Two Big Firsts Last Friday, One More Coming This Friday
It’s been a while since we’ve had a win at Scotia Speedworld as popular as Megan Parrott’s victory in the Coors Light Truck feature last Friday night.
Now, I’m not talking just popular with the fans in the stands. Yes, the Beaver Bank teenager got a warm reception from those in the grandstands, but the win was pretty popular with the whole pit area. Her podium mates Cory Leonard and Kevin Clark were quick to congratulate Megan on her win, social media was a buzz after the race, she was on the cover of The Chronicle Herald Wheels section on Thursday and she was the conversation at tracks throughout the weekend. It was kind of neat for me to be walking the pit area at Eastbound Park in Newfoundland and someone asked me about the Friday Night Coors Light Trucks feature at Scotia Speedworld.
Okay, so let’s be honest. Megan has been racing at Scotia Speedworld for a few years now. It’s always nice to see a driver to get their first win, especially after working hard to get to that point.
But let’s not look past one thing here. She flat out dominated the division on Friday. She led every lap in the heat to win the qualifier then she left all the guys in her dust to collect the feature win. There was no stopping the driver of the #10 truck Friday.
The team worked hard on the truck after struggling out of the box in 2016. Megan told me in victory lane that the toe had been knocked out on the truck and her father Brian told me earlier in the day they found a few small things they hadn’t seen that they had tweaked.
At the end of the day, Megan got a trophy and checkered flag for Brian for Father’s Day five days late and for the field, they will have to keep Megan behind them now as she’ll have to start scratch this week as the most recent feature winner in the Coors Light Truck division.
While the Coors Light Trucks are sure to be an exciting show on Canada Day, the Affordable Fuels Sportsman will be centre stage with the 22nd Annual Shriners Classic on Friday night.
Here’s an interesting statistic, not one driver who has made a start this season at Scotia Speedworld has ever won a Shriners Classic. Darren Wallage, Russell Smith Jr., Colby Smith and Tony Leonard, to name a few, have Sportsman cars and we figuratively could see either one of them Friday night to etch their name on the snowglobe trophy for another time, but even if they do show up, they’ll have a hard time with some of these drivers that have stepped up their game as they run for a championship.
Only Aaron Boutilier has won multiple races in this five race season thus far. Pete Miller, Travis Roma and last Friday’s winner Matt Moore have each won a race this season as well and will look to add a second to the resume for 2016 on Friday.
Brentley Pirri, who finished second last week, summed up this Friday’s race nicely in his victory lane interview last week. Choking up a bit at the end, Pirri stated that this race means a lot to a lot of folks at our race track and a win in the race would mean the world. Sure, it would be his first career victory in a Late Model, but to add your name to a list that includes the likes of the late Terry Roma, who won this race three times, Pro Stock Tour drivers and alumni like Gordie Ryan, Craig Slaunwhite and Harry Ross White and champions of this sport the likes of James Graves, Ron and Mel Tibert, Troy Slaunwhite, Sheldon Pemberton, Jeff Dillman and James Groves would be a feat all on its own. Pirri, from Three Fathom Harbour, is very appreciative of the heritage of this sport and this race and would make a great champion of this race.
Though there will be over a dozen others that could make the same claim and won’t make it easy for him to park the #37 at the top of the podium on Friday night.
It’s also a point race and so far this season it has been Jordan Veinotte’s year. Veinotte and the #11 Veinotte’s Truck and Auto Ford has wound up on the podium in each of the five races completed this season. He leads by 13 points over Boutilier and a tight pack behind him. Now, 13 points is not a huge gap but if Veinotte continues to be consistent, it will be hard to top the pace of the driver in search of his first championship. His first win of the season, and first in the Classic, could go a long way to inching toward that title.
Yes, Nicholas Naugle reminded us that it’s way too early to talk points, but since he’s on top of the Strictly Hydraulics Legends standings, we’re going to talk about it. The Brycon Construction Legend edged Jarrett Butcher last Friday to take the lead while Cory Hall won the feature to start digging back out of a hole that’s been plagued by mechanical issues early in the year.
We’re starting to see a slight separation of the top six in the standings from the rest of the field in the Legends. Yes, it is early, what can be done in four races can be undone in the next seven or so that are left but those top six are a pretty stout group. Since school just got out, I think it is fair to use the analogy that Paul Goulden is the chaperone of the field trip group up front as the Masters competitor is 30 years the senior of Semi Pro drivers Naugle, Butcher, Hall, Adam Meehan and Craig MacDonald. He is only two points out of the tie in front of him for third between Hall and Meehan and only six up on MacDonald, the leading rookie in the class.
For those five drivers racing with Paul Goulden for the championship early this season, and you can even include seventh place in the standings in Emily Meehan, these kids raced through the Hydraulics Plus Bandolero division to graduate to a Legend car. For Naugle and Butcher, they have dabbled in a Pro Stock car this season as well, with Butcher finishing ninth last weekend at Petty. It goes to show the Bandolero division is truly creating the future of the sport in Atlantic Canada, especially here at Scotia Speedworld.
While the Legends are off this week, the Bandoleros are on the card. The Langille brothers, Josh and Nathan, are leading the Hydraulics Plus Bandolero Outlaw and Bandit division. Both brothers are in tough though with stiff competition behind them. I fully expect the Outlaw class to flip flop all season, especially with all four full time drivers being so good that one small slip is going to cost them what could be a championship. Nathan Langille had a blip on his championship radar last week, allowing Colton Noble, Owen Mahar and the rest of the field to close in a bit. Nathan’s lead is only six points while Josh has a three point advantage on two-time winner this year in Sam Rogers.
Malcolm Jollimore put two wins on the board last week in the makeup feature from May 22nd and the regularly scheduled feature for the Beginner Bandits. He took the lead back from Tyler Hutchinson afer Jollimore had a run-in with Brooke Dowe on June 17th. Dowe, Dylan MacMillan, Morgan Mosher and Chase Mackay complete the Beginner field heading into Friday.
The Toursec Thunder division got a bit tighter last week after Stevie Lively had a subpar run in the feature which led to Dave Matthews tying Lively’s mark atop of the standings. Andrew Lively sits third, with Merle Corbin and JR Lawson not far behind. The whole division is close, with the top seven only having 50 points between them. We’ll see if Drew MacEachern can overcome his motor issues or maybe we’ll see Merle Corbin, JR Lawson or Chris Hatcher record their first feature win at Scotia Speedworld?!
The Toursec Lightning cars return on Friday after last racing with the Pro Stocks during the Nova Truck Centres Make A Wish 150 card. While the returning Jorden Smith and Darrell Sullivan were the story two weeks ago, the focus shifts back to the point chase which is tight after three races. Deven Smith is aiming to go back-to-back in the championship spot and has a 15 point cushion on Scott Thibodeau. Ten points back of the #169 finds Steve Matthews and Tom Stewart tied for third with “Rational” Richard Drake and former titlist Marc MacMillan tied for fifth in the standings. The last two Toursec Lightning races have proved to be some of the best racing at the Speedworld during the month of June and we’ll see if they can carry that into July.
We hope you can join us on Canada Day to take part in one of the most prestigious races in Atlantic Canada in the 22nd Annual Shriners Classic for Sportsman. It is sure to be a magical night where the fireworks will take place on the track with the cars and stars of the Weekly Racing Series!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!
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