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Triple Wins, Thrilling Finishes, and Large Crowd Highlight Wild Sunday Season Opener

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(CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – May 20, 2024)Oyster Bed Speedway began its 2024 stock car racing season with a bang on Sunday, May 19, putting on a thrilling show in front of a large crowd at the Victoria Day Weekend Season Opener in Oyster Bed Bridge, P.E.I.

In the 40th-anniversary edition of the event, five division features (including a Super Series race), a demolition derby, and Power Wheels races were contested on an overcast Sunday afternoon at the high-banked oval.

As the features commenced, fans were quickly treated to a familiar sight as second-year racer Hudson Linzel-Waddell (#57) scored his third career feature victory in the Reliable Motors Beginner Bandolero division. Linzel-Waddell, who also claimed a triple win in last year’s Season Opener, started sixth and charged his way to the front, rapidly approaching rookie and polesitter Charlee Rayner (#24) with five laps remaining. The yellow flag was thrown for a slow Payton Gallant (#42) in turn three, and on the restart, Linzel-Waddell made the winning pass and sailed to victory.

The runner-up result for Rayner was heartbreaking but still very well-earned after running solidly in heat and semi #1. Her brother Oliver Rayner (#23) finished third while Juliana O’Connor (#10) and Ashtyn Gariepy (#11) picked up top-5 finishes. Payton Gallant (#42) won heat and semi #1 but failed to finish the feature.

Simon Doyle (#91) started his season strong with his first career feature win in the Reliable Motors Outlaw Bandolero feature, hanging on over brother Cole Doyle (#12) and defending champion Landon Pierce (#19). The Doyles dominated the feature, running first and second the entire way. The race was halted by three cautions for spins by Rhyan Burke (#01), Hunter MacKinnon (#07), and Wyatt Peters (#33).

2023 Beginner Bandolero champion Mason Gillis (#9) finished fourth and Peters finished fifth. Burke, Gillis, and Andrew O’Connor (#63) all moved up from the Beginner class and were up and down in their Outlaw class debuts. O’Connor impressed everyone by barely beating Pierce and Cole Doyle in the semi race. Cole Doyle won the heat race.

Randy MacTavish (#76) decided one triple win that day wasn’t enough, adding his first career triple win to his resume in the Chris’s Bobcat Services Mini Stock division. In the feature, he avoided mid-race carnage and held off polesitter Ricky Bedell (#2) for the victory. Seven laps in, while battling for the lead with defending champion Jeff Bridges (#95), Bedell got loose in turn two and set off a chain-reaction crash, which collected rookie Campbell Stewart (#3) and reigning Rookie of the Year Cash Bridges (#69).

Stewart, Cash Bridges, and Jeff Bridges all failed to finish. Rookie Rosie Kitson (#13) claimed a podium result in her first career feature and fellow rookie Austin Corrigan finished fourth.

The Outlaw Super Series returned to action for the first time in years with a 12-car field duelling in a 40-lap feature. Brandon Forsyth (#3) made an immediate impact in his transition from Mini Stocks to Outlaws, going from third to first within three laps and taking the win. One restart was needed after a multi-car incident involving Shane Bridges (#4), Kendall Palmer (#45), and Jessie LeClair (#46), but the field had nothing for Forsyth’s dominant speed.

LeClair finished second in the feature but was caught with an engine violation in post-race tech inspection, giving Palmer and past champion Layton Delaney (#7) top-3 finishes. LeClair’s heat and semi wins were also taken away. Corey Bridges (#04) finished fourth, a resilient result after battling speed sensor issues all day. Rookie Charles Cleal (#44) took advantage of other driver’s mishaps, earning a top-5 finish. Jamie Cummings (#81) won heat and semi #1 but left the feature early with a heating issue.

The best racing of the day was saved for last with the 35-lap Gauthier’s Auto Repair Street Stock division feature. Mitchell Arsenault (#51) held off Mike Duskey (#42) in one of the wildest Street Stock finishes in Oyster Bed Speedway history to pick up his first win of the season. Arsenault started seventh out of 10 competitors, patiently drove his way to the front, and was about to create a battle for the ages until a caution was thrown with three laps remaining.

On the restart, Arsenault took the lead, and he and Duskey were left to duke it out for the win while Randy Snow (#26) and multi-time champion Nick Chiasson (#27) got together behind them. Coming into turn three on the last lap, Duskey dove his car into turn three and gave Arsenault a bump, but Arsenault held on in a close finish. The #51 car also won a heat race.

Brandon Albert (#37) finished third and was competitive all day in his new black-and-yellow car. Past champion and fan-favourite Randy Millar (#77) experienced a strong start in the Season Opener with heat and semi race wins, ending the event with a fourth-place feature finish. Reigning Rookie of the Year Tyler Doucette (#24) came home fifth after battling rear-end issues before the event and breaking a swaybar during pre-race practice.

Veteran Andrew Thompson (#4) debuted a new red colour and finished seventh. Sarah Jay (#30), the fiancé of reigning Street Stock champion Tyler Gauthier, returned to racing for the first time since before the pandemic, becoming the first female driver to race a Street Stock since Amanda Wheatley in 2018.

The event concluded with a demolition derby won by Tyson Chiasson (#15).

Full race results are available here and on the website’s points page. Points standings, race highlights, and more will be posted in the coming days. Congratulations to all winners of the 2024 Victoria Day Weekend Season Opener!

Gauthier’s Auto Repair Street Stock 35-Lap Feature Results

1. Mitchell Arsenault #51
2. Mike Duskey #42
3. Brandon Albert #37
4. Randy Millar #77
5. Tyler Doucette #24
6. Nick Chiasson #27
7. Andrew Thompson #4
8. Randy Snow #26
9. Sarah Jay #30
10. Dexter Arsenault #31

Outlaw Super Series 40-Lap Feature Results

1. Brandon Forsyth #3
2. Kendall Palmer #45
3. Layton Delaney #7
4. Corey Bridges #04
5. Charles Cleal #44
6. Drake Folland #33
7. Shane Bridges #4
8. Jordan LeClair #47
9. Harley Cornish #13
10. Brady Albert #38
11. Jamie Cummings #81

DQ – Jessie LeClair #46

Chris’s Bobcat Services Mini Stock 20-Lap Feature Results

1. Randy MacTavish #76
2. Ricky Bedell #2
3. Rosie Kitson #13
4. Austin Corrigan #10
5. Jeff Bridges #95
6. Campbell Stewart #3
7. Cash Bridges #69

Reliable Motors Outlaw Bandolero 15-Lap Feature Results

1. Simon Doyle #91
2. Cole Doyle #12
3. Landon Pierce #19
4. Mason Gillis #9
5. Wyatt Peters #33
6. Andrew O’Connor #63
7. Hunter MacKinnon #07
8. Rhyan Burke #01

Reliable Motors Beginner Bandolero 15-Lap Feature Results

1. Hudson Linzel-Waddell #57
2. Charlee Rayner #24
3. Oliver Rayner #23
4. Juliana O’Connor #10
5. Ashtyn Gariepy #11
6. Regan MacBeth #34
7. Landon MacBeth #32
8. Payton Gallant #42

Stay up-to-date on our website and social media pages for more breaking news and updates as they happen across the 2024 season and beyond.

Oyster Bed Speedway can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok at @oysterbedspeedway, and @obspeedwaypei on YouTube and X.

Merchandise is available at www.obsmerch.ca. Shop Samantha Busch merch is available.

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.

Website: www.oysterbedspeedwaypei.ca

 

Reegan MacAulay

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