Tim's Corner

The “Young Guns” of Scotia Speedworld will be centre stage this Friday at 7pm with Hydraulics Plus Night, the first race contested under the “Friday night lights” on the 3/10-mile oval.

I’ve mentioned it before, it is so great to have dedicated partners involved in our sport like John Cameron and Hydraulics Plus. When our Bandoleros hit the track, I’m not sure who has the bigger smile, Mr. Cameron or our drivers that he supports throughout the season. Following a week off since our season opener, the cars and stars of the Bandolero class are ready to put on a show in their biggest Friday night race of 2013!

It’s hard to deny that Adam Meehan is on a roll when it comes to the opening races of this season. Meehan has recorded two fourth place finishes in as many races at Petty International Raceway (NB) and doubled down on opening day at Scotia Speedworld. In the first heat and feature of the season at the Speedworld, Meehan was chased to the line by 2012 Canadian INEX Bandits Bandolero champion Braden Langille. Langille tap danced on Meehan’s back bumper in both races but could not get by the #6 to take the win in either event. Remember, it was Hydraulics Plus Night in 2012 when Langille climbed the mountain to take his first career Bandolero victory. Since then, he has picked up a total of three wins and will look to come into Friday as defending champion of Hydraulics Plus Night.

Craig MacDonald, the 2012 Rookie of the Year in the class, finished a strong third in the 15-lap feature on May 26th and will be looking to move two steps higher on the podium Friday night. Cole Tanner has some momentum heading into Friday night after a win at Petty International Raceway last Sunday afternoon. While he tied for the championship in the class in 2011 (losing in a tiebreaker to Jarrett Butcher), he went feature winless in 2012 at his home track. Luke Ettinger really impressed me on opening day at Scotia Speedworld with the speed he showed I would not be surprised in the least if he was to pull off a win Friday night. Coming off top fives on opening day also include Beaverbank’s Megan Parrott and rookie Wyatt McCulloch. Dylan Sutherland, Nathan Blackburn, Josh Langille, “The Flying Frenchman” Michael Cormier and Nicholas Naugle will also be ones to keep your eye on this Friday.

For those that may not know, Hydraulics Plus is also the longest currently active serving division sponsor we have at the Speedworld after partnering with the Bandoleros in 2010. We keep saying the Bandoleros are a great proving ground for up and coming talent, so let’s use that 2010 season as an example. We had 15 drivers take to the track at least once with us in 2010, as of the opening races in the Maritimes in 2013, a dozen of those drivers are still active. Of those, five are full-time regulars at Scotia Speedworld (Braden Langille, Ettinger, Parrott, Josh Langille and Tanner). Ettinger, Parrott and Josh Langille were all rookies that year (Ettinger won Rookie of the Year) while Tanner ran three races to preserve his “rookie status” for 2011. Dawson McIntee, Ryan Messer and Alicia Mowat ran at the Speedworld that year and all three are still racing in the Bandolero class in New Brunswick, with Mowat having a test drive in a Lonnie Sommerville Racing Pro Stock later this year.

Speaking of Pro Stocks, the champion from that year is competing for the Exide Batteries Rookie of the Year on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour. Cole Butcher will also be competing in the Strictly Hydraulics Legends division this season against Emily Meehan, the driver he beat in 2010 for the Hydraulics Plus Bandolero crown. Cole’s brother and two-time Hydraulics Plus Bandolero champ Jarrett Butcher competes on the Maritime League of Legends Tour, while 2010 Bandolero graduate D.J. Casey turned heads two weeks ago with a third place finish in his first Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman Series race.

When you look beyond 2010, you have former Hydraulics Plus Bandolero Champions in Dylan Blenkhorn and Brad Eddy racing on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour. Ryan Mackintosh is running down south in search of a National INEX Semi Pro Legends Championship. This division continues to breed champions, something we can all be proud of as we see these kids grow up into not only great racers on the track, but great people off as well.

Not to be overshadowed by the Hydraulics Plus Bandoleros, we will also have four other classes racing on Friday night. The aforementioned Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman Series and Strictly Hydraulics Legends classes, who have Bandolero alumni in their midst, will contest regular length features on Friday night. In fact, it is Cole Butcher leading “The Legend” Cy Harvey and Meehan, “Miss Rawdon Rocket,” in the Legends standings after one race while Aaron Boutilier is once again in search of a championship as he has a slim one point lead over Darren Wallage.

Ryan Goldsmith will lead the Coors Light Trucks into battle this week. We are expecting a few more trucks to be competing this weekend, including Chris Ainsworth and “The Pit Lizard” Jamie Creamer. Dan Smith is second in points as he looks to defend his championship, with Jason Fenton, Larry Vaughan, Vernon Brown and rookie Robbie Watts completing the small but mighty Coors Light Truck field.

Also competing on Friday night is the ACE Lumbermart Thunder cars. Kyle MacMillan leads by two points over Stevie Lively as he chases his second consecutive championship in the class. Drew MacEachern, Dave Matthews and Matthew Warren complete the top five in the standings after one week.

As a bonus, if you attended either one of the three Monster Jam shows on the weekend, be sure to bring your stub to the Speedworld to receive $5 admission on the grandstand side for Hydraulics Plus Night. We already have the most affordable entertainment in the HRM, and in the stock car scene in this region for that matter, and it just got that much better if you were at the track last weekend!

Come out and see some of the greatest short track action in the region on Friday, you won’t want to miss it!

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