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Blenkhorn wins IWK 250, but rough day for Hall of Famer Mark Martin in return to racing

Truro's Dylan Blenkhorn won the IWK 250 at Riverside International Speedway in James River on Saturday, while Martin was knocked out with mechanical problems.
NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Mark Martin sits in the Cat Car for Kids outside the IWK Health Centre on Thursday morning. He was knocked off the track at the IWK 250 at Riverside International Speedway in James River after a crash in practice and mechanical problems during the race. (RYAN TAPLIN / Local Xpress)

It may have been a day to remember for Truro's Dylan Blenkhorn, but not so much for NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin.

Blenkhorn won the IWK 250 at Riverside International Speedway, picking up the winner's portion of a $100,000 purse.

He also gained valuable points toward the championship on the regional Parts For Trucks Pro Stock Tour. He has a 21-point lead on the field with six races remaining.

Martin, who hails from Batesville, Ark., drove for the first time since his retirement in 2013 from NASCAR, where he won 40 Cup series races. He was attempting to become the second celebrity guest to win the race at the James River oval.

But he crashed in practice earlier Saturday, forcing extensive repairs to the back end of the car. He returned to qualify the car for one of 30 starting spots, but was only able to complete 57 laps before mechanical problems knocked him out.

Cole Butcher of Porters Lake placed second after duelling Blenkhorn for the win. Craig Slaunwhite (Terence Bay), Shawn Turple (Enfield) and Dylan Gosbee (Cornwall, P.E.I.) completed the top five. Eleven cars finished on the lead lap.

Defending race champ Donald Chisholm of Antigonish was 14th.

Blenkhorn, who led the most laps, won by 0.629 seconds. There were 10 cautions and nine lead changes.

The series resumes next weekend at Petty International Raceway in River Glade, N.B.


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