2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year - and defending champion of the IWK 250 presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body at Riverside Speedway in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Regan Smith is on a mission: to visit Victory Lane July 18 in the '09 edition of the event - and has served notice he will do whatever it takes to get there.
In the midst of a tumultuous NASCAR season that sees Smith running part-time with frequent changes to his schedule, the driver didn't ever give up his hope to return to the prestigious event for the third consecutive time. And now, with the '09 edition of the IWK 250 just one month away, Smith has filed an official entry - driving a car out of the Nova Racing shop co-sponsored by Blue-Wave Energy and Stone's RV.
"It's an awesome track and facility," said Smith Tuesday. "I just had to find a way to get back there so we worked with our schedule and track management until the 11th-hour to make it happen."
Smith will square off with fellow NASCAR racer, and recent winner of the Sprint Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, David Reutimann - who announced his IWK 250 entry in April.
"I can't wait to race him there," said Smith, adding he couldn't tell Reutimann too many good things about the area, the facility, and especially its fans.
Besides Reutimann, Smith will face the top regional stock car racers sure to be at the top of their game - for a multitude of reasons, since the IWK 250 is...
* Offering as much as $25,000 to the winner...
* A points-paying event on the '09 CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour...
* Round one of the inaugural Triple Crown of Maritime Pro Stock Racing - a three-race series offering a $50,000 bonus to any driver that wins all three Triple Crown events on the '09 schedule...
Smith has participated in big-money races land experience tells him temptation sometimes changes a drivers perspective in such events.
"People will do crazy things for fifty grand," said Smith. "So they are likely to be pretty aggressive - I would if I was running all three races. I'd love nothing more than to cost someone $50,000 - so read into that what you want."
TICKETS ON SALE TODAY - SAVE WITH EARLY BIRD OFFER
Tickets for the IWK 250 super weekend go on sale today offering discounts to those who purchase their seats by July 3. "Early Bird" grandstand seating prices range from $40 to $55 for adults and are $8 for youth. Those who order their tickets by 5 p.m. June 30 will receive a free general admission ticket to the July 17 show featuring the NAPA 100 Sportsman Super Series race and Maritime Legends Tour. Starting July 6 a Friday-Saturday two-day ticket will range from $60 to $80 for adults.
The '09 edition of the IWK 250 will be a one-day show with the pit area opening at 8 a.m., practice starting at 10 a.m., time trials at 3 p.m., a Meet'N'Greet with the drivers from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Qualifying races to determine the starting lineup will start at 6 p.m. with the IWK 250 green flag scheduled to drop at 8:15 p.m.
Smith's entry continues Riverside's tradition of hosting NASCAR drivers at the pristine and popular facility. Besides Smith and Reutimann, Riverside hosted Ricky Craven in '07 and Aric Almirola in '08. Over its 40-year existence, the track has consistently showcased NASCAR events and drivers - the only facility in eastern Canada to do so.
Since the inaugural IWK 250 in ’07, the event has raised more than $40,000 for the region’s largest children’s hospital. Several event promotions will add to the total in the '09 IWK 250.