Speedworld lights up friday night
If you’ve missed the last couple weeks of the Scotia Speedworld Weekly Racing Series, you’ve missed some racing that can be best described as nothing short of wild. From roll overs, to first time winners, to drivers getting back to victory lane to make a statement and everything in between, it has left us with plenty to talk about across our six divisions - and five of them will resume their 2012 championship fights this weekend!
Let’s first look at the Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman Series. Aaron Boutilier got back to victory lane during the Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman 50 last weekend and pulled to within a couple points of Jordan Veinotte, who has led since the completion of the second week of Sportsman racing at the Speedworld. Along with Veinotte, Wilmot’s Mike Banks has been consistent enough in the first three races to call himself a championship contender, which should make the battle for the title entertaining as we get into the bulk of the schedule.
Two part time drivers had good runs last Sunday, including second place driver Darren Wallage of Oakfield. Wallage led the most laps in the race before surrendering the lead to Boutilier with about ten laps to go in a clean battle between the two veterans. On the other side of the coin, Andrew Starks also showed some speed in his second attempt at the Speedworld this season. “The Newfie Rocket” kept all the fenders on his #7 Blueline New Holland ride and ran up front for a long while before fading to just outside the top five at the end of the event. Starks will be running part time this season at the Speedworld and if Sunday was any indication, he should be one to keep your eye on when the #7 hits the track!
When the dust (and sparks) settled in the Strictly Hydraulics Legends last week, it was Shelby Baker not only taking his second victory of the season, but he also took back the point lead from his teammate Cole Butcher, who finished in the top five last Friday. Baker, Dylan Blenkhorn and Justin MacNeill (who was subbing for Paul Blenkhorn) methodically moved their way up to the front of the field while Dan Michaud Jr and Richard Salter put on a show up front for the lead. Blenkhorn’s bumper, which was coming loose during the 25-lap main event, finally decided to split from the brackets with a few laps to go, leaving Baker and MacNeill to battle it out for the win with Michaud and Salter. While Baker and MacNeill got by for the top two spots, Michaud held on for a strong top three run and his first podium finish of his career in the Legend car. Baker now has a slim lead on Butcher as they, and the rest of the field, will look to capture the checkers again on Friday night.
Also joining the field Friday is Ryan Mackintosh. The Amherst native and former Hydraulics Plus Bandolero feature winner, will be piloting a Legend car out of the MacLean Motorsports stable on his “vacation” home from North Carolina. Mackintosh is riding a wave of momentum after recording another podium finish at the Summer Shootout on Tuesday at Charlotte and will look to make his return to the Speedworld a memorable one on Friday.
The Jack Daniel’s Trucks have produced some of the best racing of the season and they will continue their season on Friday night. Dan Smith, Derek Sutherland, Kyle Gammon and JP Arsenault have each won main features this season, leaving the ball in the court of Ryan Goldsmith, Vernon Brown and Jason Fenton to become the fifth feature winner in as many races. It wouldn’t surprise me to see one of those guys take the checkered flag first - seeing that Brown and Fenton finished second in the last two Jack Daniel’s Truck features, respectively. The standings are close and as was the case last season, one mistake could tip the points upside down.
Speaking of upside down - two of our Hydraulics Plus Bandolero drivers took five ticket rides last weekend at “Atlantic Canada’s Action Center.” You have to give a nod to Cole Boudreau and the #00 State Farm Insurance team from Chipman, New Brunswick for their dedication to this sport at Scotia Speedworld. After the crank in the motor blew on the last lap of the main feature two weeks ago, the team set their sights on another feature win to pad their point lead until another setback looked like that may not happen. While the field was slowing down for a caution out of Turn Four, a couple drivers made contact, sending Boudreau’s #00 for a wild ride, barrel rolling at least thrice by my count before coming to a stop. Boudreau, along with Jarrett Butcher, who was also involved in the accident, emerged from their cars unscathed and both teams got their cars fixed for the feature. While Boudreau’s looked like a mini modified, the driver didn’t lose his edge in the wreck, navigating his way to a third place finish at the end of the feature - and even battled for the lead with Luke Ettinger for a bit before contact between the two set them back behind Dylan Sutherland. Sutherland ended up on his roof two laps later after he and lapped car made contact, sending Sutherland’s #16 up the bank in Turn Two. After they put the #16 Sutherland’s Auto Body Bandolero on its wheels, the driver pulled away and finished the event behind winner Adam Meehan, who rebounded after a tough couple weeks at the helm of his #6 car.
There will be some drivers in that class this week looking for a bit of redemption as they look to get back to victory lane. Ettinger was so close to victory lane he could taste it last week, Sutherland led laps and looked strong throughout the evening, Cole Tanner suffered some tough luck and will look to get back to championship form this week. They’ll be joined in the field of about a dozen as they look to take the win on Friday.
Completing the night on Friday will be the ACE Lumbermart Lightning cars. The question everyone has heading in to Friday night is “can anyone stop Jorden Smith and Mike Umlah?” The two have finished first and second in the first three features of the season with Smith having just a bit more than “The Outlaw” in the first trio of races. Jamie Creamer had a nice rebound a couple weeks back to come home third while two dozen others will look to dethrone the defending champion of the series as a feature winner this week. The last time the Lightning cars raced at Scotia, the action was so hot that the lights couldn’t keep up, and the race on Friday is expected to bring much of the same!
Kiddie Rides kick off the show on Friday at 7pm. Bring the kids out this weekend and they can go for a drive with their favorite Weekly Racing Series driver prior to the evenings racing action! Prior to the action, they can also meet up in Kid’s Corner with Kate (not to be confused with Tim’s Corner), so they can make signs to support their favorite Friday night star prior to Kiddie Rides from 6-7pm!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!
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