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Flemming dominates at IWK 250


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Starting seventh in the 28-car field, John Flemming of Halifax bided his time, sneaking to the front of the pack midway through the race and held on to win the IWK 250 on Saturday night.

In front of full house at Riverside International Speedway, Flemming worked his way to sixth on lap 12, and by lap 30 he was up to fourth.

It wasn’t until lap 96 that he took the lead, and at the halfway mark when the drivers have a 15-minute break, he was still the leader. Although that was the case it wasn’t easy to hold onto.

Flemming would have to battle with NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, Joey Logano, for the lead in the second half of the feature.

Logano took the lead on lap 127 and held it until lap 152 when Flemming regained the top spot. From that point in the race onward Flemming would not relinquish the lead, battling through restarts on three cautions to finish the race in first.

“I saved my stuff early and wasn’t great on the restarts early because I didn’t want to burn it up, but as the race went on the car got better and better,” said Flemming. “As the temperature went down this thing got awesome.”

Last season Flemming led 227 laps, but was unable to hold on for the victory so winning the race this season was something special for him.

“We can put last year behind us now and I’m really excited and I think some good things are going to start happening real soon.”

Finishing in second was Jonathan Hicken from Saint John, with Joey Logano of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coming in third.

Logano was brought in by Riverside as the NASCAR driver for the IWK 250 this season and said it was a great experience to be involved in the race and to be able to visit the kids at the IWK Hospital in Halifax.

“I had a blast and I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” he said. “I had a lot of fun and enjoyed everything surrounding the track and being involved with the IWK.”

Post race he was all business.

“Tonight our number twelve car just wasn’t good enough,” he said. “I can go on restarts and I can use my experience to make things happen and keep myself up there in the running and get up into the lead.”

“Once I got up there I could hang there for a few laps before starting to get loose. I think we over adjusted at the halfway break and got loose and just couldn’t hang onto it.”

He said he was hoping for one more caution to make one more push for the lead.

Local car owned by Rollie MacDonald finished in fourth and was driven by Corey Williams from Huntersville, North Carolina. Williams said that coming in to race at Riverside was no issue because he had been there before with the Pro All-Star Series (PASS) tour in the past.

He said that if they were to crack the top three they needed more time.

“We couldn’t quite run Joey down, but we had a good time and were happy with the finish,” said Williams. “I think I could have got to him if I had more laps. I’m not sure if I could have got around him because he’s a good racer and I don’t know if I had the car to get underneath him and pass.”

New Glasgow’s George Koszkulics started 16th and finished in sixth, but said he wasn’t happy with his result.

“My car just was not a good car on the weekend,” he said. “I know we came out with a half decent finish because we kept our nose clean. I’ve been around that track a lot and picked my way through and avoided some wrecks, but we just had a lucky race maybe.”

He finished fourth last year in the car Logano finished third in this year. This year he made a different choice on what car he would run. Koszkulics said if he was going back today he would take a different car.

“I thought in the big race it would have been better, but a big motor car won it and Joey was third with a big motor, so I think I made a mistake going with a crate motor,” he said. “The big thing was that Joey was happy and the fans got to see a great race.”

IWK 250 Results

1. John Flemming, Halifax, NS

2. Jonathan Hicken, Montague, PE

3. Joey Logano, Huntersville, NC

4. Corey Williams, Huntersville, NC (Rollie MacDonald’s car)

5. Daryl Mahar, Hubley, NS

6. George Koszkulics, New Glasgow, NS

7. Shawn Turple, Enfield, NS

8. Shawn Tucker, Fredericton, NB

9. Craig Slaunwhite, Halifax, NS

10. Stephen Halpin, Saint John, NB

11. Jerome Kehoe, Sydney, NS

12. Kent Vincent, Crapaud, PE

13. Robbie MacLean, Winsloe, PE

14. Brad Eddy, Sackville, NS

15. Dylan Gosbee, Cornwall, PE

16. Mike Stevens, Riverview, NB

17. Brad Mann, Glen Levit, NB

18. Leonard Boutilier, Dutch Settlement, NS

19. Terry Dougay, Albany, PE

20. Shawn Pierce, Blockhouse, NS

21. Donald Chisholm, Antigonish, NS

22. Greg Proude, North Wiltshire, PE

23. Wayne Smith, Timberlea, NS

24. Darren MacKinnon, Charlottetown, PE

25. Steve Ross, Waverly, NS

26. Russell Smith, Halifax, NS

27. Russell Smith Jr., Lakeside, NS

28. Mike MacKenzie, Montague Gold Mines, NS

Failed to Qualify: Dave Heino, Brad Brown, Cy Harvey, Pete Miller

Fast Eddie Racewear Dash Winner: Mike Stevens

Dartmouth Dodge Heat Winners: Corey Williams, Jonathan Hicken, Kent Vincent

Linde Most Laps Led: John Flemming

King Freight Halfway Award: John Flemming

Atlantic Tiltload Fast Time: Donald Chisholm

Absolute Traffic Hard Charger: Jerome Kehoe 

Exide Batteries Rookie Of The Race: Steve Halpin

Starting seventh in the 28-car field, John Flemming of Halifax bided his time, sneaking to the front of the pack midway through the race and held on to win the IWK 250 on Saturday night.

In front of full house at Riverside International Speedway, Flemming worked his way to sixth on lap 12, and by lap 30 he was up to fourth.

It wasn’t until lap 96 that he took the lead, and at the halfway mark when the drivers have a 15-minute break, he was still the leader. Although that was the case it wasn’t easy to hold onto.

Flemming would have to battle with NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, Joey Logano, for the lead in the second half of the feature.

Logano took the lead on lap 127 and held it until lap 152 when Flemming regained the top spot. From that point in the race onward Flemming would not relinquish the lead, battling through restarts on three cautions to finish the race in first.

“I saved my stuff early and wasn’t great on the restarts early because I didn’t want to burn it up, but as the race went on the car got better and better,” said Flemming. “As the temperature went down this thing got awesome.”

Last season Flemming led 227 laps, but was unable to hold on for the victory so winning the race this season was something special for him.

“We can put last year behind us now and I’m really excited and I think some good things are going to start happening real soon.”

Finishing in second was Jonathan Hicken from Saint John, with Joey Logano of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coming in third.

Logano was brought in by Riverside as the NASCAR driver for the IWK 250 this season and said it was a great experience to be involved in the race and to be able to visit the kids at the IWK Hospital in Halifax.

“I had a blast and I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” he said. “I had a lot of fun and enjoyed everything surrounding the track and being involved with the IWK.”

Post race he was all business.

“Tonight our number twelve car just wasn’t good enough,” he said. “I can go on restarts and I can use my experience to make things happen and keep myself up there in the running and get up into the lead.”

“Once I got up there I could hang there for a few laps before starting to get loose. I think we over adjusted at the halfway break and got loose and just couldn’t hang onto it.”

He said he was hoping for one more caution to make one more push for the lead.

Local car owned by Rollie MacDonald finished in fourth and was driven by Corey Williams from Huntersville, North Carolina. Williams said that coming in to race at Riverside was no issue because he had been there before with the Pro All-Star Series (PASS) tour in the past.

He said that if they were to crack the top three they needed more time.

“We couldn’t quite run Joey down, but we had a good time and were happy with the finish,” said Williams. “I think I could have got to him if I had more laps. I’m not sure if I could have got around him because he’s a good racer and I don’t know if I had the car to get underneath him and pass.”

New Glasgow’s George Koszkulics started 16th and finished in sixth, but said he wasn’t happy with his result.

“My car just was not a good car on the weekend,” he said. “I know we came out with a half decent finish because we kept our nose clean. I’ve been around that track a lot and picked my way through and avoided some wrecks, but we just had a lucky race maybe.”

He finished fourth last year in the car Logano finished third in this year. This year he made a different choice on what car he would run. Koszkulics said if he was going back today he would take a different car.

“I thought in the big race it would have been better, but a big motor car won it and Joey was third with a big motor, so I think I made a mistake going with a crate motor,” he said. “The big thing was that Joey was happy and the fans got to see a great race.”

IWK 250 Results

1. John Flemming, Halifax, NS

2. Jonathan Hicken, Montague, PE

3. Joey Logano, Huntersville, NC

4. Corey Williams, Huntersville, NC (Rollie MacDonald’s car)

5. Daryl Mahar, Hubley, NS

6. George Koszkulics, New Glasgow, NS

7. Shawn Turple, Enfield, NS

8. Shawn Tucker, Fredericton, NB

9. Craig Slaunwhite, Halifax, NS

10. Stephen Halpin, Saint John, NB

11. Jerome Kehoe, Sydney, NS

12. Kent Vincent, Crapaud, PE

13. Robbie MacLean, Winsloe, PE

14. Brad Eddy, Sackville, NS

15. Dylan Gosbee, Cornwall, PE

16. Mike Stevens, Riverview, NB

17. Brad Mann, Glen Levit, NB

18. Leonard Boutilier, Dutch Settlement, NS

19. Terry Dougay, Albany, PE

20. Shawn Pierce, Blockhouse, NS

21. Donald Chisholm, Antigonish, NS

22. Greg Proude, North Wiltshire, PE

23. Wayne Smith, Timberlea, NS

24. Darren MacKinnon, Charlottetown, PE

25. Steve Ross, Waverly, NS

26. Russell Smith, Halifax, NS

27. Russell Smith Jr., Lakeside, NS

28. Mike MacKenzie, Montague Gold Mines, NS

Failed to Qualify: Dave Heino, Brad Brown, Cy Harvey, Pete Miller

Fast Eddie Racewear Dash Winner: Mike Stevens

Dartmouth Dodge Heat Winners: Corey Williams, Jonathan Hicken, Kent Vincent

Linde Most Laps Led: John Flemming

King Freight Halfway Award: John Flemming

Atlantic Tiltload Fast Time: Donald Chisholm

Absolute Traffic Hard Charger: Jerome Kehoe 

Exide Batteries Rookie Of The Race: Steve Halpin

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