Shawn Turple has a weight off his shoulders after winning the Carquest Maritime Pro Stock Tour’s season-opener.
The 29-year-old Enfield native took the checkered flag in the Lucas Oil 100 at Scotia Speedworld on Saturday, his first Carquest victory since early in the 2006 season.
“It’s a very good feeling, and very relieving,” he said. “It’s been a long time since I had a win, but I wasn’t thinking about the drought — you just try and win every race you enter.”
Turple was lucky he didn’t fall asleep at the wheel, as the race was delayed by rain and a 10-car wreck and didn’t finish until nearly 2 a.m. yesterday. He didn’t grab the lead until Lap 80, when he finally got past Timberlea’s Wayne Smith.
Smith -- who won five races last season and finished second overall in the Carquest title hunt -- placed fifth, while second-place Dave O’Blenis of Salisbury, N.B., third-place Mike MacKenzie of Dartmouth, and fourth-place Brad Mann of Glen Livet, N.B., rounded out the top five.
Turple came second last year, missing the tour title by a hair.
“Especially after last year … we finished second and third in five or six races and we were so close (to winning it all) … It was good to start the season with a win,” Turple said.