Pelletier Slides to Easter Bunny Bash Victory
Billy Pelletier (#333) made the haul from Western New Brunswick to Speedway Miramichi for the first time on Saturday and would leave $1000 richer after claiming the Easter Bunny Bash Winter Demolition! Billed as the inaugural Winter Demolition at held at the McKinnon Road oval, it held true to its hype after a wintery mix of weather overnight presented winter like track conditions. From snow to slush, ice and mud, the conditions challenged some of the best drivers throughout the day as they put on a phenomenal show to kick off the 2021 season.
Pelletier made the final hit to take the win, with Riley Harris (#1) being the second last car running in the final Demo. Unfortunately for Harris, transmission problems plagued his performance, and after review, it was determined those problems resulted in him exceeding the allowable time limit to make a hit, which awarded second place to Jonathan Leclair (#10), while Dawson Cripps (#25) rounded out the podium.
Pelletier bested an impressive field of thirty-one cars to win the historic show. Of the cars in attendance, twenty-two started the Enduro portion of the finale, while thirteen would start the final Demolition after several cars were pulled out of the snow in the infield.
Even though the prize money was only awarded for the last car running in the Demolition portion of the two-part finale, it would not matter as Pelletier was the winner of the Enduro. Pelletier took the lead on lap 14, and he would maintain the lead until the red and checkered flags flew to wrap up part one. This came after the completion of around twenty laps as the field dwindled with many cars getting stuck after some wild action.
That wild action in the Enduro began on lap one, when a melee in turn two ended the day for several cars. A lap later, contact between Dylan Storey (#85) and Rejean Robichaud (#77) sent both cars straight into the turn 1 wall, ending their run. Mathieu Brideau (#99) would work his way into the lead on lap 3, but that lead would be short lived as Brideau would go for a ride in turn 1, getting some serious air as he hit the parked car of Storey – which drew the lone red flag of the event. On the restart, the lead would be exchanged several times between Shawn Sisk (#94), Tyler McCormick (#66) and Pelletier. Another big incident came in turn 3, when Cripps, Mitch Brideau, and Johnathan Dickson (#69) all went into the infield, before getting smoked by the 94 car of Sisk.
Defending track champion Mitch Brideau (#22) would pick up where he left off one season ago, by claiming the victory in the opening Dash for Cash - becoming the first driver to ever win a race at Speedway Miramichi in the snow! For Brideau, who won the majority of Dash for Cash races in 2020, the win did not come easy. He had to capitalize on a series of misfortunes for drivers up front throughout the race to claim the victory.
The first dramatic moment of the Dash for Cash came as Ricky Boudreau (#764) made a pass for the lead early in the race. After completing the pass on Justin Brymer (#71), the drivers came together on the backstretch sending Boudreau spinning into the infield, ending his race in a cloud of snow. A number of drivers including Norm Robichaud (#666) and Robert Legere (#04) would spin in the following laps. For the leaders, lapped traffic would be the final straw which allowed Brideau to take the lead and never look back in the 8-lap race! Twenty-two cars took part in the Dash for Cash.
Tania Jean (#22) would capture the Powder Puff race, breaking a nearly two-year streak of wins for Sam Jardine (#12) and Amber Sickles, the latter of whom could not be in attendance. Jardine would create a major storyline during the race, being given a challenge to start half a lap down by Tim Terry of Tim’s Corner Motorsports.
Jardine accepted the challenge, and within laps had worked her way up through the field. This came after early race leader Monique Benoit (#99 ¾) lost control coming out of turn 4 and spun out in front of the field, blocking the track. Jean grabbed the lead after Benoit’s spin, while Jardine marched through the field. With 3 laps to go, Jardine was up to second and attempted to make the pass for the lead down the backstretch, but contact with Jean resulted in Jardine spinning out, and Jean driving away to the victory! Chelsea Bowron (#1) would come home second in her Powder Puff debut, with Jardine coming home in third. Nine cars started the 10-lap Powder Puff race.
Eric Pryor (#357) picked up the win in the Back-Up race, which was a wild affair. The tricky conditions made driving in reverse even more challenging than normal, resulting in a near-gridlocked traffic jam on the opening lap. Dawson Cripps would jump out to the early lead but battled closely with Pryor before a battle in lapped traffic slowed him down. Pryor’s win came over a field of nineteen cars.
Almost everyone went into the snowbank for the 10-lap Bump to Pass race, but it would be Jacob Girouard (#9) taking the lead coming to the white flag to take the win. Dawson Cripps dominated much of the race and opened up a sizeable lead, but with two laps to go, Cripps would catch the snowbank and spin, relinquishing the lead to Girouard. Cripps would rebound to finish third, just behind Tyler McCormick. Twenty-three cars participated in the Bump to Pass race.
Johnathan Dickson was awarded the victory in the burnout competition, putting on quite a smoke-show despite the snowy conditions!
Efforts now shift to the summer season of action at Speedway Miramichi. The Spring Smash and Tim’s Corner Motorsports Bandolero Blast Off will take to the track on Saturday May 15th for the first points event of an action packed 2021 season!
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Easter Bunny Bash Podium
1. Billy Pelletier #333
2. Jonathan Leclair #10
3. Dawson Cripps #25
Dash for Cash Winner – Mitch Brideau #22
Powder Puff Winner – Tania Jean #22
Back-Up Race Winner – Eric Pryor #357
Bump to Pass Race Winner – Jacob Girouard #9
Burnout Competition Winner – Johnathan Dickson