Petty Set to Host Historic River Glade International This Weekend


Ontario's John Shirtliff won the first River Glade International in 1965; the 47th running of the historic event is this weekend at Petty International Raceway. Click on the photo for Ken MacIsaac's Nostalgic River Glade International Gallery.

RIVER GLADE, NB (August 23, 2011) – Petty International Raceway is set for the 47th running of the historic River Glade International this weekend. While the event is the oldest stock car race in Canada 2011 is the inaugural year with Petty as host. This year's edition of the event will see it comprised of two segments with a 100 lap sportsman race, the Jones Auto Body 100, Friday night and a 100 lap pro stock race, the CARQUEST 100, Saturday night.

The first River Glade International was held in 1965 at the now defunct River Glade Speedway, located just a few minutes from Petty. Between 1965 and 1985 the race was for late models; from 1989 to 2009 it was for sportsman; 1986 to 1988 saw a split format, similar to this year.

"Including both sportsman and pro stock this year is our way to salute the heritage of the International," said Brett Benoit, co-owner of Petty International Raceway.

Heritage indeed; the best short track racers in Canada have won the International and have their names engraved on the majestic perpetual trophy. Names like Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame members Jim Hallahan, Earl Ross, Don Biederman, and Junior Hanley, as well as Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame members Hallahan, Frank Fraser, Caleb Dunn, and Greg Sewart. Fraser is the all-time International winner with six trips to Victory Lane. And he's looking for another checkered flag this Friday.

"I want seven," said Fraser, who came out of semi-retirement just two weeks ago to get seat time in preparation for the International. "We finished third in that race; I want to finish two better this time. I've wanted seven wins in the International since my sixth win in 1982 and I don't even know why."

This Friday Fraser will drive the car that won the last two sportsman races at Petty, owned by his son Frank Fraser Jr. But as badly as Frank Fraser Sr. wants the win Friday night so will the rest of the field including defending and two-time International winner Mike Power Jr., winner of the first sportsman race this year at Petty – Dave O'Blenis, and veteran New Brunswick race Bill Sommerville.

On Saturday the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour competitors will get their shot to have their name go in the record books as a winner of the River Glade International. Of all the competitors expected to enter Friday's sportsman race and Saturday's pro stock race only Fraser, O'Blenis and Power are previous winners.

Twenty-eight different drivers have won the International with 10 of them claiming the trophy more than once. The River Glade International was founded by Canadian and Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame member Ernie McLean and his wife Winona, owner-operators of River Glade Speedway until 1995. The McLean's grandson, Shawn McLean, will enter Friday night's sportsman race. Ernie McLean will present the trophy to the winner of Friday's Jones Auto Body River Glade International Sportsman 100.

The pro stock leg of the International is sanctioned by the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour and is round 11 of 12 en route to the 2011 championship. Watch for more news from the series with regard to the points chase later this week.

River Glade International | Winners Circle
LATE MODEL
1965       John Shirtliff
1966       Jim Hallahan
1967       Adelard Cormier
1968       Jim Hallahan
1969       Don Biederman
1970       Don Biederman
1971       Junior Hanley
1972       Jimmy Dunn
1973       Adelard Cormier
1974       Frank Fraser
1975       Frank Fraser
1976       Caleb Dunn
1977       Earl Ross
1978       Frank Fraser
1979       Frank Fraser
1980       Frank Fraser
1981       Paul Hebert
1982       Frank Fraser
1983       Greg Sewart
1984       Greg Sewart
1985       Bobby Yuille
1986       Pierre Arsenault (LM) | Ray McCray (SP)
1987       Greg Sewart (LM) | Brad Mann (SP)

SPORTSMAN
1988       Pierre Allain | Jim MacPherson
1989       Paul Lewis
1990       Tim Rodgers
1991       Ken Crosthwaite
1992       Paul Lewis
1993       Tim Rodgers
1994       Dave Mollins
1995       Dave Mollins
1996       Dave O'Blenis
1997       Tim Rodgers
1998       Tim Rodgers
1999       Terry Chambers
2000       Ken MacKenzie
2001       Ken MacKenzie
2002       Zean Dutcher
2003       Fred Prosser
2004       Jim Dunham
2005       Gary Hicks
2006       Gary Hicks
2007       Wayne Wormell
2008       Mike Power, Jr.
2009       Mike Power, Jr.

Friday's action gets underway at 7 p.m. and features sportsman racing along with 4 cylinders and Bandoleros. Saturday will see pro stocks and Legends Cars starting at 6 p.m. Fans in attendance either day will have the chance to see a race car made famous by the late Don Biederman, a two-time International winner.

Admission for Friday is just $15 for adults, $5 for youth (8-15), and $20 for the pit area. Saturday is $25 for adults, $10 for youth, and $30 for the pit area. Children under seven will be admitted free both nights when accompanied by an adult. Pit admission is restricted to those 16 and older.

Petty International Raceway is located on Highway 106, just 40 km west of Moncton, New Brunswick. To learn more about Petty International Raceway, its location, admission, policies, history, and more, please visit www.pettyraceway.com. To receive current updates please follow us on Twitter (@pettyraceway_nb).

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