Scott Steckly of Milverton

Scott Steckly of Milverton

NASCAR revs up MotoPlex

A&W Cruisin’ The Dub 300, part of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, comes to Vernon's MotoPlex Speedway Saturday night.

Vernon’s MotoPlex Speedway and Event Park is gearing up for its biggest event of the season as the A&W Cruisin’ The Dub 300, part of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, comes to town Saturday night.

DJ Kennington, driving his No. 17 Castrol Edge/Mahindra Tractors Dodge, will be the man to beat on the half-mile, banked asphalt  tri-oval, having won the last two stops in the Canadian Tire series. He took the checkered flags at the Clarington 200 in Bowmanville, Ont. (June 16), and the EMCO 200 in Delware, Ont (June 23).

Back-to-back wins to go with a runner-up finish and a fourth-place run has the St. Thomas, Ont., driver with a 13-point lead over Roxton Pond, Que.’s Andrew Ranger (No. 27 GC Motosport Dodge).

Milverton, Ont.’s Scott Steckly, piloting the No. 22 Canadian Tire/Motomaster Dodge, is the two-time defending champion, and also has three runner-up placings in Vernon. He is fourth in the Canadian Tire series.

For a change, Western Canadian drivers will dominate the 2l-car entry list, with two brothers and a father-son duo, all from B.C., leading the way.

Brothers Jason White of Sun Peaks and Jim White of Kamloops will each be piloting Dodges. Jason will be in the A&W/Bowers & Wilkins Dodge, and Jim will be driving the car Steckly drove last year.

Jason enters Saturday’s race, the fifth in the 12-race circuit, as the ninth-ranked driver. Both White brothers are familiar with the MotoPlex, having competed here regularly in past years. Jason runs the complete NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, while Jim sticks to the western events.

The father-son duo of Trevor and Ryley Seibert of Williams Lake have been regular competitors in the Street Stock and Sportsman classes over the years at the MotoPlex. Vernon fans might not recognize them at first as their cars will bear new race wraps as they make their NASCAR season debut. Both Dodges are owned by Trevor and carry sponsorship from Lake Excavating.

Saturday will the be just the second series start for Ryley, 20, who calls the MotoPlex his home track.

“I’m certainly comfortable there and know the track very well,” he said. “But there is some pressure that comes with it. I’ll have a lot of friends and family at the race and they are going to expect me to protect my home turf.”

Seibert also knows there will be family bragging rights on the line Saturday.

“When I was younger, my dad was my hero. Now that I’m 20 and share the race track with him, I just want to beat him. He beat me not too long ago in his Late Model, so I need to get a little payback.”

Rivals on the track are partners in the shop, though.

“He doesn’t make it to the shop as much as he would like due to his business stuff,” said Ryley. “But he is a great resource and has helped me out in every way possible. There is a lot involved in racing and he’s always there for me.”

A pair of Prairie rookies will add to the western content at the MotoPlex, as Jason Hankewich of Kindersley, Sask. pilots the Digger Racing Chevrolet, and Nick Jewell of The Pas, Man. runs a racer sponsored by the Prairie Dodge Dealers.

Five Alberta entries round out the eleven western drivers entered in the 300-lap race.

Gates open at 4 p.m., with qualifying set for 5:15 p.m., an autograph session at 7:00, and racing at 8:15. General admission is $45 and VIP tickets are $150.

The A&W will be aired Sunday, July 22 at 2 p.m. (PT) on TSN, and again on Saturday, Aug. 11 at 4:30 p.m.

With files from NASCAR.