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Hennessy Ready For Regional

Published: June 17, 2016 9:52 pm ET

Last Comment: June 17, 2016 11:17 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

"I remember seeing Dave Magee win it [the World Driving Championship] for the U.S. when I was about 10 years old and ever since then I've wanted to have that opportunity and hopefully this is my year."

Speaking with Down To The Wire's host Tim Lawson, 33-year-old Alberta driver Mike Hennessy recalled watching U.S. Hall of Famer Dave Magee win the 1995 World Driving Championship as a young boy and is honoured to have the opportunity to represent his province in Canada's upcoming Western Regional Driving Championship. The regional event, which takes place on Sunday, June 26 at Century Downs, is the stepping stone to the National Driving Championship, which will be held in the fall at The Raceway at Western Fair District in London, Ontario and determine Canada's representative for the 2017 World Driving Championship.

"Heading out east and having the chance to represent the west if I did get there would be an honour," said the Calgary horseman. "Any time you're in a position to represent your country or your region, it's a pretty special thing. It would be nice to go down there and get a little more respect for the guys out west. As everybody knows, Ontario is the harness racing capital of Canada, right? So, if we can go out there and get a little more respect and do the right things on the track, it would be great. It's a dream to do this."

Hennessy, who also competed in the 2011 Western Regional Driving Championship when he previously raced in British Columbia, expressed that he will appreciate the experience even more the second time around.

"The first time around, for me, I didn't really have quite the same appreciation for what I was doing at that time," said Hennessy. "The last two and a half years I wasn't racing and to have this opportunity this time is pretty unbelievable. It's more for a lot of my family and friends who supported me through two and a half years of a lot of personal struggle and issues. I hope to just have some fun. It's a great gift that I can give to all those people who have backed me through the years so I'm looking forward to going out there and putting on a show for those guys."

Hennessy also discussed the track conditions at Century Downs, how he will prepare for the regional tournament, and provided a rundown of his competition that includes fellow Alberta drivers Phil Giesbrecht, Travis Cullen, and Dave Kelly, British Columbia representatives Brandon Campbell, Paul Davies and Jim Marino, as well as Manitoba's Don Howlett.

But before the Western Regional Driving Championship takes place, Hennessy will be focused on his drives this weekend as he has pledged his support to the second annual fundraiser for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, which will be hosted by Kelly Hoerdt’s Bedrock Stables on Sunday, June 19. Hennessy will be donating his driving commissions from the upcoming Sunday harness racing card at Century Downs to the cause. Century Downs' Race Secretary Jackson Wittup has also announced that he will be donating $100.

June 17, 2016 - 11:17 pmWell said and congratulations

Well said and congratulations

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