Luc McLaughlin had the field covered at Speedway Miramichi under the lights on Saturday night. McLaughlin won the first heat race and followed it up with the pole challenge win. After declining the “Come from the Back Challenge”, McLaughlin set sail, leading every lap en route to another big victory for CB Warrens Auto Care team in 2018. After finishing 2nd in the past 2 100 lap races at Speedway Miramichi, he finally found his way into victory lane, earning just over $1000 for his efforts.
The battle for 2nd was a wild battle which ensued over the entirety of the 54 lap green flag run to the checkers. After technical inspection, Justin Cole was scored as 2nd, with Dan Smith finishing 3rd. Rookie competitors Kyle MacKinnon and Brandon Carter rounded out the top 5.
Carter and Alex Sheehan took the other heat races. Defending race winner Brad MacLean was not able to be in attendance due to work commitments, but MacLean still managed to grab the 2018 championship.
The racing card was delayed for over an hour, as a brief shower which hit as the 3rd Street Stock heat was rolling onto the track resulted in the track being lost. Cool and overcast conditions made track drying difficult.
The 50 lap Mini Stock feature was nothing short of an intense race. With 20 cars in the pits, the largest field in Miramichi history, Nova Scotia heavy hitters battled all race long and it came right down to the line with JR Lawson holding off Dave Matthews for the win. After technical inspection, PEI’s Cody Byrne rounded out the podium. 15-year-old Miramichi sensation Travis Conroy started deep in the field and mounted a big charge to finish 4th, while BJ Gillespie rounded out the top 5.
Lawson also scored his heat race win. Darren Flemming and Rob Poirier took the other heats. Poirier’s win was enough for him to clinch the 2018 Mini Stock championship.
Miramichi Sportsman legend Yves McCray held off Brandon Skidmore in a close race to win his first Modified feature at his home track. McCray’s win was popular with his many fans in the stands. Kevin Bailey finished 3rd, while another Sportsman legend Kim Hallihan finished 4th. Joe Hoyt rounded out the top 5.
McCray and Zean Dutcher picked up heat race wins. While it was initially believed that Joe Hoyt would win the track title in a tie breaker, official points showed that it was in fact “Mr. Excitement” Doug Matchett hanging on to win the first ever Miramichi Modified championship by 1 point. Hoyt still managed to claim the 2018 Atlantic Modified Tour championship.
Darcy O’Neill did everything he possibly could have done to try and win the Dukes championship. O’Neill entered the day 4 points back of Robert Legere and went on to win both the heat and feature but came up just 1 point short. Legere finished 2nd in the heat and feature, which was just enough to win the championship.
The story for the Dukes on the day was Frank McKenzie. At 80 years young, the Hall of Famer made his return to racing driving a Dukes car with his iconic #1 on it. McKenzie came home 3rd in what may be the final race of his career.
Jacob Dunlop took home the Concept Drilling sponsored Mini Cup feature. The battle for 2nd came down to the end, with Jacob Dunlop and Donnie MacNeil. Mark Ferguson was collected in a wreck during the heat race, but still managed to claim the 2018 Eastern Super Mini Cup Series champion.
Brody Sturgeon won the Demolition Blowout over Jay Skerry and Amber Sickles. A total of 26 demo cars were in attendance, making for another wild demo. In qualifying races, Maxime Doiron won the Back-up Race and the Figure 8 Race, Jay Skerry won the Dash for Cash, and Alexandra O’Blenis won the Powder Puff.
Street Stock 100 Top 5 (Full Results will be published when official)
1 - Luc McLaughlin #11
2 - Justin Cole #38
3 - Dan Smith #39
4 - Kyle MacKinnon #22
5 - Brandon Carter #19
Mini Stock 50 Top 5 (Full Results will be published when official)
1 - JR Lawson #81
2 - Dave Matthews #99
3 - Cody Byrne #67
4 - Travis Conroy #7
5 - BJ Gillespie #69
Modified 35 Results
1 - Yves McCray #58
2 - Brandon Skidmore #84
3 - Kevin Bailey #48
4 - Kim Hallihan #97
5 - Joe Hoyt #17
6 - John Lyons #88
7 - Doug Matchett #75
8 - Zean Dutcher #55
9 - Braxton Stafford #91
10 - Steven Curtis #12
11 - Kevin Brideau #14
12 - James Matchett #54
Dukes 20 Feature
1 - Darcy O’Neill #68
2 - Robert Legere #04
3 - Frank McKenzie #1
Concept Drilling Mini Cup Feature Results
1 - Jacob Dunlop #73
2 - Logan Dawson #00
3 - Donnie McNeil #19
4 - Dave Griffin #3
5 - Randy Wilson #4
DNS - Mark Ferguson #41
DNS - Kirk Sheasgreen #40
Demolition Blowout - Brody Sturgeon #17
Dash for Cash - Rejean Saulnier #51
Powder Puff - Alexandra O’Blenis #10
Back-Up Race - Maxime Doiron #91
Figure 8 Race - Maxime Doiron #91
Burnout Competition - Robert Legere
Photos credit to Mike Francis / Racin Photos