Benoit Smashes His Way to Demolition Victory!
Julien Benoit (#47) claimed the biggest Demolition win of his career at the Spring Smash on Sunday at Speedway Miramichi. Benoit outlasted thirty-nine cars to claim the $1500 grand prize. Benoit took the win after Stephane Poirier (#01) timed out while hanging on for his Demo life with a car that wouldn’t steer. Jeremy Faulds wrapped up the first Demo of 2022 in third place. Twenty-nine cars made it to the final all-out Demolition.
The win for Benoit marked his second career Derby win – Benoit won the Return to Racing Demolition in 2020, a race which was run with no prize payouts during the start of the pandemic.
Chris Wilson (#2W) put on a clinic in the 35-lap Blackville Auto Value feature for the Atlantic Modified Tour. The defending Speedway Miramichi Modified champion started in 5th and quickly took the lead away from Joe Hoyt (#17) on the sixth lap of the race and would lead the rest of the way en route to the feature victory. Multi-time track champion Yves McCray (#58) drove from last place to make a late race move to edge out Hoyt for second in a photo finish at the line. Doug Matchett (#75) came home fourth while Tristin Harris (#7H) rounded out the top 5.
Braxton Stafford (#91) took the victory in the 10-lap heat race over Kim Hallihan (#97). The 35-lap race ran caution free. The only driver to not finish was Kim Hallihan after running into issues after contact on lap 21. Eight drivers started the Blackville Auto Value 35.
For Wilson, this marked his second career Modified victory at Speedway Miramichi, and his seventh career victory across all divisions at his home track. Joe Hoyt continued a streak of strong performances in Miramichi, earning his eighth podium finish in the last 10 races.
One of the best races of the day came in the Bomber division, which saw Adam Plourde (#28) edge out Timmy Blakely (#69) in a photo finish to score the victory on opening day. Plourde and Blakely ran side-by-side for the entire final 8-lap sprint following the races lone caution. Exchanging the lead lap after lap, it came right down to the final turn as Plourde edged ahead for the win. Billy Pelletier (#18) had the best seat in the house for the battle but would settle for third – his first career podium finish in the Bomber division. Riley Connell (#43) and Samantha Blakely (#96) rounded out the top 5.
The races lone caution came on lap 22 after a fluid lead on Blake Bransfield’s (#60) car resulted in several cars spinning out. Timmy Blakely went to victory lane in the first heat race, while Riley Connell notched his first ever checkered flag by winning the second heat race. Fourteen Bomber cars partook in the first event of the year, with Ricky Boudreau (#66) not starting the feature after suffering mechanical issues in the heat race. For Adam Plourde, the win marked the third Bomber win of his career.
JR Lawson (#81) continues to dominate the Mini Stock division – the four-time track champion led wire to wire to claim the feature victory in the first race of 2022. Lawson’s closest competitor was wife Chantel Ackles (#30), who would have to settle for second place despite a hard-fought effort. After Rob Poirier (#0) pitted late in the race, Mitchell Poirier (#28) would capitalize to round out the podium. Mathieu Mallet (#80) and Guy Basque (#27) rounded out the top 5.
Only one caution flew all race, which came on the seventh lap of the race for Jamie Turner (#26) being stopped with a broken windshield caused by the hood being damaged. JR Lawson and Mitchell Poirier captured victories in 10-lap heat races. Eleven Mini Stock drivers were in attendance. For Lawson, the win was the twentieth of his career.
Jean-Francois Basque (#21) drove to a nice payday in the 8-lap Dash for Cash race. Basque held off all competitors through the chaos. Mathieu Brideau (#99) settled for second with Ricky Boudreau (#764) in third. Twenty-seven competitors started the Dash for Cash.
The first no-contact Powder Puff race did not go quite according to plan for some drivers but saw an incredible four-wide photo finish! Chantal Lanteigne (#44) took the lead on the final corner and edged out defending Powder Puff champion Tania Jean (#22), Georgia Estey (#13), Kerrie Lineker (#022) and Hayley Waugh (#99).
A heated battle resulted in a disqualification from the race. Kaitlyn Hubscher (#16) would be disqualified after taking out Amber Sickles (#03) multiple times during the 10-lap race - which was supposed to be a no-contact race. The last contact saw Sickles end up head-on into the front stretch wall, resulting in the black flag. Twelve drivers started the 10-lap race.
Norm Robichaud (#666) had a dramatic ending to his Back-Up race. After several leaders spun out through the 5-lap affair, Robichaud took the checkered flag and the win. Not realizing the race was over, Robichaud completed an extra lap only to crash hard into the front stretch wall. After the dust settled, Randy Girouard (#8) and Brian Breau (#222) rounded out the top 3. Twenty-two cars started the Back-Up race.
Ricky Boudreau put the field on notice he will be a threat to win the championship, taking the victory in both the Kidney Race and the Figure 8 race. Gary Caissie (#28) and Marc Andre Benoit (#81) completed the podium in the 5-lap, twenty-six car Kidney Race. Boudreau would then take the Figure 8 race over Remi Savoie (#06), Brian Breau, and the rest of the fifteen-car field.
Chris Sickles was the big winner in the Sickles Showdown Grudge Match, besting both daughters Amber and Krysta in a race that saw lots of bumping and banging – during and after the race.
Johnathan Dickson won the burnout competition over the 8 competitors.
The next event at Speedway Miramichi is June 25th with The Day of 8’s, featuring the 2nd Annual Figure 8 Trailer Race. The Day of 8’s Demolition, Street Stock, Mini Stock, and Bomber racing will also be on tap. Start time will be 4pm – this will be the show of the year, don’t miss it!
Spring Smash Demolition Podium
1. Julien Benoit #47
2. Stephane Poirier #01
3. Jeremy Faulds #11
Unofficial Atlantic Modified Tour Blackville Auto Value 35 Results
1. Chris Wilson #2W
2. Yves McCray #58
3. Joe Hoyt #17
4. Doug Matchett #75
5. Tristin Harris #7H
6. Kevin Bailey #4
7. Braxton Stafford #91
8. Kim Hallihan #97
Heat Winner – Braxton Stafford #91
Official results will be published by the Atlantic Modified Tour
Mini Stock 30-Lap Feature Results
1. JR Lawson #81
2. Chantel Lawson #30
3. Mitchell Poirier #28
4. Mathieu Mallet #80
5. Guy Basque #27
6. Conrad Murphy #89
7. Nathan Richard #35
8. Tom Ackles #130
9. Rob Poirier #0
10. Kevin Kinney #17
11. Jamie Turner #26
Heat Winners – JR Lawson #81, Mitchell Poirier #28
Bomber 30-Lap Feature Results
1. Adam Plourde #28
2. Timmy Blakely #69
3. Billy Pelletier #18
4. Riley Connell #43
5. Samantha Blakely #96
6. Tyson Donovan #63
7. Dylan Phillips #32
8. Dylan Doucet #02
9. Kevin Tucker #87
10. Corey Barton #995
11. Blake Bransfield #60
12. Axten MacLean #13
13. Alex Duguay #11
DNS – Ricky Boudreau #66
Heat Winners – Timmy Blakely #69, Riley Connell #43
Powder Puff 10-Lap Race Results
1. Chantal Lanteigne #44
2. Tania Jean #22
3. Georgia Estey #13
4. Kerrie Lineker #022
5. Hayley Waugh #99
6. Ericka Lesage #11
7. Monique Benoit #21
8. Carole Roussel #222
9. Nadine Savoie #47
10. Amber Sickles #03
11. Elsie Evans #333
DQ – Kaitlyn Hubscher #16
Dash for Cash – Jean-Francois Basque #21
Back-Up Race – Norm Robichaud #666
Kidney Race – Ricky Boudreau #764
Figure 8 Race – Ricky Boudreau #764
Burnout Competition – Johnathan Dickson
Sickles Showdown Grudge Match – Chris Sickles #03