Weekly Racing Series
Race Wrap & Full Results
September 12/13th: Season Finale Night
DARTMOUTH DODGE SPORTSMAN
The three drivers that went into Saturday’s Dartmouth Dodge 50 with a shot at the championship lived up to the pre-race hype - and then some.
While Darren Wallage (Oakfield) and Harry Ross White (Noel Road) each had to come from the rear of the field at one point in the main feature, it was DJ Casey (Prospect Road) who methodically moved his way up and positioned himself in a spot to take away the win in the 50-lap feature.
By the halfway point in the race, Casey, in the #97 Never Greener Services/R&A Automotive Chevrolet was well within the top five and had battled fellow sophomore Travis Roma (West Chezzetcook) throughout the back half of the Dartmouth Dodge 50. The two put on a great display of Late Model racing for the fans in the stands, until Roma’s #38 DSL Tire/Doug Forbes Century 21 Classic Chevrolet began to overheat and forced the driver who was in search of his first feature win to the pits with five to go.
It put Casey out front for the final restart of the season, one that he would subsequently drive away from the field to pick up his second victory of the season.
Behind him, it was a scramble for position.
While the battle for second raged on like someone fumbled a touchdown pass, Wallage laid it all on the line as he put his car from fourth on the final restart, past White and was looking at Phil Barkhouse Jr (Hammonds Plains) for second at the checkered flag. The move for the #3 that went from possibly losing fourth place to taking third in a two lap scramble may have been the biggest battle of the season with the third place spot locking up his second consecutive Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman championship.
Wallage becomes the first two-time consecutive champion since Craig Slaunwhite (Terence Bay), when the 2013 Atlantic Cat 250 climbed to the top of the Sportsman class in 2006 and 2007. Wallage joins “Dozer” Jeff Dillman (Middle Musquodoboit, 2009/2011) and Slaunwhite as two time Late Model champions at the track in the previous decade.
As for Casey, while he’ll have to settle for second in the championship chase in his sophomore season, he was happy with the car he drove to victory lane.
“This is the best car I have ever driven, start to finish,” said Casey of his #97 car in victory lane.
Barkhouse held onto second in the Robert Hage owned #54x, ahead of Wallage, HOSS and Tony Leonard (Goodwood). Leonard fell four points short of taking fifth place in the standings, which was nailed down by Three Fathom Harbour’s Brentley Pirri in his fourth season of Sportsman racing.
Heat races in the 23-car field went to Wade Slauenwhite (Beaverbank), “Mr Excitement” Kirk Ryan (Lantz) and 2012 Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman champion Aaron Boutilier (Porter’s Lake). Boutilier was sidelined before the end of the feature on Saturday and would wind up fourth place in the standings.
HYDRAULICS PLUS BANDOLEROS
The most consistent driver on the Weekly Racing Series at Scotia Speedworld drove to his first track championship Friday night in the Hydraulics Plus Bandolero division.
Braden Langille of Shubenacadie drove to second place on Friday night behind winner Cory Hall (Jolicure, NB) to lock down his first track championship. While defending champion and third place finisher on the evening Adam Meehan (Rawdon) chipped away at Langille’s lead in the final weeks of the season, Langille and his #51 Velocity Machining and Welding Bandolero showed up to dance on Friday by edging the #6 in both the heat and the feature race.
In front of the championship duo, Hall pulled off the double down in taking his second win of the season at the Speedworld. Hall is the only driver to win a Bandolero feature at every track a Bandolero race has been contested in the 2014 season, and will complete the Speedworld season ninth in the standings.
Behind the top three on the track in the feature, it was another two-time feature winner in 2014 in Cole Tanner (Shubenacadie) holding off Wyatt McCulloch (Stewiacke) for the fourth place spot.
Megan Parrott (Beaverbank) made a last lap pass stick on Colton Noble (Upper Nine Mile River) to pick up the checkered flag in Heat One while Hall took honors in Heat Two.
For Langille, the championship comes on the strength of 11 top fives in 12 races, including one feature win, four seconds and four thirds in feature action. Add to that five heat race victories, and you have a model of consistency that put Langille to the top of the hill by 11 points over Meehan and the rest of his peers. “The King Commander” Austin MacDonald locked up the Tim Hortons at the Airport Rookie of the Year Award with a 10th place finish in points.
STRICTLY HYDRAULICS LEGENDS
The most comfortable point lead of any Weekly Racing Series division leader didn’t make Cole Butcher (Porter’s Lake) back down as he became a track champion at Scotia Speedworld for a fourth consecutive year.
Butcher never laid back as he hounded Tony Gaudet Jr of Milford Station for the lead late in the final 25-lap feature of the season in the Legends division. Gaudet, who also held off a frantic charge from eventual third place finisher Danny Harvey (Lantz), picked up his first career Legend car feature victory on Friday night. Gaudet, who was making his third start on the Speedworld Weekly Series on the season, has been working out west most of the summer and has only been home for select weekends throughout 2014.
Tim Hortons at the Airport Rookie of the Year and second place in overall points Nicholas Naugle (Dartmouth) brought his car home with a fourth place finish on Finale Friday, just in front of Jeff Atkinson of Port LaTour. Atkinson locked down third in the standings, besting Jeff Cruickshank (Hantsport - 8th in feature) and “Miss Rawdon Rocket” Emily Meehan (6th in feature) for the spot in the standings.
Cole Boudreau (Chipman, NB), RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock Rookie of the Year at Speedway 660, made his first Speedworld start since his runner-up Hydraulics Plus Bandolero season in 2012 and brought home top honors in Heat One. Gaudet started the sweep of the evening by capturing Heat Two on the evening.
Butcher will go down as a three-time consecutive champion in the Strictly Hydraulics Legends class with a 44-point margin on Naugle. The driver of the #5 Atlantic Titload Ford also took home the 2011 Hydraulics Plus Bandolero championship, making him a four-time consecutive track champion at Scotia Speedworld.
COORS LIGHT TRUCKS
His team told him to use it all up, and Dan Smith (Lower Sackville) did just that as he became the first three-time consecutive Coors Light Truck champion in Scotia Speedworld history on Friday night.
“You can’t get one of these Trucks to spin (do a burnout) with the rear ends breaking a part, if you can, you’re cheating.”
Smith finished third on the night, one in which he would win his third championship by the biggest margin of his career - 32 points. The race was won by Eastern Passage’s Jason Fenton, who won his sixth feature on the season in 12 races.
Matt Vaughan (Lake Fletcher), who finished second in the Tim Hortons at the Airport Rookie chase to Cory Leonard (Goodwood), made a late move on Smith to capture second in the race. Jim MacMillan (Halifax) came home fourth after showing the youngens’ a thing or two this season by winning two of the biggest features of the year. “The Pit Lizard” Jamie Creamer (Spryfield) was fifth on the evening in the 10 Truck field.
Kevin Clark Jr (Goodwood) picked up the heat race victory and was poised to pick up his second consecutive Coors Light Truck feature before a crash on the front straight sidelined the #17 truck. Watch for Clark to be a championship contender in 2015.
Smith and his #39 Glenstone.ca Chevrolet had an “offseason” to their standards, with only one win on the year, but was still good enough to pick up the championship. Smith and his crew will celebrate their third crown at the annual Awards Banquet in November in Truro.
Dave Matthews (Kennetcook) wasn’t letting anything stand in his way by taking his second Thunder car championship at Scotia Speedworld.
Matthews and his #99 Matthews Motorsports Civic climbed to the top of the Best Four Cylinder Drivers in Atlantic Canada for the first time since 2011 by winning the Thunder heat and feature on Finale Friday. In the main event on the evening, he had to hold off two champions when it came to feature wins on the season as Stevie Lively (Shubenacadie) got the edge on “The Ironman” Drew MacEachern (Dartmouth) on the track in the final feature of the year for the second place spot. Lively and MacEachern each scored three feature wins on the season, including splitting the Thunder 50s amongst themselves in 2014.
“The Sheriff” Kyle Gammon (Mount Uniacke) bested outgoing champion Matthew Warren (White’s Lake) for the fourth place spot in the feature. With his fourth place finish , Gammon locked up the fifth place spot in the standings in front of MacEachern and Lively who, only fittingly, tied for sixth in the standings, five points out of fifth.
Tim Hortons at the Airport Rookie Shane Lively (Middle Sackville) won heat one on the evening. The run by Lively wasn’t enough to top Brad Hayes of Head of Jeddore, who scored the Tim Hortons Rookie of the Year Award by 19 points over Halifax’s Merle Corbin. A total of six rookies, including Andrew and Shane Lively, Nic Baker (Middle Sackville) and “The Mayor of Cleveland” Art McNamara competed full time in the Thunder class in 2014.
In one of the wildest finishes in Lightning car history, it was Urbania’s Mike Brown barely holding onto the championship in the class by a single point.
Brown, who entered the feature with a 15 point advantage on Deven Smith (Lakeside), was shuffled out of line on a restart with three laps to go and the #118 Fewer’s Convenience Neon eventually fell to eighth place on the scramble. Meanwhile, Smith kept his car pointed straight and the #194 Smith Brothers Racing Neon went to victory lane.
The difference between the two in the feature? 14 points in the way of Smith, leaving Brown hanging onto a single point to take his first career track championship after finishing third in 2012.
The scramble boosted “Big Daddy” Kenny Hopper (Elmsdale) to second place, his best finish in a feature in nine seasons and Rob Henry (Eastern Passage) to a career best third place finish. “Rational” Richard Patrick (Halifax) entered in championship contention but a fourth place finish kept him third in the championship standings after 25-laps. Darrell Sullivan (Harrietsfield) completed his first full season in the Lightning cars with a fifth place feature finish.
Henry and Sullivan each took heat race victories.
A broken hub would relegate Steve Matthews (Bedford) to an eleventh place finish on the night, but the #198 Fast Eddie Racewear Neon was still stout enough all season to pocket the Tim Hortons at the Airport Rookie of the Year Award for 2014. Like the Thunder class, six full time rookies, including Joey Holland (Eastern Passage), Tom Ackles (Spryfield), Devin and Tom Stewart (Stewiacke), Mitchell Hopkins (Beaverbank) and Jonathan Guy (Truro) competed for the award.
All full-time competitors over the six Scotia Speedworld Weekly Racing Series classes will be honored on Saturday, November 1st at the Best Western Glengarry in Truro as a part of the 2014 Scotia Speedworld Awards Banquet. Ticket information will be available for the gala evening in the coming weeks at ScotiaSpeedworld.ca.
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