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Riverside ending 50th anniversary season with a bang

Napa Sportsman Series drivers, some pictured here in action during the Henry’s AUTOPRO 100 Aug. 16 at Riverside, will settle the title in the Henry's AUTOPRO 75, this Saturday (Sept. 7) at Riverside International Speedway. Richard MacKenzie
Napa Sportsman Series drivers, some pictured here in action during the Henry’s AUTOPRO 100 Aug. 16 at Riverside, will settle the title in the Henry's AUTOPRO 75, this Saturday (Sept. 7) at Riverside International Speedway. Richard MacKenzie - Richard MacKenzie

Lucas Oil 150 this Saturday

JAMES RIVER, N.S. —

This 2019 season has been a 50th anniversary celebration at Riverside International Speedway, a season which will conclude Saturday night, Sept. 7, with a big show featuring round 11 of 12 for the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour in the Lucas Oil 150.

As well, there are championship-deciding races for the Napa Sportsman Series and the Passione Flooring East Coast Mini Stock Tour, and a sensational celebratory fireworks display, to end the evening.

“We really appreciate everyone’s support over the years and especially the enthusiasm we’ve seen this year with the 50th anniversary celebration,” Paul McLean, general manager for the facility said. “With the points seasons winding down, the racing action is sure to be fierce in all three divisions.

“We think the fireworks display at the end will be the perfect way to put a period on our 50th anniversary celebrations at the track.”

Fans should note a special 4 p.m. start time for this event; the grandstand opens at noon. And, fans should come to the track prepared to share favourite memories from Riverside as track announcer Dylan Langille will roam the grandstand throughout the afternoon/evening looking for special stories, rewarding the storytellers with official Riverside swag.

Truro’s Dylan Blenkhorn leads the chase for the championship with the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour as the series contests its second-to-last race for this season at Riverside with the Lucas Oil 150.

Blenkhorn holds a 21-point advantage over Jonathan Hicken (Montague, P.E.I.). Jarrett Butcher (Porters Lake) is in third-place, 89 markers out of second-place. Craig Slaunwhite (Terence Bay) is just four points behind Butcher and Dylan Gosbee (Cornwall, P.E.I.) is 12 behind Butcher, rounding out the top five points-getters.

Blenkhorn is a four-time PST feature winner at Riverside while Hicken is still looking for his first trip to victory lane at the historic 1/3-mile high banked oval.

Local favourites, Antigonish’s Donald Chisholm and George Koszkulics (New Glasgow), are both expected to challenge series regulars in the Lucas Oil 150. Chisholm is an eight-time PST winner at Riverside, while Koszkulics has four PST feature wins at the fast oval. Chisholm will drive the No. 88 John Chisholm/Holman & Moody Mustang Boss 302/ RIS50 tribute car in the race. Both Chisholm and Koszkulics race out of the Antigonish-based Nova Racing stable.

Fans will also see Pictou's up-and-coming racing star Austin MacDonald making his PST debut. The teenager will drive a car out of the King Racing shop owned by his grandfather, racing legend Rollie MacDonald.

Austin, who turned 16 on Aug. 27, started racing Bandoleros when he was 10 and soon moved into the Legends Cars which he has raced all over the U.S. and Canada, including a couple of times at Riverside.

The Lucas Oil 150 has seen 10 different winners in its 18-year history; Chisholm leads the way with four trips to victory lane in the event, most recently in 2017.

The Napa Sportsman Series and the Passione Flooring East Coast Mini Stock Tour will both see series championships decided at Riverside Saturday.

The Napa Sportsman Series drivers will settle the title in the Henry's AUTOPRO 75 and the Mini Stock Tour will contest a 50-lap feature to mark its season finale.

In the Napa Sportsman Series, Matt Vaughan (Bedford) leads the way by 22 markers over Colby Smith (Centreville). Darren Price (Main-a-Dieu) is third just three out of second, Dennis Nickerson (Marshy Hope) fourth - six out of third, and Ryan VanOirschot (Antigonish) fifth - just two markers out of fourth.

Among the top five contenders for the title, Smith is the only former series champion (2011/2017/2018).

Dave Matthews (Nine Mile River) holds a commanding lead in the Passione Flooring East Coast Mini Stock Tour (MST) standings, with Neil Miousse (Kentville), Jesse Deveau (Greenwood), Cody Byrne (Orwell Cove, PE), and Drew MacEachern (Dartmouth) locked in a tight battle for second through fifth.

Complete and current MST standings heading for the series championship race at Riverside can be found at eastcoastministocktour.com.

Reserved and general admission tickets for the Sept. 7 event can be purchased in advance at RiversideSpeedway.ca until Thursday (Sept. 5).

General admission tickets will be available at the gate on race day, starting at noon. There is plenty of free spectator and RV parking for this event; all camping areas will be open except for ‘Family 1’ which will be closed for the weekend to house the season-ending fireworks display.

Camping reservations are not required for this event.

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