Tim's Corner
Setting Up the Shriners Classic

This Friday night is a big deal.

The 23rd Annual Shriners Classic for Sportsman goes green and it is shaping up to be field deep in talent that will look for the checkered flag in the 50-lap race.

It’s a prestigious race, probably one of, if not the, most prestigious Late Model Sportsman races in Atlantic Canada. It is also the longest actively running race in Atlantic Canada. Sure, the River Glade International has been going for 50 plus years, but they took a break in 2010 and a track change was made. The Classic has been going strong for 22 years at the same race track and while the division has changed from the Street Stock to the Late Model ranks, it remains a race many drivers have tried to win but a number of big names have failed to do so.

Case in point, a guy like Phil Barkhouse Jr.

Phil has won a lot of big races at Scotia Speedworld and throughout the Maritimes. He’s competed on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour and most recently competed full time at Scotia Speedworld in 2015 driving for Robert Hage and the #54 team.

Then there is our reigning Affordable Fuels Sportsman champion Pete Miller.

Miller climbed to the top and won our top CARSTAR weekly Racing Series division one year ago. Miller has decided to step back and run part-time this year but one of those races he wants to win is the Shriners Classic.

What about Aaron Boutilier?

There is another name that has won championships at Scotia Speedworld and has won countless feature events over the last decade, but never a Shriners Classic. Boutilier suffered mechanical issues on the first day of the season and will be back on Friday to try and win his first Classic.

Then there is our Affordable Fuels Sportsman roster that has ran with us this season.

Only two drivers that have competed in a race this season at Scotia Speedworld have ever won the Shriners Classic. Darren Wallage (who filled in for Alex Painting on Opening Day) and Colby Smith are former Classic winners, each having one title to their vast resumes. Will either show up on Friday night with a car? Time will tell. Colby was not planning on it a couple weeks ago, but gremlins bit him at Riverside and he may use Friday as a shakedown session.

We will have some former champions in the field on Friday night, led by the winningest driver in the race Jeff “D8 Dozer” Dillman and the two-time and defending champion in “The Bounty Hunter” Russell Smith Jr. Dillman is slated to slide behind the wheel of the #1 Pothier Motors Dodge for Mitch Blanchard and team, both team and driver will be making their first starts of the year in the Affordable Fuels Sportsman class. Smith has some new colors on his car as Affordable Fuels has stepped up to put some green on the #44 car for Friday’s show. It’s a sharp car and you’ll want to be there to check it out.  We might even see a guy like Tony Leonard dust off his Sportsman on Friday night.

The race is also a points race. As Jordan Veinotte alluded to last week, you might see some of those front runners have that in the back of their mind, but this race is also huge to have on your resume. Terry Roma’s name is on this trophy thrice and as much as Jordan said he’d like to have his name on it, I’m sure point leader Travis Roma would like to be beside his father’s name on the hardware. Chris Dingle was on the podium with Terry Roma and Colby Smith in 2010 and I’m sure he’d love nothing more than to complete the job from that year in the Shriners Classic.

We’ll also have Josh Collins joining us on Friday evening. Josh is coming off a top five run at Riverside International Speedway during the Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet Buick GMC 150. The Placentia, Newfoundland driver is using this race to not only shake down his new Sportsman but to also get laps at Scotia Speedworld prior to the Nova Truck Centres Make A Wish 150 on Saturday. Collins hasn’t raced at Scotia Speedworld since 2014, has a number of NASCAR Pinty’s Series starts and I’m excited to see him run the #56 this weekend.

All of this is just surrounding around the Shriners Classic! We have lots more going on Friday, including the Toursec Thunder division, which has been Tim Webster’s playground in the two races he has attended. The Strictly Hydraulics Legends have gone into overtime the last two races with both of their features going over one hour to complete 25 laps. The Hydraulics Plus Bandoleros, both rookie and veteran classes, have probably put on some of the best races of the CARSTAR Weekly Racing Series this year. Friday night might be one of the best cards of the year at Scotia Speedworld, and it is one you’ll want to be at.

Not to mention that I’ll have Megan Parrott co-hosting with me on Friday night. She co-hosted with me once last year and I’m excited to pick her brain and call a few races with her. She has a lot of fans in the stands and she will add a lot to an already stacked lineup on Friday.
I also want to thank Jordan Veinotte and Dylan Langille for joining me last week. It was great to have Jordan’s insight and Dylan’s knowledge in the tower. We had fun and hopefully our fans had fun and a couple laughs listening to us too!

The Pulse Heavy Duty Trucks and the Toursec Lightning cars will be on the undercard for the Nova Truck Centres Make A Wish 150. While the Truck field is light, the four we had last week put on a pretty good show for a four truck field! The Lightning division is full of talent and they are not afraid to lean on each other if need be. A side note, in three races, the division has produced three different winners this season and with Darrell Sullivan and “Rational” Richard Drake yet to produce wins, we could have a fourth different winner on Saturday.

If you are inclined to do so, check out my Nova Truck Centres Make A Wish 150 preview over at the Tim’s Corner section of MaritimeProStockTour.com on Friday!

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