Two days after the completion of the prestigious IWK 250 at Riverside Speedway (NS) an official winner has been declared by Pro Stock Tour officials. Race winner Cassius Clark, runner-up finisher Dave O’Blenis and fifth-place finisher J.R. Fitzpatrick have all been disqualified for unapproved carburetors.
NASCAR personality and Dirt Modified racer Kenny Wallace has been named the official winner of the race.
Tour officials announced the official results Tuesday night via a press release, stating that “following post-race inspection at the IWK 250 three cars were disqualified for unapproved carburetors.”
According to Andrew Hicken, the Crew Chief for Cassius Clark and King Racing, the rule in question involved the air bleeds on the carburetors.
“The air bleeds on the top of the carburetor didn’t pass their gauge,” Hicken told Speed51.com Tuesday evening. “Talking with BLP and some other carburetor manufacturers and my own carburetor builder there is a tolerance that is allowed, two to four thousand. If we had been allowed that tolerance we were good, but it wasn’t allowed.”
Hicken went onto explain that, based on what he was told by officials, the rule allows for a measurement of 0.073” for the air bleeds.
“Maybe we were a thousand or two over that,” Hicken stated. “They said that’s what their tool was, but they could never provide a stock Holley number. Our carburetor is supposed to be stock.
“It was an oversight on my part. I didn’t even know it was a rule to tell you the truth. People may say you’re full of s---. Well, whatever. I’m not a carburetor guy. I know when one works and I know when one doesn’t.”
Speed51.com reached out to Pro Stock Tour officials for additional information on the rule violation; however, our attempts to reach Tech Director Wayne Smith and other series officials were unsuccessful Tuesday night.
According to Hicken, series officials confiscated the carburetors Sunday evening after the completion of the race.
“They just held onto them and made a couple phone calls,” Hicken claimed. “They talked to one carburetor builder as far as I know and that was it. They called Holley, but the agreement the tech guy and I had last night when we talked was that they were going to hold off on their decision for another day until today. I wanted numbers on paper from Holley and today they made their decision and couldn’t produce those numbers. It is what it is. They make the call and they’re the ones who swing the hammer.”
Hicken told Speed51.com that the carburetor on Cassius Clark’s No. 13 was a stock Holley carburetor that he purchased prior to the 2016 Oxford 250. He also acknowledged that O’Blenis, the second-place finisher, also purchased the same carburetor through him.
“I bought the same carburetor that I had,” Hicken said. “It was just a mistake on my part. There was no intent. I would never put my customers through something like this. I’m not that type of a racer. I’ll race everybody heads up all day long. That’s why I enjoy going to the Snowball Derby because you know you’re heads up with everybody there.”
While getting ready to race his Dirt Modified at Eldora Speedway (OH) Tuesday night, Wallace was shocked to hear that he had been named the official winner of the IWK 250.
“I had just a couple minutes to think about it, so this is basically my official thought: I would have rather those top two in front of me be legal and me just finish third,” Wallace began. “But unfortunately, I hear these stories happen in the Late Models all the time. I accept the win. I’m completely honored to win one of Canada’s biggest races. To win the IWK 250 and be the winner, I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. It’s just unbelievable.”
Cole Butcher, who crossed the finish line fourth Sunday afternoon, has been credited with a second-place finish. Craig Slaunwhite rounded out the podium in the official results after originally finishing sixth.
Speed51.com will update this story if additional updates become available.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Maritime Pro Stock Tour