JAMES RIVER, NS (July 16, 2012) – The sixth edition of the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body is this coming weekend and the stage is set to make it a memorable one. The super weekend opens Thursday with the Richard Petty Driving Experience, then continues Friday with the Highland Home Building Centre 100 for the Napa Sportsman Series, and then culminates Saturday with the IWK 250.
There is a lot to talk about including: the much-anticipated entry of one of NASCAR’s brightest young stars; the late-entry of a southern short track superstar; the determination of the current Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour point leader to defend his IWK 250 title; $100k on the line, and much more. Weekend storylines follow…
Logano Hopes to Take Cat Car for Kids to Victory Lane
NASCAR’s Joey Logano is serious about winning the IWK 250 this weekend; so serious he has sent a key member of his team to Nova Scotia this week to make sure the car is prepared just the way the young superstar likes it. Logano will drive the Cat Car for Kids, presented by Atlantic Cat – a car out of the Nova Racing stable. Logano’s man will work with the Nova Racing team this week to tweak the car to Logano’s liking before the superstar arrives for the weekend. Logano has made his mark in NASCAR this year as the winningest driver in the sanctioning bodies national divisions; Logano has six wins year-to-date for Joe Gibbs Racing: one Sprint Cup Series and five in the Nationwide Series. Logano will be a teammate to Donald Chisholm (Antigonish) and George Koszkulics (New Glasgow). Besides driving in Saturday’s IWK 250 Logano will participate in the one-hour autograph session that is part of the pre-race ceremonies. Since 2007 The IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body has raised more than $100,000 for the IWK Health Care Centre.
Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour Point Battle Tight; Defending IWK 250 Winner on Top
The first six races on the 2012 Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour have produced five different race winners and six drivers have been briefly atop the championship point standings. But it’s Darren MacKinnon (Charlottetown, PE), defending champion of the IWK 250, who finds himself currently atop the point totem pole. MacKinnon has been in the top 10 in every race this season, accumulating 1152, two more than closest competitor and local favourite Donald Chisholm. Only 10 points separate first from fourth and any of these drivers could hold the lead after Saturday’s race, the first added-distance race of the season. Shawn Tucker (Fredericton, NB), a three-time series champ and the only two-time winner this season is third – just eight markers behind MacKinnon. Another three-time series champion, John Flemming (Halifax, NS), is fourth, and the series 2009 champion, Shawn Turple (Enfield, NS), is fifth.
Southern Short Track Superstar Corey Williams to Wheel King Racing Entry
Corey Williams, originally from Boothbay Harbor, Maine – now hailing from Huntersville, North Carolina, will pilot the No. 13 entry for King Racing. Williams will debut a new Hamke chassis for the team with crew chief Andrew Hicken and car owner Rollie MacDonald. Williams is a multi-time PASS South winner, has an ASA win on his resume, and sat on the pole for the inaugural 250-lap event at the “new” Riverside International Speedway in 2006 – a PASS-sanctioned event. Williams works as a fabricator on the No. 5 (driver Kasey Kahne) & No. 24 (driver Jeff Gordon) cars for Hendrick Motorsports.
MacKinnon, Vincent, Smith Hope to Become First Repeat Winner
Three former IWK 250 winners have entered the 2012 edition of the IWK 250: MacKinnon (2011), Kent Vincent (2010), and Wayne Smith (2009). Each hopes to become the first repeat winner of the prestigious event. Other
former winners include Mike Rowe (2007), and Regan Smith (2008). MacKinnon and Vincent are running full-time with the Pro Stock Tour this year while Smith, a six-time pro stock touring series champion, has scaled back his schedule to part-time; this will be his second start of 2012.
Champions Chasing Elusive IWK 250 Win
An IWK 250 trophy is on the bucket list for every pro stock driver in the Maritimes, but especially for former PST champions who have yet to win the prestigious race, including: Flemming – PST champion in 2002, ’03, ’06; Tucker – PST champion in 2004, ’07, 10; and, Shawn Turple (Enfield) – PST champion in 2009.
On The Line: $100,000
Besides the prestige of being an IWK 250 champion, the winner of the 2012 edition of the event can take home as much as $16,950 from a total purse that exceeds $89,000. And since the IWK 250 is round seven of 12 on the 2011 Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour it is also “pays” points based on finishing positions – so every spot counts – for payout and points. Including the payouts for the sportsman and legends races, the total event payout exceeds $100,000.
While 2012 marks the sixth edition of the IWK 250, Riverside has hosted its historic event since 1977 when Ontario’s Billy Watson became the inaugural winner. Other former “Riverside 250” winners include the late Scott Fraser (5 wins), the late Don Biederman (3 wins), five-time Maritime champion Greg Sewart (now retired, 2 wins), Maritime racing legend Frank Fraser (2 wins), four-time Maritime champion Terry Clattenburg (now retired), North America short track legend Junior Hanley, Maritime racing veteran Mike MacKenize, and Maine racing champions Mike Rowe and Ben Rowe. Scott Fraser, Sewart, Biederman, and Hanley are members of the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame, and Scott Fraser, Sewart, Frank Fraser, and Clattenburg are members of the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Opening Act – Sportsman Series Highlights Friday Night
The Napa Sportsman Series will see round two of four in their 2012 title chase this Friday, and first 100-lap feature for the series competitors this season. More than 250 of the top sportsman racers in the region are expected to enter the show including Colby Smith (Barrington) the defending race winner and 2011 series champion. The Maritime League of Legends is also on deck Friday night and expecting a full-field of eager racers after a three-week break; this is round three of seven in their title chase. Racing starts at 7 p.m.
The Main Attraction
Saturday July 21 will feature the sixth annual IWK 250. Time trials start at 3:30 p.m., heat races are set for 4:30, followed by an on-track autograph session and concert at 5:30. Pre-race festivities start at 7 p.m.
By Joan Roué