The Late Model Division at Oyster Bed Speedway has been filled this season with tight racing, driver outbursts and some healthy rivalries developing between a number of drivers on the circuit.
Add in the fact that this weekend the track in Oyster Bed is opening the pits to cars throughout the Maritimes and throwing out a healthy size purse for the drivers and an exciting card of racing is expected tonight.
Both sportsman and late model cars from the Maritimes are invited to participate in the 100- lap shootout.
Qualifying heat races along with semifinals and a B feature, if necessary, will set the field for the 100-lap feature.
Racing starts at 7 p.m., with the pits opening in early afternoon.
Adding to the intrigue, track officials and drivers have agreed to make it a points race for the local season championship and guaranteed to the winner of the race will be $1,000 while the top finishing sportsman car will get $500 plus regular prize money. The overall purse is $8,000.
Kris Fournier, Speedway driver representative and defending division champion, said despite dominance by current division leader Robbie MacEwen, many drivers are having good seasons.
As proof, the top three drivers in the division are separated by 40 points.
“You have four different drivers with feature wins this season. Allison MacKinnon had one of his best runs in last weekend’s feature leading many laps, eventually finishing second. A lot of drivers are beginning to narrow the gap and it is highly competitive out there," said Fournier, who has three victories including a feature win over his last three weekends. "There has been some healthy rivalries developing this season and that is a component that the fans love to see. I can tell you that all the drivers in this division try their best to keep their noses clean, but sometimes things happen in the heat of the moment and it’s the fans who win in the end.”
With some expressed interest from various drivers throughout the two other Maritimes provinces, organizers are hoping for a good field, and there have been rumblings former some late model drivers now in the pro stock ranks may make an appearance at the shootout, although the Speedway hasn't confined anything.
Sportsman cars from the mainland will be able to run their rules (complete with the Maritime tracks rules amendments) with the addition of being able to purchase Oyster Bed Speedway track tires.
The Late Model Division runs on a used Hoosier pro stock tire. Tires are available for $30 each on a first come, first serve basis. Teams may also use their used Sportsman tires or source their own used tire should they opt to do so. No new tires may be used in this event.
From Jerry MacDonald, with files from Tim Terry of www.timscorner.ca;