JAMES RIVER, NS (July 10, 2018) – The stage is set for the biggest annual summer sporting event in Nova Scotia, the IWK 250 presented by Steve Lewis, this weekend at Riverside International Speedway.
This year’s special guest celebrity driver is Kenny Wallace, one of NASCAR’s most popular personalities and a member of the FOX Sports Racing NASCAR broadcast team.
Wallace, from St. Louis, Missouri, will take on a stout field of top stock car racers from six provinces and one other state. Thirty-seven teams have filed their entry form for the event in hopes of taking home the victory which includes a guaranteed $10,000.00, a custom-made IWK 250 champions trophy, and see their name engraved on the perpetual trophy for the event, the John W. Chisholm Memorial Cup.
Just announced as a new addition to the weekend, Wallace will make a special appearance at the track Friday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for an autograph session. Wallace will be set up to meet fans in the midway area behind the tower. This is in addition to the scheduled autograph session on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. as part of the IWK 250 pre-race show. Besides the IWK 250 on Saturday, fans can enjoy the exciting racing action on Friday with the Henry’s AUTOPRO 150 for the NAPA Sportsman Series and the Maritime Legends Challenge for the Maritime League of Legends. Altogether, to-date, 82 teams have registered to compete in the three races.
The weekend kicks off Thursday with the IWK 250 Test Fest and Tailgate Party featuring Signal Hill, Canada’s east coast acoustic party band. And, fans will enjoy a special tribute to a legendary Canadian stock car racer with deep Riverside roots, the late Don Biederman. Two vintage race cars which have been restored in his memory will be on display at the track on Friday and Saturday.
Since its inception in 2007, the IWK 250 has raised awareness and more than $438,000.00 for the IWK Foundation.
Storylines for the weekend follow…
IWK 250 Entry List is Stacked With Talent
The expected entry list for the IWK 250 sits at 37 teams including drivers from six provinces and two states. There are five IWK 250 race champions (Dylan Blenkhorn, Donald Chisholm, John Flemming, Darren MacKinnon, and Kent Vincent), seven pro stock series and division champions (Chisholm, Flemming, Cassius Clark, Cole Butcher, Shawn Turple, Greg Fahey, Dave O’Blenis) who combined have 17 super late model/pro stock titles, and two drivers who can become the Maritime’s first-ever Triple Crown winner (Clark and Craig Slaunwhite). The complete expected entry list can be found online at RiversideSpeedway.ca.
Wallace Coming to Win
Kenny Wallace is coming to the IWK 250 with one thing in mind: winning. Wallace announced his entry in March, hand-picking the IWK 250 as one of a few asphalt races he will run this year. With over 900 NASCAR starts in his career, the mid-west native runs mostly dirt cars these days but is quick to point out his roots are on asphalt. He keeps a busy schedule on the track and working with FOX Sports Racing as a member of their NASCAR broadcast team. His most recent win came just last week in his dirt car.
Heat Races Will be Intense
With 37 teams entered in the IWK 250 and attempting to qualify for a 30-car starting grid, the Atlantic Tiltload Heat races will be fierce. The top four in each of an anticipated five heat races will transfer to set the top 20 in the lineup then the rest will run the Last Chance Race in which the top two will transfer to the IWK 250. The balance of the starting spots will be set with provisional spots as determined by PST and track officials. Qualifying heat races to set the starting grid for the IWK 250 will start Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Long Haul Heroes
With the IWK 250 being a championship points race for the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour (PST), series regulars will be looking to protect their ‘turf’ against drivers from outside the region who are making the long trek to Riverside for the event. Besides Wallace, fans will see two NASCAR Pinty’s Series drivers from Ontario, Jason Hathaway, and J.R. Fitzpatrick, Maine’s Cassius Clark will drive the Pictou-based King Racing entry, Josh Collins will represent Newfoundland, and two Sydney (NS) natives, Kyle Reid and Chris Reid, will travel from their homes in Alberta.
Six sets of siblings will compete at Riverside over the IWK 250 weekend. On Friday brothers Russell Smith, Jr. and Deven Smith and Corey Breen and Jeffrey Breen will go head-to-head in the Henry’s AUTOPRO Sportsman 150, and brothers Waylon Farrell and Will Farrell and brother/sister Adam Meehan and Emily Meehan will battle for family bragging rights in the Maritime Legends Challenge. On Saturday, brothers Cole Butcher and Jarrett Butcher and Kyle Reid and Chris Reid will duke it out in the IWK 250.
Looking for Back-to-Back Wins
Three drivers have the chance to go back-to-back in Victory Lane over the IWK 250 Super Race Weekend. Colby Smith won the sportsman race last two years, Cory Hall won the Legends Cars race, and Dylan Blenkhorn is the 2017 IWK 250 champion.
Three drivers are doing the double over the IWK 250 weekend. Chris Reid and Waylon Farrell have entered both the IWK 250 and the Henry’s AUTOPRO Sportsman 150 for a combined total of 400 laps of competition on the high banks of Riverside International Speedway, and Waylon Farrell has entered the IWk 250 and the Maritime Legends Challenge for a total of 300 laps.
Six Down, Six to Go
The IWK 250 marks the halfway point in the PST chase for the championship. Cole Butcher leads the series current point standings followed by Shawn Turple and Craig Slaunwhite in second and third place, respectively. Dylan Blenkhorn and Darren MacKinnon round out the top five of the 37 drivers who have competed with the series season-to-date. The IWK 250 is a points race for the PST competitors so while racing for the glory of winning the event is one thing, gaining points is also on their radar. Complete series standings can be found online at www.maritimeprostocktour.com.
The Quest for the Cup, the John W. Chisholm Memorial Cup
The majestic custom-made trophy was unveiled in 2015 and instantly became a symbol of excellence representing its namesake, the late John Chisholm – founder and builder of Riverside International Speedway and co-founder of the IWK 250. Having their name engraved on this majestic custom-made trophy is equally as meaningful as all the other accolades that go with being an IWK 250 Champion.
It’s a Grand Show, 100 Grand
Total offerings for the weekend are over $100,000.00. The winner of the IWK 250 is guaranteed $10,000.00 and can take home as much as $17,100.00.
While 2017 marks the 12th edition of the IWK 250, Riverside has hosted this historic event since 1977 when Ontario’s Billy Watson became the inaugural winner. Other former “Riverside 250” winners include the late Scott Fraser (six wins), the late Don Biederman (three wins), five-time Maritime champion Greg Sewart (two wins), Maritime racing legend Frank Fraser (two wins), North America short track legend Junior Hanley (two wins), four-time Maritime champion Terry Clattenburg, two-time Maritime champion Rollie MacDonald, Maritime racing veteran Mike MacKenzie, Maine’s Ben Rowe, Blenkhorn, Chisholm, Flemming, MacKinnon, Vincent, Halifax’s Wayne Smith and Fredericton’s NB’s Shawn Tucker. Scott Fraser, Sewart, Biederman, MacDonald, and Hanley are members of both the Canadian and Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame, and Frank Fraser, Clattenburg, and MacKenzie are members of the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Opening Act – Sportsman & Legends On Track Friday Night
The NAPA Sportsman Series will see round two of five in their 2018 title chase on Friday with the Henry’s AUTOPRO 150. Twenty-one drivers have entered the race to-date with several “outsiders” looking to challenge series regulars. With a $10,000 purse, this race is the richest on the regional sportsman circuit. Also on the card Friday night is the Maritime Legends Challenge sanctioned by the Maritime League of Legends, round three of 10 in the series chase for the championship; last year’s edition of this event saw one of the biggest Legends fields ever – with 23 drivers already entered this year is shaping up to be a close second. This event is one of two stops at Riverside for the series this year. Both series will qualify with heat races to set the starting grids for the features. Both races are championship points races for their respective sanctioning series.
Toromont Cat Kids Tent
The Toromont Cat Kids Tent will be alongside Kenny Wallace and the Cat Car for Kids during the autograph session (5:30 p.m. on Saturday) and have free goodies for the kids.
Fans Urged to Get Advance Tickets & Arrive Early
With a large crowd expected to attend the IWK 250 fans who want to avoid line-ups are encouraged to take advantage of advance ticket sales and to arrive early. Plenty of good seats remain and can be purchased using the Order & Pay Online system at RiversideSpeedway.ca. Advance ticket sales close Thursday, July 12 at 1 p.m. Tickets will be available at the track box office starting at 4 p.m. Friday and at Noon on Saturday. Please note reserved seats are only available in advance so must be purchased by Thursday, July 12. Fans with advance tickets will save $ on their purchase and be able to use the express entry lane at the gate on race day.
Anyone planning to bring any type of OHV to Riverside should be sure they are in compliance with revised guidelines for their use on track owned/managed property. Non-compliance will result in non-use. Visit RiversideSpeedway.ca for details.
Camping at the IWK 250
Anyone planning to camp at Riverside over the IWK 250 weekend who does not have a confirmed campsite can have their name added to the waitlist by using the form found in the ‘Order & Pay Online’ section at www.RiversideSpeedway.ca. The track camping areas are full but management is hoping to secure more space. All campers (RVs, tents, etc.) require a permit to park overnight on Riverside owned or operated property from July 10 to July 16.
Mark Your Calendar
Thursday evening it’s the IWK 250 Test Fest & Tailgate Party featuring Signal Hill. The IWK 250 practice session runs from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (free admission from 4:30 to 6:30) and the concert starts at 9 p.m. – the box office opens at 7 p.m. Racing starts Friday at 7 p.m.; the box office and grandstand open at 4 p.m. On Saturday the grandstand opens at Noon; Atlantic Tiltload Heat Races start at 3:30 p.m., the pre-race show featuring an autograph session and live entertainment with “Jug in Hand” is at 5:30 p.m. The Opening Ceremony starts at 7 p.m., followed by the green flag for the IWK 250.
Riverside International Speedway is recognized as a premiere stock racing facility in Canada. The 1/3-mile high banked asphalt oval roars to action several times a year for special events. It is the home for eastern Canada’s only NASCAR event, and of the IWK 250 – widely known as the best stock car race in Canada. Located in James River, between New Glasgow and Antigonish, the facility is easily accessible at exit 30 on Trans Canada Highway 104. For more information call 902.863.2410 or click www.riversidespeedway.ca.
—Riverside International Speedway Press Release
—Photo Credit: Riverside International Speedway