The Parts for Trucks Tour comes to Speedway 660 this weekend. It’s one of our biggest and most exciting Pro Stock events of the year. Wade Wilson recently talked with his friend Tim Terry, the tour announcer, about Saturday night’s Irving Blending and Packaging 100, how things are going on the tour this year and a lot of other racing related stuff.
Wade: Hello Tim. Speedway 660 fans are anxious to see the Parts for Trucks Tour race this weekend. How are things going so far this year?
Tim: The racing on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour this season has been incredible. It’s the closest competition we’ve seen in years. Three of our four races have seen the lead change hands for the final time with three or less laps to go! On Sunday the Lucas Oil 150 came down to the last lap when Dylan Gosbee passed Shawn Tucker to grab his first career victory. Not only is the race for the win close, but the whole field is tight. The Atlantic Tiltload Time Trials last week only had six tenths of a second between first and last. That old cliche “it’s anyone’s race” can really be applied to our series this season. Anyone of the 25 or more cars we’ll see Saturday for the Irving Blending and Packaging 100 could take the checkered flag and Round Five on our 12 race series!
Wade: You have been the tour announcer for the last few years and are still a pretty young guy. How did you get involved in racing at such an early age?
Tim: My father took me to Scotia Speedworld one afternoon in 2000 and I was sold. I began announcing racing online through sim racing (at the time on the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season platform) in 2004. I was 14 at the time and did some big races of that time and got to interview Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. as well as a couple of kids by the names of Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski. Needless to say, I’ll be pretty excited to catch up with Brad K at the IWK 250 later this month to see if he remembers me! I started announcing at Scotia Speedworld in 2007 with Mike Kaplan. My first race was the Maritime League of Legends opener and all I can remember is being as nervous as anything. In 2008, just a month after graduating from high school, those nerves were back when I went to Speedway 660 and filled in for Andy Campbell for Pro Stock Tour qualifying. I looked up to Andy as one of the best announcers in the region and was honoured the week prior at Riverside when he asked if I would cover the event for him. In the off-season that year, Mike retired from full-time announcing at the Speedworld and Scott Alexander called me to see if I would be interested in taking on the Tour full time as well. I guess the rest is history. I still announce some sim racing events, including the NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship every second Tuesday at 10pm. The series is the only NASCAR sanctioned series and their champion gets $10,000 and a trip to Homestead,Miami to accept their money and ring on the stage prior to driver introductions for the Ford 400! Thats all for playing a video game! We’re also on the Motor Racing Network website every Tuesday, which is pretty cool for someone who grew up listening to Barney Hall and Joe Moore on Sunday afternoons.
Tim Terry (left) enjoys an interview with Drew MacEachern, an ACE Lumbermart Thunder Car driver at Scotia Speedworld. Tim is one of North America’s best young up-and-coming short-track announcers! (photo credit: Mike McCarthy)
Wade: Sometimes we take the caliber of racing in the Maritimes for granted. But you and I both know the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour is one of the most exciting, competitive brands of short-track racing in Canada.
Tim: It really is. Not to toot our own horn, but the competition and depth of our field has grown so much over the years. For example, Stacey Clements has returned to the Tour in a part-time role this year, after being out of the seat since 2007 and he’s “blown-away” with the competition on the Tour at every track. Unlike some other series and divisions, when we roll into town, we have over a dozen drivers who can win. That element of unpredictability is pretty unique and keeps fans coming out to the tracks. Our tech guys keep our competition close and our teams honest every week as well. Timmy Bruce and Trevor MacDonald have put together a great staff of guys, who will comb a car to the Nth degree to make sure race teams are playing the game like they should. Our series is well known around North America. Take a look at what Wayne Smith did last February at New Smyrna! He had a top ten car in every race and was running in the top five on the final night before a bad restart shuffled him back. When one of our drivers pulls into the pits at any track in this country or south of the border, they’re a contender. When it comes to short track racing, whether it’s on the Tour or a Weekly Racing Series show, we’re pretty spoiled in Atlantic Canada!
Wade: Speedway 660 is the only track in our region that runs a weekly pro stock division. That makes things interesting when you guys come to town because some of our RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock drivers enter your race.
Tim: Not only do they enter Wade, they are pretty competitive. Dave O’Blenis, Kevin Moore and Matt Harris have each won races on our Tour as a Pro Stock regular at Speedway 660. We’ve seen Steve Halpin and Greg Fahey turn heads in Pro Stock Tour events in recent years and I’m sure we will see a few drivers bring their skills to the track on Saturday and go toe-to-toe with guys like Tucker, Flemming, Turple, Chisholm, Proude, Hicken and the rest of our Parts for Trucks pro stock stars!
Wade: Tell us about your website TimsCorner.ca. How did you get started with that and what is the site all about?
Tim: I launched the website in 2011 to write about drivers and post news about race events in our region. I also write for MaritimeProStockTour.com and ScotiaSpeedworld.ca. Tims Corner has grown to be the portal for Atlantic Canadian stock car news and information. We do news stories and an audio podcast with Tim’s Corner Unplugged, which features interviews from the tracks I visit. For example, while you’re in Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane talking to drivers, I’ll also be down there with my recorder, so fans can go on my site and hear their favorite driver, in the week or two following the event. It gives the drivers, teams and their sponsors a bit of added exposure which they deserve. They are the ones working hard each week to get their cars to the track to put on a show for the fans. If I can help them get a bit more face time with the fans, to get those fans closer to them, then my goal is accomplished. The drivers, teams and track promoters have welcomed it with open arms, as you can see every Saturday night in the Geary Woods with Tim’s Corner Motorsports stickers popping up on a lot of the cars throughout all five of your weekly divisions. Those stickers have come from Imaginit Designs and I need to thank Dan Eddy for helping me with those this year. Without sponsors to help offset my costs, I couldn’t go to the tracks and give the drivers and teams that coverage. Days Inn Oromocto and Cannon Security Inc. have been with me since the start and without them, it would be hard to do what I do. Richard and Anne Martin at Martin’s Home Heating have also come on board this year, along with MacKinnon’s Trucking and the NAPA Sportsman Series. I’m always looking for more advertising partners who want to promote their products and services to thousands of brand-loyal race fans. I invite everyone to check out my website at: http://www.timscorner.ca!
Wade: You get to meet a lot of great people in racing all across the Maritimes. What is it about these people and this sport that you like best?
Tim: That’s easy. On and off the track, this sport is such a tight knit family and I’ve been honoured to be a part of that family at all of the tracks in the region. Between TimsCorner.ca, my work with various sanctioning bodies and even with the sim racing work I do, I’ve got to meet some really great people from around the world. When I started the TCM sticker program last year, one of the first drivers that messaged me wanting to run the stickers was Brent Roy. Since then, Brent and I text, tweet and Facebook back and forth, keeping up with what’s going on at the track and how the #26 does each week. I mentioned CSI came on as a partner last year with TCM, Shannon Brake was one of those guys who welcomed me to the track with open arms, like I was one of his team members. I spent some time at the banquet last year with Glyn Nott and his team after the awards. I got the opportunity to head south a couple times with Mike and Cole Boudreau. Not only did I get a new appreciation for Bandolero and Legend racing, I also got to meet some awesome people I now keep in touch with. Here’s an example on how small this racing world can be. Now, I know you’re not up on Twitter Wade, but this one might get you signed up. Michael McCarville is a shock specialist on the #55 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car fielded out of the Michael Waltrip Racing shop and hails from Prince Edward Island. While he’s been south for years now, he still keeps track of the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour on Twitter. I had the chance to stop in on the way home from Florida in February and while the team was busy getting the hauler ready to head to Phoenix with the Aaron’s Dream Machine, Michael took some time out to talk some racing, not only on the Sprint Cup circuit but back home as well. He’ll be a bit busy on Saturday night with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Beach, Florida, but I’m sure you’ll see a tweet or two from @mwr55nook checking in on how we’re progressing in at Speedway 660!
Tim Terry interviews Joey Logano at the 2012 IWK 250. Tim says that race at Riverside International Speedway; the Atlantic Cat 250 at Scotia Speedworld and; Speedway 660’s Auto Value 250 provide Maritime fans with some of the best racing action in North America! (photo credit: Pat Healey/Weekly Press)
Wade: There are three major tracks and three major races in our region and you get to call the action in all of them. What is it about the IWK 250 at Riverside International Speedway, the Atlantic Cat 250 at Scotia Speedworld and the Auto Value 250 at Speedway 660 that is so exciting?
Tim: Many things really make these events exciting. For me, it’s the ambiance and the atmosphere. When you’re at one of those races, the electricity in the air is unparalleled to any other single race event you’ll be at throughout the year at that facility. You can feel the nerves and butterflies from the teams on the grid as they prepare for 250 green flag laps and a potential huge payday at the checkered flag. To put it into a bit of a perspective, I went to the Daytona 500 this year for the first time. As a fan, you get that feeling that you are at the biggest race of the year. No other event for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series even comes close to the magnitude of the Daytona 500. I get that feeling at our three events, but it’s magnified even more.Wherever you sit at these three venues, you are right on top of the action. Not to mention, that action is the best you’ll see anywhere in North America. When you put 28+ of the fastest Super Late Model type cars on the same race track vying for a big payday, the racing is going to be close and it is going to be hard-nosed. You’re going to see some sparks fly, you’ll see cars swapping paint and you’ll see the occasional temper boil over. If you have never been to one of these marquee races, I would strongly suggest you get out to one of them.
Wade: What can fans, who have never been to a Parts for Trucks Tour race, expect to see when they come out to Speedway 660 this weekend?
Tim: The racing in our series this year has been incredible. I always come back to the Ron MacGillivray Chevy 150 at Riverside in June when we saw Donald Chisholm and John Flemming race over 50 laps side by side for the win. The racing, throughout the pack, that night was tremendous and while we saw a few cautions to bunch the field up, the guys ran 88 laps at the start without a yellow. We have a mix of young guns (including four Exide Batteries Rookie of the Year drivers) and veterans on our Tour this year. It adds up to nearly two dozen full time drivers that will be tackling the Geary oval this weekend. It’s a tight track and with the mix of talent that will be there, we’re in for a dandy of an Irving Blending and Packaging 100 on Saturday night. For those that want to dig a bit deeper, I’ll have my preview up on MaritimeProStockTour.com on Thursday evening. It will dive deeper into current trends and track statistics. For example Wade, did you know that out of all 24 Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour races ran at Speedway 660 since 2001, Shawn Tucker has not finished outside the top ten once? That’s pretty incredible!
Wade: We are seeing a real youth movement up here in the Geary Woods and I know you have a lot of kids racing at Scotia too. The next generation of racers is already working its way up through the ranks and into the top levels of racing in our region.
Tim: They sure are and we could talk a long time about the young talent in this region. You’ll see three teenagers go at it on Saturday night: Denver Foran, in the King Racing ride that Cassius Clark drove to win last year’s Auto Value 250; Dylan Blenkhorn and; Cole Butcher. Blenkhorn and Butcher both came through the Legends ranks and caught on to the Pro Stocks quickly. Foran has roots in the Miramichi, has raced at 660 as a kart driver but his family now calls Edmonton, Alberta home. It goes to show how competitive this series has become when you have a driver from the other side of the country who has decided to make this Tour a rung in his ladder to the big leagues. You don’t have to look far to see that the Westwood Estates Bandoleros at Speedway 660 and the Hydraulics Plus Bandolero class at Scotia Speedworld have groomed many great young drivers. The Pro Stock Tour has Brad Eddy, Butcher and Blenkhorn in its current roster from the Speedworld, and you have Emily Meehan and DJ Casey, who are both Bando winners at Speedway 660. There are other drivers working their way up through the Weekly Racing Series ladder in Halifax with aspirations one day of being in a Pro Stock including: Braden Langille, Cole Tanner, Jarrett Butcher, Nicholas Naugle, Luke Ettinger and Russell Smith Jr. I could go on and on about all the young talent I have seen in my seven years in the booth at the Speedworld. You also have a great crop of youngsters with Kenny MacKenzie Jr., Alex and Courtney O’Blenis, Cole Boudreau, Alicia Mowat, Ryan Messer, Matt and Andrew Rodgers, Destiny Enkel, Dawson McIntee, Cory Hall, Dana Hamm, Greg Cashol, Peter Martin, Devin Snell, Martin Landry, Maine’s Drew Greenlaw just to name a few. These are the names we’ll be talking about for years to come, long after the veterans we’ve talked about for years have hung up their helmets!
Wade: Thanks for doing this Tim and we look forward to see the Parts for Trucks Tour roar into the Geary Woods this Saturday night!
Tim: My pleasure, Wade! Saturday is going to be a blast and I invite everyone out to the Geary Woods to see some fantastic short track racing. Some will use this as a tune-up for September’s Auto Value 250 and even as an appetizer to the Best of the Best 150 on July 27th. I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone and seeing some great on track action!