Season Opener Notebook
PIRRI RUNS TOP FIVE IN SPORTSMAN DEBUT
It didn’t take long for Three Fathom Harbour’s Brentley Pirri to get accustomed to stock cars. The two wheel standout came to Scotia Speedworld in the Lumbermart Thunder division as a part time competitor in 2008 and turned his lessons learned in his first year into ninth overall in ’09. Pirri backed up that run last season with another top ten point finish, all while running near the front of the field with the multi-year veterans of the class.
This season will present Pirri with a different challenge. Pirri has migrated from the four cylinder ranks to the high-powered eight cylinder Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman division. Pirri impressed in his debut as he methodically made his way to the front as the feature wore on. After a few cautions, Pirri positioned his #37 in fifth place before an incident in front of him swept him up in Turn One. He would be credited with an eleventh place finish at the end – two spots behind top freshman Russell Smith Jr.
The Debbie Hallahan Rookie of the Year Award chase will be one to watch as Pirri and Smith battle it out throughout the 2011 season!
GAMMON, WARREN COME BACK TO TOP FIVE FINISHES
When he pulled into the pit area on Sunday, Kyle Gammon really didn’t know what to expect.
“It started spitting oil during testing,” said the multiple time Lumbermart Thunder feature winner of his new car. “I don’t know how it’s going to run but I’m just happy to be back!”
He echoed those sentiments of being back at the track in victory lane following his second place run in the twenty-five lap main feature. The #98 Canadian Tire Spryfield Honda was catching leader Dave Matthews but ran out of laps at the end to get to the #99 car. Gammon definitely backed the statement up that he was back after nearly a year off and will be a title contender in 2011!
Meanwhile, Mathew Warren had to charge hard to the front after experiencing difficulties following practice. Warren’s #31 Markland Associates team worked hard after what was reported as a head gasket blew on the car. The team missed the ten lap qualifier and Warren would have some work to do in the feature. Warren stormed to the front but ran out of time and had to settle for fifth place. We’ve seen it before that this sort of run is what champions are made of and if it does come down to Warren as the top driver at the end of 2011, the season opener may be as much a credit to it than any of our upcoming races.
MACMILLAN, LAWSON WIN HEATS, RUN STRONG IN FEATURES
For Joey Lawson and his #27 Lumbermart Thunder team and Marc Macmillan and his #192 Lumbermart Lightning team, the momentum factor seemed to be on their sides on Sunday.
Lawson passed Kyle MacMillan for the lead early in the second Thunder heat race and never looked back to take the victory. In the feature he battled with leader Dave Matthews early before falling back in the waning laps, finishing a close fourth behind Gammon and Tylor Hawes.
On the other side of the four cylinder fence, it was Glenholme’s Marc Macmillan who turned heads. Macmillan is in his second year back after a hiatus from the Speedworld and wasted no time getting his season started on the right foot. The #192 car took the checkered flag in the third Lumbermart Lightning heat race and was fast in the feature. Macmillan ran fifth for most of the twenty lap affair before Hantsport’s John Poan got past in the late laps of the race.
GOOD SIGNS: SAFETY AND SPONSORS
If you don’t believe that stock car racing is one of the safest sports around, you need to look no further than Braden Langille’s impact with the wall on Sunday. Langille and another car battled for third coming out of the final corner of the Hydraulics Plus Bandolero feature which ended with Langille’s #0 Velocity Machining and Welding car coming into heavy contact with the concrete wall. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Bandolero car hit that hard and like those in the stands I was relieved to see Langille climb from the wreckage a few moments after catching his breath. It just goes to show that the safety equipment in the race cars that run at the Speedworld each week works. From five-point harnesses, roll cages, fire suits and neck restraints that some of our drivers wear and all other safety features in these cars that I’m leaving out, we are thankful that our drivers have these in their race cars!
It was also fantastic to see new sponsors come on board this season as well. Lumbermart, Dartmouth Dodge and Coco Beach came on board to sponsor Weekly Racing Series divisions in 2011 and nobody was happier than Coco Beach Legend winner Steve Pye. “I need to thank one big sponsor who came on board this season,” said Pye and with a tap of the roof pointed to the Coco Beach decal. “We’ve been without a sponsor for this class for a long time. Thanks to them. If you need to get dark for the season, make sure to go to Coco Beach!”
The Weekly Racing Series resumes action Friday with AMP Energy Night!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!
|BACK TO ARCHIVES|