New England Hot Shoe Cassius Clark Enters Petty Pro Stock; Weekend Storylines AplentyCassius Clark with Rollie MacDonald's No. 13 at Scotia Speedworld May 20. (photo - Ken MacIsaac)
RIVER GLADE, NS (May 30, 2012) - Management at Petty International Raceway are gearing up for their first double-header weekend of the 2012 season with two big nights of stock car racing action this Friday and Saturday. Friday's feature will be the 100-lap GT Enterprises Sportsman Series race (round two of six for 2012), and Saturday's Lucas Oil 100 feature will see the first stop this year in New Brunswick for the popular Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour.
Friday's show will get underway at 7:30 p.m. and features the GT Enterprises Sportsman, Leisure Days RV Bandolero, Street Stock, and AOW Modifieds. Saturday will see a 6 p.m. start time with show including the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour, Maritime League of Legends, Eastern Mini Cup Series, and Mister Transmission Mini Stock.
With eight different classes on tap there are a bevy of storylines, including...
CLARK TO SUB FOR MACDONALD IN LUCAS OIL 100
Farmington, Maine's Cassius Clark will be back behind the wheel of Rollie MacDonald's No. 13 this Saturday in the Lucas Oil 100. Clark drove the car to a second-place finish in the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour season opener at Scotia Speedworld near Halifax (NS) two weeks ago. MacDonald, the 2005 series champion from Pictou NS, is recovering from an April truck accident. Clark is one of New England's top short track racers with multiple wins with the Pro All Stars Series (PASS), most recently last weekend in New Hampshire. This will be Clark's first race at Petty International Raceway.
PROUDE LEADS PRO STOCK CHARGE TO LUCAS OIL 100
Prince Edward Island's Greg Proude leads the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour charge to Petty International Raceway. Proude finished third in the series season opener but bonus points gave him a slim one-point advantage over Craig Slaunwhite (Terence Bay, NS) - winner of the season opener. MacDonald/Clark sit third in the standings, followed by Mike MacKenzie (Dartmouth, NS) and local favourite Mike Stevens (Salisbury). Former three-time series champion Shawn Tucker (Fredericton) is sixth. Other New Brunswick drivers expected to enter the Lucas Oil 100 include Brad Mann (Glen Livet) and Steve Halpin (Saint John). Top pro stock rookie contender Frank Fraser Jr (Shubenacadie, NS) will make his pro stock debut at Petty Saturday; Fraser won two of three sportsman races entered at Petty in 2011.
LEGENDS TOUR A BLEND OF OLD & NEW
The Maritime League of Legends will see their second race of 2012 this Saturday at Petty International Raceway. The series has become popular for up and coming racers as well as savy veterans. Former series champion Justin MacNeill (Bedford, NS) won the series season opener at Scotia Speedworld May 20 and leads the point standings. It's a family affair for Dylan and Paul Blenkhorn (son and father, respectively - Truro, NS) who raced fender to fender for second and third at Scotia. Close to 20 Maritime Legends Tour teams are expected to make the trip to River Glade this weekend. The Legends Cars are 5/8-scale versions of NASCAR modifieds from the 30s and 40s - and always fun to watch.
EASTERN MINI CUP SERIES KICKS OFF SOPHOMORE SEASON SATURDAY AT PETTY
Fans will get their first glimpse of the regions newest racing series this Saturday at Petty International Raceway. The Eastern Mini Cup Series starts its sophomore season with the first of eight races, and two of those stops at Petty. The Mini Cup cars are 1/2-scale versions of the "Cup" cars you see on television.
SPORTSMAN SERIES IS PETTY'S VERSION OF A RACE OF CHAMPIONS
The GT Enterprises Sportsman Series is getting a lot of attention in Maritime racing circles this year, and it's no wonder with the calibre of racers registered. Just look at the top three in the division standings after the season opener May 19: Dave O'Blenis (Salisbury), Colby Smith (Barrington, NS), and Bill Sommerville (Saint John) - each separated by just one marker - and each multi-time champions. With 26 teams registered to contend for the division title, Friday's 100-lap feature is expected to be fierce; it is round two of six for 2012.
BANDOLEROS BRINGING NEW TALENT TO MARITIME RACING
The Leisure Days RV Bandoleros division is the fastest-growing race class at Petty, both literally and figuratively. With drivers from both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia the division numbers have doubled since last season - and the youth drivers are growing too - some hardly recognizable from last year. Nova Scotia's Cole Tanner, akin to the infamous Fraser shop, won the first race of 2012 and leads the division standings. Ryan Messer (Harvey) is second, and Alexandra O'Blenis (Salisbury, daughter of Dave - sister to eighth-place Courtney) is third.
AOW MODIFIEDS OPEN SEASON AT PETTY
New Brunswick's Atlantic Open Wheel (AOW) Modified Tour sees its first of 11 races in 2012 this Friday - marking the start of its 10th season. The "home-grown" division has seen steady growth and is expected to see the return of defending champion Joe Hoyt. Rookies registered to make their AOW debuts this year include Robert Miner (former sportsman driver), Dana Hamm (2011 Bandolero champion), and Kim Hallihan - known as the Fly'N Ranger.
HONOURING A LEGEND
Petty International Raceway will honour Maritime racing legend and Hall of Fame member Caleb Dunn who passed away earlier this week. During his heyday Dunn was one of the Maritimes top drivers winning more than 200 races during a career that spanned four decades, from 1951 to 1989. Dunn, from Salisbury, was 84.
Grandstand admission for Friday's show is $20 for adults and $10 for youth (8-15). Saturday tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for youth (8-15). Children seven and under will be admitted free both days (when accompanied by an adult). Pit admission is restricted to those 16 and older and is $25 on Friday and $30 on Saturday. Advance tickets for Saturday's show are available through Ticket Atlantic; race day tickets will be available at the box office both days.
ABOUT PETTY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
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 or call the event hotline at 506.372.8080. To receive current updates please follow us on Twitter (@pettyraceway_nb).