The Pro Stock/Super Late Models will be on the track for 150-laps in their final race anywhere in Atlantic Canada for 2014, while their Sportsman counterparts will take to the tricky oval for their 100-lap finale. The Atlantic Modified Tour will also conclude their season with a 50-lap event. The event has had the largest overall car counts of the season at any Maritime event every year for the past 15 years.
The Pro Stock entry list for Saturday is pushing two dozen entries and includes a great mix of talent in the division.
Call it what you will, entries from all four Maritime provinces will be on the grounds, from 16 year olds to the veterans of the sport, fans will be in for an exciting 150-lap feature.
Leading the charge will be the 2013 Atlantic Champion Jonathan Hicken (Brudenell, PE), who enters the event with five wins on the season, including four on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour, where he finished second in the series standings. Greg Proude (Springvale, PE) is also a former Atlantic Champion, winning the event back in 2011.
The field will be full of young talent looking to etch their name onto the prestigious Atlantic Championships winner list. Cole Boudreau (Chipman) and Sarah McKay (Quispamsis) won the Rookie of the Year titles at Speedway 660 and on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour, respectively, and will look to close their freshman year with a quality showing at the CENTRE For Speed. Steve Halpin (Saint John) was on the podium last season in this event and will look to move up the ladder on Saturday. Dana Hamm (Cambridge) continues to mature as a driver in his sophomore year and DJ Casey (Prospect Road, NS), under the watchful eye of five-time Maritime Pro Stock Tour champion John Flemming (Halifax, NS), will make his third career Super Late Model start Saturday.
Speaking of watchful eyes, Sportsman standout Devin Snell (Saint John) will also be at the helm of a Pro Stock, making his first start for Lonnie Sommerville Racing in the top class of racing in the region.
If you're an Island fan, you'll have to keep your eye on Robbie MacEwen (Sherwood, PE).
The newly crowned Central Engine Services Late Model Champion at Oyster Bed Speedway (PE) has been turning heads in his limited Pro Stock starts this season and will look to pull the relative upset on Saturday and become the Atlantic Champion for Pro Stocks.
A healthy mix of veterans including Paul Gahan (Lower St. Mary's), Kevin Moore (Fredericton), Shawn Pierce (Bridgewater, NS), Robbie MacLean (Winsloe, PE), Petty Raceway champion Chris Duncan (Hampton) and Marty Prevost (Fall River, NS), among others, will be looking to turn out a winning performance Saturday.
Also returning to the track for the first time since 2007 is Glenn Rasmussen (New Denmark, NB), who will be running his Pro Stock in the 150-lap feature. His son, 13-year old Ian Rasmussen, competed in the Mini Stock show last weekend on Day One of the Atlantic Championships.
Not to be outdone, the Sportsman 100 show will feature some of the top talent in the region running for the crown. Luc Bourgeois (Memramcook) will be looking to wrestle the title away from Racin' Remi Gaudet, the 2013 Atlantic Champion in the class. Bert Cormier is the track champion for Sportsman at the CENTRE For Speed and will be looking to defend his home turf against some of the sharpest drivers in the region.
Last week saw Shawn Warren make the trip from the Fredericton area to take advantage of some extra practice.
Warren is a multi-time winner in a Sportsman car at Speedway 660 and will look to notch a victory at the CENTRE For Speed oval. Aaron Boutilier (Porter's Lake, NS), the 2013 NAPA Sportsman Series and 2012 Scotia Speedworld Sportsman champion, also took laps last weekend in advance of the 100-lap race.
The field is also expected to include two of the Late Model cars from Oyster Bed Speedway, who have made adjustments to their cars to meet the rules requirements to race. Tyler Gauthier and Brandon Snow will look to fly the Prince Edward Island colors to the front of the Sportsman field on Saturday afternoon.
Newfoundland will also be well represented with four or five cars from Eastbound Int'l Park. Shannon Squires, Gerald Hicks and Josh Weir are expected to join Josh Collins (Placentia, NL) on the mainland for the Sportsman event. Collins will be a busy guy Saturday as the team is also expected to run the Pro Stock car in the headlining event on the afternoon as well as the Sportsman car. Rumor has it that Dylan Gosbee (Cornwall, PE), winner at Eastbound Park one week ago in the Toromont Cat 150, will have his Sportsman entry at the CENTRE For Speed on Saturday as well.
The Atlantic Modified Tour will contest their series finale on Saturday with a 50-lap event. "Lightning" Larry Gulliver won the tour's only other stop at the CENTRE back in June. Point standings and entry list were unavailable as of press time. Over a dozen Open wheels are expected to compete with 16 cars entered.
Entry lists are subject to change without notice and fans are urged to keep up with Shediac CENTRE For Speed on their Facebook page (@CentreForSpeed) and media partner Tim's Corner Motorsports (@TimsCorner, www.timscorner.ca) for any updates leading up to, during and after the event.
Last weekend saw Mark LeClair (Brackley Beach, PE, Street Stock 100), JR Lawson (Shubenacadie, NS, Mini Stock 75), Matt Crocker (Fredericton, NB, Four Fun 50) and Braden Langille (Shubencadie, NS, Bandolero 25) take home features on Opening Day of the 15th Annual Atlantic Championships.
Action goes green at 1pm on Saturday, October 11th with qualifying heats and features for all three classes.
For complete event information, please visit CENTREForSpeed.com.
From Tim Wile / centreforspeed.com