Weekly Racing Series
Race Wrap & Full Results
May 25th: Season Opener
HYDRAULICS PLUS BANDOLEROS
Defending Hydraulics Plus Bandolero champion Adam Meehan (Rawdon) entered the final lap in front of the field on Sunday.
After the final 3/10-mile, he ended up fourth and Braden Langille (Shubenacadie) ended up holding the checkered flag.
Meehan, who won six features in 2013 and is looking to defend his title this season, battled Langille throughout the 15-lap feature and when the two got up front, they went at it for the lead. On the final lap of the main feature, Langille put his #51 Dartmouth Metals and Bottles Chevrolet under Meehan’s #6 Drive Products/Ocean Truck Bandolero and when the two came out of the second corner, they had a hard charging Luke Ettinger (Kennetcook) to their inside. Ettinger, who had won a heat race earlier in the afternoon, had wrecked in the final practice and the team had done their part to get Ettinger on track and he was trying to reward them with a victory.
The trio went three wide down the back straight with Meehan letting off a touch to not be on the outside of the two heading into Turn Three. Ettinger did not have enough steam to complete the pass, giving Langille the first win of the season.
Last season’s Rookie of the Year in Wyatt McCulloch (Stewiacke) snuck by Meehan on the final lap for third. Jolicure, New Brunswick’s Cory Hall, who was making his first start at the Speedworld after winning a feature at Speedway 660 the night prior, came home a respectable fifth in his first outing in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
Twelve drivers started the race, with heat wins going to Langille and Ettinger.
COORS LIGHT TRUCKS
Jason Fenton (Eastern Passage) means business in 2014.
Fenton dominated Opening Day in the Coors Light Truck division, capturing his heat and the 25-lap main feature on Sunday afternoon.
A late restart set up a shootout to the finish of the Truck feature, and while it was all positive for Fenton’s #3 Cutting Edge Construction Chevrolet, the defending champion Dan Smith (Lower Sackville) went for a spin in Turn Two shortly after the green flew. Without the benefit of another caution in the feature, Smith went from chasing Fenton in second to running away from not being lapped. Smith finished fifth on the afternoon.
Rookie Matt Vaughan (Lake Fletcher) continued to impress by finishing second, ahead of “The Legend” Cy Harvey (Elmsdale), who purchased the former Robbie Watts truck and plans on campaigning the #10 throughout 2014.
It was almost all for not for Harvey after he and “The Animal” Jeff Campbell (Halifax) tangled in Turn Two off the start of the event. Campbell looked stout throughout the afternoon and appeared to be on his way to at least a top five finish before retiring 10 laps early in the feature.
“The Pit Lizard” Jamie Creamer (Spryfield) finished ahead of the two-time champ Smith in the feature order, as the two came across the stripe in fourth and fifth.
Smith and Fenton took the qualifiers prior to the feature. A track record 14 trucks competed in the heat events, with last year’s runner-up Ryan Goldsmith (Bridgewater) and Kevin Robar (Middle Sackville) each having mechanical problems in their respective heats.
STRICTLY HYDRAULICS LEGENDS
Cole Butcher (Porter’s Lake) made it pretty clear on Sunday that he is on the search for his third consecutive Strictly Hydraulics Legend car title.
Butcher and his #5 Atlantic Tiltload Ford wasted little time in both in his heat and the main feature of dispatching “Miss Rawdon Rocket” Emily Meehan to his rear view mirror and setting sail up in front to take the victory. The feature, which went caution free for 25-laps, saw many battles behind Butcher, including Meehan having to hold off Nicholas Naugle of Dartmouth. Naugle is entering his first full time season in a Legend car at the Speedworld and impressed by keeping up with the veteran Meehan at the end of the 25-lap green run.
Jarrett Butcher (Porter’s Lake), who won the 50-lap Maritime League of Legends Tour feature the night prior, took fourth in the feature near the end over Scott Cunning of Halifax. Cunning had a career day in his #14 car, winning a heat race and having a rocket ship on the short run.
Butcher and Cunning took heat race victories.
DARTMOUTH DODGE SPORTSMAN
In one of the cleanest displays of Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman racing we have seen in a while, the top four drivers in Sunday’s 38-lap season opener put on a show for the fans who braved the cold temperatures in the grandstands.
Following their heat race which saw them side-by-side at the stripe for the win, DJ Casey (Prospect Road) and Harry Ross White (Noel Road) shared the front spots in the feature and swapped the lead numerous times in the opening laps of the event. A caution would set up a reversal of the battle, putting Casey to the outside of White, and when they went green again it closed up 2012 champion Aaron Boutilier. With Casey not able to roll the top in the #97 car, White took the lead off the start. Shortly after, it was Boutilier in his #4 CARSTAR Collision Center Ford taking the advantage with a pass on White.
After that pass, it was White on the constant attack of Boutilier.
White would get to the inside of the #4 many times off Turns Two and Four, but did not have the advantage enough to stuff it in under the red Ford in the next corner as Boutilier would shut the door on the #18. The close battle would also keep Casey in the mix and closed in veteran Tony Leonard (Halifax) over the middle stages of the race.
“HOSS” had one more shot at Boutilier on the last lap, getting into his bumper and loosening up the #4 on the entry to Turn Three, but not enough to capitalize and it was the 2012 champion who took the checkered flag over White, Casey, Leonard and “The Bounty Hunter” Russell Smith Jr (Lakeside), who had to battle with defending champion Darren Wallage (Oakfield) for the fifth spot.
Heat races were won by Casey (by a nose over HOSS) and Enfield’s Alex Johnson. Twenty of the fastest Late Model Sportsman cars in the region took the green flag on Sunday.
Welcome back, Mike Brown.
Brown (Urbania), in the #118 Fewer’s Convenience Neon made his first start back at the Speedworld since running one race last season.
In that start, he won the feature. In this start, you guessed it, he won the feature.
Brown put himself up front early and never looked back as he drove to victory in the caution free, 25-lap feature on Sunday. Brown is returning to the Speedworld for his first full time season since contending for the championship in 2012.
Over a half straightaway behind Brown was Jorden Smith (Lakeside) at the finish of the event. Smith, a two-time champion of the Lightning division, is also returning for a full-time season for the first time since winning his second title in 2012. Smith freed himself from traffic and began the task of reeling in Brown, but ran out of time at the end.
Marshall Bezanson (Elmsdale) was impressive in the feature by taking third place and holding off defending winner on Opening Day in “Rational” Richard Patrick, who debuted his new pink #141 in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Completing the top five was Scott Thibodeau (Williamswood), who returned to his roots after a few years off. Thibodeau is the 2009 Debbie Halliahan Memorial Rookie of the Year in the Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman, but got his start racing in the Lightning division.
Brown, and 2013 Rookie of the Year Deven Smith (Lakeside) both won heat races on the afternoon.
Matthew Warren (White’s Lake) picked up where he left off one season ago.
The defending champion started up front thanks to the luck of the draw on Opening Day and propelled his #31 Multi-Tech Automotive Civic to his first win of the season in the caution free, 25-lap main feature.
Warren had to hold off a persistent charge from Dartmouth’s Drew MacEachern, who crossed the line in second place but had it taken away following post race technical inspection. Tim Webster (Beaverbank), who built a brand new Civic for this season, was promoted to second after tech, with Stevie Lively (Shubenacadie), Brandon Watson (Windsor Junction) and Dave Matthews (Kennetcook) completing the top five in the caution free affair. Of note, four of the top five are former champions of the division.
Watson, who is the odd man out in the championship column - so far - won one of the two heat races with Warren taking the other. A total of 17 cars took the green flag for the main feature.
The Weekly Racing Series is idle this week before roaring back to life for the first Friday night show of the season, Friday, June 6th at 7pm. It is Hydraulics Plus Night, with the Bandoleros being the spotlight class. The Lightning class will have the week off, with the other five classes that comprise the series going green.
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