Chisholm wins wild race
Canada Day always feels like the official start of summer, and this past weekend was no exception. Friday was Kids’ Rides night out at Scotia Speedworld, providing families a great way to kick off the summer together at the track, and giving the next generation of race fanatics and drivers their first experience on the banked oval. And appropriately enough, the fifth round of the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour made a visit to the birthplace of confederation for the Lucas Oil 100 at Oyster Bed Speedway (Oyster Bed Bridge).
The Hydraulics Plus Bandolero division once again provided highly entertaining race action at Speedworld, and saw #00 Cole Boudreau capture the checkers just one week after a dramatic barrel roll on the front stretch. In the Strictly Hydraulics Legends division, Bandolero veterans #5 Cole Butcher and #67 Dylan Blenkhorn battled out front for the feature win, with Blenkhorn ultimately taking the top spot. In the Jack Daniels Truck division, #80 Vernon Brown crossed the line ahead of the pack for his first 2012 win. Tight ACE Lumbermart Thunder racing saw #157 Richie Moore take the win from a hard-charging #192 Marc MacMillan. The Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman drivers put on a fantastic battle as veteran #4 Aaron Boutilier reeled in rookie #37 Brently Pirri to deny the ex-Thunder division racer the checkers. The win vaults Boutilier to the top of the Sportsman points standings, but keep your eyes on young Pirri as he looks set to impress.
Saturday, the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour made its’ first of two 2012 visits to Oyster Bed Speedway on Prince Edward Island. With just 36 points separating your top 10 drivers headed into the race, it was set up to be a barnburner and did not disappoint. While distant storm clouds threatened with thunder and lightning, the real fireworks were on the track. #89 Donald Chisholm (Antigonish) has looked fast all season so far, and set the pace during the Atlantic Tiltload Time Trials with a 13.521 second lap. But there were plenty of local Island racers looking to defend their home turf. #18 Darren MacKinnon (Charlottetown) managed to get out front and lead several laps early on, while #5 Jonathan Hicken (Brudenell) fought his way to P1 in the second half of the feature.
Chisholm ultimately reclaimed the lead from Hicken on a late-race restart, and held on for the win. Chisholm also took home the Linde Most Laps Led and King Freight Halfway Award. Hicken was forced to settle for second on the night, while MacKinnon was thrilled to take the final podium position after battling his way from the back of the pack following an encounter with the front stretch wall with just 28 laps to go. Race fans also witnessed the maritime version of the ‘big one’ on lap 79, when a massive wreck collected nearly half the field in turn three.
That carnage put a major damper on things for #99 Craig Slaunwhite (Terence Bay), who had been making a strong push toward the front of the pack, and for #52 Shawn Tucker (Fredericton) who was leading the points race heading into the night. #45 Leonard Boutilier (Dutch Settlement) was the Absolute Traffic Hard Charger with his fifth place finish after starting 16th. Islander #29 Greg Proude (North Wiltshire) took the Fast Eddie Racewear Dash, and #14 Terry Dougay (Albany) finished 12th to take Exide Batteries Rookie of the Race honours.
With the win, Chisholm assumes top spot in the point standings, but the championship picture remains anything but clear with only 30 points now separating the top eight.
Next Saturday, the Tour caps off the first half of the season with its only 2012 visit to Speedway 660 (Geary) for the Atlantic Dodge Dealers 100. Friday night action at Scotia Speedworld will see five divisions of racing on track for Mopar Express Lane Night. Hope to see you at the track, and keep your eyes on MaritimeProStockTour.com and ScotiaSpeedworld.ca for full schedule, results and news.