Tim's Corner
Are We There Yet?

Winter may be “officially” over when it comes to the calendar, but for us race fans in Atlantic Canada, that season always seems to be extended a few weeks. With a majority of the snowfalls and colder weather behind us, the sound of race engines and the smell of burning rubber isn’t far away. It’s been a bit since my last piece on the website, so let’s review a bit.

The 2012 schedule has been released since my last column and believe me when I type this folks, we are in for one incredible 25th Anniversary Season at the Speedworld! From the season opening CARQUEST 100 coming up in a few weeks to the finale weekend in September which features the Dartmouth Dodge 200, the action is set to come at us fast and furious over the next few months. I know there are some race fans that are trying to plan their summer and keep asking me “Which events do I really need to be at?” or “Which races do you recommend me getting to this Summer?”

The answer? All of them.

Okay, let’s say you can’t clear your schedule to be at every event. Here’s a selection of six events that you should be pulling into Exit 6 on Highway 102 for, in chronological order.

Sunday, May 20th - 4pm - CARQUEST 100
This is a given. The first competitive race laps at Scotia Speedworld will happen during the CARQUEST 100 on May 20th. The Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour will be kicking off their 2012 schedule as will the Maritime League of Legends Tour. With Pro Stock Tour titlist Wayne Smith going into semi-retirement from competition, who will step up and fire the first shot at the championship? Find out on May 20th.

Friday, June 22nd - 7pm - Media Races
Want to have the chance to get up and close with your favorite media personalities as they tackle the 3/10-mile oval in their own race? Watch as local celebrities from the print, radio and television world “let their hair down” for their annual feature as they trade places with “the BEST Four Cylinder Drivers in Atlantic Canada” for a brief showcase of their high octane skills on the track. It’s a fun time for everyone and is one of those races you just have to see for yourself.

Friday, July 27th - 7pm - 18th Annual Shriner’s Classic for Sportsman
The Shriner’s Classic is in its 18th year, making the event the longest active race that has run in consecutive years. The stars of the Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman Series will go at it for 50 laps for not only valuable championship points, but they will also have the distinct honor of etching their name on the snowglobe trophy and have a donation made to the Shriner’s Hospitals in their name. A who’s who of drivers have won this race in the past, including Terry Roma, Harry Ross White, Craig Slaunwhite and current Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman Series and Shriner’s Classic Champ Jeff Dillman.

Friday August 11th and Saturday August 12th - 13th Annual Atlantic CAT 250 Weekend
Okay, we’re going to cheat here a bit and include both dates under one banner, but really, you can’t stand to miss either race! The Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman 100 opens the weekend with the longest Sportsman division race of the season at the Speedworld. This event has provided many fireworks in the past, including two years ago when Colby Smith made his last lap pass on Darren Wallage to take his first ever Sportsman win at the Speedworld. Last year, Frankie Fraser took his third win in this race, a record for the event.

On Saturday, the big boys of the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour shine in the 13th Annual Atlantic CAT 250. Last season this event went the first 125 laps caution free in a showcase of fantastic Atlantic Canadian Pro Stock racing.Ben Rowe took his record setting third victory in this race last year aboard the #10 Dexter Construction/Municipal Contracting Chevrolet Impala. Who will get to victory lane this time around? You’ll have to be there August 12th to find out!

Friday, August 31st - Kiddie Rides + Twin 50’s Presented by ACE Lumbermart
We call them “the BEST Four Cylinder drivers in Atlantic Canada” for good reason! Not only will the cars and stars of the ACE Lumbermart Thunder and Lightning Division be racing for 50 laps (twice the regular distance of their Friday features), they will be racing for valuable championship points in their penultimate event of the season. With all the preparation that goes into these big races for these drivers, this race could really throw a curveball into the plans of the front runners. Keep in mind, the Thunder championship last season came down to a single point. That’s one position in a heat race, folks! This should be a big race to close off the month of August!

Friday, September 7th and Saturday September 8th - Finale Friday and Dartmouth Dodge 200 Championship Weekend

Thousands of laps, hundreds of racers and seven championships all come down to one weekend in September. Friday night brings “Finale Friday” for five of the six Weekly Racing Series divisions at Scotia Speedworld while the Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman Series will crown their champion on Saturday as the undercard of the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour Dartmouth Dodge 200. Some drivers race their whole career without winning a championship, could this be the year we see some first time champions forever etch their name into history? We saw it last year with Dave Matthews winning his first ever ACE Lumbermart Thunder championship, JP Arsenault winning the Truck title, Jorden Smith cruising to the ACE Lumbermart Lightning crown and Dylan Blenkhorn winning the Strictly Hydraulics Legend title in his freshman year. It’s a huge weekend to close off the 25th Anniversary Season of Scotia Speedworld, so make plans to be there now!

There are so many other events I could have put here as well. For the fifth time in nine seasons, we will be racing on a Friday the 13th. July 13th brings us the Inside Track Shootout and even though we’ll preview the race when we get closer to it, you’ll find that some drivers love racing on the superstition and some could go without wheeling a car on that date. Though it’s not a stock car event, you owe yourself to get out to one of the Maple Leaf Monster Jam dates on June 2nd and 3rd. Canada’s own Cam McQueen, who drives Northern Nightmare on the circuit, drove to victory in the World Finals for Freestyle a few weeks ago in Las Vegas. With McQueen expected to be on the card for the first weekend of June, I don’t know why you would miss the Monster Trucks in their only Nova Scotia appearance in 2012!

We’re just getting revved up on Tim’s Corner for the season. Coming up in the next few weeks, we’ll take a look in the rear view mirror as we come up on the milestone 25th Anniversary Season of Scotia Speedworld and we’ll also take a look ahead of who is doing what. A lot of the “rumors” haven’t changed since my Banquet Review back in November, but there are some small tweaks we can make regarding drivers moving throughout divisions. We’ll get to that - and much more - in the coming weeks here on Tim’s Corner!

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