Spring Smash Spotlights Speedway Miramichi Opener
Speedway Miramichi will kick off the maritime stock car racing season for a third consecutive season on Saturday May 15th, with the running of the Spring Smash Season Opener! This event promises to be a thrilling start to the next chapter of racing at the historic oval, with early indications having management preparing for the largest opening day car count of the modern era!
Upwards of thirty Demolition cars are expected to take to the track for the headlining act – the Spring Smash Demolition. After not being held in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, this event is sure to be as wild and crazy as it always is! Also on the card is a full slate of stock car racing, with 30 lap features on tap for the Bomber, Mini Stock, and Street Stock divisions. The Spring Smash will be the first points race on the schedule for all divisions, as drivers begin their quest to capture coveted track championships! This will include the ladies, as for the first time, a Powder Puff Points Championship is being contested at Speedway Miramichi!
Mitch Brideau (#22) enters as the reigning Demolition champion and looks to begin his quest to defend his crown. Brideau emerged as a championship caliber driver in 2020, and since the first race one year ago, he has captured five of seven entered Dash for Cash races, multiple podiums in the final Demolition, as well as countless other accolades. While he will be tough to beat, he has some hungry competition looking to dethrone the champ, led by last years runner-up Dawson Cripps (#25). Cripps proved his capabilities in 2020 and had a strong run at the Easter Bunny Bash in March, making him an early pick for the championship.
Working back through the field, the depth is deep in terms of Demo stars, with last years third place points finisher Sam Jardine (#12) expected to compete. Sam is not planning a full-season in 2021, meaning she will want to make the most of any starts she makes. Tyler Chamberlain (#24) quietly worked his way to a fourth place points finish, and sits poised to make some noise this year, while Matthew Sullivan (#18) was The Day of 8’s winner in 2020 en route to a top five points finish – one he will look to improve on this year.
With the depth of the field comes two-time track champion Jean-Francois Basque (#21), winner of the Demolition Blowout in 2020. Easter Bunny Bash winner Billy Pelletier (#333) is expected to return in hopes his second trip to Speedway Miramichi is as good as his first. Five-time Demolition winner Riley Harris (#1) will be in the field, as will standout Randy Girouard (#8). Julien Benoit (#47) won the first race of 2020, and hopes to have the same luck in 2021, while Marc-Andre Benoit (#81) will be looking for another strong season this year. Dylan Storey (#85), Shawn Sisk (#94), Remi Rouselle (#010) and Jonathan Leclair (#10) are expecting big things for the year to come. Tommy Morrel (#33), Mike Walsh (#11) and Maxime Landry (#013) are all registered to compete, and this just scratches the surface with upwards of thirty cars expected to compete.
Potential Entries – Spring Smash – May 15th, 2021
#01 – Riley Harris #010 – Remi Rouselle #013 – Maxime Landry #02 – Dylan Doucet #1 – Riley Harris #5 – Dakota Wray #8 – Randy Girouard #10 – Jonathan Leclair #11 – Mike Walsh #12 – Sam Jardine #18 – Matthew Sullivan #21 – Jean-Francois Basque #22 – Mitch Brideau #25 – Dawson Cripps #28 – Gary Caissie #33 – Tommy Morel #47 – Julien Benoit #81 – Marc-Andre Benoit #85 – Dylan Storey #94 – Shawn Sisk #99 – Mathieu Brideau #333 – Billy Pelletier #666 – Norm Robichaud #764 – Ricky Bourdreau #? – Driver TBA
More entries expected. Entry list subject to change without notice!
Past Spring Smash Winners
2014 – Kevin Lee Brideau #8x 2015 – Rained Out 2016 – Stephane Poirier #75 2017 – Randy Dick #6 2018 – Marc-Andre Benoit #47 2019 – Joey Pitre #20 2020 – Cancelled due to COVID-19
Demolition drivers will first compete through a series of preliminary events, including the Dash for Cash, Back-Up Race, Kidney Race, and Figure 8 Race!
The story of 2020 on the stock car side of the action was the debut of the Bomber division, which rapidly grew into one of the largest divisions around all while producing some great racing. An ultra-competitive class, there were five different winners in five races during the inaugural season. On track, the battles between Adam Plourde (#52) and Johnathan Dickson (#3) were incredible to watch. Plourde would claim the points championship, but Dickson would start an impressive streak finishing on the podium every race, one he looks to continue into this year. This duo is expected to battle hard for wins once again, but the competition will be even tougher!
With a different winner in each race last year, Jacob Smith (#29), Mark Kingston (#97) and Timmy Blakely (#69) all found their way into victory lane last year, and will look to write history as the first two-time winner in series history. Blakely co-drove with his wife, Samantha Blakely (#96) who will have her own car this year after notching a pair of heat race victories last season. Riley Harris (#1), Ben Jardine (#76) and Blake Bransfield (#60) all nearly found themselves on the podium on multiple occasions, and hope that with some improvements, they will be mixing it up for the win.
Several newcomers are joining the class this year, including a healthy crop of rookies. Two drivers who are no strangers to racing in Tyson Donovan (#63) and Randy Girouard (#8) are intending to compete full-time in the Bomber division. Other newcomers include rookies Colby Walsh (#57), Evan Hutchinson (#54) and Stanson Donovan (#36). All will be looking to kick start successful 2021 campaigns during Saturday’s 30-lap feature!
For the first time in 2021, Mini Stock competitors will take to the track with a nice field of cars lined up. A storyline heading into this year is the border closures – as the defending Mini Stock champion JR Lawson (#81) hails from Nova Scotia and will be unable to compete for now (but hopefully in the not-so-distant future). This opens the door for some surprise winners – as only one driver expected to be in the field is a former winner. That driver is a heavy hitter, with 2018 track champion Rob Poirier (#0) expected to be in attendance to kick off the season. Poirier was the big winner of opening day in 2020, picking up a pair of future wins.
Some stout local competition will be partaking in this event, with all of them looking to score their first feature wins. Mathieu Mallet (#80) could be the driver to watch, after scoring five podium finishes en route to finishing runner up to JR Lawson in points. Mitchell Poirier (#28) was not far behind bringing home a fourth place points finish – one he looks to improve upon. Rookie of the year from one season ago Conrad Murphy (#89) looks to kick off a strong sophomore campaign as is Grayson Dutcher (#55), while Tyler Lannan-McLeod (#24) and Calvin McLeod (#00) look to showcase their talents on opening day. Guy Basque (#27) has shown his speed in the past, but 2020 was a dismal year and he will look to bounce back from it. Former Passione Interiors and Flooring East Coast Mini Stock Tour driver Neil Miousse (#71) is expected to be in the field for the Spring Smash, while Brandon Campbell (#99) makes his return behind the wheel on Saturday.
Street Stock competitors will get their first opportunity to turn laps as part of the Spring Smash. The field may be light in quantity, but it should be strong in quality. A number of drivers are prevented from competing by border measures and isolation requirements for their work unfortunately, along with other factors - and while we look forward to them joining us later in the summer, there is business to take care of first. Defending champion Bryar Ellis (#95) is among those who is not expected to compete, which will open the door for the likes of Darcy O’Neill (#68) and James Matchett (#55) to score a win and begin a championship chase.
For the first time, an all-girls points championship will be contested at Speedway Miramichi, and it all starts at the Spring Smash. All Powder Puff races will be 10 laps in length, with points being tallied throughout the year to crown a champion. While no official registration is conducted for this, a number of talented ladies can be expected to compete, including Tania Jean, the most recent Powder Puff winner, along with the duo that swept the entire season in 2020, Amber Sickles and Sam Jardine. Fields have been growing for this division, and another stout field is expected to partake.
Pre-race, an awards presentation will take place on the front stretch for the top 5 in points to make up for the banquet which was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. This will get underway shortly after 1:30pm.
Pits open at 10:30am on race day with grandstands opening at 11:00am, with action getting underway at 2pm. Grandstand admission is $20 for adults, $10 for youth ages 8 to 17 years old and seniors 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. Grandstand passes can ONLY BE PURCHASED ON RACE DAY.
A crew from Tim’s Corner Motorsports will be at the facility with a LIVE Broadcast from Speedway Miramichi. The racing action and the TimsCorner.tv (TCMtv) live broadcast begins at 1:30pm when the awards presentation begins, with racing action getting underway at 2pm on Saturday. A portion of sales go back to support Speedway Miramichi and the race tracks the TCMtv crew visits. Please note, all pass prices will be listed in USD. TimsCorner.tv is a member of the Speed Sport TV network.
A reminder to all on COVID-19 protocol at the facility. Fans are advised to come early as all patrons will be required to give their contact info, per the Government of New Brunswick. In addition, physical distancing in effect throughout the grandstands, and spectators are asked to abide by all signs and directives. Hand sanitization stations will be set up throughout the facility. Masks are required whenever fans are travelling throughout the facility but can be removed when seated in the stands within your bubble, 2 meters away from any other group. New for 2021, no alcohol is permitted on the property, including in the grandstands, due to regulations from the New Brunswick Festival and Events guide. Staff and security are on site to educate patrons on procedures and answer any questions, and many signs are placed to guide and remind on regulations. Above all, everyone is reminded to use common sense. Safety is a top priority both on and off the track at Speedway Miramichi.
For more information, stay tuned to Speedway Miramichi’s social platforms, “Speedway Miramichi Inc.” on Facebook, “speedway.miramichi” on Instagram, and our website at speedwaymiramichi.com.