CannaConnect 50 at Petty International Raceway marks return for the Tour from the COVID-19 Pandemic

(DARTMOUTH, NS – July 7th, 2021) – The Passione Flooring & Interiors East Coast Mini Stock Tour is back in the business of racing this Saturday night, July 10th when the Series heads to Petty International Raceway for the CannaConnect 50. The race is the first round of the 2021 season and first since the COVID-19 pandemic wiped the whole 2020 calendar off the table. The CannaConnect 50 is a part of the 57th Jones Auto Body River Glade International at the River Glade, New Brunswick oval, which is headlined by a 200-lap feature for the Pro Stocks. Racing begins on Saturday, July 10th at 4pm.

Much has changed since the last time the Tour was on the track at Riverside International Speedway in September 2019. The building rules have changed and the CannaConnect 50 on Saturday afternoon at Petty International Raceway will mark the first race with the expanded rules package. In the past, Honda models were the only ones eligible for competition but over the extended off-season, the Series has worked to include several new makes and models into East Coast Mini Stock Tour eligibility. In short, with minimal changes, every race car that competes in a Mini Stock class within Atlantic Canada should be able to compete with the Series when the Tour rolls into their home track.

To that point, new Series marketing partners JOES Racing Products and CannaConnect have combined in 2021 to present the “Hometown Hero” Award. The top finishing driver during each event that calls the host track their home track will receive a $75 bonus and a JOES Racing Products tire gauge. This is in addition to several other contingency awards being offered to racers at each race, including the EIT Race Radios Hard Charger, the RockAuto.com Hard Luck Award and the Giles Auto World Pole Challenge.

With the quick turnaround to go racing at the backend of the COVID-19 pandemic, several teams are scrambling to get their cars ready for Saturday’s first race. The CannaConnect 50 will see over a dozen drivers dust off their helmets with the hopes of starting off their 2021 Passione Flooring & Interiors East Coast Mini Stock Tour season off strong.

It appears the battle that was for the 2019 championship will return as Dave Matthews (Nine Mile River, NS) and Jesse Deveau (Greenwood, NS) will make the trek across the Tantramar Marsh and into New Brunswick on Saturday. Matthews ended up with the championship when the chips were down two years ago but Deveau’s consistency across the region earned him not only the respect of his competitors but put him on the radar as a title contender. The 2019 Scotia Speedworld Thunder car champion is working to have his car ready to contend with the 2019 Passione Flooring & Interiors East Coast Mini Stock Tour champion for a renewal of the battle on Saturday.

The duo will have to shake Cody Byrne (Orwell Cove, PE) from their bumpers if they plan to race for a championship. Byrne and his No. 67 Byrne Plumbing/Big Jay’s Carpentry Honda has been in search of consistency for a title run but the multi-time Mini Stock winner will look to start off the season on the right foot with a CannaConnect 50 victory.

The MacPhee family is back for the 2021 season and they are making the long haul from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia with two cars on Saturday. Shay MacPhee (Yarmouth, NS) finished runner-up for the Rookie of the Year honors in 2019. Shay will be back for 2021 and will be joined by his younger brother JJ. JJ turned heads in 2020 by racing to a Thunder car win at Scotia Speedworld and will be one to watch in his freshman season on the Passione Flooring & Interiors East Coast Mini Stock Tour.

Several drivers are expected to become the first in Series history to race on the Tour with a non-Honda product. Marshall Bezanson (Oldham, NS) and local favorite Ryan McKnight (Sussex, NB) are among those looking to not only make their mark on the Tour in their first start but would love nothing more than to climb out a winner in the CannaConnect 50 at the end of the night Saturday.

Familiar faces to Passione Flooring & Interiors East Coast Mini Stock Tour including Alex Landry (Antigonish, NS) and Jason Pickles (Meaghers Grant, NS) are also making the trek to Petty International Raceway to compete in the CannaConnect 50.

Grandstand admission prices for Saturday’s 57th Jones Auto Body River Glade International are $30 for adults and $10 for youth aged eight to 18, while children seven years of age and under will be admitted free. An adult grandstand pass for the weekend is $45 and includes the action on both Friday and Saturday for the 57th Jones Auto Body River Glade International. Pit admission on Saturday is $35 and is restricted to those 16 years of age and older. Grandstand gates open for spectators at 2pm with racing getting underway at 4pm. Camping is available on a first come, first serve basis.

Fans are encouraged to follow along with the ECMST on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @ECMiniStockTour. You can also visit the ECMST website for complete series and event information at EastCoastMiniStockTour.com.

About Passione Flooring and Interiors:
Passione Flooring and Interiors offers the highest quality of products from the Quality Sterling Group. Whether it is tile, carpet, hardwood, laminate or the world class service and installation, they can do it all! Their new state of the art location is now open at 64 Burbridge Avenue in Dartmouth’s Burnside Industrial Park. Visit them today or call (902) 832-9091 for expert advice on your next flooring and interior project! The Quality Sterling Group line of products and services can be found online at PassioneFlooring.com.

About the East Coast Mini Stock Tour:
The East Coast Mini Stock Tour was formed in December 2016 to give Mini Stock racing in the Maritime Provinces a unified home. For complete information on the East Coast Mini Stock Tour, please visit EastCoastMiniStockTour.com

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