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Harris & Dutcher Steal the Show at Back to School Smash; Tucker Officially Crowned 2019 Champion!


On a full moon Saturday night with a misty fog in the air, it was Riley Harris (#1), grandson of Maritime Motorsports Hall of Famer Frank McKenzie, outlasting the large field of demo cars to park his truck in victory lane during the Back to School Smash Demo.


Harris made the final hit on Colby Buggie (#738) to wrap up one of the best Demo’s seen in quite some time. Chris Sickles (#03) would finish 3rd. Of the 22 Demo cars in attendance, 15 would start the Back to School Smash Demo. Racing and demo action were delayed by 2 hours as spotty afternoon showers created a slick wet racing surface. The delay meant stock car drivers had barely any practice, however, a nice crowd waited out the weather, and were treated to stock car racing and demo action under the lights!


On the points side of things, Kevin Tucker put an exclamation mark on his 2019 championship campaign on Saturday night. Tucker entered 2 cars in the Demo, one with his primary number (#87) to count points towards, and a second car to put on a show with. Tucker won 3 of the 5 preliminary events, taking the Dash for Cash and Figure 8 races with his primary car, while he claimed the Back-Up race in his “back-up” car - which therefore didn’t count towards his overall total. Tucker was also on the verge of winning the Kidney Race, only to lose out to Adam Plourde (#52) on the final lap. Mini Stock driver Chantel Ackles won the 9-car Powder Puff race driving for Joey Pitre (#20), in the most competitive Powder Puff race seen in quite some time!


Final points are still being tabulated, but unofficially it looks as if defending champion Joey Pitre managed to steal 2nd place in the final points, with Jacob Smith (#29) hanging on for 3rd. Also, unofficially, Alexander MacIntosh (#17) and Colby Buggie (#738) will be 4th and 5th in points, but their exact placings is still being finalized. When official, full points standings will be released on our website!


Veteran stock car driver Zean Dutcher (#55) has won many big races in the Sportsman division throughout his career, and he added another one to his resume on Saturday night, as he took the win in the Atlantic Modified Tour 50 lap feature. Dutcher’s win marked his first career feature win in the Modified division. Dutcher had to hold off a hard charging Joe Hoyt (#17) over the final run of the race, with the 2 drivers making contact on occasions as they battled hard for the victory. Miramichi Modified points leader Brandon Skidmore (#84) rounded out the podium, while Braxton Stafford (#91) edged Travis Conroy (#7) at the line for 4th place.


Dutcher assumed the lead on the 16th lap of the race after race leader Braxton Stafford spun coming off of turn 4. Dutcher would lead the final 35 laps en route to victory. A total of 4 cautions slowed the race, the first 2 both came on the 2nd lap of the race. One was for debris, while rookie Tyson Donovan (#63) spun in turn 2 on the ensuing restart. Stafford’s spin would bring out the 3rd caution, while a fire on Donovan’s car brought out the 4th and final caution.


Hoyt and Stafford captured heat races for the Modified division.


Unofficially, Brandon Skidmore will enter the final Modified race of 2019 at Speedway Miramichi with a 5-point lead over Joe Hoyt. Not far behind is defending Miramichi Modified champion Doug Matchett (#75) who is 7 points back, followed by Braxton Stafford and Kim Hallihan (#97) who are 10 and 11 points behind respectively.


In Street Stock action, James Matchett (#55) and Chris Wilson (#2W) put on a show in their 30-lap feature. Matchett jumped out to an early lead, but Wilson reeled him in over the caution free race, with Wilson getting to the outside of Matchett on several occasions. Nonetheless, Matchett was able to hold on to win his 2nd feature in a row, with Wilson settling for 2nd. Rookie Jared Tozer (#51) earned his first podium in his first race in Miramichi of 2019, while Bryar Ellis (#95) and Jamie Jardine (#10) rounded out the top 5. Wilson picked up the victory in the 10-lap heat race.


Heading into the final race of 2019, The Very Best Fall Shootout Street Stock 100, Chris Wilson has expanded his lead in the point standings. Wilson now has a 25-point lead over Jardine as he aims to grab his 1st championship. Meanwhile, James Matchett finds himself in a podium spot, as he now sits 3rd in points.


JR Lawson (#81) once again dominated in the Mini Stock class, as he took the lead just before the halfway point of the feature and drove away to score his 4th consecutive victory, and to remain undefeated in feature racing in 2019. Chante Ackles (#30) would finish 2nd, with Michael Savoie (#00) picking up his 3rd podium of the year in 3rd. Guy Basque (#27) and Mathieu Mallett (#80) would round out the top 5. Basque took the victory in the 10-lap heat race.


Lawson extended his points lead thanks to his feature win, although not by much as a DNF in the Heat race zeroed out any potential gains. Lawson will enter the final race with a 14-point lead over his teammate Ackles.


Robert Legere (#04) made a last lap pass on Darcy O’Neill (#68) to capture the victory in the 20 lap Dukes feature. After winning the heat race, it looked as if it was going to be O’Neill’s night, but Legere made the late pass to score the win. Rookie Jonathan Dickson (#3) rounded out the podium.


Heading into the final race, all Legere will need to do is start to clinch the 2019 Dukes championship, which would be a record setting 5th track championship for him.


Who says mini vans can’t spin? Jay Skerry sacrificed his mini van he was planning to use for the demo, and it resulted in him being named the winner of the burnout competition!


With the completion of the Back to School Smash, only 1 event remains for the 2019 season at Speedway Miramichi. Saturday October 5th will be the season finale, and it will be huge! The annual “The Very Best Fall Shootout” will be headlined by a 100 lap Street Stock race, the year end Demolition Blowout, a 50 lap Mini Stock race, the Atlantic Modified Tour finale, plus the crowning of champions across all 4 stock car racing classes! This year end mega-event is considered one of the top grassroots racing events in Atlantic Canada, and you will not want to miss it! More details on this race will be coming soon!


Back to School Smash Podium

1. Riley Harris #1

2. Colby Buggie #738

3. Chris Sickles #03


Modified 50 Results

1. Zean Dutcher #55

2. Joe Hoyt #17

3. Brandon Skidmore #84

4. Braxton Stafford #91

5. Travis Conroy #7

6. Doug Matchett #75

7. Kevin Brideau #14

8. Yves McCray #58

9. Kim Hallihan #97

10. Tyson Donovan #63


Street Stock 30 Results

1. James Matchett #55

2. Chris Wilson #2W

3. Jared Tozer #51

4. Bryar Ellis #95

5. Jamie Jardine #10


Mini Stock 30 Results

1. JR Lawson #81

2. Chantel Ackles #30

3. Michael Savoie #00

4. Guy Basque #27

5. Mathieu Mallett #80

6. Zean Dutcher #55

7. Mitchell Poirier #28


Dukes 20 Results

1. Robert Legere #04

2. Darcy O’Neill #68

3. Jonathan Dickson #3


Dash for Cash Podium

1. Kevin Tucker #87

2. Adam Plourde #52

3. Norm Robichaud #666


Powder Puff Podium

1. Chantel Ackles #20

2. Sam Jardine #17

3. Candace Sherrard #1


Back-Up Race

1. Kevin Tucker #870

2. Adam Plourde #52

3. Joey Pitre #20


Tire Race

1. Adam Plourde #52

2. Kevin Tucker #87

3. Dawson Cripps #25


Figure 8 Race

1. Kevin Tucker #87

2. Jay Skerry #51

3. Josh Corcoran #04

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Background Photo Credit Mike Francis (Used with permission)