As part of Speedway Miramichi's 50th Anniversary Celebrations, we are pleased to present a special feature celebrating Speedway Miramichi's 50 Most Successful Drivers!
This list has been compiled after 4 months of rigorous debate, research, and consulting numerous people who have been involved in racing. The process began via an informal poll on the "Miramichi City Speedway" group. From there, the long list of people were consulted, including; past and present track officials, drivers, long-time fans, and racing historians. Methods such as going through past programs were also used.
Through this process, over 150 drivers were "nominated" for consideration. From there, work began on narrowing the list to 50. Again, numerous people were consulted, and each drivers accomplishments were weighed. Among the accomplishments which had a greater weighing included championships, race wins, strong points runs, level of competition in which they competed against, and also the length of their respective careers to an extent.
In the end, the list was narrowed down to 50 drivers, along with 11 drivers who didn't make the top 50, but are "Honourable Mentions" due to their successes.
It should be noted that a drivers exclusion from this list does not discredit their accomplishments, or driving abilities. All 150 drivers considered could have arguably been on the list. We also hope that no one is offended by this in any way, as its purpose is to bring back memories from the speedway.
This is all part of our 50th Anniversary Celebrations! We invite everyone to come out this month to kick off our 50th year! May 20th is the Pure Adrenaline Productions Family Day Celebration Stunt Show, and then May 26th is the 50th Anniversary Stock Car Opener, featuring the Brunswick 100 Street Stock race, and the Spring Smash Demo!
Without further adieu, we present you with the 50 Most Successful Drivers in Speedway Miramichi history!
Speedway Miramichi's 50 Most Successful Drivers
Blaine Moses was one of the most successful drivers during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. In 1996 he began to make his presence felt in Street Stock, and in 1997 he broke through by winning the Street Stock championship. The following year Blaine transitioned over to Sportsman where he continued his success, scoring several more wins and consistently pointing his way to podium finishes in year end points.
Brad McLean has found success in everything he has driven at Speedway Miramichi. With a career that stretches over 23 years, Brad is famous for his iconic black #13 Street Stock/Dukes car. Brad is the 2006 Dukes Champion, and the 2006 Demolition champion. He has won many races and demos; some notable wins include the 2013 Street Stock 75, the 2016 Street Stock 50, and the 2017 Chi City Showdown Street Stock 100 (where he started last and won).
A 7-time champion in maritime racing, Brad Mann seen much success in his early days of racing Sportsman at Speedway Miramichi. Wins and championships, including the 1994 Sportsman championship and two Brunswick 100 wins, made Mann one of the best to ever race in Miramichi. He would go on to find success racing Pro Stocks at Speedway 660 and on the Maritime Pro Stock Tour, before retiring in 2014. It should be noted that Brad was also the owner of the track for a few years as well.
Brad Tozer is remembered as a successful Sportsman driver during the mid 90’s. He came onto the racing scene in style, winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 1995. 1996 was his breakout year, as Brad scored many wins, including the Brunswick 100, en route to the 1996 Sportsman championship. Shortly after Brad would move up to the MASCAR tour, where he scored a handful of top 5’s during races in Miramichi.
When the Miramichi Speedway inaugurally opened, Brent Jay was a dominant driver. Many don’t remember Brent Jay, but that’s what happens over 50 years. Brent Jay picked up what is believed to be the first track championship in the history of Speedway Miramichi, back in the late 60’s. Those who remember Brent remember him as a great driver, who is in the history books as the first of many to win championships in Miramichi. Even after he finished driving, Brent sponsored many drivers at the track over the years.
While Brian Ashton was a championship Sportsman driver in Miramichi, perhaps the most memorable thing is Brian’s iconic #3 car, with the short cutlass body, unique compared to any other car on the track. Brian started his career in the former Bombers class, before moving up to Sportsman. During the mid to late 90’s, Brian kicked things into high gear and began winning a lot of races, pushing him to the 1997 Sportsman championship.
One of the most respected and successful drivers for over 2 decades, Chris Sickles wheeled car #03 to many victories. Chris started in 1990, and raced everything from the Bomber class, to Dukes, Street Stock, Mini Stock, and Demolition. Chris is possibly the best driver to never win a championship in the Street Stock class, missing the 1995 title by just a single point. The later years of Chris’s career saw him have most of his success winning Demolition events at the track.
Dave Clark first jumped behind the wheel of a racecar in 1994, and never looked back. He would go on to win the 1995 Street Stock/Dukes championship, along with many feature wins. In the later years of his career, Dave competed in the Mini Stock class, where he also found success scoring several feature wins and coming close to a second track championship.
One of the most successful drivers in Maritime racing history, Dave O’Blenis’s career includes at least chapter of success which was written in Miramichi. Starting in 1994, Dave competed in the Street Stock class, where he won some races. He would then move up to Sportsman, where he found success, especially in recent years, where in 5 races from 2012-2016 he scored 4 podium finishes, including the victory in the 2013 Coors Light 125.
The son of well known and respected racer/race fan Floyd Goodwin, Derek Goodwin is one of the most successful drivers ever at Speedway Miramichi. With a career that spanned over 2 decades, Derek found success no matter what he raced. He may have won as many Street Stock races as anyone, and finished in the top 5 in points at least 7 times, 3 of which were championships. Those championships came in 1996, 2002, and 2003, before he briefly moved up to Sportsman. In the later years of his career, Derek ran races with the Eastern Super Mini Cup Series at Speedway Miramichi, collecting multiple podium finishes at the speedway.
Mr. Excitement has been nothing short of exciting at Speedway Miramichi since the track reopened in 2012. Competing with the same number as his grandfather Roy did, Doug has found success behind the wheel of his #75 Modified. Since the series started racing at Miramichi again in 2012, Doug holds the record for most wins at Speedway Miramichi in the Modified class. Doug has also competed in Demolitions, where he added even more wins to his resume. Watch for Doug to be in the points chase in 2018.
Acknowledged by many as a Demo great, Eddy Hay was not afraid to put it all on the line. He captured many wins in Demolitions and Demolition events, and backed up his talent by capturing the 2008 Demolition track championship at Speedway Miramichi. Before demos, he cut his teeth driving in the Dukes class for a number of years in the 80s.
A member of the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame and one of the most respected drivers from Miramichi, Frank McKenzie made his #1 famous over the years. A successful and sportsmanlike competitor, Frank competed and found success for many years in the Sportsman class. While he didn’t win a championship, he always threatened to win one and consistently picked up top 5 points finishes. After hanging up his helmet in the mid 90’s, Frank drove the pace car at the track and helped others build their cars.
A well respected driver, Frank Somers raced from before the current Speedway opened. Frank was one of just a few drivers who raced back then, and he kept racing all the way through into the late 80’s. Frank earned many wins, and picked up many grand slam victories. Franks and his #23 rightfully earned a spot to be among the best to ever compete in Miramichi. Some of his best years were those when the track first opened, such as 1983 when he finished 5th in points.
Frank Williston saw great success in the 80’s at Speedway Miramichi. Frank was always near the top of the points in the Sportsman class and picked up many wins along the way before moving up to the MASCAR tour in the late 80s, where he raced for many more years. When MASCAR came to Miramichi in the early 90’s, Williston was a fan favorite and strong competition for some of the Maritimes greatest drivers. Williston was the track owner on two separate occasions in the mid 80’s.
Best remembered for the days of driving car #10, Garth Creamer was always at the front of the pack in the Sportsman class during the late 80’s, and early to mid 90’s. Garth ran top 5 in the early 90’s, with some of his best years being in 1993 and 1994. Later in his career Garth cut back to a partial schedule, but he still contended for checkered flags every time he hit the track.
Gary Clark raced almost everything that could be raced at Speedway Miramichi, and has been successful all along the way. Clark is in a special class, having won championships in 3 different divisions. Clark won the 1990 Bombers championship, before moving up to Sportsman. He ran consistently well in Sportsman, but he finally broke through in 2001 to win the Sportsman championship. Gary ran the 4 Cylinder / Mini Stock class towards the end of the driving days, and in 2006 he won the 4 Cylinder championship, giving him 3 titles in 3 divisions.
Originally from the Miramichi, Jason Silliker’s career started in the Street Stock class in the 90’s, where he would win many races en route to the 1999 championship. In the early 2000’s, he moved up to the Sportsman division where he scored even more checkered flags. Jason eventually moved to Alberta, where he continued his successful career before becoming crew chief for his son’s racecar.
Drivers knew what was coming when they looked in the mirror and saw the big green #88 charging towards them. With a career that spanned from the early days of the track right through the mid 90s, Jerry Greene was a wheelman. He won many races and grand slams and could drive the outside like few others could. While a championship eluded him, he came close on numerous occasions, finishing in the top 3 of points. Jerrys talent can be seen on YouTube with a search of Douglastown Speedway – a video features him driving through the field to win a grand slam.
Jim MacPherson is another Maritime Sportsman legend, who’s biggest claim to fame in Miramichi came when Ernie McLean reopened the track in 1974 for the season. Many talented drivers competed for the title that year, but none had anything for MacPherson as he all but smoked the competition, winning many races en route to wrapping up the 1974 championship.
Any fan who attended races in Miramichi in the 2000’s will remember the #15 Green Machine charging hard around the track. With the same number on his car that his dad had success with, Joel Clancy piloted the #15 to many wins, while dueling against the likes of Brad MacLean, which led Joel to the 2007 Dukes Championship. When the track reopened in 2012, Joel returned to win multiple features in the Street Stock class. Joel has also periodically competed in the Demo class throughout his career, where he has always been entertaining to watch.
In the early days of the Dukes class, former track announcer John Underhill was one of the top competitors. Driving the #4, John won many races during the 80’s, and was near the top of the point standings almost every year. He picked up his biggest achievement in 1986 when he won the Dukes championship.
Another successful driver with the Goodwin last name, and also the son of Floyd, Johnny took his families #77 to victory lane on many occasions. Johnny’s success led him to back to back Dukes championships in 1987 and 1988.
When the track reopened in the early 80’s Keith Tucker was one of the best drivers out of the gate. On opening day in 1983, Keith scored the first win in nearly a decade in front of over 3000 fans. That win kickstarted a season long campaign which ended with him scoring the 1983 Sportsman championship, which was the biggest achievement of his racing career.
A demo driver since 1997, Kevin Tucker has been a threat for over 2 decades in Demolitions. He has amassed countless demo preliminary event wins, and many demolition derby wins. While a championship has eluded him, he has been very close, being in the top 5 in Demo points every year, coming as close as 2nd in points in 2017.
The “Racing Ranger” from Renous, Kim Hallihan’s #97 was going to the front whenever it was on track. Hallihan came on the scene in the early 80’s when the track first reopened, and he continues to race the odd race to this day. Despite never winning a championship (he came close a few times), Hallihan won many feature races, and was always a fan favorite in Miramichi.
A successful Sportsman driver, Kirk Jardine may be best known as the only driver to score wins in the Firecracker 50 and Brunswick 100 in the same year – he accomplished that in 1990. Jardine was a threat to win every time he showed up and the track, and he thrived in big races. Kirk also had several strong years in points - he never won a championship, but he finished 2nd in points in 1995.
Possibly best remembered for his #43 car in the 80’s and early 90’s, Lindsay Tozer’s career spanned over a long period of time – he not only raced, but was a dominant force when the track first opened in the late 60’s, winning back to back championships in the Late Model class in the early years of the track. When the track reopened in the 80’s Tozer returned, this time with his famed #43 Dodge that he drove to many more wins. Lindsay also ran the track for a period of time around the 1986 season.
A conversation about the best driver in Miramichi racing has to include Lyndon Lyons, who has won as many championships as anyone. Lyndon started competing in Dukes in the mid 90’s, and in 1994 he won his first championship in the division. Lyndon didn’t stop there - when the Hobby Stock division was introduced in 1997, Lyndon won back to back championships in 1997 and 1998, giving him a total of 3 track championships.
One of the most successful 4 Cylinder drivers to race at the track, Mike saw his greatest success in the years following the reopening in 2012. This success included back to back championships in 2016 and 2017, plus countless race wins. Mike has also found success in the Mini Cup series, where he has 3 podiums in 3 starts, and also has scored a few demo victories too.
Nathan Dean’s #25 was always fast every time it was on the track. With a career that spanned approximately a decade, Nathan first competed in the Dukes class in the 2000’s, scoring many wins. In 2008, he came from behind to win the championship in thrilling style. After the track reopened in 2012, Nathan would go on to score several more wins, this time in the Street Stock class, before eventually putting his career on hold.
Driving car #38, Paul Dunn began his career the year the track re-opened in 1983. An 8th place points finish would be the start of a long and successful career for Paul. Over the next decade and a half, Paul would grab many checkered flags, before taking a leave of absence following a 12th place points finish in 1996. He returned for 1999, and proved that he still had it – finishing 7th in points that year.
A Maritime Motorsports Hall of Famer from Salisbury, Paul Lewis had a legendary driving career in the Maritimes. Part of that legendary career was run in Miramichi. In 1974, Paul won some big races, but came up just short in his bid for the championship. When Miramichi and River Glade started running the same tires in 1987, Paul began competing in Miramichi, where he would find considerable success over the next 7 years. Paul also won a Most Popular Driver award in Miramichi.
A former owner of Speedway Miramichi, Pierre Allain clearly had many talents. Not only could he run a racetrack, he could also drive one too. During the 80’s Allain was a strong competitor in the Sportsman class, and he took his talent all the way to the championship in 1985. Pierre’s 1985 season was one of the most dominant seasons for a Sportsman driver in the entire tracks history.
“Rat” Regan was certainly one of the strongest competitors at the track during the 80’s. Rat started racing when the track reopened in 1983, and quickly improved becoming one of the top drivers at the track. He won many races and challenged the best during his career, solidifying himself as one of Miramichi’s best drivers.
It’s hard to talk about the best Sportsman drivers from Miramichi without Ray McCray being included in the discussion. McCray is a multi-time champion in the Sportsman class, winning titles in 1991 and 2000. The #58 carried many checkered flags around the track over the years. During the later years of Sportsman, Ray scaled back his driving some, but he still competed right up till the end. Ray certainly had one of the longest and most successful driving careers at the speedway.
Rick Buckley was without a doubt one of the most successful drivers in Speedway Miramichi history, and also one of the most dedicated. Rick started racing Sportsman when the track first re-opened in 1983, and he would go on to become a 3-time Sportsman champion, with titles in 1989, 1990, and 1998. Rick continued to drive right through 2002, even though he didn’t run every race during the later years. Buckley and his #32 car definitely seen more success than many during his time at the track.
#88 in the Street Stock class, Rick Hetherington was a dominant force in the class during the 90’s. Year in and year out, he won races, and finished top 5 in points. In 1994 he missed winning the championship by just a mere 7 points, finishing 2nd to Lyndon Lyons. Rick’s crowning moment came during the 1998 season – which was possibly his last full year competing at the track. That year, he scored the championship in the Street Stock class, after many years of giving it all he had, but coming up just short.
Robert Legere could truly drive anything. His greatest achievements came competing in Demolitions, but he also competed in everything from Dukes to Mini Stock to even Mini Cup. Legere is a 3-time track champion, with a championship in Demo title in 2005, and back to back Demolition championships in 2015 and 2016. When Robert raced in the Street Stock class in the early 2000’s, he was a consistent top 5 driver and he managed to carry the checkered flag around the track on numerous occasions.
Regarded as one of the best, Stephane was a driver who could win behind the wheel of anything. He drove everything from Hobby Stock to Street Stock, Sportsman, and even Demos, racking up over 100 trophies along the way. Among Stephane’s most notable achievements include the 2000 Hobby Stock championship. When the Street Stock and Hobby Stock classes merged for the 2001 season, Stephane again won the championship - this time in the new Street Stock class.
A driver who was as competitive as any, Ted Kelley was quite successful in the Dukes class during the 80’s. Ted won many races and ran well every year. One of his biggest wins came in 1986, when he won the year end 100 lap Dukes endurance race. Ted came back when the Dukes class returned in the mid 2000’s, and he showed everyone that he still had it, producing some very respectable runs.
One of the best to drive during the glory days of the Sportsman era in Miramichi, Terry Russell amassed many wins and championships, including titles in 1987 and 1995 in the Sportsman class at Speedway Miramichi. Terry also had success in the mid-80s, competing in the Dukes class. In 2012, Terry returned to the track for one race when Sportsman made its long awaited return to Miramichi.
Rodgers is a long-time driver who was a strong contender in the Sportsman class in Miramichi. Most notably, Rodgers captured 2 victories in the Brunswick 100; scoring the wins in 1991 and 1993. Rodgers also earned the 1993 Sportsman title. Not being from Miramichi area, Rodgers may have found the most success of any non-Miramichi driver at the track.
Todd Mullin is certainly one of the greatest Street Stock drivers to ever race in Miramichi. Every year, Todd was a strong competitor in his #43 car. In 2000, he earned his biggest achievement by winning the Street Stock championship that year. Todd had several other good years at the track, where he finished top 5 in points. Some will remember Todd for driving the pink “Funky Machine” for part of his career.
Vernon Gray was another driver who made some noise when the track reopened in the early 80s. Driving car #99, Vernon would first pick up a 10th place points finish in the competitive 1983 season. He would improve greatly in 1984, and go on to win the track championship that year for the Sportsman class, in what was a dramatic season finale race.
A multi-time champion of Danny’s Speedbowl, Wayne Clancy was captured many wins and had a lot of success in Miramichi when the track re-opened in 1983. That year, Wayne nearly took the title at his home track, but ending up just short of winning it by finishing 2nd. Nonetheless, the #15 was always up front whenever it was on track.
At the age of 16, Wayne Wormell started his racing career in the Sportsman class in Miramichi and found success right out of the gate. After a few years where he picked up some wins, Wayne took a leave of absence. Wayne returned hungry to win in 2000, and in 2002 he captured the Sportsman championship in Miramichi. After Sportsman racing ended in Miramichi, Wayne was a dominant force in Maritime Sportsman racing for years before hanging up the helmet.
Yves McCray may be the Mark Martin of Miramichi Sportsman racing, with 5 runner-up finishes in the standings. Despite finishing runner up so many times, Yves still managed to win 2 Sportsman championships, including the 1999 title and the 2003 title. Yves finished 2nd in points in 1997, 1998, 2001, and 2002, among other years. Of course, he also won many races along the way too.
From the Miramichi, Zean Dutcher found most of his success racing Sportsman throughout the province (including a River Glade International win). While he rarely competed full time at this home track, Zean still found success when he showed up in terms of checkered flags. Zean raced for a long time, but found one of his best years in what was one of his last – when he finished 5th in points in 2002. Zean continues to race the odd race to this day, and hopefully will be back behind the wheel soon.
The son of iconic Maritime Motorsports promoter Ernie McLean, who promoted Miramichi during the 1974 season, Bill McLean is possibly the best Sportsman driver to not make the cut for the top 50 drivers. During the mid 90’s, Bill was a strong competitor, who consistently finished in the top 10 in points. He came close to a championship in 1994 when he finished 2nd in points, and picked up many checkered flags throughout his career.
Clarence Patles was one of the most actively involved and special drivers in Miramichi. Clarence is remember for driving his car, a standard, with only one arm! While some may consider that a disadvantage, it didn’t slow Clarence down any. Clarence started driving in the early 80’s and retired in 1996. Clarence’s also contributed to his legacy as promoter of the track, from 1988 to 1994.
One of the best Demolition drivers over the years, and especially during the mid 2000’s was Darren Hay. Darren took the win in many demo events, and was always in the top 5 in points. In 2007, Darren shut out the competition and won the Demolition championship.
A long time competitor, Frank competed with success in Street Stock, Dukes, and even in Demolitions. Frank was a very consistent driver, averaging a points finish well inside the top 10 every year.
Jean-Paul Richard found a lot of success in a short amount of time during his driving career. He began racing shortly after the introduction of the hobby stock class, and was a top competitor right out of the gate. He finished 2nd in points in 1998, then one upped that by claiming the Hobby Stock championship in 1999.
While some were quick to jump into a Sportsman, Keith Daley started in Street Stock before working his way up to Sportsman success. In the late 90’s, he started competing in the Street Stock class, where he quickly began finishing top 3 in points. He moved up to Sportsman around the turn of the century, where he again was consistently finishing top 5 in points.
Driver of car #57, Mark Kammermans was a successful Sportsman driver, especially during the 80’s. Mark won several races over the years, and had many great points years, including during the re-opening year of 1983 where he came home 6th in final points.
Riley Harris most notably is the grandson of racing legend Frank MacKenzie. Riley ran in the Dukes class for several years, with success and consistent top 5’s. Riley also competed in some demos, and won multiple demos throughout his career. Riley is expected to return to the track in 2018, in both the Dukes and Demo classes.
Tony “The Wildman” Lovelace was, as his nickname suggests, a Wildman who could drive. Considered by many as one of the best drivers to watch, Tony always put on a show. The best days of Tony’s driving career came in the late 90’s in Hobby Stock, and early 2000’s in Street Stock. He consistently finished top 5 in points, and came as close as 2nd in points in 2002.
Trenton Silliker was certainly a great demo competitor. Trenton was a top 5 competitor during the mid 2000’s in demo, winning many demos and demo events. He has competed in some Demos since the track re-opened in 2012, and rumor has it Trenton may return to compete once again in 2018.