SHEDIAC, NB – The MIRA Blind Racing Challenge Saturday evening at Centre for Speed in beautiful Grand Barrachois was a hit with fans and raised some valuable cash towards the training of “seeing eye” and “companion assist” dogs. During the event, blind drivers with the aid of their celebrity and sponsor co-pilots raced (in reverse) around the big oval for five fun filled laps of laughs for the fans. Ten drivers competed in the event with vigour and enthusiasm was through the roof from the participants and fans alike afterwards. The winner of the event was Brian Thorne of Saint John along with his co-pilot Gary Lockhart of Salisbury. It is expected that this will become an annual event at the ‘Centre.’
Racing also took place in three divisions (Mini Stock, Shediac Sportsman (Street Stock), and Super Sportsman) with the action thrilling fans from start to finish. In the Mini Stock Division, Mike Brun of Grand Barachois was the big winner, capturing both his Heat and the Feature including some of the best racing of the night in the feature event. Brun and Weagle several feature lead changes with Salisbury Driver Mike Weagle. Brad Daley was also a winner, capturing his Heat. Gerald Brun claimed victory in the “Dash for Cash”.
In the Shediac Sportsman division, Brad MacLean returned from his job in BC in order to race and it was not a wasted trip as he was the big winner, winning convincingly in both the Heat and the Feature.
A good field of Late Model Sportsmen were on hand for Saturday’s proceedings with Remi Gaudet, driving for his father Claude, taking the 22 from Grand Barachois to Victory Lane twice, in both the Heat and Feature. The younger Gaudet passed pole race leader Hubert `Bert`Cormier of Bouctouche on a mid race restart at lap 23. Gary Tingley #91) of Salisbury captured second after climbing from the back of the pack along with Calvin Rankin (#45) of Quispamsis who was third. Both chased Gaudet from wire to wire after Cormier (#3) blew his transmission but the bumper to bumper battle for second took its toll on the two competitors who were unable to reel in the speedy Gaudet who was out front and able to use his considerable skills and knowledge of the speedway line to lay down the fastest laps of the day whenever the two challengers look like they might pose a threat to take the lead.
Next week is a double header weekend at the Centre with “Bobby Allison” night on Friday evening with racing starting at 8 p.m. The famous NASCAR great and Hall of Famer will be the Grand Marshall for the event that feature a Super Series 75 lapper for Super Sportsman. The new “Mini Cup” series will also be racing on Friday along with action in Mini Stock and Street Stock divisions. Allison will be signing autographs etc. for fans at the Centre from 6:45 until 7:45, doing some colour commentary on the races and interviews with the speedways announcers and presenting the winners trophy in each division. A driver group photo session with Bobby is also schedule to commemorate the event. It will be a historic night not to be missed.
From Tim Wile