Tim's Corner
I Fall To Pieces

Like many drivers, 2010 Sportsman champion Colby Smith is in rebuild mode.

“The car is in pieces at the shop,” said Smith this past Sunday as we waited for the Scotia Speedworld Rules Meeting. Smith, like the more than two dozen Sportsman drivers who attended the meeting at the Holiday Inn Express in Enfield were there to discuss the rules for the division. While the rule book for the 25th season of competition at the Speedworld is expected out sometime in February, the season is already expected to be one of the best in history. With young guns such as Russell Smith, Mike Alexander and Andrew Starks set to challenge the veterans like Jeff Dillman, Aaron Boutilier, Larry Fisher, Fred Schofield and Kirk Ryan among others, the hot seat atop the division currently held by the Smith from Cape Sable Island could be white hot by May’s first green flag!

Meanwhile, the Smith from Lakeside is in the same boat as the Sportsman class titlist. Russell Smith Jr. will by vying for Rookie of the Year in the Speedworld’s top weekly division on the heels of his second Lightning car title. “It’s coming together,” said Smith at the rules meeting. “We’ll be ready to go when the season starts.” Smith Brothers Racing will look to go back-to-back in the Tirecraft Lightning class when Russell’s brother Jorden along with Nick Hurshman strap into their Neons when the Spring comes.

With the winter also comes the hunt for sponsors. That hunt is something Jeff Turple is currently engaging in. Turple and his Stewiacke based 639 Racing team currently have some empty space on the sides of their Tirecraft Lightning cars for 2011 and would love to see less of that before May. “Our team sponsor from 2010 is back for this year,” commented Turple following the Lightning rules meeting. “Matt Farrell from TCSR Race Designs has been a great partner for the team and will be back with us this summer.” Turple stated that there is lots of great sponsorship to be had with the team. “I’ll be back behind the wheel of the #124 Sunfire while Gary Fisher will be at the helm of the former #122 car full-time. Harry Breimer, Jr is jumping to a Dodge Neon with the old car being split by Farrell and Harry’s sister Ashley.”

The veterans of the team are looking to carry lessons learned in their full ’10 campaign and translate that into a successful summer in 2011. “The whole team is trying to take what we learned last year and use that to make us competitive,” commented Turple. “The first half of the season (in 2010) was rough due to mechanical problems and missed races. We’re going out there to have some fun and be competitive this season while putting on an exciting race for the fans!” For those looking to sponsor the team, email Jeff at 639racing@hotmail.ca.

While others have their cars in pieces, one car owner has his car race ready for the season just four months prior to the drop of the green. Bill Keeping told me by phone on Monday that his #3 car is ready to go for 2011. “There’s about 550 hours into the car,” said Keeping. “Everything is polished, the car is decaled and has been sitting at the CAT Rental Store on display. Now the work will begin on other cars!”

Others are waiting anxiously for their time on the track. One of the most anticipated events this year may very well be the 2011 version of the Media Race. Last year familiar faces from print, radio and television took to the track for a 15-lap feature in the Thunder cars and though the talent was all local, HRM based behind the wheels that will change in 2011. Nick Storey of The Energy Hour based out of Fredericton, New Brunswick is excited to be included in this season’s race and like Matt Bubbers may have a small advantage when it comes to the green flag. Storey grew up around the Douglastown Speedway and has experience behind the wheel at the fabled northeast New Brunswick track. He is expected to be up against a tough field of drivers which last year included the likes of FX101.9’s Denyse Sibley, Q104’s Bobby Mac, Global TV’s Ray Bradshaw and CTV’s Cyril Lunney among others.

You can hear Storey’s radio show from 8-9pm on Tuesday nights starting February 15th on 95.7 The Wolf in Fredericton (or online at 957thewolf.ca). You can also visit his website at n-er-ghour.com. The Energy Hour focuses on local racing at Speedway 660, Scotia Speedworld and Riverside International Speedway along with a look at the big leagues of NASCAR. You can also hear yours truly on the show from time to time with updates on the Speedworld and the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour.

Congratulation goes out to Speedwould alumni Ryan Mackintosh, who captured the INEX Canadian Outlaw Bandolero championship in the 2010 season. Mackintosh, who drove to victory in two features in two seasons of competition at the Speedworld spent 2010 racing south of the border. He joins Nova Scotians Paul Blenkhorn of Truro and Derek MacCallum of Lower Sackville as National INEX Champions in ’10. Way to go guys!

Until next time, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!