(SYDNEY, NS – July 27th, 2020) – Over a busy Saturday afternoon, five drivers laid claim to their first checkered flags of the 2020 season at Sydney Speedway. The event, which was scheduled to be a two day show, saw Sunday’s racing action canceled due to persistent showers. Each division had the choice on Saturday to either add laps to their scheduled Saturday event or run an additional feature with the anticipated forecast for the next day. The choices led to a combined ten feature events and 251-laps of feature competition between the four classes of racing over the four hour race card on Saturday.
Brooke Dowe (Bedford, NS) and Kody Quinn (Sydney, NS) led the way with three feature wins each on the day. Dowe swept the racing action in the Bandolero division, winning the heat race and the trio of 12-lap feature events. She swapped the lead multiple times with her PPM Racing teammate Hannah Porter (Truro, NS), who made her first start in Bandolero competition on Saturday afternoon. Porter collected runner-up hardware in each of the three feature events. Brayden Wadden (Hammonds Plains, NS) finished third in the first two features with Avery DeCoste (Antigonish, NS) grabbing the final podium spot in the third feature.
Quinn swept both Ramsay’s Honda Mini Stock features on the afternoon. Quinn battled in both features with stock car racing veteran Dave Timmons (Inverness, NS) with Quinn edging out Timmons for the victory on both occasions. The first feature, which was 30-laps in length, saw sophomore Darrell Hulme (Howie Center, NS) finish in third. The 50-lap feature saw 2019 Passione Flooring and Interiors East Coast Mini Stock Tour champion Dave Matthews (Kennetcook, NS) rounding out the podium. Sixteen cars checked into Sydney Speedway for Ramsay’s Honda Mini Stock competition on Saturday.
“The Conductor” also took home the first of three Colbourne Auto Group Legend features on Saturday, bringing his win total to three on the afternoon. Owen Mahar (Hubley, NS) impressed in his first trip to Sydney, taking home second in the first 25-lap feature on Saturday. He was followed to the line by fellow Bandolero graduates Danny Chisholm (Canning, NS), Sam Rogers (Lower Onslow, NS) and Austin MacDonald (Pictou, NS).
The Legend field, the biggest in Sydney since the track re-opened in 2019, was deep in talent and included multiple touring, track and INEX champions. Braden Langille (Shubenacadie, NS), the 2020 INEX Winter Nationals (FL) champion and reigning Maritime League of Legends Tour champion, missed the first feature due to mechanical gremlins. He made the last two count though, scratching Sydney Speedway off a long list of tracks he has won at in Legend competition. The second of three features saw Quinn, Rogers, 2019 Scotia Speedworld Track Champion Andrew Lively (Middle Sackville, NS) and MacDonald chase Langille to the stripe.
The final feature of the afternoon for the Colbourne Auto Group Legend division was a thriller up front with the lead changing hands several times between the top four. Langille would ultimately take the victory over Rogers, Chisholm, Owen Mahar and his father Daryl Mahar (Hubley, NS), who made his return to Sydney Speedway after last competing at the Grand Lake Road oval 20 years ago.
The Late Model Sportsman division saw a fierce battle in both 30-lap features come down to three familiar names within the community. After Ronnie MacKay (Sydney, NS) won the heat race, it was his teammate and former NAPA Sportsman Series champion Shawn Waterfield (Sydney, NS) who battled to the first feature victory. MacKay and Ryan VanOirschot (Antigonish, NS) battled for second behind Waterfield with VanOirschot taking second over the heat winner. Brad DeCoste (Antigonish, NS) and Joey Livingstone (Pictou Landing, NS) completed the top five in the first feature.
The rivalry between MacKay and VanOirschot was rekindled in the second feature as the two traded vinyl in the waning laps of the event. VanOirschot was relentless in his pursuit of MacKay and with Waterfield chasing the top two, VanOirschot made a move in Turn Three to scoot the No. 03 out of the lead. The move opened the door for VanOirschot’s first Late Model Sportsman win ahead of Waterfield and MacKay. The move was not a popular one with the limited amount of fans in the Drive In area as several “boos” traveled the distance from Turn One to victory lane after VanOirschot emerged from his car as the winner.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions in the Province of Nova Scotia, the event was run with only 250 people permitted at the facility and the grandstands remained closed for the weekend. A single camera live video stream was provided and an video on-demand copy of the event can be found at www.timscorner.tv. A portion of sales go back to support Sydney Speedway.
The next scheduled event for Sydney Speedway is Sunday, September 27th before the second annual Thanksgiving Thunder takes the spotlight from October 9th to 11th. Teams are urged to stay tuned from the Sydney Speedway Facebook Page for any additional event information.
About Sydney Speedway:
Opened in 1975, Sydney Speedway has built a racing tradition on Cape Breton Island over the past four decades. Purchased in 2019 by local businessman and racing enthusiast Greg Dowe, the track is home to a number of stock car racing divisions, a destination for local touring series and motorsports events. For more information on Sydney Speedway, find them online on various social media platforms at @SydneySpeedCA.