GEARY, New Brunswick – The McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 and SpeedWeekend 2019 are fast approaching and the field of pro stocks is beginning to assemble for the final Maritime Crown Jewel race of the year.
More than 20 of the top talents from New Brunswick and some big names from outside provincial borders are getting ready to gather for the 19th annual edition of the 250 on Sunday. Qualifying heat races for the $15,000-to-win McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 will begin on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Ryan Messer led an all New Brunswick podium in the 2018 edition of the McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 and all three drivers have signaled their intentions to compete for the win again. Messer took the lead in last year’s 250 with 16 laps to go over two-time podium finisher Steve Halpin to lock down the biggest win of his young racing career. Lonnie Sommerville finished third in that race and the two-time 250 champion will look to add a third to his resume coming up this Sunday.
Joining Messer and Sommerville as former McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 champions in the field are three time event champions Cassius Clark and Shawn Tucker. Clark is looking to sweep all three Maritime 250-lap races after winning the IWK 250 at Riverside International Speedway in July and the Toromont Cat 250 at Scotia Speedworld earlier this month. Tucker returned to the driver’s seat earlier this season and has split the season in the Geary woods driving with his son, Dustin. Both will look to break the tie Sunday and become the most decorated driver in the race’s 19 year history with four titles.
The RE/MAX East Coast Elite Pro Stock division track championship came down to Brent Roy, Greg Fahey and Ian Rasmussen. While Roy and Fahey each have multiple championships at their home track, neither have a 250 win on their resume. Rasmussen, in his third year as a Pro Stock driver, has continued to improve each and every lap on the track and will look to impress on Sunday in the McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250.
Cole Butcher is readying his car for Sunday’s McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250. Butcher is a two-time Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour champion, two-time Toromont Cat 250 winner and a former Parts for Trucks Tour feature winner at Speedway 660. The two-time Kulwicki Driver Development Program finalist and the sixth place finisher from last Sunday’s Oxford 250 has one previous McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 start.
Matt Harris and Chris Duncan are both familiar faces to Speedway 660 and have a long list of accomplishments at the track. Both are looking to crack Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane on Sunday to put the cherry on the top of their storied careers with a 250 win. Kevin Moore is always a factor in extended distance races and brought a strong No. 88 car home to a top five finish last season in the McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250. Robert Tomlinson has been in the RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty Pro Stock division and will look for a big night on Sunday. Robert Lee has also filed an entry for Sunday’s marquee attraction for SpeedWeekend 2019.
With the experience in the field also come a youth movement. Ashton Tucker has a podium finish in the McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 on his resume and was a podium finisher earlier in the year on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour at Petty Raceway in May. He and Ben Pelletier are former Bandolero graduates and will be looking to notch their first extended distance Pro Stock feature on Sunday.
Devin Snell and John Rankin have both proven themselves in Late Model competition in Geary and would be popular winners with their home track fans should they be able to pull a victory out in the McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250. Andrew Rodgers has split his time in 2019 between racing on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour and competing in a Late Model Sportsman, with his most recent resulting being a top five finish in last weekend’s River Glade International Sportsman 100.
Robbie MacEwen enters his first McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 on a career season. MacEwen scored his first Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour win at his home track at Oyster Bed Speedway in August. Like MacEwen, Wyatt Alexander is making his first McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 start on Sunday. Alexander, the winner of Valvoline’s Fast Track to Fame contest in 2018, has several starts between the CARS Tour and the Pro All Stars Series on his resume. The 19-year old finished fourth at Speedway 660 in a RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty Pro Stock division race on Aug. 17.