The second half of the 2012 Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour is set to get kicked off with a bang!
The IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body is Round Seven of 12 on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour, is the first of five extra distance races in the second half of 2012 and is our biggest event of the season. Over 35 cars are expected to make an attempt to crack the prestigious field and there are many, many storylines to follow as we enter this event. Here are just a few.
The biggest might be the point picture. Remember last season? Wayne Smith came into this event with a pretty healthy lead, but mechanical problems with his #44 Jetco Contracting Chevrolet Impala closed up the field as we left Riverside International Speedway. This year, Darren MacKinnon has a slim two point lead on home track favorite Donald Chisholm. Chisholm battled with Mike Stevens in the first race here in June but a flat tire defeated any chance of Chisholm taking the win. He did become a winner on the Tour a few races later when he pulled into victory lane the winner at Oyster Bed Speedway. MacKinnon was the winner of this event last season and hasn’t been back to the winner’s circle since the 2011 IWK 250!
After his victory at Speedway 660, Shawn Tucker has pulled to within eight points of the lead, a position he has held thrice at the end of the season. Tucker is the only driver to win two feature races this season as he also took the Lockhart 100 at the end of June at Scotia Speedworld. Another model of consistency sits just ten points out of the lead and two out of third in John Flemming. Flemming was storming to the front of the field after the rain during the Atlantic Dodge Dealers 100 before the checkered flag flew, giving Tucker the win and Flemming second. Like Flemming and MacKinnon, Shawn Turple has yet to enter victory lane though he sits fifth in the standings, just 16 away from the leader. Stevens completes the “super six” at this point, just 21 out of the top spot and five behind Turple.
At this point, we usually see a pack of drivers begin to break away and establish themselves as point contenders. The six at the top of the standings are beginning to do just that. Jonathan Hicken is only 12 points behind sixth place in the standings, but that equates to 33 out of the lead. Hicken, in turn, has 15 points on 2010 IWK 250 winner Kent Vincent. These guys are far from out of it, but with over a handful of strong competitors in front of them that won’t roll over easy, they will need to be on their game in the second half if they want to win the Tour title.
So let’s talk about the race itself. Over 35 cars (and the entry list continues to grow) are slated to be at Riverside on Saturday with 28 making the field. You have the familiar faces who run with us each week, you have guys that only run the races close to their home towns and then we have a couple of guys who are making their first appearances on the Tour this season. Pete Miller and team have been working hard to prep the #92 car for this week and it looks like they will be ready for Saturday. Russell Smith Sr is coming out of retirement to race in this event while his son, Russell Smith Jr., will also be in the field for his first Pro Stock start of the season. I’m sure we’ll see a couple more surprises added to that list by the time we get to Saturday afternoon.
The King Racing #13 will have a name that may be familiar to some race fans in this area. Boothbay, Maine’s Corey Williams made a name for himself on the PASS North circuit and now lives in North Carolina but will be making a side trip up to James River for this weekend’s IWK 250. Williams is the fourth driver to run the car in the first seven races of the season, joining fellow Maine driver Cassius Clark, Colby Smith and car owner Rollie MacDonald.
Joey Logano will look to become the second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star to win the IWK 250 since its revitalization a few seasons back. Regan Smith won the race in 2008 and while Marcos Ambrose has tried in recent years to knock off the locals, Logano will be coming with one goal in mind - to win. When I talked to Donald Chisholm on my audio podcast (Tim’s Corner Unplugged #37 @ timscorner.ca), he said that Joey had a crew member coming straight up from Louden to look over the car and make sure it was ready for Joey to test later in the week. Joey grew up on short tracks, so expect the Middletown, Connecticut driver to be good come Saturday night.
As with any Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour race, there are about two dozen drivers that could easily take away the victory, with this race, that number could grow to about three dozen. I hope you have your tickets already, but if you don’t, be sure to head to RiversideSpeedway.ca to grab them or to get more information on how you can get your hands on them. Camping information and all the pertinent weekend info is also there. This really is a full weekend experience with the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the track along with a tailgate party at Boston Pizza on Thursday night, which leads into the Highland Home Building Centre Sportsman 100 and Maritime League of Legends Tour event on Friday night at 7pm with our big show on Saturday.
If for some reason you cannot make it to Riverside International Speedway for this huge event, be sure to tune into Race Time Radio on Saturday night for live coverage of the IWK 250 on Sirius/XM Channel 158 or on the web at RaceTimeRadio.com. Joe Chisholm, Jamie Maudsley, Gerry Paxton and myself will call all the action!
This is going to be one weekend you will not want to miss!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!
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