Fans Buzzing About Miramichi’s Firecracker Night
A mid-summer spectacular is on tap for race fans Saturday night, under the lights at Speedway Miramichi – Canada’s Demolition Capital! T&L Abatement Firecracker Night is shaping up to be an epic event with double headlining acts in the Firecracker Demolition and the 2nd Annual T&L Abatement Bomber Firecracker 50. The best of the best drivers will thrill fans with close racing, massive hits, and plenty of excitement - providing race fans with a healthy dose of adrenaline. A buzz is in the air that is giving this Saturday night shootout an old-school feeling. From big trophies to big classic Demo cars, fireworks, and even a little magic, there is truly something for everyone! The event goes green on Saturday July 23rd at 6pm.
An impressive number of cars are on the entry list for the 2nd Annual T&L Abatement Firecracker 50. One year ago, it was Mark Kingston who scored the victory en route to the season long championship. With Kingston moving up to the Street Stock class, the door is wide open for someone to breakthrough and earn their first Firecracker win! Tyson Donovan (#63) and Johnathan Dickson (#3) were on the podium behind Kingston. Donovan just scored his first podium of the summer last time out, while Dickson has had speed but has yet to break through. These two drivers are no stranger to fans, and while they may have just a slight rivalry, either would be a popular winner!
The Firecracker 50 is a points race, and there is no contest so far in points. Timmy Blakely (#69) has opened up a comfortable lead as we near the halfway point on the heels of a feature win, a runner-up finish, and three heat victories. Consistency has been key for Blakely, but the 2021 Firecracker was his lowest finish of the 2021 season. Watch for this veteran to try and score the biggest win of his career!
Points are a bit of a cluster behind Blakely, with Billy Pelletier (#18) sitting second with two podium finishes, just ahead of Axten MacLean (#13) – the most recent feature winner who made history becoming the youngest driver to ever win at Speedway Miramichi! Donovan sits fourth, followed by Samantha Blakely (#96), Riley Connell (#43) who has had two strong runs in a row end in the pits with bad luck, Blake Bransfield – who has a substitute driver in Jacob Smith (#60) this weekend, and Kevin Tucker (#87). Rounding out the top 10 is Bathurst driver Dylan Doucet (#02) who has a heat win to his name so far, and rookie Alex Duguay (#11) who notched a podium finish at The Day of 8’s. Dan Dionne (#55) and Dylan Phillips (#32) have been making gains despite missing races and could be underdogs worth keeping an eye on when the green flag drops.
The big race, glory, and prizes are catching some big-name driver’s attention. Last years Demolition points runner-up Riley Harris (#1) will make his 2022 debut along with his father Eugene Harris (#40). This years Demolition points leader Randy Girouard (#8) has purchased a car and will return to the class for the Firecracker 50. Centre for Speed regular Marc Maillet (#15) is slated to make his Speedway Miramichi debut in the biggest race of the summer!
The 2nd Annual T&L Abatement Firecracker 50 will pay $500 to the winner along with a 4-foot-tall trophy being awarded. Throw in lap money available at $10 per lap, and someone could leave with upwards of $1000 – the biggest Bomber payday ever! Drivers will first have to qualify through heat races, and then hope for some luck through the pole shuffle. With a big field of cars, it is sure to be exciting as drivers claw through the field!
The Firecracker 50 was originally a race held from 1990 to 1997 for the Sportsman class at Speedway Miramichi. Kirk Jardine (1990), Ray McCray (1991, 1997), Brad Mann (1992), Kim Hallihan (1993), Tim Rodgers (1994), Bill McLean (1995), and Paul Dunn (1996) are former winner of the Sportsman leg of the race, while Mark Kingston claimed the inaugural Bomber win in 2021.
Expected Entries – 2nd Annual T&L Abatement Firecracker 50
1. Dylan Doucet #02
2. Riley Harris #1
3. Johnathan Dickson #3
4. Randy Girouard #8
5. Alex Duguay #11
6. Axten MacLean #13
7. Marc Maillet #15
8. Billy Pelletier #18
9. Dylan Phillips #32
10. Eugene Harris #40
11. Riley Connell #43
12. Dan Dionne #55
13. Blake Bransfield #60
14. Tyson Donovan #63
15. Timmy Blakely #69
16. Kevin Tucker #87
17. Samantha Blakely #96
A tight Demolition points battle and some bubbling rivalries headline the excitement leading into the Firecracker Demolition. With the weather heating up, the action is also expected to be intense. There has been a buzz in the air leading into this Demolition – due in part to rivalries and bonus money on the line – and with upwards of 40 cars expected, it is bound to be an instant classic at Speedway Miramichi.
Starting with the points battle, it’s tight up front with four drivers gridlocked four points apart. Randy Girouard (#8) shows the way with a 2-point advantage over the competition. Sitting in second is Figure 8 Trailer Race winner Mitch Brideau (#22) – the 2020 track champion. Brideau jumped from 30th to 2nd in points in just one race, turning his season around. Spring Smash winner Julien Benoit (#47) and The Day of 8’s Demo winner Jean-Francois Basque (#21) sit third and fourth respectively, both in position to come away with the lead on Saturday.
In behind, drivers who coincidentally find themselves side by side in points – in seventh and eighth – are the two drivers who put on the best show at The Day of 8’s, turning the Dash for Cash into a grudge match! The rivalry brewing between Mathieu Brideau (#99) and Jeremy Faulds (#11) was a highlight of the show in June, and it is set to potentially write another chapter. Will these drivers play nice, or is there more left to do to settle the score? It is a storyline to watch on Saturday.
Norm Robichaud (#666) is having his best season yet at Speedway Miramichi – he picked up a Back-Up race win and sits sixth in points. Ricky Boudreau (#764) led the points on opening day, but gave up the lead with issues in June. Gary Caissie (#28) won the Firecracker Demo in 2021, and will aim to rekindle that magic this year.
The long and stacked entry list for the Firecracker Demo includes the likes of Shawn Sisk (#94), Alexander MacIntosh (#55), Tommy Morel (#33), Dylan Phillips (#32), and Corey Barton (#995). It is anticipated that defending Demolition champion Tyler Chamberlain (#24) will make his return to the track after missing the first two shows of the summer. With a championship out of sight, his focus will strictly be on the big prize at the end of the night.
Even more drivers are expected to be in attendance, with estimates suggesting a field of 40 cars or more – meaning drivers will be eligible for an over $2000 grand prize! With bonus money on the line from T&L Abatement, 40 cars would see a top payday of $2250 for the race winner!
To be eligible, drivers first must qualify through the popular preliminary events. The Dash for Cash, Powder Puff, Back-Up Race, and Figure 8 Race, along with the Kidney Race. These events are wild and a grueling war of attrition by times – stressful for drivers, but thrilling for fans.
At the midway point of the 2022 season, a “big three” has emerged in Mini Stock competition – a husband and wife duo from Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia in four-time champion JR Lawson (#81) and his wife, former feature winner Chantel Ackles (#30). The third contender taking on the Lawson stable is Miramichi’s own Mitchell Poirier (#28), who is fresh off a feature win two weeks ago. Two points separate these three drivers, and the action has been hot and intense! After JR fell to mechanical woes last race, it’s made this points battle very interesting.
Outside of these three drivers, rookie sensation Nathan Richard (#35) has been one who has found himself in the mix after scoring his first career podium finish on July 2nd. Former champion Rob Poirier (#0) is the only other driver to score a podium finish through three events. Conrad Murphy (#89) is fresh off his best run of the season, while Mathieu Mallet (#80) and Guy Basque (#27) have had flashes of brilliance while battling for the lead, but look to put together a full race and a strong effort. Calvin McLeod (#00) showed some strong speed last round, while Jamie Turner (#26) and Tom Ackles (#130) all improved last time out. Kevin Kinney (#17) looks to keep his rookie season rolling with a big performance. Mini Stock drivers will do battle for 30 laps on Saturday.
Round two of “The Road to The Very Best Fall Shootout” will be contested for Street Stock competitors, with a 35-lap feature on tap as drivers battle for a guaranteed top 6 starting spot in the 6th Annual Street Stock 100. Former track champions Brad MacLean (#13) and Bryar Ellis (#95) will lead the charge in with both drivers looking to lock down that guaranteed spot. Last years Bomber champion Mark Kingston (#97) had a strong effort on opening day and could have a breakthrough performance. Tom Nicholls (#28) will be a challenger for the victory, while rookies Matt Pelletier (#16) and Alex Michaud (#04) are also slated to partake.
Jesse Campbell Magic will host a pre-race show and will entertain fans throughout the day, presented by event sponsor T&L Abatement. A special fireworks display will also be hosted – burn conditions permitting! T&L Abatement also has plenty of giveaways on tap for race fans, adding even more value to a can’t miss event!
Pit gates open at 2:00pm on Saturday for stock car drivers and teams, while the pits will open at 3:00pm for Demolition drivers and teams. Grandstands open to spectators at 4:00pm. Racing begins at 6pm with stock car action followed by the Demolition portion of the show. Grandstand admission is $20 for adults, $10 for youth ages 8 to 17 years old and seniors over the age of 65, while kids 7 and under are free. Pit passes are $25 and pit access is restricted to those over the age of 18, and those aged 8 to 17 with proper parental waiver forms. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to avoid long lines.
For more information, stay tuned to Speedway Miramichi’s social platforms, “Speedway Miramichi Inc.” on Facebook, “speedway.miramichi” on Instagram and Tik Tok, and our website at speedwaymiramichi.com.