MAIN PHOTO: Hailey Bland of Lakeview in the no. 27 and the no. 14 of Sam MacDonald battle during the second TCM Bandolero feature at Oyster Bed Speedway in PEI. (Healey photo)
OYSTER BED SPEEDWAY, P.E.I.: When Hailey Bland walked into the pits at Oyster Bed Speedway on Labour Day Monday, little did she realize what she was about to see.
You see, Bland was vacationing in PEI up the road in the Cavendish area with her family and was heading to the race track to watch and assist Tim Terry with the Tim’s Corner Motorsports September Shootout bandolero special at the track.
Well, there was a bit of a surprise awaiting her.
As she and her family left the pit entry gate after paying to get in, it was a short walk to where some of the bandolero drivers were parked ready for the day of racing.
That included friends Sam MacDonald, driver of the no. 14, and Bella and Brett Pashkoski and family from Beaver Bank.
Bland rounded the short corner and as she past the race control tower she was talking with sister and another racer friend, Lily Whynot. She looked up towards the pits. She stopped talking and her jaw dropped.
The Lockview High School student saw a car that was her colour and then saw the 27 on its side.
That’s when she looked around at the people walking with her, some capturing the moment she realized she was actually going to be racing at Oyster Bed Speedway and not helping TCM out as she was led to believe.
Bland’s no. 27 car was transported over to PEI by the Pashkoski’s, and no one even let on this was happening until Bland realized it herself.
The look on her face said what it meant to her as she was ear-to-ear smiling and on Cloud Nine.
With the excitement of learning she would be racing, Bland quickly got into a race day mindset and like the other 22 or so bandolero drivers—many from off the Island, and some racing for a fourth straight day after racing Friday at Scotia Speedworld, then at Speed Weekend in Geary—for practices and then race action.
Once the green flag flew, Bland showed she was ready to race.
In the first Outlaw TCM September Shootout, Bland drove the Dartmouth Metals-sponsored no. 27 to a second-place finish after a hearty battle with no. 19 Landon pierce, the eventual winner of the 25-lap feature race.
Bristol Matthews of Nine Mile River took the no. 99 to a seventh-place finish, just ahead of the no 85 of Bella Pashkoski of Beaver Bank.
Brett Pashkoski of Beaver Bank did not finish due to a crash that seriously damaged his machine.
Daniel Vandenburg, in his final year of bandolero racing before moving full time to Legend car racing, came across the line in third place in the no. 97.
Halifax’s Sam MacDonald who had put up a good fight early on fell back and finished fifth.
The top eight from the first feature did a redraw, sponsored by Conway Customz, for starting positions for the second feature. That saw Vandenburg pick the pole and he never looked back.
In the second TCM September Shootout 25-lap feature, it was cut short with nine laps to go after countless attempts to get back green flag racing after a caution, but more cautions happened forcing Race Director Brandon Campbell and Tim Terry to cut the racing short.
That left Vandenburg as the feature winner, and by overall average finish, the Springhill, N.S. racer took home the TCM September Shootout championship.
Bland came home in third spot, which left her with a second-place overall finish for the TCM September Shootout, not bad for someone who hours earlier was just coming to the track to help out.
MacDonald was impressive in the second feature, bringing it home one spot ahead of Bland for second place and an overall finish of third place.
Matthews had an overall finish of sixth place, while Bella Pashkoski had an 11th overall finish and Brett Pashkoski was 14th overall.
PEI’s Hudson Linzel-Waddell, wheeling the no. 57, held off defending champion and fellow Islanders Andrew O’Connor and Mason Gillis for the win in the caution free 15 lap beginner feature.
The TCM September Shootout wishes to thank all the teams, Oyster Bed Speedway and marketing partners with Tim’s Corner that helped put on the event.
These partners include the Maritime All Stars Series, the Laker News, MacLean Motorsports, Wink Esthetics, Danny’s Auto Service, Bud’s Speedway, Kris Fournier RE/MAX, Conway Customz, and Speedway 660.
The full results can be found at Tim’sCorner.ca by clicking on this highlighted link.