River Glade International to be Resurrected at Petty International Raceway
RIVER GLADE, NB (April 6, 2011) – The new owners of Petty International Raceway are proud to announce they will host the historic River Glade International on August 26-27 of this year. It will be the 47th running of the event, the oldest stock car race in Canada.
The 2011 edition of the River Glade International will be comprised of two segments for two divisions, pro stock and sportsman – both 100 lap features, further saluting the heritage of the event which from 1965 to 1985 was for late models, and from 1989 to 2009 was for sportsman. 1986 to 1988 saw a split format, similar to this year.
The sportsman leg of the International will be held on Friday August 26 while the pro stock 100 will be held Saturday August 27 and sanctioned by the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour – the second last points paying event on the 2011 season, with added drama since none of the current series competitors have ever won the River Glade International.
"We're so excited to be able to bring this event to Petty," said track co-owner Craig McFetridge. "It truly is an institution in Maritime motorsports and one that has attracted the best short track racers from all over in its history. We hope to help build it back to that stature as time goes on."
Best short track racers indeed. Reading the plates bearing the winner's names on the majestic perpetual trophy is like reading a "who's who" list of Canadian stock car racing history. Former winners include Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame members Jim Hallahan (also a member of the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame), Earl Ross, Don Biederman, and Junior Hanley – and Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame members Frank Fraser, Caleb Dunn, and Greg Sewart.
The River Glade International event was founded in 1965 by Canadian and Maritime Motorsport Hall of Fame member Ernie McLean and his wife Winona; and has been held every year since until 2009 when River Glade Speedway closed.
"We started that race to mark the anniversary of our first year of operation at River Glade Speedway," said Ernie McLean, who sold River Glade Speedway in the mid 90s. "It's in August for that reason. We're glad to see that continue."
Twenty-eight different drivers have won the International with 10 of them claiming the trophy more than once; local hero Frank Fraser, originally from the Moncton area, leads the way with six wins in the historic event - and he may go for number seven this year.
"If I get in a car and go at least half fast, I think I'd try it," said Fraser, now a longtime resident of Shubenacadie, NS. "I've wanted number seven since 1982; I don't even know why it matters – but I know I still want it."
Fraser added his kudos to the new Petty owners for resurrecting the event.
"It's really good to see them honouring that race and its history," said Fraser. "It means a lot to racers and race fans."
Special thanks are offered to the owners of River Glade Speedway – Earl Doucette, Mike Waddell, Herman Berry, Larry Northrup, and Danny Smith - for working with the new owners of Petty Int'l Raceway to make this transition happen.
Petty International Raceway will see its grand re-opening June 4 with round two of the 2011 Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour, accompanied by the Atlantic Open Wheel Modified Tour and four-cylinders. Sportsman drivers will get their practice run for the International on July 1 when Petty International Raceway hosts a 50-lap sportsman special along with "Man the Daredevil/Paul Riddell" and four cylinders.
Petty International Raceway is located on Route 106 in River Glade, approximately 40 km west of Moncton. The facility opened in 1983 and ran until 2000. It was purchased in the fall of 2010 by Halifax businessmen Craig McFetridge and Brett Benoit, along with five-time maritime pro stock champion Wayne Smith - and is being refurbished in preparation for six special events on the 2011 season.