For race no. 11 of the 12 race schedule, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will be heading to Riverside International Speedway in Antigonish, Nova Scotia for the Komatsu 300 presented by Wilson Equipment on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 4:30 p.m. AT. This marks the series’ fifth visit to the 0.333 mile oval that has been designed based upon Bristol Motor Speedway’s configuration.
In the past, weather has been a factor as the race has been postponed a day twice in the previous four events.
Like last week at Barrie Speedway, everybody will have their eyes on the championship battle between Scott Steckly and DJ Kennington. Steckly, who won the championship in 2008, currently leads the points, 69 points over defending series champion Kennington after the Wild Wing 300 last Saturday.
Steckly has ran decent on the 0.333-mile oval in the past, scoring a second place finish last year. Before that, he only had one other top-10 at Riverside, which came in 2007 with a sixth place finish. He has also led a total of 182 laps at Riverside.
In contrast, Kennington won last year’s race and finished third in his track debt in 2007. He has led a total of 194 laps, also.
Other drivers who have won at Riverside include Mark Dilley, Andrew Ranger and Don Thomson Jr.
Coming off his third career win at Barrie Speedway, Dilley is looking for another solid weekend to possibly crack the top five in points. He won the inaugural series race at Riverside in 2007 and has since finished fourth, third and eighth.
Thomson Jr. won at Riverside in 2008 while finishing third last year. Thomson is looking for his eighth series win and is hoping experience from leading 53 laps at Riverside over the years will help.
Ranger, who has been running a limited schedule this year, is not scheduled to participate in this weekend’s action.
While everybody will have their eyes on the point standings and the lead pack, another battle going on is the Rookie of the Year battle. Currently, L.P Dumoulin leads Isabelle Tremblay by two points, John Farano by seven and Steve Mathews by 13. According to the mathimatics of the award, all of these drivers have a possibility to still win it.
The rookie points system is a simple one. The top-finishing rookie driver earns 10 points, the next collects nine points and so on down the line to one. Should there be more than 10 rookies in the field no driver earns less than a single point.
Originally this year, Dumoulin was only going to run the road courses, though the rookie standings have him now running the final oval events of the year.
“(Oval racing) is really different from road courses,” the Trois-Rivieres, Quebec native. “The driving style and car setups are nothing alike, but I enjoyed it. All of the teams have been really helpful with information. That was a big help.”
Meanwhile for Tremblay, it has been something that’s been on her mind all year.
“That was one of our goals from the beginning,” Tremblay, who scored her best career finish of eighth at Mosport earlier this year, said. “We’re in good position to win it with a little luck.”