With all of the excitement of the big boys playing bumper cars, it would be a shame not to mention some of the bright spots further back in the field. There are some great racers in the mid pack who often times endure bouts of racers luck or budget related failures. Each of the folks below proved they are stars worthy of racing in a pro series like the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.
Joey McColm in the #50 Dodge is a favorite among the other competitors thanks to his friendly nature and his tenacious efforts to succeed despite having older equipment than the rest of the field. In last night’s race, McColm was battling as high as 5th in the latter stages of the race, with hardly any marks on the car. Some of the late race action moved him back to 8th at the finish, but Joey showed that he has what it takes to run up front and race cleanly.
Always a fan favorite, Isabelle Tremblay has had her ups and downs over the past couple of seasons as she peddles the pink #07 as fast as she can. She has made a few mistakes on track and has been targeted by some old boy style initiations, but she has hung on and worked hard to hone her craft. In Barrie, Tremblay did a great job of staying out of trouble and putting in some consistent laps which landed her in 11th at the end of the night. No small feat with all of that action.
Fans love a driver that gives them lots of action and few can do that the way Dexter Stacey does. Just as one would expect from a 18 year old, Stacey displays youthful exuberance on the track which often gets him and the bright yellow #55 into rather spectacular situations. Despite dealing with some political off track drama in his team, Dexter made it to the leader board for the first time last night, at one point showing as high as 2nd. There is no question that a maturing Dexter Stacey is going to be atop the podium soon enough!
The plain white & blue Ford of Steve Mathews makes a statement about the lack of outside support his team receives. Mathews has been fast all season, but has suffered some bad luck along the way and unfortunately the Wing Wing 300 continued the trend. Qualifying third, Steve had a good, strong run going and looked certain to grab a podium finish. Sadly, his best race ever went south when he got caught up in Ron Beauchamp Jr’s incident. Like Stacey, a top spot finish can’t be far away for Mathews.
Last night was the first NCTS race ever for 20 year old Chris Raabe, but he is far from a rookie. Having started racing karts at age 6, Raabe has raced and won in everything from karts to dirt track cars, including several championships in DIRTcar and Sportsman. Another future winner, Raabe did a pretty good job of keeping his nose clean during the race and managed to finish. A good number of veterans didn’t fare so well.