Honouring a friend - A look at the 2015 Mike Stevens Memorial 150

Discussion in 'A View From Above - Jesse Thompson' started by Jesse Thompson, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Do you remember where you were on August 3, 2013? I do.

    I laid awake that night, refreshing the official Parts For Trucks Pro Stock Tour Twitter page, waiting to find out why there wasn't an update on Mike Stevens' flip.

    Obviously, you know the rest of the story.

    Fast forward to 2014, where 27 of the best Pro Stock drivers in Atlantic Canada converged on the high banks under an overcast sky for a 150 lap war on wheels. I remember sitting in the stands with emotions running through me and wondering if I could make it to the start with a smile on my face.

    What I saw were 27 of the best racing as if Mike was still with them. They raced hard, but clean. Side by side, patient and willing to give everyone a shot at the win. That night, Shawn Turple made it happen during the 2nd half to claim the obvious emotional win.

    Fast forwarding again to 2015 and a beautiful Saturday afternoon, something I believe was Mike's doing. While the car count was a bit on the low side, it was more a matter of quality over quantity. 17 of the best started out the day with a set of 15 lap heat races. Two surprises arose as sophomore Pro Stock competitors Sarah McKay and Robbie MacEwen set the front row for the event.

    This has to be a huge confidence booster for both drivers. Robbie's previous best Pro Stock finish was 3rd at the IWK 250, while Sarah McKay has been consistent with top 10 finishes which is nothing to be ashamed of.

    One of the most heartwarming moments was coming down the back stairs during a red flag and running into "The General" Robbie Stevens of R Stevens Mechanical, who I'd like to thank for sponsoring the event overall. I quickly asked him what he thought of the event. Robbie's face lit up. "Incredible" was all he had to say to get his thoughts conveyed.

    As far as the event, I couldn't have asked for a better run show. Getting to talk to the drivers during the L83 delay was something I enjoyed doing. It gave a perspective that many fans love to see.

    After falling victim to a racing deal, Sarah McKay was one of the drivers to watch as she rebounded back towards the front despite a damaged AE McKay Builders Chevrolet. I'd like to send out my congratulations to the team for their never give up attitude that kept the young lady on track.

    It then became a battle between two of Petty's winningest drivers; Truro's Dylan Blenkhorn and Brudenell's Jonathan Hicken, who was pinch-hitting for Cassius Clark in the King Competition #13. If you wanted a battle for the ages when you walked through the front gate, there was no denying that these two gave each fan their monies worth. Greg Proude's 3rd should not be discounted as that team has hit on a set-up that works. With a little tweaking, Blake, Scott and the crew will be golden.

    Kenny MacKenzie Jr said it best during post race interviews for the 100L Late Model Sportsman feature.

    "Heroes come and go, but mine was always Mike Stevens and I hope I made him proud today"

    Memorial events will always hold a special place for individual fans, but the Mike Stevens Memorial is the first I've seen in a long time that holds a spot in everyone's heart. Seeing Jonathan Hicken hoist that beautiful Foxwood's Millwork and Velocity Machining and Welding-designed trophy made this event one for the history books.

    I also want to thank Robbie, Sharon, Brody, David, Logan and the Stevens crew for coming to Petty International Raceway to honour Mike. We appreciate your continued support of Atlantic Canadian racing and the foundation of community. Here's to a bigger and better show in 2016.

    I'll leave you with this. Whether you liked Mike's driving style of never-give-up or you didn't, you can't deny that the man made an impact that may never be matched. Whether you remember him in the 11, 26 or 4, he will live on in our hearts and memories forever.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  2. Bruce Langille

    Bruce Langille Semi Pro

    Good job Jesse. It was a great day and a great show.
  3. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator Staff Member

    Great Piece! Looks like many others enjoyed it too. 478 views!
  4. Razert

    Razert Rookie

    I've seen the opening laps during the 2016 event

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