FIREWORKS FOR KINGSTON AND CAISSIE ON FIRECRACKER NIGHT!
Mark Kingston (#97) was unsure if his car would even make it to the halfway mark of the Firecracker 50 on Friday, as mechanical issues plagued the 97 car since his win in May. But Saturday night, it would in fact be just past the halfway mark when the Derby Junction native took the lead from Tyson Donovan (#63), one that he would not relinquish en route to his third career Bomber victory – and by far the biggest of them all! Donovan would give challenge late but settle for second, while Johnathan Dickson (#3) picked up a podium finish in third.
Kingston picked up his heat win earlier in the day, but the pole shuffle was utilized which would see him fall back to 10th in the starting lineup, while June’s winner and points leader Donovan would grab the pole. From the drop of the green, Donovan held off an early charge from Justin Munn (#88) to open up a lead, while Kingston, Adam Plourde (#11), Jacob Smith (#29), and Robert Legere (#60) began working their way through the field. On lap 11, the first and only caution of the race would fly as Munn, running in third, had the right front tire come off the car resulting in him hitting the wall.
The ensuing restart saw the top contenders near the front, and the battle was on. As drivers logged laps, Donovan showed the way, with Dickson in second and Kingston in tow, while Plourde and Smith battled for fourth. After Donovan picked up the $50 halfway bonus, Kingston began to pounce, first picking off Dickson for second, and then as they navigated lapped traffic, Kingston made his move to take the lead on lap 32! Over the final 19 laps, Donovan would mount challenges to close in on Kingston, but Kingston would hold strong to score the victory in the Inaugural Bomber Firecracker 50!
Adam Plourde (#11) won the other heat race to start the day, making a late pass on Samantha Blakely (#96) for the win. Tyson Donovan would lead 31 laps of the Firecracker 50, while Mark Kingston led the final 19 en route to victory. This is Kingston’s third career Bomber victory (and his second of 2021) – the most all time for the class. No other driver has won more than one race in the class. Sixteen cars were in attendance, but only 15 made the call to the green as Derek Ramsey (#42) did not start the feature.
Pre-race driver introductions were held for the Firecracker 50, with 1990 Sportsman Firecracker 50 winner Kirk Jardine in attendance to give the command to fire engines!
In Demolition action, approximately 49 cars were in attendance, and it was a sensational show – with the Firecracker Demolition itself being a grueling duel as the final few cars, damaged and barely moving, somehow managed to continue making hits right up to the end. When the checkered flag fell, it would be Gary Caissie (#28) taking home the win and the $2000 payday! It would require video review to determine second and third, but it was Scott Mitchell (#824) finishing in second, and Billy Pelletier (#333) finishing in third.
Thirty-one cars started the muddy mayhem that was the final Demolition out of the estimated forty-nine in attendance.
Chris Wilson (#2W) had to endure two late race restarts, including a green-white-checkered finish, but he held on to claim the victory in the Atlantic Modified Tour All Star Auto Centre 35 over Travis Conroy (#7) and Braxton Stafford (#91). Joe Hoyt (#17) recovered from a late spin to finish fourth, while June’s winner Doug Matchett (#75) rounded out the top 5.
It was a thrilling race right from the start, with Wilson starting towards the back of the field while Stafford started on the pole. Stafford quickly jumped out to an early lead, while drivers including Wilson and Conroy worked their way through the field. Early in the race Conroy would wage a battle with Zean Dutcher (#55), with Wilson capitalizing on their hard racing to move into second place by lap 15. The battle resumed behind him, now for third, as Conroy and Dutcher got physical with the pair making heavy contact by times. Conroy would eventually pass Dutcher to move into the podium position at the halfway mark.
After leading the first 20 laps, Stafford would come under fire from Wilson as the race entered the second half, with Wilson overtaking Stafford for the lead en route to leading the final 15 laps. However, it was not easy for Wilson thanks to a pair of late race yellows. Coming to 5 laps to go, Conroy would move past Stafford for second, while a lap later Joe Hoyt would spin in turn 1 to bring out the races first caution. Wilson would fend off Conroy on the restart, only for the caution to come out on the white flag lap, setting up a green-white-checkered finish. Conroy battled hard and appeared to have the edge at one point, but Wilson was ultimately too tough and would score the victory.
Conroy and Doug Matchett scored victories in 10-lap heat races. The feature victory for Wilson was the first Modified feature win at Speedway Miramichi, to compliment five Street Stock wins at the 1/3-mile oval. Steven Curtis had a strong performance, finishing second in his heat race and bringing his car home a respectable sixth. Zean Dutcher broke on the final lap and had to settle for seventh, while rookie Michael Savoie (#00) and Yves McCray (#58) each fought issues and finished at the back of the pack. Two drivers, Brody Levesque (#05) and Kim Hallihan (#97), did not make the call for the feature.
In Mini Stock action, the return of the Atlantic Bubble meant the return of JR Lawson (#81), and Lawson put the field on notice of his return with an absolute dominating performance, leading every lap of the thirty-lap feature to score his thirteenth consecutive, and sixteenth total feature victory in Miramichi. Lawson, a three-time champion including the winner of the two most recent titles, also won his heat race. Lawson is co-driving with James Matchett in 2021 for points. Mathieu Mallet (#80) had another strong performance to find himself back on the podium in second place, while Rob Poirier drove hard to come from the back of the pack to finish on the podium in third.
Guy Basque (#27) finished fourth for the second time in as many races as he is itching to return to the podium, while Chantel Ackles (#30) rounded out the top 5. Ackles was the winner of the other 10-lap heat race. Points leader Neil Miousse (#71) struggled a bit and would finish outside the top 5, coming home in seventh – as the points battle is sure to be much tighter. The entire 30-lap feature ran caution free. Fourteen cars were in attendance for the race.
In Demolition preliminary action, it was a wild and crazy Dash for Cash, with Norm Robichaud (#666) emerging with the lead late in the final half of the race to score the big win – the first of his career in the Dash for Cash. Robichaud battled with Ricky Boudreau (#764) and Mr. Dash for Cash himself Mitch Brideau (#22) throughout much of the race.
The 8-lap Dash for Cash was stopped at the halfway mark for a pair of fires – one in the car driven by Terrence Whitney (#118) and the other by Mathieu Brideau (#99). The 118 car was ultimately pushed into the lake in the infield left over from the heavy rain from Tropical Storm Elsa to ensure there were no flare ups. Thirty-two cars started the Dash for Cash.
Leanne Caron (#33) put on a driving clinic in the Powder Puff race, smoking the competition and in fact almost lapping the field to score her first career victory. Sixteen cars started the 10-lap Powder Puff race. Full results are unavailable as of press-time, but points leader entering the day Tania Jean (#22) had an impressive performance, driving with her hood up for the majority of the race! A few wild moments occurred as Zoey Moss (#397) got spun into the infield lake with a big splash, and Brittany Hoyt (#27) ended up hitting the wall on the backstretch on the final lap.
Dawson Cripps (#25) continues to dominate Back-Up race competition, as he earned yet another convincing victory in the 5-lap race. Cripps bested a field of twenty-four cars for the victory.
Ricky Boudreau (#764) may have scored the victory in the 5-lap Kidney race, but it came at the cost of his car! Boudreau first had his hood come up in the final turns as he held on for the win, but he then would end up driving into the massive infield lake after taking the checkered flag – hitting a tire and breaking his left front suspension! He would drive two full laps around the lake trying to get the car out of the water, but with no steering it was not to be! Twenty-six cars partook in the Kidney race.
Marc-Andre Benoit (#81) outlasted the field to find redemption in the Figure 8 race! In May, Benoit was poised to score the victory before getting hit in the “X” on the final lap. This time around, Benoit was not to be beat as he took down the win in a wild race that saw no fewer than three big hits in the center of the “X”. Twenty-eight cars started the Figure 8 race.
Mathieu Brideau wow’ed the crowd in the Burnout Competition, putting on an incredible show with his Banshee four-wheeler. The performance earned him the most applause and the Burnout Competition victory!
A fireworks show as part of Firecracker Night put on an incredible display for all who were in attendance.
Points will be updated in the coming days. Attention now turns to August 7th for the Crash for Cash Demolition at Speedway Miramichi, which will also feature a 50-lap Mini Stock race, the Bomber division, and the Atlantic Modified Tour! It promises to be a thrilling event, mark your calendars now!
Bomber Firecracker 50 Results
1. Mark Kingston #97
2. Tyson Donovan #63
3. Johnathan Dickson #3
4. Jacob Smith #29
5. Adam Plourde #11
6. Timmy Blakely #69
7. Casey Munn #07
8. Samantha Blakely #96
9. Billy Pelletier #18
10. Jordan Campbell #68
11. Riley Harris #1
12. Kevin Kinney #81
13. Robert Legere #60
14. Justin Munn #88
15. Dylan Doucet #02
DNS – Derek Ramsey #42
Mini Stock 30-Lap Feature Results
1. JR Lawson #81
2. Mathieu Mallet #80
3. Rob Poirier #0
4. Guy Basque #27
5. Chantel Ackles #30
6. Conrad Murphy #89
7. Neil Miousse #71
8. Chris Garnett #66
9. Mitchell Poirier #28
10. Jamie Turner #26
11. Calvin McLeod #00
12. Grayson Dutcher #55
13. Mark Campbell #33
DNS – Ryan Bernard #68
Atlantic Modified Tour All Star Auto Center 35 Results
1. Chris Wilson #2W
2. Travis Conroy #7
3. Braxton Stafford #91
4. Joe Hoyt #17
5. Doug Matchett #75
6. Steven Curtis #12
7. Zean Dutcher #55
8. Michael Savoie #00
9. Yves McCray #58
DNS – Kim Hallihan #97 DNS – Brody Levesque #05
Firecracker Demolition Podium
1. Gary Caissie #28
2. Scott Mitchell #824
3. Billy Pelletier #333
Dash for Cash Winner – Norm Robichaud #666
Powder Puff Winner – Leanne Caron #33
Back-Up Race Winner – Dawson Cripps #25