One of NASCAR’s most prolific young drivers, Carson Hocevar, will enter the IWK 250 presented by Steve Lewis on July 15 at Riverside International Speedway. At just 20 years of age, Hocevar has a stacked resume better than many racers twice his age. His full-time job is as the driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In his spare time, he’ll race anything on wheels, recently described as a young Ken Schrader – a NASCAR legend known for having one of the busiest schedules in the business.
Besides the NASCAR Trucks Series ride where he has a victory earlier this year at Texas Motor Speedway, Hocevar’s ’23 schedule includes the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, the ARCA Menards Series, and asphalt and dirt late model races. He made his NASCAR national series debut in 2019 at Eldora Speedway, a dirt race for the Truck Series; he ran the Series part-time in ’19 and ’20. In ’21 he started full-time NASCAR Trucks Series racing and after two and one-half years has 26 top 10 finishes, one pole position, and the win. He’s made three Xfinity Series starts this year with two top 10 finishes, and – on June 4 made his first Cup Series start at World Wide Technology Raceway (IL).
Hocevar, from Portage, Michigan, will pilot the popular Cat Car for Kids in the IWK 250, which will bear #23 this year and be co-sponsored by Toromont Cat and patients of the IWK Health Care Centre in Halifax, the region’s top children’s hospital. The car will have signatures on it from child patients and their families.
“We’re excited for Carson to be at the IWK 250 and in the Cat Car for Kids,” said Joan Roué, manager at Riverside. “He’ll bring a new perspective to the event and is sure to appeal to fans young and old. I had the opportunity to speak with him and he’s very charismatic, but definitely a racer at heart.”
Hocevar is equally enthused about entering one of the top stock car races in Canada.
“It’s very cool,” said Hocevar. “I’ve talked to a lot of people who have been there and they all tell me it’s a unique track and event and will be a ton of fun. I can’t wait to get there and see for myself.”
Hocevar expects he’ll adapt to the track quickly.
“I’m going in open-minded but have good super late model experiences to draw from. Knowing it’s modeled after the original Bristol Motor Speedway makes it even more interesting and exciting.”
Hocevar’s super late model resume includes winning some of the biggest short track events in the U.S., including the Winchester 400 (Winchester Speedway, Winchester, Indiana), the Redbud 440 (Anderson Speedway, Anderson, IN) and twice visiting Victory Lane in the Money in Bank 150 at Berlin Raceway (Marne, Michigan). Hocevar considers Berlin to be his home track, starting his career there in 2015 at just 12 years of age, and winning the Outlaw Late Model championship. He won his first Super Late Model race there in 2016 but at just 14, had to sit out a year when NASCAR changed its minimum age limit for drivers to 14. He returned in 2017 and won the Super Late Model championship.
Carson Hocevar was just seven when he started his racing career in quarter-midgets, winning 79 features and 15 national championships before turning his attention to full-bodied stock cars in 2015.
Fans will have a chance to meet Hocevar on Friday, July 14 at a Meet’N’Greet to be held before the evening racing card and on Saturday, July 15 during an autograph session with the entire starting lineup for the IWK 250.
Since its inception in 2007, IWK 250 celebrity drivers have included Aric Almirola, Marcus Ambrose, Matt Crafton, Ricky Craven, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Mark Martin, David Reutimann, Mike Skinner, Regan Smith, and Kenny Wallace. Only two have won the iconic race – Smith in 2008 and Wallace in 2018. The IWK 250 historically attracts top short-track stock car racers from the Maritimes, and beyond.
Winning the IWK 250 is a highlight of any driver’s racing career. Not only do they take home the lion’s share of the purse but see their name etched on the revered John W. Chisholm Memorial Cup along with all the others who have won the ‘250’ at Riverside since its inception in 1977 – a who’s who list of short track legends. The Cup is a tribute to the founder of Riverside and co-founder of the IWK 250, the late John “Nova” Chisholm, making it even more special.
The IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis is the grand finale of the IWK 250 Super Race Weekend. It kicks off Wednesday, July 12 when the day starts with camping opening and ends with a practice session for sportsman and legends teams.
On Thursday, July 13 fans will get a sneak peek of IWK 250 competitors in a late afternoon open practice followed by the popular IWK 250 Tailgate Party, this year featuring two of the region’s top party bands – High Society AND The Privateers. On Friday, fans will be treated to a big night of racing with the Auto World Allstar Sportsman Series and the Cross Roads League of Legends. Saturday it’s all IWK 250 with practice at 11:30, qualifying races at 3:30 followed by the autograph session and opening ceremonies. Green flag for the main event is set for 7:30 p.m.
Single-day tickets and weekend passes for the IWK 250 Super Race Weekend will be available starting Wednesday. They can be purchased online at www.riversidespeedway.ca or by visiting our office in Antigonish at the Post Road Plaza (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Advance tickets are being offered for general admission seating and for reserved (assigned) seats. General admission single-day tickets will be available at the gate on race days.
A very limited number of campsites remain in the regular camping sections (A,C,D,E). Reservations can be made online at www.riversidespeedway.ca. Advance reservations are required for all campers on the IWK 250 Super Race Weekend (no drive-ups).
The IWK 250 is a championship points race with the East Coast International Pro Stock Tour (PST), round five of 11 for the 2023 campaign. Since its inception in 2007, the IWK 250 has helped raise awareness and more than $550,000 for the IWK Foundation.
Riverside Speedway opened in 1969 under the helm of Antigonish businessman John Chisholm. It was sold in 1989 and bought back by Mr. Chisholm late in 2005, rebuilt in 2006, and rebranded Riverside International Speedway. Still owned by the Chisholm family, the popular 1/3-mile high-banked asphalt oval has provided generations of race fans with some of the best stock car racing entertainment in North America for over 50 years.
Fans can keep up with Riverside news all year long by visiting www.RiversideSpeedway.ca, subscribing to the email newsletter, and following social media accounts on Facebook (riversidespeedwayns) and Twitter (Riverside_NS).
About Riverside International Speedway:
For over 50 years, Riverside International Speedway has been recognized as a premiere stock racing facility in Canada. The 1/3-mile high-banked asphalt oval roars to action several times a year for special events. It is the home of the IWK 250 – widely known as the best stock-car race in Canada. Located in James River between New Glasgow and Antigonish the facility is easily accessible at exit 30 on Trans Canada Highway 104. For more information please visit www.riversidespeedway.ca or call 902-863-2410.