as Gosbee drove the Kent Livingston owned #16 Wendell Taylor’s Garage Chevrolet to a fifth place finish following an impressive Atlantic Tiltload Time Trial run to get him into the Dash. Gosbee has said during the Dash draw that his strategy was to “drive to wheels off it and see where it gets me during the race,” and that he did. Pretty impressive for only his fourth career Pro Stock start and second on his home track!

Another young up-and-coming star in the Maritimes is Steve Halpin. The rookie at Speedway 660 made his second career Tour start at Oyster Bed on Saturday. Halpin, who entered the Sportsman Invitational a few seasons ago at OBS was excited to get on track. “I liked running this track in the Sportsman car and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to come back in a Pro Stock,” said Halpin before the racing got underway Sunday. Like at 660, Halpin got valuable seat time at the helm of the #03 Saint John Toyota Camry, something that will come in handy down the road!

Next week, we take a look at the Atlantic CAT 250 at Scotia Speedworld!

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