Seventeen-year-old Ryley MacIntosh (#506) had a night he will never forget. The young driver, and brother of Demo competitor Alex MacIntosh (#17), started his first career Demolition Derby Saturday during the COVID Crash for Cash, and left with $2000 and a 4-foot tall trophy. MacIntosh was the last car running after video review and was credited with the win.
“It feels awesome, especially for my first Demo,” a shocked and thrilled MacIntosh said in victory lane. “It’s actually insane. It’s the first of many I’ll just say that.”
Originally scored the winner, video review resulted in Marc-Andre Benoit (#81) being awarded second place in the final Demo, while Lionel Breau (#028) picked up the final podium position. For Benoit, his performance was unpopular amongst fans. The Speedway Miramichi Enforcer made several hits on Benoit encouraging him to make more contact with other cars, which came to the delight and cheers from the crowd. While race control timed Benoit as maintaining his 2-minute time limit to make contact, the crowd rained a shower of discontent in the form of very passionate “boo’s” directed towards the driver.
A whopping 28 cars started the COVID Crash for Cash Demolition out of the 41 cars in the pit area – tying the biggest car count in the past decade. October of 2015 was the last time 41 cars were in the pits for a Demolition. A sell-out crowd was on hand to watch the show, with COVID-19 restrictions limiting the crowd size to maintain physical distancing. “The crowd was amazing and there were so many people here cheering us on,” Demo winner MacIntosh said.
In preliminary action, Marc-Andre Benoit was the guy to beat as he managed to capture the Figure 8 race victory with a last lap pass on Norm Robichaud (#666). Robichaud appeared destined for victory until a flat tire halted his progress. Robichaud attempted to pass Benoit back even with the flat tire but came up just short. Eleven cars started the Figure 8 race.
Benoit was also the winner of the 5-lap Back-Up race. The craziest part of the Back-Up race came on the opening lap when the race had to be red flagged due to a car parked on the front stretch with the driver’s door exposed. While some drivers were slowing down for the red flag, some were unaware and kept driving resulting in several heavy hits. Twenty-nine cars started the Back-Up race.
Possibly the single wildest moment from the entire night came from the opening lap of the
Dash for Cash, when Jonathan Leclair (#10) got airborne and rolled in the middle of turns 3 and 4. Leclair would be okay, and in fact would be back on track with the same car later in the night. Once the red flag was lifted, it was Mitch Brideau (#22) taking home the big pay day winning over Daniel Gosse (#21x) and Marc-Andre Benoit. Thirty-six cars took the green flag for the Dash for Cash.
The Kidney race was a battle right to the line. Cory Mourant (#55) led much of the race but lost the lead late and instead it was a close finish at the line with Lindsay Stymiest (#333) scoring the checkered flag over Bobby Clark (#194). Twenty-eight cars started the 5-lap affair.
In Powder Puff action, Amber Sickles (#03A) drove to victory over Monique Benoit (#12x). The Powder Puff race saw a fair dose of excitement with some ladies getting up on the wheel and getting aggressive from the drop of the green flag. Nine cars started the race.
In Street Stock action, the respectful rivalry between Chris Wilson (#2W) and Michael Cormier (#68) etched another chapter and fans got a treat watching the pair battle. Both drivers are defending champions at their respective home tracks, and Cormier travels all throughout the Maritimes in effort of winning a race at every track – with Miramichi still being on the bucket list. On Saturday, the pair started on the front row and ran bumper to bumper for almost the entirety of the 35-lap feature, before Wilson opened up a bit of the gap in the closing laps en route to scoring the victory, his 3rd of the season. Post-race, Cormier offered up a challenge to Wilson - “I hope to see him at Petty next race,” Cormier said.
Bryar Ellis (#95) had another solid performance, picking up a 3rd place finish on the podium. Jamie Jardine (#10) finished in 4th place while Robert Legere (#04) rounded out the top 5. Darcy O’Neill (#68) challenged for a podium position early in the race but some mechanical glitches resulted in O’Neill heading to the pits early. The 35-lap feature was slowed by a single caution for Jardine spinning in turn 4. Wilson was the winner of the 10-lap heat race.
The new Bomber’s class debut was an overwhelming success with some close action being contested. Mike Burns (#28) made an aggressive 3-wide move on the opening lap to take the lead and would lead the majority of the race, before Jacob Smith (#29) retook the lead in the closing laps. Smith never looked back en route to victory in the 20-lap feature. Burns was poised to finish in the runner-up position, until a blown tire in the final laps ended his run. Adam Plourde (#52) took advantage to finish 2nd, while Jonathan Dickson (#3), the man who can and will drift anything, capitalized to finish in 3rd. Smith was also the winner of the 10-lap heat race.
An excellent 35-lap Mini Stock feature kept the fans on the edge of their seat. Mathieu Mallett (#80), who won the 10-lap heat race, jumped out to the early lead before Chantel Ackles (#30) made the move to take the top spot. Ackles would go on to lead the most laps in the race but was pressured throughout the race by teammate JR Lawson (#81). Just shy of 10 laps to go, Lawson would make the move to take the lead en route to his 12th career victory at Speedway Miramichi. Ackles would come home in 2nd, with Mallett in 3rd. Trevor Smith (#33) and Conrad Murphy (#89) rounded out the top 5.
A single caution slowed the 35-lap feature, which came on the 14th lap of the race for an incident in turn 3 between Trevor Smith and Grayson Dutcher (#55).
Bobby Young found redemption in the Burnout Competition. His last attempt resulted in a blown engine, but this year he received the most applause and was awarded the victory out of a field of 8 cars.
Speedway Miramichi would like to thank all the drivers and fans for their patience and support on Saturday. An overwhelming crowd was in attendance filling the pits and grandstands to capacity when accounting for COVID restrictions.
Points will be updated early in the week. The next event at Speedway Miramichi is Saturday August 8th, with The Day of 8’s Figure 8 Enduro! This is a popular event amongst fans and drivers, you won’t want to miss it!
COVID Crash for Cash Demolition Podium
1. Ryley MacIntosh #506
2. Marc-Andre Benoit #81
3. Lionel Breau #028
Figure 8 Race – Marc-Andre Benoit #81 Kidney Race – Lindsay Stymiest #333 Back-Up Race – Marc-Andre Benoit #81 Powder Puff – Amber Sickles #03A Dash for Cash – Mitch Brideau #22
Street Stock 35 Lap Feature Results
1. Chris Wilson #2W
2. Michael Cormier #68
3. Bryar Ellis #95
4. Jamie Jardine #10
5. Robert Legere #04
6. Darcy O’Neill #68
Bomber 20 Lap Feature Results
1. Jacob Smith #29
2. Adam Plourde #52
3. Jonathan Dickson #3
4. Mike Burns #28
5. Dawson Cripps #25
6. Kevin Tucker #87
7. Riley Harris #1
Mini Stock 35 Lap Feature Results
1. JR Lawson #81
2. Chantel Ackles #30
3. Mathieu Mallett #80
4. Trevor Smith #33
5. Conrad Murphy #89
6. Mitchell Poirier #28
7. Grayson Dutcher #55
8. Guy Basque #27