Organizers said it was another winning weekend for the IWK 250, presented by Steve Lewis, at Riverside International Speedway.
With its feature race – the former Riverside 250 – serving as the main attraction, the celebration kicked-off July 12 with the IWK 250 Test Fest and Tailgate Party, featuring Signal Hill.
The Henry’s AUTOPRO 150 for the NAPA Sportsman Series and the Maritime Legends Challenge for the Maritime League of Legends took center stage July 13.
More than 8,000 fans turned out July 14 for the annual IWK 250 – one of the signature races of each Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour season – which featured 30 drivers.
“It is just cool to see it grow every year,” Donald Chisholm, owner of Nova Racing, said of the annual event, which is staged on the high banks of his family’s track in James River, Antigonish County.
“That was always the goal – to make [the IWK 250] a special event that would grow, year-after-year, with drivers wanting to come here to compete and to win.
“It is not an easy event to win,” he added.
Riverside manager Paul McLean described the weekend as “unbelievable.”
“We have got a monster here and we are having a hard time to cope with it, because it is such a big event for this small community,” he said, noting some of the challenges, including staffing.
“At one point, a couple years ago, I figured we were at our peak [laughing], but it doesn’t seem to be getting there. We just keep growing every year,” McLean said.
Cassius Clark, driving the #13 car for Rollie MacDonald’s King Racing of Pictou County, grabbed the checkered flag and John W. Chisholm Memorial Cup in what turned out to be a feature spanning two days.
After 74 laps Saturday night, the rain led to a postponement, with drivers – and fans – returning to the track for the remaining 176 early Sunday afternoon (July 15).
“I thought we were going to be OK last night but, I guess, if we had to have weather, it is nice that we got to finish the race today,” Chisholm said.
“We can’t thank our fans enough for coming back out today. I don’t think I have ever seen return attendance do that well.
“Usually, on Sundays, you lose a lot of your crowd, so we are really pleased and thankful that everybody showed up again today and, I think, they saw a pretty good race,” he added.
McLean echoed that sentiment regarding the strong fan support.
“Mother Nature didn’t cooperate last night, but she did today and let us get the race in,” he said.
“It has just been an incredible weekend for our community – and the racing community.
“It has been unbelievable,” McLean added.
The IWK 250 also serves as a fundraiser for its namesake – the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, which serves women and children from across the Maritimes.
Since 2007, the annual event has garnered more than $480,000 for the IWK.