(CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – April 25, 2023)
With the 2023 racing season quickly approaching, we’d like to hype things up by giving our drivers the spotlight. Once every week until the season opener, we will shout out one driver from each division with a “driver spotlight profile.”
You will find out information such as who they are, where they’re from, what division they’re in plus their car number, what their racing story is, and much more.
Welcome to week one.
Our first street-stock driver is veteran Jeff MacInnis, driver of the #29 Century 21 Northumberland Realty car.
From Lower Bedeque, MacInnis began racing in 1996 at age 16 with the help of his late father, Ron, and family friend & fellow driver Randy Millar. He raced hobby stocks from 1996 to 2001, took time off for family reasons, and returned to racing in 2013 in street stocks.
It was quite a return — he won in just his third weekend and he was named the OBS Rookie of the Year.
“Racing is basically life. We live, eat, sleep it.”
His most notable accomplishments include:
– First feature win was in 1999 in hobby stock
– Multiple wins at Oyster Bed, Petty International, and Miramichi
– 5 Most Dedicated Driver awards
– 1 Most Sportsmanlike Driver award
– 2 Piston Cup (David Lambe Memorial) runner-up finishes
“Biggest accomplishment personally for me is being consistent and most of all friendships I’ve made all over the Maritimes. Too many to list.
“I’ve been very fortunate over the years with racing. Had a lot of bad luck, but I’ve always overcome it and came back as a frontrunner.”
MacInnis finished third in last year’s standings. Look out for the #29 street stock car to be a championship contender this season!
Our first Honda outlaw driver is a member of the well-known Bridges family, veteran Shane Bridges, driver of the #4 Bridges Racing car.
From Ellerslie, Shane found a passion for racing by going to the track as a kid to watch drivers such as Donny McNeil, Keith Phillips, and the Miller boys.
“I can remember the excitement of picking a number each race and cheering them on to win.”
He started to get more involved with the track, participating in an endurance race, which led him to help his brother-in-law with their car and eventually race himself. He completed his first full season in mini-stocks in 2016 with the goal of a top-10 points finish, and he accomplished it as ninth overall.
He built himself a new car in 2017, which led him to his first and only triple win on opening day, multiple podium finishes and a top-five points finish. 2019 would be a roller coaster of a year, as he scored his first OBS championship.
“I will never forget how accomplished I felt to win that title.”
Not only that, he finished third in the Atlantic Championships and he decided to give other types of cars a chance.
“I tried street stock for one weekend before I sold it and went back to the mini stock for another year. Then I tried a Honda and only finished four races with it before going back again.
“I was back in old faithful that I had built so many years ago, and I could tell she was tired. With the new rules in the mini stock class, the car just wasn’t enough.”
Last year, he became the only driver to race a cobalt mini-stock car at OBS, which led to him winning the first-ever Eldon Doucette Memorial race and claiming fourth in the standings.
This year, he will be transitioning to the Honda outlaw division, which will most certainly raise the competition the division has seen in recent years.
“I’m ready to give it another shot and put more effort into a Honda. I will set goals and make sure I do everything I can to meet them. If I have one message to say to anyone that comes to the track, it’s, ‘Welcome to our family.’”
There’s no doubt Shane Bridges will be a contender every weekend this year. Look out for that black, white, and green #4 Honda car!
Our first mini-stock driver is sophomore and defending series champion Tyler Doucette, driver of the #24 Doucette Motorsports car.
From New London, Doucette’s passion for racing began by witnessing races at OBS and eventually joining his best friend’s pit crew. Last year, he found a mini stock for sale, took one look at his fiance Claya, and the rest is history.
He went on to win the championship in his rookie season, scoring eight heat wins, two feature wins, and two triple wins. He also claimed the Rookie of the Year and Division Favourite Driver awards.
“It was the most intense and exciting experience, and not just for myself, but also for Claya and all those who supported me and cheered me on every week! Their support made me work harder and longer to keep myself on the leaderboard every weekend.
“My first triple win was special to me not only because I won, but because my best friend also had a triple win that night.
“I finished second place at my uncle’s memorial race and one of my favourites is finishing three-wide in a photo finish with myself and two other drivers who fought hard till the end!”
The championship is no surprise when he and his team stayed on top of their game all year, committing to every practice and race day possible and making sure the car was ready every week.
“Having a motorsport team has a huge impact on your life and it requires a huge time commitment, but when it is something you love, time is not a problem. Also, when you have the support of family and friends like I do, it makes the time spent at the track even more meaningful!”
Doucette hopes to have a strong start to his second season at Oyster Bed. You may also see him go off the island a few times.
“Team Doucette Motorsports and car #24 are really looking forward to the 2023 racing season! We can’t wait to be back to another challenge this year along with trying lots of other tracks in the Maritimes! Thank you for your support!”
Doucette is enrolled in the Wildlife Conservation and Technology Program at Holland College for the fall of 2023. He works for Island Ocean Farms. In his spare time, he’s planning a wedding and loves all things racing and motorsport.
We usually do one driver per division, but if it’s a family, we can’t leave ‘em all out. Our first bandolero drivers come from the O’Connor family with children Andrew and Juliana!
From Charlottetown, both kids found a passion for racing by watching NASCAR races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway ever since they were born. Their grandfather Rod O’Connor raced at OBS for many years. The two were given bandoleros prior to the 2022 racing season.
Andrew drives the bright orange #63 car, which is exactly what his grandfather’s number and paint scheme was. He had a very successful rookie season in bandoleros, scoring his first feature win at the Tim’s Corner September shootout. He also went to Petty Int. Raceway for the Mike Stevens Memorial Weekend. His favourite NASCAR driver is Chase Elliott.
When Andrew’s not racing, he plays baseball, golf, and hockey, where he is a goalie for the U11 Sherwood Falcons. He also runs his own business in the spring named ‘Andrew’s Worms,’ where he’s known for his “fresh, big, and very lucky Dew worms.”
Juliana drives the #10 pink car, which comes from her love for former NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, who she met and got an autograph from at a race. With Patrick’s number being number 10 and Juliana being 10 years old, it only made sense to go full circle.
When Juliana’s not racing, she plays softball, golf, and ringette, where she plays for the U12 Charlottetown Cherry Bombs. She also loves music, takes drum & guitar lessons, and enjoys going to dance classes.
Both kids would like to thank their sponsors and the fans for their support.
If you’re a driver who would be interested in a profile or you’re related to a driver and you have a bucketload of information, send Reegan MacAulay a message on Facebook.
Friendly reminder to register your kid for our first-annual Power Wheels races on June 24, Fan Appreciation Night. We are inching closer and closer to 100 registrations, so keep it up! Send Kris Fournier a message on Facebook.
About Oyster Bed Speedway:
Oyster Bed Speedway is Prince Edward Island’s premier auto racing facility and features fun and excitement with weekly stock car racing special events throughout the season. The 1/3 mile paved oval is located in Oyster Bed Bridge at the intersection of routes 6 and 7, halfway between Cavendish and Charlottetown on beautiful Prince Edward Island.
Phone: (902) 892-6684