Champions Among Us

Saluting the Maritimes Premiere Stock Car Touring Series & its Champions

It was early 1983 when a group of Maritime racers and track owners met in a barn not far from Moncton with the notion of organizing a touring series that would support both the racers and the tracks.

Just a few months later the Maritime Association of Stock Car Racers (MASCAR) was founded and the new series ran its first season. In the early years they raced throughout the Maritimes at tracks from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Miramichi, New Brunswick – and Caribou, Maine – and all points in between.

“Sometimes we ran 20 or more races a year,” said Jim Hallahan, who was at that meeting, was integral in following through to the formation of MASCAR, was a driver with, and later a President of the organization. “We’d be at Miramichi (northern NB) on Saturday and then Onslow (near Truro, NS) on Sunday. We worked hard to get it going.”

Before then it was tracks posting bigger purses for longer races that would attract top drivers. But there was no consistency for the racers, the tracks, or the fans. It was tough for everyone to keep going.

Until MASCAR. It was run by the racers with an elected board and after a tough couple of years at the beginning started attracting great sponsors and a fan following that saw the series flourish though the late 90s when it became clear the series needed to be run more like a business than a club. So over the 2000/2001 off-season the Maritime Pro Stock Tour (Ltd) was formed by Halifax-area businessmen and owners of Scotia Speedworld, Cecil Vance and Harry Poole. It was branded the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour until the end of 2010 season and since 2011 has been called the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour.

Hundreds of talented race car drivers have competed with MASCAR and the Pro Stock Tour over the past 30 years but only 11 have earned championship titles – and so we celebrate these 11 elite drivers.

They are Champions Among Us.

Wayne Smith

MASCAR 1994, 1999, 2000 | PST 2001, 2008, 2011

Hometown: Timberlea, Nova Scotia | Status: Semi-Retired

smithWayne Smith started his racing career in 1981 driving a pony car at Onslow Speedway. In 1986 he moved to the sportsman division and in 1988 he won the sportsman title at the then new Scotia Speedworld and also finished third overall in Onslow’s sportsman division. The move to MASCAR came in 1989 when he became the first rookie to win a MASCAR feature. His aggressive driving style earned him the nickname ‘the Oval Outlaw’ – many fans – three MASCAR titles, three Maritime Pro Stock Tour titles, and numerous series wins,  including the 2009 edition of the IWK 250. In 2010 he became part-owner of Petty International Raceway near Moncton (NB) and at the end of that season announced he would scale back his driving career to focus on the race track.

Greg Sewart

MASCAR 1983, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1995

Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Status: Retired

sewartGreg Sewart started racing in 1976 in the Atlantic Speedway sportsman division where he picked up dual honours as rookie of the year and the division point champion, a title he also won in 1977. In 1980 he moved to the modified division and won that title. In 1982 he was the late model point champion at Onslow Speedway. In 1983 he joined the then newly founded MASCAR series and went on to become a five-time champion, a three-time winner in the Moosehead Grand Prix (1991, 1992, 1994), a two-time Riverside 250 winner (1986, 1993), winner of the only 300-lap race ever held at Scotia Speedworld, became the top finishing Maritime racer ever in the Oxford 250 (2nd place in 1994) – a feat he equates with his favourite win. A back injury forced his retirement from racing in 2002. Greg Sewart was inducted  to the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2010, and to the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Terry Clattenburg

MASCAR 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991

Hometown: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia | Status: Retired

clattenburgTerry Clattenburg started his racing career as a drag racer. After winning the 1968 Drag City 1/4-mile championship he turned his focus to circle tracks and stock car racing. He made quick headlines as the winner of the Halifax Dartmouth International Speedway sportsman championship in 1970. In 1977 he tried road racing and won the Honda Series championship at the AMP Road Course in Shubenacadie. In 1983 he joined the then newly founded MASCAR Tour and went on to become a four-time champion. He won the Moosehead Grand Prix in Halifax three times, in 1991, 1992, and 1993. Besides MASCAR, his touring series stock car racing resume includes multiple starts in both the NASCAR North and ACT series. He was also a top off-road racer in his highly modified 4 x 4. Terry Clattenburg retired from racing in 1997. He was inducted to the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007.

John Flemming

PST 2002, 2003, 2006, 2013

Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Status: Active

flemmingJohn Flemming started racing in 1984 entering, and winning, a demolition derby. He was hooked and later that year made his stock car debut in the street stock division at Scotia Speedworld where he raced until 1984 when he made the move to MASCAR. In 1998 he won the coveted Debbie Hallahan Memorial Trophy as the series most sportsmanlike driver. The 2000 season saw John win the NEPSA Rookie of the Year Award and visit Victory Lane as the inaugural winner of the Atlantic Cat 250 at Scotia Speedworld. Flemming has gone on to become one of the most popular and most successful drivers in the region with three Maritime Pro Stock Tour championships and dozens of feature wins, including the 2012 edition of the IWK 250.

Shawn Tucker

PST 2004, 2007, 2010

Hometown: Fredericton, New Brunswick | Status: Active

tuckerShawn Tucker’s first race was in 1990 when he made his debut (in any kind of race car) driving a pro stock. For the first five years of his career he raced in Maine and then, in 1995, started competing closer to home at the track now called Speedway 660. In 1996, his sophomore season at Speedway 660, he won the pro stock division title. Three years later, in 1999, he started touring with MASCAR earning that series rookie of the year title. He has been with the Maritime Pro Stock Tour since its inception in 2001, is a multi-time winner, and is one of only a handful of active drivers that has never missed a race with the series. He and his father, Leroy Tucker, operate Tucker Racing – builders and purveyors of fine stock cars and equipment.

Scott Fraser

MASCAR 1996, 1998

Hometown: Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia | Status: Deceased

fraserA 16-year-old Scott Fraser started racing in 1986 in the street stock division at Onslow Speedway. He made his MASCAR debut in 1991 at the Moosehead Grand Prix, his first road race; he finished second. In 1992 he raced full-time in the open wheel division at Scotia Speedworld and in his rookie season with MASCAR; he won the street stock title. In 1993 he won his first of six consecutive Riverside 250’s (now IWK 250), and made his first two ACT starts – with two top five finishes. In 1994 he won an ACT race at Scotia Speedworld. In 1996 he dominated the MASCAR circuit en route to his first series title winning 12 of 15 races and leading 59% of 1704 laps. In 1998 he repeated as MASCAR champion winning six of 13 races with an average finish of 2.7. 1999 highlights included the IPSC title, two wins at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing in Florida, making his first NASCAR North start, and being named the Nova Scotia Male Athlete of the Year. In 2000 he qualified second and led several laps in his ASA debut. In 2001 he made 13 ASA starts with four top 10 finishes. In 2002 he won six of the eight pro stock races he entered – all marquis events. In 2003 he won five of 15 events entered including the Auto Value 250 and his biggest payday ever ($24,500 – a record for the Maritimes), finishing the season with a win at Scotia Speedworld, just six months before his tragic death in a snowmobile accident. Scott Fraser was inducted to the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006, the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2008, and the Colchester Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

Rollie MacDonald

MASCAR 1984 | PST 2005

Hometown: Pictou, Nova Scotia | Status: Car Owner

macdonaldRollie MacDonald has been a fixture on the regional racing scene since 1965, almost five decades. He started his racing career in 1965 at Mountain raceway, a dirt track not far from his home in Pictou. Since then his racing career has grown to be one of the most diverse in the Maritimes, as driver, car owner, and sponsor. He and his cars have competed successfully throughout North America. He’s entered event sanctioned by regional touring circuits MASCAR and Maritime Pro Stock Tour (PST), Quebec’s QUASCAR – where he won the 1984 championship, and in the NASCAR Busch North Series. In 1998 he forged a partnership with Scott Fraser as driver in his cars. Together they made their mark on the ASA circuit in the United States. MacDonald returned to the driver’s seat following Fraser’s death in 2004; in 2005 he won three races en route to the PST title – which he dedicated to Fraser’s memory. He raced part-time through 2012 while expanding King Racing to become a full-service race shop servicing and fielding cars for others – and winning two of the region’s top three events in 2012: the Atlantic Cat 250 and the Auto Value 250.  Rollie MacDonald was inducted to the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009.

Shawn Turple

PST 2009, 2012

Hometown: Enfield, Nova Scotia | Status: Active

turpleShawn Turple attended his first stock car race when he was just 10 years old; accordingly, some might have considered him a seasoned veteran of racing when he entered his first event six years later at 16 years of age. He started in the hobby stock division at Scotia Speedworld where he eventually won that division title. In 2003 he moved to the sportsman division and won that title in 2004; it was that year he was named the Scott Fraser Racing (SFR) legacy driver. In 2005 he competed full-time for SFR with the Maritime Pro Stock Tour winning the rookie of the year title. in 2006 he won his first pro stock race driving for SFR, ironically at the grand re-opening of Riverside International Speedway where Scott Fraser holds the record for the most ‘250’ wins. In 2007 he moved to the No. 67 race team under the helm of Stephen Henderson where he has earned multiple wins and two titles.

Dave Gorveatt

MASCAR 1997

Hometown: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island | Status: Retired

gorveattDave Gorveatt started racing in 1986 at Raceway Park (now Oyster Bed Speedway). He made the move to MASCAR in 1991. In 1997 he won his first series race en route to the championship which he captured by a mere three points over Scott Kelly – the closes point battle in 30 years of Maritime touring series history. He is the only driver from Prince Edward Island (PEI) to ever win a Maritime touring series title. In 2001 he left Maritime competition in favour of the New England-based PASS SLM tour; he won a PASS feature in 2002 – again the only PEI native to hold this honour. He retired from racing in 2006. Dave Gorveatt was inducted in the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2010.

Paul Hebert

MASCAR 1988

Hometown: Shediac, New Brunswick | Status: Retired

hebertPaul Hebert drove in his first race in 1968 and his last race in 2002. Over those three decades he was perhaps best known for two things: 1) because he used an automatic transmission in his cars, and 2) because, in his words, he drove a Dodge “when Dodge wasn’t cool.” He was one of the original MASCAR competitors in 1983 and then, in 1985, switched to racing at his home track in Shediac (the old track). When it closed he started racing modifieds at River Glade Speedway; after that he went back to MASCAR. It wasn’t uncommon for him to race more than one time in the same week with different promoters. “I raced every chance I got,” he said in a recent interview. In 1988 Hebert became the first (and only) person from New Brunswick to win a MASCAR title. He race full-time with the series until 1995 and then ran a limited schedule until his retirement in 2002.

Junior Kelly

MASCAR 1985

Hometown: Sackville, Nova Scotia | Status: Retired

kellyjJunior Kelly started racing when he was just 16 years old, driving in the street stock division at a track in Nine Mile River. He soon moved to the sportsman division when Drag City opened in his hometown of Sackville (NS). After it closed he went racing at Atlantic Speedway in Hammonds Plains (NS) where he won the 1979 sportsman championship. It wasn’t long before he moved to the modified division and, when MASCAR was formed in 1983, joined its ranks as a founding member. Two years later, in 1985, he won the MASCAR title. He retired from racing cars in 1993 to field a car for his son Scott – something Junior will tell you brought him more pleasure than did his own career behind the wheel. With Scott as driver they won the 1994 MASCAR Rookie of the Year title, finished third in the 1996 Oxford 250, and won the 1998 International Pro Stock Challenge title. Scott lost a courageous battle with cancer in 1999 but Junior has remained involved in racing through sponsorship and by offering knowledge gained through his years of experience to other racers. Junior Kelly, along with his son Scott  (honoured posthumously), was inducted to the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2008.