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Turple Wins First Race at Riverside Speedway

 

JAMES RIVER, NS (August 19, 2006) - Shawn Turple finally got the monkey off his back and drove his No. 0 Atlantic CAT car to a familiar place in Victory Lane in Saturday's Antigonish Mall 200 at the revitalized Riverside Speedway. The win was Turple's first on the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour, coming in his sophomore year - on the heels of winning the series Rookie of Year Award in 05. The win was a welcome relief for Turple (Enfield, NS) after a series of wrecks in recent races, and the first for the Atlantic CAT team since the car won in September 2003 - driven by it's builder, the late Scott Fraser.

"This couldn't have come at a better place," said both crew chief Curtis Lindsay and car owner Frank Fraser. Scott Fraser ruled Riverside Speedway in the decade before he died in a March 2004 snowmobile accident. Frank Fraser (Scott's father) put Turple in the car mid-summer 2004 in an effort to help a young driver the way so many had helped Scott in his racing career.

"Scott was on my mind," said Turple. "I watched him win many of the races he won here. Tonight Frank just kept telling me on the radio to go faster and faster, and driver harder through the turns. They had confidence in me and I had confidence in the car they gave me."

Turple went on to thank Lindsay, Frank Fraser, Frank Fraser Jr., other crew members, his sponsors and his fans for sticking with them in their journey to Victory Lane.

An estimated 8,000 fans filled the gleaming jewel called Riverside Speedway to see Turple win. George Koszkulics (New Glasgow) was second and Wayne Smith (Halifax) was third. Kent Vincent (Crapaud, PEI) and John Flemming (Halifax) rounded out the top five.

The fans were not only a part of the making of Nova Scotia sports history in being part of the first race at what is rumoured to be a seven figure facility, but saw one of the best stock car races in recent years in the Maritimes. Plenty of two-wide racing contested all 200 laps, both by the leaders and through the pack. A separate story will be posted Monday on the re-opening of Riverside Speedway.

Pole sitter Smith led the first 47 circuits while being shadowed by defending Tour champion MacDonald. MacDonald got by Smith on lap 48 and led the next four laps. Smith passed MacDonald to re-take the point on lap 53 and stayed there until the mid-race mandatory break for fuel. On the lap 101 restart Smith fell back and pitted for a flat tire, relinquishing the lead to MacDonald again. MacDonald led laps 102 and 103 but then Koszkulics got by him to lead laps 104 to 178. Turple loomed in the top five most of the race and started reeling in the leaders with 50 to go. On lap 179 he got by Koszkulics for the lead and stayed there to take the checkers.

A late race caution for MacDonald, on lap 197, gave Koszkulics and Smith a last, unsuccessful, shot at Turple. There were 10 cautions total.

Six cars finished on the lead lap, 18 finished the race, which took one hour, 53 minutes to run.

Positions six through 10 were filled by Brad Mann, Shawn Tucker, Greg Proude, Daryl Mahar and Rollie MacDonald. Click here for the complete results.

32 cars were on hand for event. 29 started the feature race.

The Time Trials were "won" by Rollie MacDonald with a fast lap of 14.373 seconds (93.926 mph) around the 1/3-mile high banked oval - a full 1.2 seconds quicker than fast time set at last August's Tour race at the facility - 15.575 seconds - on the old surface.

Motor Mart Heat race winners were Smith, Chris Hughes, Bobby White and Donald Chisholm. The B Feature was won by Darren MacKinnon.

The Legends Tour provided support class action and saw Scott MacLean win the feature, followed by Bruce Johnson and Cy Harvey. Harvey won the two heat races and the semi-feature.

Another big winner of the night was Donna MacKinnon, a fan from Wycogomagh, who won $7,940 in the Antigonish Junior B Bulldogs 50-50 draw.

RACE RESULTS - THE ANTIGONISH MALL 200
Position - Car # - Driver - Laps Completed
1. 0 Shawn Turple 200
2. 6 George Koszkulics 200
3. 44 Wayne Smith 200
4. 8 Kent Vincent 200
5. 97 John Flemming 200
6. 35 Brad Mann 200
7. 52 Shawn Tucker 199
8. 29 Greg Proude 198
9. 66 Daryl Mahar 198
10. 13 Rollie MacDonald 197
11. 71 Dan MacKay 196
12. 21 Shawn Pierce 173
13. 72 Stacey Clements 158
14. 4 Dale Holmes 116
15. 39 Sandy Livingstone 111
16. 32 Chris Hughes 108
17. 26 Mike Stevens 101
18. 89 Donald Chisholm 100
19. 18 Darren MacKinnon 97
20. 17 Dave Potter 75
21. 19v Darren Vanderaa 62
22. 2 Graham Spinney 61
23. 94 Russell Smith 53
24. 81 Bobby White 49
25. 67 Gordie Ryan 44
26. 37 Kris Fournier 39
27. 9 Stephen Brown 25
28. 51 Bob Nielson 19
29. O2 Mike MacKenzie 5


Did Not Qualify: Dean MacInnis; Robbie MacLean; Roger Crane; Sandy Livingston

The CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour returns to action next Saturday, August 26, at Centre for Speed in Shediac, NB, for round nine of 11 on the 06 season.

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