The race featured six leaders with several contenders eyeing the top spot throughout the night. Sommerville did not secure the win until the final lap as it looked like O’Blenis was baiting the hook for a late race charge right until the end. Although threatening as the laps wound down, O’Blenis could not close the gap sufficiently to pull beside the Saint John driver. In the end, Sommerville took the victory and led 91 laps in his #23 Oil Can Harry’s Monte Carlo walking away with a $19,550 payday.
O’Blenis, the 2002 race winner, had to settle with second on the podium for his #48 Burger King Fusion. Although the win wasn’t in the cards, he still walked away with a nice payday, taking home $6,700 in bonus lap money for leading a race high 134 laps, plus the $500 Riverview Halfway Challenge Award and the $500 Robin’s Inn Award for the highest finishing NBIS car. O’Blenis dominated the early portion of the car, accumulating all of his laps before lap 140.
Thibeau, the winner of the inaugural Irving Oil 250 in 2001, ran a solid race in his #28 Grower’s Exchange Ford Fusion. He led the fewest laps of the podium finishers with two laps led. However, he stayed out of trouble and ran a smart race
Lonnie Sommerville made his first Pro Stock (Super Late Model) start of the season in a new car a memorable one – he won the Irving Oil 250 at New Brunswick International Speedway in front of over 7,500 fans. Sommerville took the lead on lap 159 and led the rest of the way except for one lap. Dave O’Blenis finished second and Kirk Thibeau rounded out the top three.
Sommerville (#23) takes the lead from last year's Irving OIl 250 winner Scott Chubbuck (#29).
in one of his few appearances of the season at the Geary oval.
The lead changed hands several times. In addition to the top three cars, John Flemming (4 laps), Scott Chubbuck (16), and Travis Benjamin (3) also led at different points in the night. Benjamin had another strong Irving Oil 250 showing with a fourth, while Flemming finished fifth after running with the leaders most of the night. PASS tour driver Johnny Clark finished sixth. Defending Irving Oil 250 champion Scott Chubbuck was in contention early on, but dropped back after spinning out. Shawn Tucker, another contender and the 2004 race champion, dropped out on lap 32 when his new ride suffered terminal mechanical difficulties. NASCAR’s Johnny Benson finished seventh, one lap down.
The afternoon card also featured the Hyundai Street Stock 50 which was captured by rookie Jason Shannon from Hoyt. Shannon easily won the event, outpacing the venerable Smokin’ Joe Albert in the #04 Mowatt’s Well Drilling Malibu and John Rankin in the #28 Rankin Trcuking and Logging Regal. The event featured only two cautions and some entertaining racing. The Atlantic Open Wheel Series also ran for a second consecutive day with Dave Burnham taking checkers, Mike Raeburn second, and Lowell Affleck third.
On Saturday night, Brian Gillespie ended up in the same place in the same time as the year before – in the Capital City Roofing Victory Lane. Last season, Gillespie won the O’Leary Pontiac Excitement 150 on Speedweekend. This year, Gillespie dominated the final
Logan, who been in the lead since lap 20. Shortly after a re-start, Gillespie moved past Logan on lap 72 and easily distanced himself from the pack, taking the Brookside Storage $250 Halfway Challenge and the victory.
Burton’s Glyn Nott hovered near the front of the pack in his #12 Jardine Auctioneers Monte Carlo during the first half of the race and then came on strong in the final 75 laps to finish second. MacNaughton recovered from being shuffled back to round out the top three in what has to be considered a successful night for the Lower Coverdale resident given his starting position.
In the Atlantic Open Wheel (AOW), Mark Price took checkers but was later disqualified providing Joe Hoyt from nearby Waasis with the victory. Rob Halpin from Saint John placed second and Lloyd Halpin also from Saint John took third.
half of the event to coast to checkers again in front of approximately 5,000 fans.
Forty-five sportsman made their way to the Geary woods to open the racing portion of Speedweekend. Only twenty-six ended up on the starting grid after a white knuckle qualifying session that delighted the fans but eliminated several quality cars. Gillespie started deep in the field but steadily moved his #69 W&R Gillespie Trucking and Logging Monte Carlo through the field, following a charging Brian MacNaughton through the field.
MacNaughton almost became one of those quality non-qualifiers, taking a provisional to make the starting grid. Starting twenty-fifth, he very quickly demonstrated that even though he had a rough qualifying session, his ride was dialled in. He began picking off cars at the back immediately after the green flag and moving up the pack with Gillespie tailing patiently.
By lap 60, MacNaughton and his #18 Hitch Center Monte Carlo had reached fourth and was pressing the third place car of Randy McCoy. Unfortunately, MacNaughton went on the outside to pass and ended up being shuffled back several spots, providing Gillespie with the opportunity to pass. At that point, Gillespie set his sights on McCoy who had moved into second and then leader Bradley
Brian Gillespie was the excited winner on Saturday night.