AN ESTABLISHMENT FIT FOR CHAMPIONS
As most drivers are tinkering on their race cars and aiming towards achieving goals in the 2011 season, Paul Blenkhorn and crew aren’t quite to that point yet. You would think that the Truro driver would be looking at May 2011 as a chance to defend his three Legend car titles he earned in 2010 but one thing has him a bit preoccupied this winter.
“It’s bar season,” Blenkhorn told me during the last week of December. Paul recently purchased what was formerly known as The Mill Beverage Room in Truro and has been busy ever since. When my lady friend and I stopped in for a bite to eat during the last week of December the crew was busy finishing new booths in the establishment, which has been fittingly been renamed Champions Bar and Grill. After all, Blenkhorn took top honors on the Scotia Speedworld Weekly Division and the Maritime League of Legends Tour en route to the Canadian Pro Championship last season. Though the big challenge for the elder Blenkhorn to defend may come from a former Hydraulics Plus Bandolero champ. His son Dylan is set to compete at Scotia Speedworld in 2011 and with the close competition he gave his father all season long last year on the MLoL Tour, we are in for a great rivalry this season and the rookie class in the Legend cars (which at early count could fill one hand) will be one of the best crops in years.
Meanwhile, Paul will receive his recognition as the Canadian Pro Legends champion at the INEX Banquet in Charlotte, North Carolina later this winter. Scotia Speedworld also produced the Canadian Semi-Pro Legends champion and at this time we would like to congratulate Lower Sackville’s Derek MacCallum on that feat. MacCallum, who drove the Hella’s Diner rocket in 2010 now has three championships in three years after claiming back-to-back Thunder car trophies in 2008 and 2009. Way to go guys on your Canadian titles!
Oh, and by the way, next time you are in Truro, stop by Champions on Robie Street (across from the Truro Mall). I can tell you from stopping in there during the late days of December that the food and hospitality is great! Tell them Tim’s Corner sent you on in.
’09 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR STEWART SET FOR COMEBACK IN ’11
Speaking of Truro residents making a splash in 2011, another driver that could be a threat for Blenkhorn’s title could be a cross-town, on-track rival. Neil Stewart took a season off from racing at Scotia Speedworld in 2010 but when I talked to him last week in Truro he laid out his plan for attack this summer. “I plan on registering the car as soon as I can,” said Stewart. The Truro driver finished 7th overall in Legends points in 2009 en route to the Rookie of the Year award in the class and finished just over a hundred points out of Scott MacLean for the overall crown.
Stewart is aware of Blenkhorn’s success this past season and said he has joked with the fellow Hubtown driver about his championship. “I told him that if I was on the track that I would have got that championship over him,” laughed Stewart. Neil will look to become the fourth champion from Truro in four years at the Speedworld track – joining the Blenkhorns (Paul in 2010, Dylan in 2008) and former Lightning champ Andrew Starks (2008).
HILLBILLY RACING BACK FOR 2011
While most drivers are looking at the Dodge brand in the Tirecraft Lightning class, Kenny Hopper and the other drivers of Hillbilly Racing are sticking with their bowties. The team, comprised of Hopper, Jamie Dillman and Richie Moore will look once again to break up the Neon Brigade in 2011 – something they made major strides in one season ago.
While Dillman and Moore ran in the top ten during the season, Hopper had ongoing problems with the powerplants in his #107 Sangster’s Automotive Cavalier. The multi-time feature winner in the class is working hard to make sure that does not happen in his second season back behind the wheel following a long break in the late 2000’s. “I’ve been working on the car every time it is nice out,” said Hopper. “When the snow stops, I’m out working on the car. Racing season and the nice weather cannot come soon enough!”
Richie Moore had the top non-Dodge entry in the four cylinder class in 2010 by finishing sixth in his Scotia Auto Chevrolet. Jamie Dillman celebrated the birth of his new child at the end of the season and fell to a tenth place finish after missing some dates at the end of the season. The team is sticking with their roots and staying with the General Motors brand in 2011. “We’re not going to back down from our Chevys,” said Hopper of the bowtie brand. The only other non-Dodge driver in the top ten last year was “The Pit Lizard” Jamie Creamer, who finished seventh overall.
With the goal of being up front in 2011, expect to see Hillbilly Racing near the top of the score sheet when we see the green flag come May.
WILLIAMS EYES WEEKLY SCHEDULE IN 2011
After a season of part time racing in 2010, Mark Williams is going all in this coming season. The Sackville driver had a limited schedule one season ago and though the RacingTrader.ca team showed success in the select races, the driver admitted that it is a hard job trying to keep up. “Not being in the seat weekly and not working on setups puts you so far behind,” said Williams. “It is hard to just show up at the race track and be competitive when you run part time. This will be a make or break year for me.”
Williams knows that surrounding the team with good people will make the team successful. “We will have some new crew members on the #23 car this season. We’re going to come into the season and run weekly and hope for success in doing so.” The team is also looking for sponsorship this season to complete their goal of a full season behind the wheel in the highly competitive Legends division in 2011 – a series that had no less than six drivers in contention for the title on Super Sunday!
Until next time, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!
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