RIVER GLADE, N.B.: If anyone needs a good finish on the Parts for Trucks Maritime Pro Stock Tour, it’s Shawn Turple.
Even though it’s still early—two of just 12 races have been run—Turple has finishes of sixth and ninth. The latter looked as if it would be a higher finish, until a late race incident saw him collide with race leader Jon Hicken as the caution flew for another incident with just nine laps left in the Lucas Oil 100, held June 2 at Petty International Speedway in River Glade, N.B., near Petitcodiac.
Hicken jammed on his brakes to slow up as he crossed the start finish line on lap 90 as the tour official on the flag stand flew the caution; however, Turple, of Enfield, couldn’t get on the brakes on his No. 0 Dexter Construction-Municipal Group machine as quick and ran into the No. 5 of Hicken.
While the damage was mostly cosmetic, but after looking at the left fender that was still attached and dragging alongside Turple’s car, tour officials decided he needed to remove it before going back to racing, sending him to the attention of his pit crew. When he returned to the track, Turple restarted in 10th place, the last car of 23 on the lead lap. He managed to get by Shubenacadie’s Frankie Fraser Jr., in the No. 15, for ninth place, where he would end up.
“We just couldn’t get on the brakes as quick as he did,” said a dejected Turple. “I don’t know what happened.”
He didn’t think the fender was causing any issue, but tour officials thought otherwise.
“I thought I could have raced with it, but obviously they didn’t because they said I had to go in and get it cut away,” he said.
For his part, Hicken didn’t know what happened that led to Turple getting into him.
“I backed off for that last caution, I don’t if his spotter never told him or what,” said Hicken. “The car was great. We figured we had a good car all day, and just couldn’t wait to get racing. It turned out pretty good.”
Fraser, of Shubenacadie, came home 10th in the R and R Kinsman-Scott Fraser Racing machine—tops amongst the six rookies in the race, and was awarded the Exide Batteries ‘Rookie of the Race’ for his efforts.
“I thought we ran decent,” said Fraser, admitting his crew worked their butts off to make the car better than what it was in practice. “We got it much better for the feature. We made a big super change right before the feature, and we didn’t quite exactly get it so I made a couple pits, and Colby and the crew made a couple adjustments on it.
“That last time, the car came to life and we finished just about where we deserved to. Top 10, and to be able to run with the likes of Shawn (Turple), Craig (Slaunwhite), and (John) Flemming, I’m really happy with the way we handled ourselves.
Meanwhile, it wasn’t the finish Dutch Settlement’s Leonard Boutilier was looking for in his No. 45 Streamline Auto Glass machine.
“We were no where’s near where I wanted to be,” said Boutilier. “I thought we were better than that in practice. We qualified not too bad, third in the heat race, and I was fairly happy with the car, but it went away in the race.”
Boutilier and his spotter were going back and forth during several caution laps discussing where they should be placed as cars that brought out the yellow flag would end up ahead of them, and others that made pit stops did so as well.
“There was a bit of confusion,” he said. “I think there was, a lot of cars came in to the pits and they seemed to roll back by you when they come out. I don’t know how that works. I know before I’ve come to the pits on yellow, and got sent to the back of the pack. It’s racing.”
In other weekend races at Petty, Justin MacNeil claimed the checkered flag in the Maritime League of Legends feature on June 2. Rawdon Gold Mines “Miss Rawdon Rocket” Emily Meehan finished 15th of 18 drivers.
On June 1, as part of the track’s Sportsman series and racing series, Cole Tanner brought home a first place finish in his heat, before finishing second in the Leisure Days RV bandolero feature race, won by Cole Boudreau.
Braden Langille, of Shubenacadie, was fifth, Kennetcook’s Luke Ettinger was in 10th in the No. 62, while Adam Meehan came home in 12th. There were 15 bandoleros in the race.
The Pro Stock drivers now prepare for a busy stretch of four races over the next month, before getting a week’s break. That stretch starts at Riverside Speedway in James River, near Antigonish, on June 16, at 6 p.m., for the Ron MacGillivray 100. Atlantic Tiltload Time Trials start at 5:10 p.m.
Other races include Lockhart Truck Centre 100 at Scotia Speedworld on June 23; on June 30 they’ll be at Oyster Bed Raceway in P.E.I. for the Lucas Oil 100; and Speedway 660 in Geary, N.B., for a 100 lap feature on July 7.