RIVER GLADE, NB – Billed as one of the Oldest Stock Car Races in Canada, the River Glade International will get the green flag on Friday, July 9th and Saturday, July 10th at Petty International Raceway.
Returning to a two day show in 2021, the River Glade, New Brunswick oval will see nine different divisions hit the track over the weekend of action. The event is headlined on Saturday with the Brycon Construction Pro Stock 200 and Late Model Sportsman 100. Racing action gets underway on Friday at 7pm and continues on Saturday at 4pm.
The Pro Stock 200 will mark the first race for the division where loosened border restrictions should allow teams from the neighboring Atlantic Provinces to come and race. Previously a East Coast International Pro Stock Tour event, the sanctioning body has deferred all events due to lingering COVID-19 guidelines and a Hoosier Racing Tire shortage. With management being able to secure enough tires for teams, Petty International Raceway will sanction the event and the Pro Stock portion of the show will proceed for one of the biggest weekends of the season at the track. The Pro Stock race will pay $4,000 to win.
With several Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island teams chomping at the bit to cross Provincial borders, the Brycon Pro Stock 200 will be the first major test for most this season. Petty International Raceway has held one Pro Stock race this season, which was won by Jolicure, New Brunswick’s Cory Hall. It was Hall’s first major Pro Stock victory and he will look to back it up with another in the 200-lap feature on Saturday evening.
Hall was third in this race last year behind the incredible late race battle between Jonathan Hicken (Brudenell, PE) and Ashton Tucker (Lyttleton, NB). Hicken has retired from driving and while Tucker is coming off a dream season in 2020, the early races of 2021 have been ones to put quickly in the rearview. After a rear end failure at Speedway 660 in May, Tucker brought the Brad Silliker Motorsports entry home in sixth during the 100-lap feature in June at Petty Raceway. If any team is looking for an early season rebound, it will be Tucker.
Holding the hottest hand in 2021 heading into Saturday’s River Glade International has to be Ryan Messer (Harvey, NB). Messer is a two-time winner at Speedway 660, winning the RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty 100 most recently on June 26th. In his latest Petty Raceway appearance, he was third behind Hall and Dave O’Blenis (Boundary Creek, NB) at the R. Stevens Mechanical and S. Hall Tire Muffler and Auto Repair Center 100.
Among the out of Province invaders include former Petty Pro Stock Challenge winner Cole Butcher (Hantsport, NS) and his brother Jarrett Butcher (Porters Lake, NS), who was on the podium in the 2020 Snowflake 100 at Five Flags Speedway. Reigning East Coast International Pro Stock Tour champion and former River Glade International titlist Dylan Blenkhorn (Truro, NS) makes his first Pro Stock start since his 2019 championship run on Saturday. Robbie MacEwen (Sherwood, PE), who was the winner of the Season Opener at Oyster Bed Speedway last weekend, leads a strong contingent of Island racers across the Confederation Bridge for the first time in 2021.
EXPECTED ENTRY LIST – BRYCON CONSTRUCTION 200
#1 Ryan Messer – Harvey, NB
#01 Troy Burke – Winsloe, PE
#2 Ashton Tucker – Lyttleton, NB
#8 Kent Vincent – Westmoreland, PE
#08 Nicholas Naugle – Dartmouth, NS
#10 Devin Snell – Saint John, NB
#18 Darren MacKinnon – Charlottetown, PE
#23 Lonnie Sommerville – Barnesville, NB
#36 Gary Elliott – Truro, NS
#40 Robbie MacEwen – Sherwood, PE
#41 Mike Rodgers – Moncton, NB
#42 Kyle Reid – Sydney, NS
#48 Dave O’Blenis – Boundary Creek, NB
#51 Mark LeClair – Charlottetown, PE
#52 Dustin Tucker – Darlings Island, NB
#53 Cole Butcher – Hantsport, NS
#54 Jarrett Butcher – Porters Lake, NS
#67 Dylan Blenkhorn – Truro, NS
#83H Cory Hall – Jolicure, NB
#83D John Rankin – St. Martin’s, NB
#99 Craig Slaunwhite – Terence Bay, NS
**entry list subject to change without notice
Joining the Saturday card is a 100-lap Late Model Sportsman feature. During the 2020 edition of the Jones Auto Body River Glade International, the Sportsman division stole a lot of the headlines. From hot on track action to heated tempers, bent feelings and broken fenders, the Late Model drivers left it all out on the high banked bullring for the fans. Jordan Veinotte (Porters Lake, NS) was the eventual winner of the race one year ago, etching his name in history as a River Glade International champion for the second time.
Two Late Model Sportsman races have taken place at Petty International Raceway in 2021. Kenny MacKenzie Jr (Salisbury, NB) broke a three year winless draught by winning at the Season Opener to open the month of June. Alexandra O’Blenis (Boundary Creek, NB) found her way to victory lane on June 20th during a 75-lap feature. The pair will be looking to defend their home turf as borders open and several Nova Scotian drivers are expected to make the haul up for the race.
The Bandoleros, Heart of a Champion Hot Rod Classics presented by Conrad Brothers and the Passione Flooring & Interiors East Coast Mini Stock Tour will play support to the two marquee Late Model classes on Saturday, July 10th. Pre-race advances for the Hot Rods and Mini Stock Tour, who will both open their 2021 season at the Jones Auto Body River Glade International, will be available from their respective media sources later this week.
The Friday night, July 9th portion of the River Glade International will be highlighted by the Street Stock division and a 100-lap feature. Evan Lane (Salisbury, NB) was able to snap the win streak of Michael Cormier (Grand-Barachois, NB) the last time out at the track. Cormier was able to secure second, further cementing his hold on the class. With this race being the final tune-up in advance of the Stuff Your Stuff Storage $5K on Saturday, August 7th along with border restrictions loosening to neighboring Prince Edward Island, several drivers will look to take home the River Glade International crown in the first big show for several drivers in 2021.
The Mini Stock division will compete in a $500 to win event, should 20 or more competitors show up for the 50-lap feature. Rob Poirier (Irishtown, NB) has established himself and the No. 0 Hayward Healthy Home Solutions Acura as the driver and car combination to beat, winning the first two races of the 2021 season at the track. Poirier battled hard with Ryan McKnight (Sussex, NB) for the victory on June 26th. In fact, the podium finishers from both races in 2021 have been identical with Poirier, McKnight and Nick Brun each taking home trophies in the first two shows. With several teams coming in to town early ahead of the East Coast Mini Stock Tour feature the next day, whoever wins the feature on Friday evening will have to be on top of their game!
The Women on Wheels have seen two winners in two races and will look for a third on Friday evening. Gail Thebeau and Makayla Weagle have held feature checkered flag so far and have their eyes firmly set on a River Glade International win and their second victories of 2021.
The Bandoleros will pull double duty on the weekend with races on both the Friday and Saturday card during the International. Kelsea Lewis (Salisbury, NB) and Chase MacKay (Bear Cove, NS) have feature wins to their credit thus far in 2021. While both have several wins on their resume at Petty International Raceway in Bandolero competition, neither have a River Glade International victory to their credit. This weekend, they, along the other rising stars of our sport, will have a pair of chances to put their name down as a winner.
Recently added, the Legend division will complete the Friday night card.
Fans and teams are reminded to practice social distancing during their time at Petty International Raceway and a complete list of updated COVID-19 restrictions in regards to Petty Raceway can be viewed online at www.PettyRaceway.com.
By Petty International Raceway