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Riverside International Speedway opener next weekend

Action returns to Riverside International Speedway this weekend.
Action returns to Riverside International Speedway this weekend. - FILE

Riverside International Speedway (RIS) is set to start the 2018 season this Saturday, June 16, with the Ron MacGillivray Chev Buick GMC 150 for the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour (PST).

The race is round three of 12 for the series season and if the first two races are any indication, it promises to keep race fans on the edge of their seats for all 150 laps.

Heading for Riverside, the series championship point standings see Dylan Blenkhorn (Truro) leading Cole Butcher (Porter's Lake) by just one point. This is a result of the two drivers finishing first and second in the first two races; Blenkhorn took the checkers in round one and Butcher in round two.

While Blenkhorn has three wins at Riverside - including the last two Ron MacGillivray Chev Buick GMC 150's, Butcher has a better average finish at the high-banked 1/3-mile oval, at 5.8 over 15 races vs. 7.9 for Blenkhorn over the same time period - and Butcher is coming off a big win in a U.S.-based Pro All Stars Series event, held in New Brunswick June 3.

Blenkhorn is the reigning champion of Riverside's IWK 250; Butcher is the 2016 champion of the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour.

Besides the battle between these two drivers, race fans at RIS June 16 will see a full field of stout cars and talented PST racers all looking to get their name in the win column, including Craig Slaunwhite (Halifax) who is third in the point standings, Darren MacKinnon (Charlottetown) - fourth in the standings, and Shawn Turple (Enfield) - fifth in the standings, and more.

Local racers Donald Chisholm (Antigonish) and George Koszkulics (New Glasgow) will also be in the show. Chisholm is the 2015 PST champion and both he and Koszkulics are multi-time winners at RIS.

NASCAR Pinty's Series racer Jason Hathaway (Stouffville, ON) is expected too; he’ll be hoping to score his first PST win and his second win at Riverside - having won the 2013 edition of the RIS Pinty's Series race.

“Anytime I can get to Riverside and race, I jump all over it,” Hathaway said.

“The Ed Hakonson Racing team will make the 1800 km trip to join the PST again this year. We didn't get the results we needed from last year’s trip to this race with some new car gremlins. As a Chevrolet based team, like EHR is, it would be great if we could get the win at the Ron MacGillivray 150.”

Besides the pro stocks, fans will see season-opening action for the NAPA Sportsman Series (NSS) in the Henry's AUTOPRO 75, the first of four NSS races at Riverside this year and round one of five for the series championship chase.

Fans will also be treated to a display of new and unique General Motors products from Ron MacGillivray Chev Buick GMC as well as a mobile Kubota display that will make one of its only stops in Nova Scotia at Riverside for this event.

Qualifying races for both pro stock and sportsman start at 6 p.m. followed by semi-features (if necessary) and the feature races for both divisions; the box office and grandstand gates open at 3 p.m.

Advance tickets are now available online at RiversideSpeedway.ca; admission is $25 for adults, $10 for students (16 to 18), $5 for youth (8 to 15), and children seven and under get in free. Reserved seats are also offered for those who purchase their tickets in advance.

There is plenty of free spectator parking for the June 16 event, along with free unreserved parking for self-contained RV's.

A complete race day format can be found on the RIS website by visiting the Ron MacGillivray Chev Buick GMC 150 event page.

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