“Finally” Emotions flow as Slaunwhite captures IWK 250

Craig Slaunwhite hoists the John Chisholm trophy after his IWK 250 victory. (Healey photo)

ANTIGONISH: The emotion of what it meant to win the IWK 250 for Craig Slaunwhite was clear as day in Victory Lane.

As he unstrapped and climbed from the no. 99 Archibald Drilling & Blasting hot rod he wheeled from being sent to the rear after a caution between him and NASCAR Trucks Series driver Carson Hocevar just after halfway, the Halifax native was able to exhale.

“Finally,” he said as he slapped the roof of the RJ Motorsports -King Competition machine in front of a full house of appreciative fans at Riverside International Speedway in James River, just outside Antigonish, on a humid Saturday night.

After the wreck between he and Hocevar earlier, the two zigged zagged their way back to the front with Hocevar leading the charge in the no. 23 CAT car for Kids prepared by NOVA Racing.

Craig Slaunwhite is presented his winners cheque and trophy. (Healey photo)


Slaunwhite bided his time behind Hocevar, before making his move with 14 laps to go and going onto to snag the checkered flag in the prestigious race presented by Steve Lewis and the $20,000 winners pay cheque.

He finished ahead of 08 Nic Naugle of Dartmouth and the 88 NOVA Racing machine of Russell Smith Jr. Hocevar ended up 13th after a wreck with the 54 Jarrett Butcher as the two battled hard with two to go.

The top three at the IWK 250. (Healey photo)

The no. 29 of another KING Competition machine of Greg Proude was fourth and Moncton’s Mike Rodgers in the no. 41 came fifth.

Time Trials kicked off qualifying in the afternoon with Hocevar laying down the fastest circuit of the 26-car field with a lap time of 14.364 seconds.

Following Time Trials, the top 10 fastest cars were shaken up with a redraw on the front stretch and then they hit the track for a 15 lap Dash for the Pole. Hocevar crossed the finish line first to claim to coveted pole position for the IWK 250.

The remaining 16 cars competed in Atlantic Tiltload Heat Races and saw a pair of Antigonish-based racers Ryan VanOirschot and Donald Chisholm claim the victories.


The no. 7 of Brad Eddy, from the Lower Sackville area, had an impressive run after car issues in heat races.

He won the Kenny U Pull Hard Charger award picking up the most spots on the field after gaining nineteen positions over the 250 laps of action.

Eddy finished in sixth place in the Driveline Vehicle Group hot rod.

Tanton Wooldridge had an outstanding run in his first long distance race and was awarded the Lucas Oil Rookie of the Race Award.

Ryan VanOirschot picked up the Fast Eddie Racewear Lucky Dog Award. 

The race was slowed by eight cautions and took two hours to complete.


Meanwhile, it wasn’t such a good night for two other East Hants race car drivers on the East Coast International Pro Stock Tour.

Matt Vaughan of Lantz came home in 14th place, three laps down to winner Slaunwhite. He was in the top 10 at points in the race action.

Shubenacadie’s Steve Lively, wheeling the no. 30 East Coast Financing-sponsored machine with some autographed names from fans on his hood from the pre-race autograph session, had his race end after just 109 laps due to a mechanical issue.

Gary Elliott of Truro came home 17th in the no. 36 Quaker State machine.

On Friday, the Maritime League of Legends ran with Cory Hall winning while it was Chris Reid taking the MASS Sportsman 100 lap feature.

The East Coast International Pro Stock Tour heads to New Brunswick next Saturday for the Fleetrite 150 at Petty International Raceway.

Stay tuned to www.maritimeprostocktour.com for all the latest news or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @prostocktour .