TRURO - Dylan Blenkhorn knows this isn't just any other race.
The 18-year-old Brookside resident can clinch the Maritime Pro Stock Tour's rookie of the year award tonight in the final race of the season at Scotia Speedworld in Enfield.
"I'll be keeping my eyes open pretty wide," Blenkhorn said. "I've gone through it a lot in my head and we've done a lot to the car to make sure everything is perfect to try to make sure nothing bad happens out there and takes us out of contention."
Blenkhorn enters the Dartmouth Dodge 200 with a 44-point cushion over Cole Butcher of Porter's Lake.
Blenkhorn and his No. 67 Blenkhorn's Auto Recyclers Impala SS sit eighth overall in championship points, while Butcher is 10th.
Halifax's John Flemming leads the way with 2,170 points, followed by Fredericton's Shawn Tucker and defending champion Shawn Turple of Enfield, whose cars are prepared by East Mountain resident Steve Henderson.
Butcher would need to score a win and Blenkhorn would have to finish 19th or worse to relinquish the rookie crown.
Not bad for a team that came into the season just hoping to score a few top 10 finishes with a 15-year-old chassis bought over the winter.
"I'd like to say (the results) aren't surprising," Blenkhorn said with a laugh. "But we didn't really expect this. There's a lot of good competition and it's not easy."
But Blenkhorn credited the team's success to the hard work of his crew and the help he's received from series veterans like Henderson and Flemming throughout the season.
"John has given me a lot of advice this season whenever I needed it and Stevie Henderson has always helped me out," he said. "And the guys at the shop just work hard and never give up."
Blenkhorn said he would like nothing more than to reward all his helpers with a rookie title.
"It would mean a lot to me personally and to everyone who has helped us out and my father and grandfather would be pretty excited too."
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