As the IWK 250 presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body continues to reinforce its status as Canada’s ultimate stock car race, so too does the star power it attracts.
The expected entry list for 2017 is the strongest in years for any stock car race in Canada, with top racers from six Canadian provinces and three U.S. states set to converge on Riverside International Speedway for the July 15 event.
Anticipation is high to see NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Mark Martin, a winner of 96 races in NASCAR’s top three series as well as five-time IROC champion and four-time ASA champion, take on all challengers in the IWK 250, as he pilots the popular Cat Car for Kids sponsored by Atlantic Cat.
Thirty-nine teams have already entered the IWK 250 including eight other drivers, besides Martin, who have won series or division championships; Cole Butcher – 2016 Pro Stock Tour champion, local driver Donald Chisholm – 2015 Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour (PST) champion, Greg Fahey – seven time Speedway 660 champion, John Flemming – five time PST champion, Jeff Fultz – a multi-time champion in the southeast U.S. touring series, Dave O’Blenis – five time Speedway 660 champion, Lonnie Sommerville – 2015 Speedway 660 champion, and Shawn Turple – two time PST champion.
In addition, there are four drivers on the expected entry list who have experienced the glory of winning an IWK 250; defending champion Chisholm, Flemming, Kent Vincent and Darren MacKinnon. Flemming and Vincent are the only two-time winners of the IWK 250.
If Sommerville or Cassius Clark win the IWK 250, they will become the first driver in Maritime motorsports history to win the Triple Crown – the region’s top three races; IWK 250, Atlantic Cat 250 at Scotia Speedworld and Irving 250 at Speedway 660.
Several drivers from outside the Maritimes have entered the IWK 250 including two from Ontario; Canada’s ‘Iron Man’ of racing Gary Elliott, and NASCAR Pinty’s Series multi-time winner Jason Hathaway.
There are two from Newfoundland, Josh Collins and Brandon McFarlane, one from Alberta, Kyle Reid (originally from Sydney), and three from the U.S., Clark, Fultz and Martin.
These drivers, along with the rest of the field, will be competing for their share of the purse with more than $100,000 on the line. The winner is guaranteed $10,000 and could take home as much as $17,100.
And then there are the accolades that come with winning the IWK 250, widely known as Canada’s ultimate stock car race. Accolades that include a unique custom trophy to take home as well as the winner having their name on the John W. Chisholm Memorial Cup; the event’s perpetual trophy created in memory of John Chisholm who was the founder of Riverside International Speedway and co-founder of the IWK 250.
Heat races, a last chance race and provisional starting spots will set the 30-car starting field for the IWK 250. With 39 cars already entered, the qualifying competition is expected to be fierce.
The IWK 250 is a championship points race for the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour.
Top Sportsman drivers, including NAPA Sportsman Series champions Colby Smith, Russell Smith, Jr., Aaron Boutilier, Chris Reid, and Shawn Waterfield, have entered the R & D Performancenter 150. Smith is the defending race winner.
The list of expected entries for the Farrell’s Excavating Maritime Legends Challenge includes five teams from Newfoundland and three-time Maritime League of Legends champion Justin MacNeill.
A complete list of expected entries to-date for each of the three races at Riverside, on July 14 and 15, can be found at www.riversidespeedway.ca by visiting the event pages.
Additional teams can enter right up until race day so the published expected entry lists are subject to change.
The IWK 250 Super Race Weekend gets underway Thursday, July 13, with the IWK 250 Tailgate Party featuring Signal Hill.
Friday, July 14, will see the unveiling of a fully-restored vintage race car, a chance to meet legendary NASCAR fuel man ‘Chocolate’ Myers and to see the R&D Performancenter 150 for the NAPA Sportsman Series and the Farrell’s Excavating Maritime Legends Challenge.
On Saturday, July 15, it’s the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis when NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Mark Martin will take on the best stock car racers from eastern Canada and beyond.
Advance ticket sales are strong for the IWK 250 Super Race Weekend and fans are encouraged to use the new order and pay online tickets system at www.riversidespeedway.ca to get their tickets. Those with advance tickets can use the express entry gate at the track on race day.
Tickets will be available at the gate starting at 4 p.m., July 14, and noon July 15.
All overnight parking (RVs, tents, etc.) at Riverside, over the IWK 250 weekend, requires an advance reservation and is based on availability. Management has secured extra space to expand the camping area; applications for reservations are available online at www.riversidespeedway.ca until July 11 (while supply lasts).
Since its inception in 2007, the IWK 250 has helped raise awareness and more than $410,000 for the IWK.
Riverside International Speedway is recognized as a premiere stock racing facility in Canada. The 1/3-mile high-banked asphalt oval roars to action several times a year for special events. It is the home of the IWK 250 – widely known as the best stock-car race in Canada, and of the Bumper to Bumper 300 – eastern Canada’s only NASCAR event.
Located in James River, between New Glasgow and Antigonish, the facility is easily accessible at exit 30 on Trans-Canada Highway 104.
For more information visit www.riversidespeedway.ca or call 902-863-2410.