The now 16-year-old has had a racing career some would only dream of in just a handful of years. Farrell won a Bandolero and Legend championship in his home province before focusing on his racing efforts on the mainland. In 2016, the Farrell’s Racing team and the No. 48 Farrell’s Excavating Legend car notched their first championship in the Maritimes by winning the Maritime League of Legends Tour championship.
With Farrell not age eligible to race at Scotia Speedworld in 2016, the team brought in Dylan Blenkhorn of Truro, Nova Scotia and Alex Pacheco of Kannapolis, North Carolina to run those events. Blenkhorn made good by winning the season opener at Scotia Speedworld in 2016 while Pacheco won the Farrell’s Excavating 50 in August of that year at Riverside International Speedway. The team effort, with Farrell as the primary driver, won the championship by 19 points over Jolicure, New Brunswick’s Cory Hall.
Farrell was consistent throughout the 2017 season, beginning with third place finishes in the first three races of the season. The No. 48 was up front often in 2017, posting six top three finishes in the first eight races of the year. His first win on the Maritime League of Legends Tour came during the last race of the year, the R&D Performancenter 50 presented by Scotia Tire at Scotia Speedworld. The win at the track came after two wins in a run of four weeks in their Friday night Weekly Racing Series.
Scotia Speedworld, a venue where the Series visits three times a year, can be tough for rookies and veterans alike.
“It’s got a lot of character and is a unique place,” said Farrell of Scotia Speedworld. “It’s bumpy in places, you have to be on the wheel to be successful there.”
The win for Farrell in the season finale certainly sealed the championship but also came following a motor issue that sidelined the No. 48 from the A.L. Gullison DKI 50 presented by Ideal Equipment at Speedway 660. Farrell was in virtual cruise control in the championship standings before the hiccup on SpeedWeekend, which opened the door for a veteran to take one more run at the 2017 championship.
Multiple time Maritime League of Legends Tour champion and INEX Pro division driver Justin MacNeill of Bedford, Nova Scotia began 2017 in a new race car. The blue and fluorescent yellow that had been MacNeill’s colors over recent seasons were sidelined for a red and white livery on the new car for 2017, but it was the same MacNeill behind the wheel fans were accustomed to seeing.
MacNeill showed speed out of the box with the new car. Three top ten finishes kept MacNeill in the championship discussion early in the season before putting his No. 10 Cummins/Parts for Trucks Legend on the podium at Oyster Bed Speedway. The second place finish at the Island Coastal Services 50 presented by Steve’s Snow Removal to part-timer Shelby Baker (Fall River, NS) reminded his competition that he shouldn’t be taken lightly down the stretch drive.
Another runner-up finish at Speedway 660 in September to Hall gave MacNeill the runner-up spot in the championship standings heading into the season finale at Scotia Speedworld. MacNeill’s home track had not been kind to him and his new car compared to other series tracks as he entered the season finale with sixth and ninth place finishes in the first two races in Halifax. A tangle in his heat race put MacNeill behind the eight ball to start the feature and while he would charge late in the feature, MacNeill would finish 2017 with a seventh place finish.
Behind MacNeill in the standings sat the two Meehan siblings from Rawdon, Nova Scotia, with younger brother Adam winning out over sister Emily for the third spot in the championship rankings at the end of nine races. Adam would edge out Emily by 11 points for the final podium spot in the standings.
Adam Meehan began the season with his first career Legend car win in the Atlantic Tiltload 50. The driver, who began his third full time season with the series, outdueled eventual Scotia Speedworld Weekly Series titlist Paul Goulden (Shelburne, NS) and Farrell for the win in the opening round of 2017.
When Adam Meehan was on it, he was on it. He was third in the Farrell’s Excavating 50 at Riverside Speedway in August to Braden Langille (Shubenacadie, NS) and Farrell. The finish came a week after returning to Scotia Speedworld with the Tour and placing fourth in his second run with the Tour at his home track in 2017.
Emily Meehan, or “Miss Rawdon Rocket” as she’s known to her fans, was consistent throughout the season, posting eight top tens in nine races with a best finish of fifth. That fifth place finish came thrice in 2017, at Scotia Speedworld in the season opener and finale along with the Seaside Chevrolet 50 presented by S. Hall Tire and Auto at Petty Raceway in August.
Among all the youngsters battling for checkered flags and point trophies sat Darren Sherwood.
The Vice President of the Tour was the top Masters competitors on the Maritime League of Legends Tour in 2017 and was the top driver hailing from the province of New Brunswick. The Cambridge Narrows driver posted seven top ten finishes in nine races, including two top five finishes in his home province. Sherwood was fourth in the Cummins 50 presented by Petitcodiac Super Variety in July and finished third on SpeedWeekend at Speedway 660 in the A.L. Gullison DKI 50 presented by Ideal Equipment.
Completing the top ten in the Maritime League of Legends Tour point standings include Hall, the team of Josh Langille and Arnie Spinney (Coldbrook, NS), Kevin MacDonald (Antigonish, NS), Kyle Shipley (Spryfield, NS) and Braden Langille.
Shipley raced to the Maritime League of Legends Tour Rookie of the Year Award in 2017. Shipley struggled with mechanical problems from the midpoint of the year but would still race to a ninth place overall finish in the standings. His best finish on the year was during the August appearance at Riverside International Speedway with an 11th place run on the NASCAR Pinty’s Series weekend.
Braden Langille was the winningest driver on the series in 2017, winning a third of the nine races on the schedule. Langille swept races at Petty International Raceway on the year and won the August running of the Farrell’s Excavating 50 at Riverside Speedway. Cory Hall scored wins at Riverside Speedway and Speedway 660 for two local wins on the year en route to fourth overall in INEX International Semi Pro points. Farrell, Baker, Adam Meehan and Craig MacDonald (Waverley, NS) all scored single wins on the year.
A total of 42 teams competed on the Maritime League of Legends Tour in 2017 with an average of 22 cars starting each race. Compared to the 2016 season, both numbers are up after an average field of 20 and a total car count over the season of 36 was achieved.
The Maritime League of Legends will officially drop the curtain on the 2017 season with their annual Awards Ceremony. The Awards Ceremony is hosted with the Scotia Speedworld Weekly Racing Series Awards Banquet and will kick off at 7pm on Saturday, October 28th at the Best Western Plus Glengarry in Truro, Nova Scotia. The top ten and the Rookie of the Year will receive point fund money and trophies as the series honors the accomplishments of their drivers over the past racing season.
The Maritime League of Legends Tour Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Sunday, November 26th at 1pm at the Quality Inn Airport Hotel in Goffs, Nova Scotia. The hotel is located behind Scotia Speedworld and is easily accessible from Exit Six off Highway 102. Discussion for the 2018 season along with voting for the 2018 Board of Directors will be on the table.
About The Maritime League of Legends:
The Maritime League of Legends Association was formed in 2005 by a group of racer’s wanting to grow the Legends Cars division in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. In 2017, the Maritime League of Legends Tour will visit five venues throughout Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island between May and September during its nine race season. For more information on the Maritime League of Legends, please visit www.maritimelegends.ca.