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Issue 40

Race Preview: Parts for Trucks 100 at Speedway 660

Have we all come down from the high that the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body left us on after Saturday night? I’m sure for a lot of us the effects of the race will be lasting long throughout the summer and into the winter months but now it is time to look forward to this week's racing action. This week, the cars and stars of the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour head into the woods of Geary, New Brunswick for the Parts for Trucks 100 at Speedway 660. Since this is our first trip to New Brunswick’s Capital Region this season, let’s take a look at the numbers and see who are the drivers to watch (on paper) are heading into this Saturday’s event.

Note: There have been eight CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour events in the last four seasons at Speedway 660 – seven 100-lap events and last season’s Peterbilt 250 are included in the following numbers.

#0 – Shawn Turple – Enfield, Nova Scotia
Dexter Construction/Municipal Group Chevrolet Impala SS
The Skinny: 8 Starts, 1 Feature Win, 6 Top Threes, 6 Top Fives, 7 Top Tens, 1 Dash Win
Notes: Turple rides a wave of six consecutive top three finishes at Speedway 660 into Saturday’s racing action. The #0 car saw its point lead shrink to nineteen markers over his nearest competitor but this is as good a track as any to rebound for the Enfield driver.

#23 – Lonnie Sommerville – Saint John, New Brunswick
A.E. McKay Builders Chevrolet Impala SS
The Skinny: 6 Starts, 2 Feature Wins, 5 Top Fives, 5 Top Tens, 2 Time Trial Wins, 1 Dash Win, 1 Heat Win.
Notes: Lonnie Sommerville will have a busy seven plus days leading up to the Parts for Trucks 100. Last Saturday (and practice days leading up to) he was at the IWK 250. Thursday will take him to the PASS National Event at Thompson International Speedway in Connecticut. Sommerville will look to return on Saturday to somewhere he laid claim to last Labour Day Weekend – Speedway 660’s Victory Lane!

#32 – Chris Hughes – Brackley Beach, Prince Edward Island
Pauley Equipment/Pauley Paving Toyota Camry
The Skinny: 8 Starts, 2 Top Fives, 5 Top Tens, 1 Time Trial Win
Notes: Hughes drove his heart out last Saturday at Riverside and has a top five finish to show for it after running a great number of laps in second place. Hughes has been consistent at Speedway 660 in recent years and could be a threat for a top finish when it comes down to the wire!

#44 – Wayne Smith – Timberlea, Nova Scotia
Jetco Contracting/ICI Paints, Color Your World Bayers Lake Chevrolet Impala SS
The Skinny: 8 Starts, 1 Feature Win, 3 Top Fives, 8 Top Nines, 1 Time Trial Win, 1 Dash Win, 2 Heat Wins
Notes: Wayne comes into Geary riding off a second place run at last week’s IWK 250 which put him second in the point chase. A good finish here could close that nineteen point gap between himself and the point leader.

#52 – Shawn Tucker – Fredericton, New Brunswick
A.L. Gullison Disaster Kleen-up/Rockico Truck and Trailer Chevrolet Impala SS
The Skinny: 8 Starts, 3 Feature Wins, 6 Top Fives, 8 Top Eights, 1 Time Trial Win, 1 Dash Win
Notes: Stats wise, he has been the best driver at Speedway 660 in the past four seasons. Last year he had the dominate car in this event but had to pick his way through the field after an early spin sent him to the tail in order to claim victory. After the strong performance at the IWK 250, Tucker rides a boatload of momentum heading into 660.

John Flemming (Halifax, NS) has also won at Speedway 660 in the past four seasons and will be a threat to do so again this Saturday night. When you add in home track favorites (and former Tour race winners) the likes of Matt Harris (Fredericton Junction, NB) and Dave O’Blenis (Boundary Creek, NB) among those expected to enter, you have yourself a fantastic field of competitors set to run this weekend. As mentioned this is also the second event of the Parts for Trucks Challenge, which is currently led up by Mr. Flemming after his performance at race one on Prince Edward Island.

As expected, many things changed over 250-laps on the high banks at Riverside. Seventeen drivers that were in the top nineteen in the point standings can relate to that as they swapped spots after all was said and done Saturday night. In fact, the only two that had their positions stay the same before and after the race were leader Shawn Turple and ninth place driver Mike MacKenzie. Some say it is too early to talk points but the nearer we get to the mid-point of the season (which will be here next week as we go to the Island), the bigger the emphasis will get on every point.

Former champs Turple and Smith sit in the top two positions with Jonathan Hicken sitting in third. Hicken ran up front late in the IWK 250 and was poised for a podium position until the late laps when he was shuffled back to fourth. Shawn Tucker and IWK 250 winner Kent Vincent round out the top five in point standings just four rounds into the championship. With the top eight in points only separated by sixty-nine markers heading into Speedway 660 there will be many drivers looking to move themselves up in the points.

The rookie battle went from a deadlock to an eight point advantage for The Pride of Cape Breton. Jerome Kehoe of Sydney leads Leonard Boutilier of Dutch Settlement after his first top ten of the season. Brad Brown is also still in the hunt for the EIT Race Radio sponsored award in his #9 Brown Ventilation Pontiac. This battle, as was expected in the pre-season, should go down to the final lap at Scotia Speedworld in September.

If you ever wanted to have the chance to get the crowd pumped up by giving the command to bring over two dozen pro stock engines to life – this is your chance! Get over to the Bracket Challenge part of this very website and get your completed bracket into the office. The Grand Marshall Package for the Parts for Trucks 200 at Scotia Speedworld awaits!

That’s it for this time around – until we talk again at Speedway 660, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!