M&M START 2011 ON HIGH
AFTER LATE 2010 SURGE
No more than twenty minutes following the Daytona 500, my phone rang.
“What a finish man! That’s nuts,” exclaimed the voice on the other end. Like many others including myself, Thunder driver Kyle MacMillan had watched 20-year old Trevor Bayne outlast a charge from Carl Edwards and David Gilliland to win the 53rd running of the Daytona 500. “He’s younger than us,” MacMillan, 22, continued. “I can imagine how he feels winning his first race in the biggest race of the year.”
The driver of the #5 No Bull Auto/Little Jo’s Pizza Honda Civic did just that last year in the Thunder division. A veteran of the class, the Hammonds Plains driver came into the 2010 Thunder 50 sitting in twelfth in points just sixty points removed from fifth place driver Dave Matthews. His goal on Finale Friday was to bust into the top ten in the standings and net his best point finish since he finished in twelfth two seasons ago. The team experienced a parts failure in practice but never gave up and at the end of the night was rewarded with his first ever main feature victory in the biggest Thunder car race of the season. The #5 began overheating in the waning laps but held on to a healthy margin as he pulled away from Dave Matthews and eventual champ Stevie Lively at the checkers. He also finished eighth in points to boot, making it a career night for MacMillan when it comes to racing at the Speedworld oval.
This season he has set one main goal – to get back to Speedworld victory lane. “I’ve done it [winning a feature] once and I want to do it again. In this division it’s tough to win, so the main goal is to pick up where we left off last season and back up the win in the 50.” With positions sixth through twelfth being separated by just fifty markers at the end of 2010 and strong veterans in the top five with most, if not all of which are expected to be back in 2011 could make that task a difficult one, something that MacMillan is ready for.
MACCALLUM AND BOULTON RACING READY FOR BATTLE
Like Kyle MacMillan in the Thunder class, Lower Sackville’s Derek MacCallum had a breakout year in the Legends class in 2010. The driver nicknamed “DMac” finished with Rookie of the Year honors on the Maritime League of Legends Tour and at Scotia Speedworld while notching eighth and seventh place overall finishes respectively in those series. To put icing on the cake, the team took home Canadian Semi-Pro Championship honors from INEX, the sanctioning body of the Legend cars in Charlotte, North Carolina.
2011 will be a special season for the team though. Not only is the Ross Parks owned team gunning for a track championship this summer, they are hoping to bring a title home for longtime sponsor Hellas Diner who are parting ways with the team after this season. “'This will be Hellas Diner last season with us,” said Parks about 2011. “We want to really go out with a bang for John. Hellas has been our partner in racing at Scotia Speedworld for the past seven years and without Hellas we would not have been able to have the equipment that has taken us to the top in each division we have participated in.”
Hellas has been on board for two championship seasons with the team with the Canadian Semi-Pro title in ’10 and a Thunder championship (Derek’s second) in ’09. Parks is hoping to announce additional sponsors to the team before the season commences but knows it isn’t an easy task for any race team to find backing. “Times are tough out there, but we have been very fortunate to find great racing partners to help us reach our mutual goals.”
To get your news on Tim’s Corner, email Tim at email@example.com.
Until next time, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!
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