Harris Hauls Trailer Race Trophy Home; Benoit Bests Fifty in Demolition
In front of another sell-out crowd, Demolition star Riley Harris (#1) claimed one of the biggest checkered flags of his career by winning the inaugural Figure 8 Trailer Race – which co-headlined The Day of 8’s show at Speedway Miramichi. It came down to a head-to-head showdown between Harris, a five-time Demolition winner, and Joey Pitre (#20), the 2018 Demolition champion who was driving Dylan Storey’s (#85) car. Harris made a thrilling maneuver to detach Pitre’s trailer and end the epic show!
Pitre proved why he is a champion, putting on a show all race long. He led the race, then he made a hit to take Mathieu Brideau’s (#99) trailer out of competition. No moment was more dramatic though, than the moment where Pitre lined up Norm Robichaud’s (#666) camper trailer at the centre of the “X”, and absolutely smoked it, causing mass destruction with debris flying everywhere. The crowd erupted as Pitre emerged from the carnage to continue.
For Harris, the win promises to be a tale long told in track history – as his trailer had a special meaning that will hit close to home for many race fans. Harris’s grandfather, long-time fan favorite Sportsman competitor and Maritime Motorsports Hall of Famer Frank McKenzie helped to build the winning trailer. Harris took the win with Frank’s trailer and number, a special moment for the entire family!
Around ten trailers partook in the first ever Figure 8 Trailer Race. Creativity was on full display, but none more so than Dawson Cripps (#25), who welded his trailer onto the front of his car and ran the race in reverse to the delight of fans! Norm Robichaud also received incredible applause for his camper trailer painted up with a special design!
Speedway Miramichi owner Barry Richard has already announced the event will return in June of 2022.
The grand finale after the Figure 8 Trailer Race would be the Demolition Derby, where thirty-nine out of fifty-one cars in attendance would start. Marc-Andre Benoit (#81) would outlast them all, making the final crushing hit on defending champion Mitch Brideau’s (#22) van to take down the win!
It was an entertaining Demolition from start to finish, so entertaining that a three-way tie was declared for the third spot. Riley Harris and Lionel Breau (#028) battled hard but got stuck, while simultaneously Benoit would lay a blow on Matthew Sullivan (#18) ending his bid for the win. After review, a three-way tie for third was declared.
The victory was Benoit’s fourth career Demolition finale win, but this one was by far the biggest, paying $2000 for the win!
In Demolition preliminary action, Marc-Andre Benoit book-ended the Demolition competition as he started off winning the Dash for Cash in addition to his Demo win. With the win, Benoit broke the long Dash for Cash win streak of Mitch Brideau to score the win in the Dash for Cash. Brideau would come home in second one spot short. Forty-one cars started the chaotic and wild Demolition kick-off race.
Tania Jean (#22) scored her second career Powder Puff victory in the 10-lap Powder Puff race – but her first under normal dry conditions after previously winning at the winter Easter Bunny Bash. She had to beat the best to do it, outrunning Bomber competitor Samantha Blakely (#014) for the win. Twenty-five cars started the Powder Puff race.
The best performance may have come from Alexandra Chiasson (#10), who muscled her way through the field from the back of the pack to finish third. Chiasson, Monique Benoit (#240) and Sam Jardine (#21) had to start at the rear of the field after finishing on the podium at the Spring Smash. It will be fun to watch in July as Chiasson will once again have to start shotgun on the field, along with Jean and Blakely. A more detailed results recap will be available later in the week for the Powder Puff race.
Dawson Cripps (#25) preluded his Figure 8 Trailer Race performance as he would score the win in the 5-lap Back-Up race. The Back-Up race is always wild, and that was no different this time with a full field of twenty-nine starters.
It was also the return of the Tire Race – a crowd favorite event hosted about once or twice a year – where drivers must stop and turn around two tires located on opposite ends of the track during their lap around. After a red flag, it came down to a one lap shootout, with points leader entering the day Randy Girouard (#8) finding the right hole to come away with the win!
In stock car racing, Tyson Donovan (#63) joined an elite list of feature winners in Speedway Miramichi history by notching his first career stock car win in the 30-lap Bomber feature! The Renous driver started on the pole and drove away en route to the big win. In his mirror was Johnathan Dickson (#3) who rebounded from his wild flip in May to earn an impressive runner-up finish in his new car, while Timmy Blakely (#69) rounded out the podium.
Only one caution slowed the feature, which came after Jacob Smith (#29) lost a wheel at the halfway mark. Smith was the runner-up in May, but it was a tough day overall for May’s podium as after winning their respective heat races, defending champion Adam Plourde (#11) suffered a flat tire after running as high as second, and Mark Kingston (#97) had some mechanical issues plague his day. Five cars finished on the lead lap, but it was an intense battle for fourth as Blake Bransfield (#60) and Casey Munn (#07) dueled hard, making contact by times, with Bransfield making an aggressive move to get the spot at the line. The fierce battle resulted in some heated tempers, as Munn would give Bransfield a little “love-tap” on the cool down lap. Thirteen Bomber cars were in attendance.
In Mini Stock action, Neil Miousse (#71) earned his second consecutive feature victory with a convincing win! Miousse was forced to start deep in the field as a result of winning the May feature, but that did not stop him. A pair of cautions for incidents in front of him worked to his advantage, and allowed him to take the lead from Guy Basque (#27) on lap 9 and never look back to score the victory. One of those early yellows was the result of an incident between BJ Gillespie (#69) and Rob Poirier (#0) which relegated both drivers to the rear – but both would rebound to finish second and third respectively. Poirier had to work his way through a second time after going for a slide in the early laps.
Gillespie and Matchett took victories in 10-lap heat races. Matchett led the first six laps before the caution between Gillespie and Poirier. On the ensuing restart, Matchett would spin as a result of contact with Mitchell Poirier (#28), which brought out the second and final caution. Daniel Atyeo (#15) would get collected along with Matchett, ending both of their races. Poirier would finish sixth, behind Basque and Mathieu Mallet (#80) who rounded out the top 5.
A trio of Street Stock drivers came out to play, but it was James Matchett (#55) earning both the heat and feature wins on the day. It was a role reversal of May, as Darcy O’Neill (#68) would finish second to Matchett. Christian Savoie (#25) took the final podium spot in third.
The first stop of the 2021 Atlantic Modified Tour in Miramichi was a wild race from start to finish. As of press time, no official results have been released. The Sutherland Excavating 35 saw virtually every contender in the field face some form of adversity at one point or another. That chaos would begin right from the early going, when on the second lap, contact saw Zean Dutcher (#55) and Travis Conroy (#7) spin in front of the field in turn 3. The field would reset and get a nice green flag run in, with Doug Matchett showing the way in his first start at Speedway Miramichi in two years. He was challenged hard by Braxton Stafford (#91) in the first half of the race, while Chris Wilson (#2W) would reel in the top two in the meantime.
Near the halfway mark, the second caution would fly for Travis Conroy’s car losing power and coming to a stop. This would be an extended yellow due to issues requiring Dutcher and Stafford to need a tow in addition to Conroy. On the restart, Yves McCray would capitalize and move into second, and then make a move for the lead just as the races third caution flew for rookie Michael Savoie (#00). With only 12 laps remaining, the race resumed with McCray leading, and Matchett and Wilson in tow – until lap 27 when Matchett and Wilson came together in turn 1, seeing Matchett spin and the caution flag come back out.
The final restart saw even more chaos, as McCray initially resumed in the lead. Braxton Stafford would charge through the field and use the outside to get by McCray – but for Stafford, it wasn’t for position as he had previously been lapped. As Stafford made the pass, McCray had a moment and ended up driving through the dirt in the infield. He saved the car but lost the lead to Joe Hoyt (#17). Hoyt would lead until the last lap, when McCray got into Hoyt in turn 1, spinning Hoyt. As of press time, no feature results have been declared. Matchett won the 10-lap heat race.
Rene Thibodeau won the Burnout Competition.
The next race at Speedway Miramichi is coming up on July 10th with the Firecracker Night! This special show will be headlined by the first running of the Bomber Firecracker 50, which will co-headline the night along with the Firecracker Demolition. The Atlantic Modified Tour and other grassroots racing classes are also on the card! Make plans now!
The Day of 8’s Figure 8 Trailer Race Podium
1. Riley Harris #1
2. Joey Pitre #85 (driving for Dylan Storey)
3. Norm Robichaud #666
The Day of 8’s Demolition Podium
1. Marc-Andre Benoit #81
2. Mitch Brideau #22
3. Riley Harris #1 | Matthew Sullivan #18 | Lionel Breau #028 (three-way tie)
Bomber 30-Lap Feature Results
1. Tyson Donovan #63
2. Johnathan Dickson #3
3. Timmy Blakely #69
4. Blake Bransfield #60
5. Casey Munn #07
6. Riley Harris #1
7. Dylan Doucet #02
8. Samantha Blakely #96
9. Adam Plourde #11
10. Billy Pelletier #18
11. Jacob Smith #29
12. Mark Kingston #97
13. Justin Munn #88
Mini Stock 30-Lap Feature Results
1. Neil Miousse #71
2. BJ Gillespie #69
3. Rob Poirier #0
4. Guy Basque #27
5. Mathieu Mallet #80
6. Mitchell Poirier #28
7. Calvin McLeod #00
8. Grayson Dutcher #55
9. James Matchett #81
10. Daniel Atyeo #15
11. Tyler Lannan-McLeod #24
DNS – Conrad Murphy #89
Street Stock 15-Lap Feature Results
1. James Matchett #55
2. Darcy O’Neill #68
3. Christian Savoie #25
Powder Puff Podium
1. Tania Jean #22
2. Samantha Blakely #014
3. Alexandra Chiasson #10
Demo Dash for Cash Winner – Marc-Andre Benoit #81
Back-Up Race Winner – Dawson Cripps #25
Tire Race Winner – Randy Girouard #8
Burnout Competition Winner – Rene Thibodeau
*Atlantic Modified Tour Sutherland Excavating 35 Feature Results not available as of press time. Full results will be communicated by the Atlantic Modified Tour.