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‘My goal is to win’

Nicholas Codner hopes to drive his No. 54 Bandolero car to victory at Eastbound International Raceway on Sunday afternoon. His car was on display Wednesday as part of NASCAR’s Acceleration Nation program introduced to his classmates at Juniper Ridge Intermediate School in Torbay.
Nicholas Codner hopes to drive his No. 54 Bandolero car to victory at Eastbound International Raceway on Sunday afternoon. His car was on display Wednesday as part of NASCAR’s Acceleration Nation program introduced to his classmates at Juniper Ridge Intermediate School in Torbay.

Watching a group of Grade 6 students file into a room at Juniper Ridge Elementary School in Torbay, you would expect it to be just another assembly.

Then the speaker begins to talk about auto racing, and you can’t help but see one of the students pay a little closer attention.

The sparkle in his eyes shows he has a keen interest in what the presenter is saying, and with good reason.

Nicholas Codner, a Grade 6 student at Juniper Ridge, is also a racer, participating in the Bandolero series of racing at Eastbound International Raceway in Avondale.

His No. 54 car was on display earlier this week as the school was introduced to the NASCAR-created Acceleration Nation program that teaches students math and science and how it relates to racing.

Nicholas Codner sits in his No. 54 Bandolero car he drives at Eastbound International Raceway in Avondale.

Mike James from Eastbound Park outlined the program as part of a shared initiative between the raceway and The Telegram’s Newspapers in Education program.

Codner, an 11-year-old who will race in the season finale Sunday, sits in fourth place in the driver standings with 104 points, just five back of the 2016 series winner Sarah Thorne.

“There are three cars in front of me, and if they have trouble and I win the race, I could be in the hunt for the championship,’’ Codner said.

“My goal is to win,’’ he said, adding that is his goal each week when he takes the checkered flag.

Owen Graves, a multiple race winner this season, sits atop the standings with 149 points.

This aspiring racer was more than happy to explain about his car to his classmates earlier this week at Juniper Ridge Intermediate School. Nicholas Codner, a Grade 6 student at the school, hopes to drive his #54 Bandolero car to victory at Eastbound International Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

This is the second year Codner has participated in racing, finishing third last season in the same Bandolero division, good enough to earn him rookie of the year honours.

“I started out watching NASCAR on television and by watching my dad’s friends, Dean Martin and Ches Cole, race in the Sportsman series.

“I thought it would be cool to do it, and I would like to try and do this for a long time,’’ he added.

His car is factory built, according to the specifications required by the INEX series rules. His twin cylinder Briggs and Stratton engine can propel him around the track at speeds that average about 90 km/h, but in the right racing conditions, he said he has reached a speed of around 120 km/h.

Bandolero car racing is a type of entry-level racing for youth that started in the United States and has expanded worldwide. These miniature stock cars can reach in excess of 90 km/h on INEX tracks.
Bandolero’s were built for the novice racer ages 8-16 years of age, with a tube frame and sheet metal cage for extra protection.
The Bandolero’s have been a huge attraction for youth racers as well as gathering a lot of fans within the same age bracket. Many of the Bandolero racers eventually grow into Legend car racing after they turn 14 years or older.

A lot of my competitors are older, some are younger, but I am not intimidated,’’ he said.

“I go out to win, and stay off the wall,’’ he quipped sporting a wry grin.

 

samuel.mcneish@thetelegram.com

 

Eastbound International Speedway

• Eastbound International Raceway in Avondale has been offering NASCAR sanctioned event since March 2016.
• 3/8-mile facility with 18-degree banking in the turns.
• IHRA 1/8 mile drag strip.
• Seating capacity for 4,500.
• Located just off Exit 34 of the Trans Canada Highway.
• Home to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
• Divisions include NAPA Auto Parts Sportsman and Atlantic Dodge Dealers Hobby Stock
• There are five different divisions of racing at Eastbound International Speedway: Sportsman, US Legends, Bandolero, and Hobby Stock

Racing schedule

Saturday, Sept. 23

Parts for Trucks 150 Final
Gates open at 1 p.m.
Green flag action: 2 p.m.
FEATURING
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series: Night of Champions Finale
NAPA Auto Parts Sportsman Series
Atlantic Dodge Dealers Hobby Stock Series
INEX SERIES
Automotive Supplies Bandolero Series
Hanlon Realty US Legends Series

Sunday, Sept. 24

(Rescheduled from Sept. 10 rainout)

Wounded Warriors 75 Memorial Raceday, honouring No. 59 Dennis Weir and No. 68 Chris Ryan
Gates open at 12 p.m.
Green Flag action: 1 p.m.

Featuring
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series: Memorial Race Day
NAPA Auto Parts Sportsman Series
Atlantic Dodge Dealers Hobby Stock Series
INEX SERIES
Automotive Supplies Bandolero Series
Hanlon Realty US Legends Series

Standings
Who will be crowned division champions?

NAPA Auto Parts Division 1 NASCAR
(3 races remain)
1 - Wayne Walsh - 371 Points
2 - Jason Groves - 310 Points
3 - Shane Coffin - 255 Points
4 - Mitchell Fahey - 255 Points
5 - Mark Best - 255 Points

Atlantic Dodge Dealers Hobby Stock Division 2 NASCAR
1 - Shane Collins - 221 Points
2 - Shane Petten - 218 Points
3 - Robbie Cable - 180 Points
4 - Andrew Morgan - 179 Points
5 - Cody Lake - 168 Points

Hanlon Realty U.S. Legends Chase
1 - Lloyd Eason Jr - 132 Points
2 - Chris Cooper - 127 Points
3 - Johnathon Norman - 126 Points
4 - Ryan St. George - 106 Points
5 - Chad Lawrence - 90 Points

Automotive Supplies Bandolero Chase
1 - Owen Groves - 149 Points
2 - Michael Neary - 140 Points
3 - Sarah Thorne - 109 Points
4 - Nick Codner - 104 Points
5 - Matthew Rideout - 102 Points

 

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