Crossed flags are in the air as the Super Late Model Series (SLMS) superstars race into the second half of the inaugural season. With three of six races in the books - one race at each of the three host tracks - everyone has gotten an appetizer of the SLMS and is ready for the stretch run to cap off the season.
The second half of the season kicks off at Oyster Bed Speedway on Saturday August 5th with the Universal Truck and Trailer 150. When SLMS rolled into Oyster Bed Speedway for round two on June 17th, Greg Proude (#29) came out on top of an army of PEI stars in a dramatic ending. Fans are still talking about that race, which set the bar high for the series’ return to the ¼ mile bullring. An elite field of two dozen entries is prepping to congregate and battle for victory and the $4000 first prize!
Date: Saturday August 5th, 2023 | Start Time: 6:00pm
Pit Gates Open: 11:00am | Grandstands Open: 5:00pm
Event: Universal Truck and Trailer 150 / Super Late Model Series Round Four
Track: Oyster Bed Speedway
Location: 4751 Route 6, Oyster Bed Bridge, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Track Size: 1/4 Mile | Race Distance: 150 Laps
Support Classes: Street Stock, Mini Stock, Heart of a Champion Hot Rod Classics
Race Day Tickets: Purchased at the Oyster Bed Speedway ticket booth at the track, debit/credit is accepted.
SUPER SIX Super Late Model Series Storylines
PEI Stars Leading Points with Three to Go
As August arrives, attention starts to turn to the end of the season and the crowning of the inaugural points champion for the Super Late Model Series. Thus far, Prince Edward Island drivers have given their fans plenty to cheer for - and they aim to extend their points dominance on home turf.
Dylan Gosbee (#16) will show off the yellow points leader trim at his home track, as he spends another race on top. While he has yet to secure a feature victory, Gosbee has been the most consistent driver - with finishes of fourth, third, and second respectively in each of the first three races. Can he keep the trend alive and add a first-place finish at a crucial time?
Fellow PEI driver Robbie MacEwen (#40) sits second in points to Gosbee. Much like Gosbee, MacEwen has been able to produce consistent finishes - with a sixth-place finish and a pair of fourth place finishes to his credit. MacEwen needs just a little bit extra to surpass Gosbee, and he hopes to rekindle some early August magic of a few seasons ago.
With only a six-race season, the importance of every race is amplified, and one slip up could turn the table of your season. A bad race could be too big of a mountain to overcome. For Gosbee and MacEwen, while having some adversity, they are the only drivers to not have a finish outside the top ten thus far, with Gosbee crossing the line just ahead of MacEwen every race.
Troy Burke (#01) also represents PEI in the top five in points, as he sits fourth between New Brunswick drivers Steve Halpin (#03) and Ryan Messer (#1).
Top Drivers Aim to Rebound from Petty Incidents
Coming out of Petty International Raceway, a handful of drivers had some work to do after some incidents during the race. Perhaps no one had more work on their hands than Greg Proude’s (#29) team, after he was collected in a massive wreck when he spun in his own fluid. The winner last time out at Oyster Bed Speedway, Proude would love to sweep the season. His car has since been repaired and he has been back on track, but will he bring a piece stout enough to make SLMS history as the first two-time winner?
Ryan Messer (#1) and Dave O’Blenis (#48) were left with no place to go when the big wrecked ensued, leaving both with heavy damage. O’Blenis hasn’t missed a beat, returning to victory lane this past weekend at Speedway 660, while Messer has been hard at work hoping to rekindle the early season magic.
A race that saw almost all drivers face adversity at some point, Petty was forgettable for some, and unforgettable for others. With a plethora of issues, there is a long list of drivers striving for a bounce back race - and all efforts are focused on round four at Oyster Bed Speedway!
New Brunswick Drivers Re-Energized After PEI Dominance At Oyster Bed
A lot of hype around the Super Late Model Series has surrounded a “battle of the bridge”, as the field has a fairly even split between Prince Edward Island competitors and “mainland” New Brunswick and Nova Scotia drivers. However, the “battle of the bridge” was heavily one-sided during the Chapman Brothers 150 presented by Hynes Paving on June 17th, which left mainland drivers licking their wounds leaving the island.
Six of the top eight positions were claimed by local Prince Edward Island drivers. Lonnie Sommerville’s (#23) fifth place finish halted a PEI sweep of the top five, while Ryan Messer (#1) crossed the line in seventh. Ian Rasmussen (#81) and Dave O’Blenis (#48) also picked up top ten results.
It should be noted that for many drivers - with few exceptions such as most recent SLMS winner Cory Hall (#83) - it was their first time ever seeing Oyster Bed Speedway in person. For others, they had not competed at the PEI bullring in over a decade. Now, armed with a race worth of experience and notes, the mainlanders are looking to bring a mightier challenge to PEI’s red dirt.
Steve Halpin Aims to Exorcise PEI Demons
Ever since June 17th, Steve Halpin (#03) has been wondering what could have been. With podium finishes at both Speedway 660 and Petty International Raceway, Halpin finds himself third in points - with the lone mark on his season being a thirteenth-place finish at Oyster Bed Speedway. While very much in the mix, had the previous race at Oyster Bed Speedway played out a little different, Halpin would be in the discussion with leaders Gosbee and MacEwen instead of chasing them.
The fact is that Halpin was running in the top five - and challenging for a podium position - when he suffered a devastating mechanical failure with just two laps to go, ending his race. He has proven he has the speed, but can he overcome the luck that plagued his last trip to PEI?
Can Darren MacKinnon Capitalize on Long Run Speed?
Perhaps no driver has shown more long-run speed this year than Darren MacKinnon (#18). MacKinnon made a fast and furious charge in the Chapman Brothers 150 on a 50-lap green flag run to drive from fifth to the lead - only to settle for second after several late race restarts. Flash forward to round three at Petty International Raceway, where MacKinnon drove through the field, all the way up to second, only to have a tire issue mar him in traffic where he got collected in an incident.
The 18 has shown plenty of long run speed - but has yet to get the results. Is this the race his luck turns?
Hudson Weston Deep in Rookie Battle - But Showing Strong Speed
If any driver is on the ballot for a “Hard Luck Award” for the Super Late Model Series, Hudson Weston is sure to be near the top. A Castrol Rookie competitor, Weston’s season on the Super Late Model Series has been marred with tough luck - to the point he was unable to start the feature at Oyster Bed Speedway for round two.
It appeared things were turning around at Petty International Raceway for round three, but Weston would fall victim to mechanical woes while running in the top five! A driver who has scored three podium finishes in Speedway 660 regular competition this year, Weston has speed and potential, but has not had luck on his side in SLMS action.
His luck has buried him in the standings, but the battle has tightened up for overall Castrol Rookie of the Year honours. After a top ten finish at Petty, Ryan Raynes (#94) has closed to just three points behind Kenny MacKenzie Jr (#85). This will certainly be a battle worth watching over the final half of the season.
A trio of PEI Castrol Rookies - while not amid the battle for Rookie of the Year after missing races - will be competing and striving to earn Castrol Rookie of the Race honours. Local fans will want to keep their eyes on Kenny Snow (#7), Brodie Lewis (#22), and Tanton Wooldridge (#28).
Stay Up To Date!
As raceday nears, fans are encouraged to stay tuned to social media for breaking news as it happens! Super Late Model Series can be found on social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter at @SLMSeries. Also be sure to check out our official website at SLMS.ca.
For more information on the Universal Truck and Trailer 150, check out Oyster Bed Speedway on Facebook, and online at oysterbedspeedwaypei.ca.
Universal Truck and Trailer 150 Entry List
Universal Truck and Trailer 150 Event Format
-Super Late Model Series Release