Weekend Preview, AMP Energy Night + Lockhart 150
Stock car racing is already an unpredictable sport; one of those elements of unpredictability is the weather. After looking at three forecasts myself throughout the day on Friday, management made a pretty good call by pulling the plug early in the day, especially for those teams like Michael Cormier and Jeff Atkinson, for example, who have to travel over two hours one way to get to the track every Friday night. Nobody likes to see an event canceled but on the other side of the coin, we can’t race in the rain.
Let’s look forward now instead of backward and set our sights on our first of three double header weekends of the season. These events have become pretty special as all six of our Weekly Racing Series divisions get to shine on these two day shows. Let’s look at Friday first as AMP Energy Night will be front and centre under the Friday night lights.
Adam Meehan has been on fire in the first two races of the season in the Hydraulics Plus Bandoleros. The youngster from Rawdon has maximum points after two weeks of the season but it hasn’t been without some competition. Braden Langille has shadowed Meehan and sits just six points out of the lead. Cole Tanner reminded us two weeks ago that he will be a contender this year and the #33 car will look to move up the podium two more rungs this Friday. Luke Ettinger and Craig MacDonald have both been fast this year as well but technical issues have set the two young guns back. Megan Parrott and rookie Wyatt McCulloch are both tied for fourth in the standings after solid starts to the season. Either way, the Hydraulics Plus Bandoleros always have the racing it takes to steal the show and I wouldn’t be surprised if the race of the weekend comes out of Friday night’s appetizer course!
The Strictly Hydraulics Legends have also established themselves as a division that can bring the heat on race night. Just two weeks ago we saw a finish where Danny Harvey edged Cole Butcher out by inches. It was so close that both drivers and both teams thought they won the race! Then, of course, you have to add in a whole host of drivers looking to upset the apple cart and break into victory lane, including top five point drivers Cy Harvey, Emily Meehan and Jeff Cruickshank.
The ACE Lumbermart Lightning drivers are chomping at the bit to get back out on the track. Following Monster Jam, their off week and a rainout, it’s been nearly a month since they’ve been on the track but they will look to give the fans a refresher on why they are the best in the region at what they do! “Rational” Richard Patrick holds the lead, but will have the likes of Jamie Dillman, JR Lawson and a dozen or more others breathing down his neck for that top spot. Richie Moore and Mark Campbell will also look to rebound from tough runs on Opening Day, while a mechanical failure has pre-season favorite Marc MacMillan scrambling to make up points. You can also count on Jamie Creamer, BJ Nicholson, Chevy MacDonald among others to make a charge for the top spot on Friday night as well.
The Kyle MacMillan/Stevie Lively battle is expected to continue on Friday night in the ACE Lumbermart Thunder class. The two former champions have been going at it for the better part of a year and a half now and they show no signs of slowing down. While the battle has seen a lot of hard racing, there is a lot of respect between the two and it has equated to a fantastic show of short track racing for our fans. If they slip though, it leaves the door open for a half dozen others, including Dave Matthews, Drew MacEachern, Tim Webster, Matthew Warren and a returning Andrew Cluett who could sneak in and take the top trophy.
Let’s move to Saturday now and talk Coors Light Trucks. Robbie Watts and team are still riding high after their first win in the class and will look to inch closer to the top of the standings Saturday night when they go green as the undercard to the Lockhart Truck Center 150. When it comes to points, Dan Smith now has the advantage by one point over Ryan Goldsmith and with this class being so close in competition, expect this single digit point margin to be a common occurrence throughout the year when we talk points.
After a couple of rough and tumble at time affairs to open the Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman Series season, the big boys and girl of the Weekly Racing Series will look to shine in front of the big crowd on Saturday night. Aaron Boutilier and Darren Wallage have both hinted that this championship battle could come down to them, but we have about 15 or so others that are going to look to crash their party. For example, two weeks ago we saw Chris Dingle put up a stellar second place run. On Opening Day, rookie DJ Casey put his car on the podium and had Wallage on his front bumper at the checkers. While those two may be on the tips of tongues as favorites two races in, we could easily see our third different feature winner in as many races this Saturday.
For my complete Lockhart Truck Center 150 preview, including my Top Five and more, visit MaritimeProStockTour.com later in the week. I can tell you though that after the Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet Buick GMC 150 last week, we are in for quite the show!
It’s a full weekend of racing at the Speedworld and I cannot wait for it!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!
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