SHEDIAC, NB – Claude Gaudet couldn’t wait to give his sponsors some added exposure taking home the first checkered flag in the Late Model Sportsman feature during Dominion Lending Centre’s night here at Shediac’s CENTRE for Speed. Gaudet cast his M&M Seafoods – Lawn Boy sponsored machine into the limelight with a good jump over race leader and heat winner Dan Duke on a mid-race restart in the 50-lap feature and held on for the victory. Corey Collins finished second, his best showing to date at the CENTRE and “The Thrill Maker”, Craig Ward rounded out the podium.
The historic event was the CENTRE’s first race to be taped for rebroadcast and the first race for the late Calib Dunn’s Grandson, Shawn Conners. Conners started in his #14 Late Model here tonight. The number was one which Dunn had run during his illustrious stock car career in the region and was choosen as a tribute to the icon’s recent passing. The rookie driver showed promise keeping his nose clean and handling the car without incident and staying with the pack, on the short run, throughout the night.
Andrew Starks also made his first appearance at the CENTRE in his #7 machine, “The Newfie Bullet”. Starks who make his home on Debert, NS, plans to make the trip to Shediac for the majority of the events this season. Starks did well for his first ever attempt at the CENTRE finishing a close 5th to the veteran, Dan Duke in the #50. Bert Cormier sporting a bright new colour scheme on his #3 entry experienced numerous technical problems throughout the night finishing 6th.
In other action at the Speedway Brad McLean proved the Miramichi is mighty taking top honours in the Street Sportsman class in his lucky #13 while Don Marcoux of Saint Louis finished 2nd and Ronnie Layton finished 3rd making it a successful outing for the long time racing veteran in his #16. Marcoux won the Heat while McLean finished 2nd setting up a tie in the points after the first event.
Finally, in the Mini Stock Division, Mike Weagle won the heat race while defending champ Scott Bourque won the feature followed by Weagle who had led the race until he was forced to the pits with a flat tire. Weagle was later relegated to last place with a disqualification promoting the returning Josh Simon in his #71 of Bouctouche into 2nd and Brad Daley of Moncton in his #66 was third.
From Tim Wile / CFS