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Author Topic: Year-In-Review: Sojourn Sign Bandoleros  (Read 880 times)

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Year-In-Review: Sojourn Sign Bandoleros
« on: December 20, 2008, 05:09:44 PM »
By Tim Terry

(November 17th, 2008) - Over the next six weeks we will be reviewing the season that was with a division by division summary of the 2008 Lockhart Weekly Racing Series. Division reviews will be posted weekly so check back often! This week we start with the Bandoleros.

The Bandolero division is the first rung on the Lockhart Truck Centre Weekly Racing Series ladder that makes up the racing card weekly at Scotia Speedworld. These thirty horsepower automobiles are wheeled around the 3/10th mile oval by young drivers who put on a great show every time they hit the racing surface!

This season Scotia Speedworld welcomed Sojourn Signs on board as the title sponsor for the Bandolero division. Sojourn Signs provides top quality signage, traffic control and related products in addition to providing sponsorship on the #1 Bandolero car for Brad Eddy.

Speaking of Eddy, even before the Atlantic Canadian stock car season began he was turning laps at racetracks south of the border. The young man from Lower Sackville placed seventh overall at the U.S. Winter Nationals in Florida in February and turned some heads in his LaFarge Concrete Bandolero. He hoped to ride some of that momentum into the 2008 season at Scotia Speedworld and better his second place points finish from the previous two years. Though Brad had been racing months before his peers, the first two races were dominated by Prospect's #8 D.J. Casey. Casey won the first two main features, proving that the 2006 Canadian Bandolero Champ was back and poised to become the first two time titlist in the division.

Although Casey was hot out of the gate, two drivers stayed on his heels; #92 Brandon Niles and #14 Dylan Blenkhorn who wheeled their cars to finishes of second and third behind Casey in the first two events. Casey slipped up in the third race and handed the points lead over to car #92.

After three events in the Sojourn Signs Bandolero division four drivers emerged as title contenders; Casey, Niles, Blenkhorn and defending champion #01 Shelby Baker. The next two events would see the re-emergence of the aforementioned Eddy. Eddy clicked off two consecutive main feature wins in an effort to offset the horrible first few races of the season, which included one last place finish. Eddy still had a huge hole to climb out of though; he was sixth in points behind leaders Casey, Baker, Blenkhorn, Niles and Rawdon's #15 Emily Meehan.

It should be noted now in this season review that Eddy was forty-seven (47) points behind then-leader D.J. Casey after three races in the season. Though winning two races in any division at Scotia Speedworld is huge, it only closed Brad eight points on D.J., making his margin thirty-nine points after five events.

Dylan Blenkhorn would finally break into the win column on Lockhart Truck Centre night and move himself into a tie with Baker for second in the point standings. The battle of the Truro drivers continued one week later when Niles got his chance to parade the checkers around Scotia Speedworld and become the fifth different Bandolero feature winner of the season.

At the mid-point of the season, D.J. Casey had an eleven point margin on Dylan Blenkhorn. Blenkhorn, in turn, led Brandon Niles and Shelby Baker by two and four points respectively. Brad Eddy had moved by Emily Meehan a week before for fifth in points but still had a twenty-six point margin to make up on his nearest competitor. Between the top five, they held the two previous Bandolero titles, all of the feature wins and nine of the fourteen heat races contested during the season to that point.

At the Atlantic CAT 250 the Bandolero feature was held up by rain early and the drivers were itching to get started on their fifteen lap event. When the cars finally hit the racing surface on Saturday they put on an awesome show for the thousands in attendance. Dylan Blenkhorn scored his second win of the season and the points lead.

The roller coaster season for Shelby Baker ended on C&R Auto Supply Night, as Baker put his car into Victory Lane. It was also a great night for Amherst's Ryan Mackintosh who took his first heat race win in the division and second place in the main feature behind Baker. This, along with another heat win and a fourth place finish on September 5th would eventually lead him to a tie for top rookie honors in the division. He would tie with Beaverbank's #43 Brad Bevan, who also had a heat win early in the season.

On September 5th, closing in on the season finale Brad Eddy would win yet another feature race, pulling him into a three way tie for third - a mere twenty points behind leader Dylan Blenkhorn.

In the end, it wouldn't matter how far the field was behind Blenkhorn as he would solidify his name as the 2008 Sojourn Signs Bandolero Champion with a win on Miller Tire Night. Brad Eddy finished second ahead of D.J. Casey in the race but both would finish tied in points after the completion of the 2008 season. Brandon Niles finished fourth overall (one point behind second place), while Shelby Baker rounded out the top five in the third season of Bandolero racing at Scotia Speedworld.

The 2008 Sojourn Signs Bandolero season was full of highlights; including record car counts and the closest point battle out of the six weekly racing divisions! Congratulations to all of the competitors on a fantastic season!

Stay tuned next week to as we look back on the season of the Miller Tire/BF Goodrich Lightning car season!

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Year-In-Review: Sojourn Sign Bandoleros
« on: December 20, 2008, 05:09:44 PM »


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