(July 18, 2017) The Firecracker 150 is up next at Speedway 660. After a weekend off, everyone is pretty excited to get back to the Geary Woods, especially the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman drivers. The Firecracker 150 is always an exciting race and this year will be no exception. In this week’s edition of the Conversation, we talk with several Sportsman drivers who are looking forward to the race. Continue reading
(July 5, 2017) The DMR Auto Sales Street Stock 75 is the marquee event at Speedway 660 this weekend. Our “old-school” division usually run 30 lap features, but it’ll be a bit of an endurance race for the drivers and cars come Saturday night. Luc McLaughlin is having a great Street Stock season, having won two of five features. He has Rookie of the Year Awards and Championships in our Sharp Shooter and Street Stock divisions, but has never won the DMR Auto Sales 75. He hopes to get that job done this weekend. Continue reading
(June 28, 2017) The Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour comes to Speedway 660 on Canada Day for the Cummins 150. There will be lots of competition and fans will be treated to an exciting night of action. Dylan Gosbee, who won a RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock feature here back in May, is confident heading into this weekend’s race. Continue reading
(June 20, 2017) The brand new MJS Holdings East Coast Mini-Stock Tour is heading to the Geary Woods this weekend. Speedway 660 will be the first track in the region to ever host a tour race. The race teams and tour officials are anxious to go racing and excited to be coming to 660. Mark Williams is the Vice-President of the new tour.
A Conversation with Mark Williams
Wade: Hello Mark. Congratulations on putting together this new stock car racing tour. It must have taken lots of work. Can you tell us where the idea came from and how it went from just an idea to an actual racing tour?
Mark: Our President Drew MacEachern began talking with drivers last summer to see if they were interested in a Mini Stock Tour and what it would take to make it happen. In the fall of 2016 a group of guys got together in a local coffee shop to discuss the idea a bit more. We worked on it all winter and managed to book dates, build a rules package and put a board of directors together.Honda’s have raced at several tracks around the Maritimes for many years. The new Mini Stock Tour is an idea whose time has come. The first race was rained out back in May, so this weekend’s Gilmet Designs 50 at 660 will be the inaugural race for the new tour.
Wade: It’s been a cold, wet spring in the Maritimes and your first race was actually rained out, so Speedway 660 now has the honour of hosting the MJS Holdings East Coast Mini Stock Tour’s very first race. What can fans expect to see?
Mark: These cars handle really well and fans will see fast, exciting side by side racing. The drivers are excited about the new tour and anxious to come to Speedway 660 this weekend. There should be great battles for the lead all night and we’ll just have to wait to see who wins the Gilmet Designs 50! We don’t usually see “imports” race in a four cylinder division at Speedway 660. But last SpeedWeekend a few of them came up to race against our Sharp Shooters.
Wade: We’ve run a four cylinder, front-wheel drive division up here since 2010. Our Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters are North American domestic cars, but I understand you guys are running Honda’s.
Mark:Yes, All of our cars are 1988-2000 Honda Civics. Many of us have been racing this style car for 10 or more years at different tracks but we have never had a chance to put them all together on a equal rules package.
Wade: When it comes to tours, we usually see Pro Stocks and Late Models. But this is different. How much interest is there among race teams to travel around the region in this kind of tour? Mark: We have drivers from Cape Breton, PEI, New Brunswick and mainland Nova Scotia registered. We have close to 25 teams registered already with an intention to run some or all of the events.Rob Poirier was here last September to race his funky looking import during SpeedWeekend.
Wade: Next to fans, marketing partners and sponsors are probably the most important component to our sport. MJS Holdings Limited is presenting the new tour to fans in the Maritimes. Can you tell us a little bit about this great marketing partner and any other folks who are supporting you guys?
Mark: MJS Holdings Ltd have been amazing, They have been supportive of everything we are trying to build with this new series and we can’t wait to showcase their Rotary brand lifts and tire changers to fans this season. We also had EIT Race Radios come on board as our radio partner and presenter of the hard charger award. Gilmet Designs is our website and artwork provider, they do a great job making us look good! As a matter of fact our very first race this Saturday at Speedway 660 is the Gilmet Designs 50. Stickerfool.com sponsors our heat race winners though-out the season and does vinyl decals and apparel for teams. We are still looking for presenting race partners, so if anyone is interested in showcasing their local business please get in touch with us.There’s a lot of hype about the new tour and Speedway 660 fans will be the first in the region to see one of their races.
Wade: I’ve talked with Tim Terry, from Tim’s Corner Motorsports, about the Mini Stock Tour and he’s pretty excited to see you guys hit the track and be successful. I know this is your first year, but what would you like to see the tour develop into say in five years or so?
Mark: Yeah, Tim is a big supporter of racing in our region and we’re happy to have TCM support our efforts. We are confident that the tour will be popular and successful with race teams and fans alike. We want to be known as a tour with a tight rules package, equal cars and a place for the drivers to showcase their talents in an affordable division.Mike Weagle, from Salisbury, is one of the fastest drivers of little race cars in Atlantic Canada. Patricia Taylor, also from Salisbury, and Mike Edwards, from Penobsquis, are also expected to be at 660 this weekend.
Wade: Go-Karts, Bandolero and Legend car divisions have provided lots of new people with the opportunity to go racing. Those forms of racing have produced some pretty good drivers here in the Maritimes. Do you see the East Coast Mini Stock Tour doing the same thing and do you expect some of your drivers to eventually jump into Street Stock, sportsman or Pro Stock cars?
Mark: We have already seen drivers make the jump from Honda’ s over the last few seasons into Legends cars and recently Stevie Lively has moved into a Pro Stock. All of the drivers that have moved up have proven they are capable and competitive in their new series with the skills they have learned in Mini Stocks. The Mini Stocks have run at a number of tracks in Atlantic Canada, including Scotia SpeedWorld near Halifax. Now there is a new Mini Stock Tour which will come to Speedway 660 this weekend.
Wade: The fans at Speedway 660 love their racing. They appreciate competitive racing and over the last 24 years have been treated to some of the best action in our region. I know you guys respect the fans and want to provide them with some incredible racing action.
Mark: We were all fans first before jumping into the seat, our goal is to make our events fan friendly with great action that will keep people talking about us for years.
Wade: Thanks for doing this Mark. We really look forward to seeing you this weekend and on behalf of everyone in the Maritime racing community, I want to wish you great success with this brand new tour.
Mark:Thank you, We can’t wait to get up to Speedway 660 this weekend to make this dream of a new series a reality.
We thank McCarthy Photographic who shot some of the photos used in this story.
(June 14, 2017) The Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman 100 is this Saturday night. It’s the first big Sportsman race of the season and will attract a solid field of competitive drivers. There will be a good mix of veterans and youth on Speedway 660 when the race takes the green flag. Hudson Weston is one of our younger drivers and he’s anxious to get more experience in these longer races.
A Conversation with Hudson Weston
Wade: First off Hudson tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into racing and how you ended up in a Sportsman car?
Hudson: I am 16 years old and in grade eleven at Simonds High School in Saint John. I got my driver’s licence three months ago and I just bought my first car, a 2007 Ford Mustang GT. It took me three summers to save my money to get it. I’ve always played baseball in the summer and hockey in the winter.
My Dad and Uncles were on the pit crew for my cousin’s AOW and Sportsman race team (Jamie Brown). When my Dad saw the Bandolero cars racing he thought it looked like fun. The next thing I knew he bought a Bandolero and we went racing. After three years, I literally out grew the bando.Hudson always has a big smile on race day. He had a lot of success in our Bandolero division before stepping up to Sportsman.
Wade: Many of you started racing together in bandolero and now you’ve moved up together too. There are a lot of bando graduates on the Speedway 660 roster, particularly in Sportsman. You’ve probably made some good friends through racing and had some good rivalries too.
Hudson: Racing has always been about family for us. My Dad (Rodney) and Mom (Dawn) always say that is the best thing about it. We spend the weekends of the summer at the track together making memories. I’m a pretty quiet guy and don’t talk too much. On the other hand my Dad and Uncles never stop talking, so I have learned to listen a lot.
I’ve raced with a lot of kids my own age and some veterans after moving up to Sportsman. I’ve made some good friends in racing. As for rivalries, what happens on the track each week stays on the track and I just look forward to the next race.Hudson’s Dad and Uncles are a big part of the Weston race team. Their support and encouragement has helped make this young man’s racing dreams come true.
Wade: What was it like the first time you got out of the bando and jumped into the Sportsman to race and what are the main differences between the two?
Hudson: Obviously, the biggest difference is the size and power. The lap times for a bando aren’t that much slower than the Sportsman, so it was the size of the car that concerned me the most. The biggest adjustment was getting the feel for the car on the track. I really like that I get more track time with the Sportsman, the races in Bando seemed so short.The Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman division is the second highest class of racing in the Maritimes. Hudson (#43) is patiently learning his craft in the big car, improving each week and having fun.
Wade: The Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman division has thrilled fans here since 1994. Are you aware of the history of this division and what Sportsman racing has meant to our fans over the years?
Hudson: Not really, remember I’m only 16 and Speedway 660 has been going since 1994, a little before my time. I’m just in my 5th year at Speedway 660 and before that my racing was the go-kart (coaster derby) races at Old Home Week in St. Martins (where I’m from).
I should mention that being recognized as Speedway 660′s Most Improved Driver, once in Bando and once in Sportsman, has given me a lot of confidence. I don’t know who picks that award, but it’s nice to know that someone else thinks I am improving. Hudson’s Dad has always supported his son’s racing from the Coaster Derby back home in St. Martins to Bando and Sportsman at 660. Rodney Weston, former New Brunswick Member of the Legislative Assembly & Cabinet Minister and Canadian Member of Parliament, has always made time to go to the rinks, ball fields and race tracks to support his son.
Wade: It takes a big commitment from a lot of folks to put together a race team and come to the track every week. Who helps you out and makes the wheels go around on your race car?
Hudson: My Dad works on the car through the week with his brothers who come to every race and are the pit crew. Uncle Geoff and Uncle Bruce Weston, Debway (Scott & Cory Little) and Lonnie Sommerville help out a lot.
My sponsors are also very important and I really appreciate their support. Bayview Trucks & Equipment, Valley Equipment Ltd., Shoreland Transport Inc. and Debway Truck Bodies are very supportive of my racing. Hudson signed autographs and handed out treats to young fans during Speedway 660′s Kid’s Day. He appreciates fans of all ages and knows they are the driving force of our sport.
Wade: Who are some of your favourite drivers, both here at 660 and in NASCAR?
Hudson: At Speedway 660 my favorite driver is John Rankin. He is a cousin (his Grandmother and my Grandfather are brother and sister) and he has been a mentor for me too. I remember one day last year when nothing seemed to be going right. Just then John came to our trailer to talk to me and to give me some encouragement. It’s just the kinda of guy he is. He races clean, gets good results and is well respected at the track.
In NASCAR my favorite driver Joey Logano. He is one of the best and he drives a Ford.Hudson’s favourite driver is John Rankin. John, who won the Sportsman feature last week, is one of Speedway 660′s most gentlemanly racers. John encourages Hudson to race hard, race fair and do his best every week.
Wade: Racing is a summer sport here in the Maritimes. So what do you do for fun the rest of the year?
Hudson: Hockey has always been my passion. I am a big Pittsburgh Penguins fan and was pretty happy the other night when they won the Cup for the second straight year. I play a lot of hockey and I’m a defenseman. For the last few years, I was on my skates 12 months of the year.
I have played AAA in the past, but this past year I played at a lower level but still had a lot of fun. This is the first summer I won’t be on the ice because racing and working will keep me busy. My favorite thing is playing pickup hockey with my Dad and Uncles on Saturday mornings in St. Martins.Hudson was really happy to see Sidney Crosby raise the Stanley Cup on Sunday night. Hudson loves playing hockey and the Pittsburgh Penguins are his favouritie NHL team.Hudson (far left) is a pretty good hockey player too. Weston and his team mates wrapped up a great season of their own before the NHL play-offs began.
Wade: Hey Hudson the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman 100 is your first chance this year to run a long race. How do you feel heading into the weekend?
Hudson: I am really excited about the race this weekend. I have been feeling good in the car this year and I am feeling more confident. Just need to be patient because it is a long race and you want the car to be there at the end. Have to try to stay out of trouble too.Hudson knows the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman 100 will be a long, tough race. He hopes to have a good run and bring the 43 home with a nice finish.
Wade: Good luck this weekend and we hope you have a great season here at 660.
Hudson: Thanks a lot. I also want to thank the owners and staff at Speedway 660 for giving us a great place to race, Richard and Anne from Martin’s Home Heating for sponsoring the Sportsman Division and all of the fans who come see us race every week.
(June 6, 2017) The Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter division is a special brand of racing and attracts a special kind of racer. Many of them are young, hard working folks who love being part of the Speedway 660 racing scene. Every week they come to the Geary Woods to put a show for our fans. Allison Hall is one of our most popular Sharp Shooters and she’s getting ready for a 50 lap race this weekend. Continue reading
(May 31, 2017) This weekend all eyes in the northeastern North American short-track world will be on Speedway 660. A Pro All Star Series win in the only Atlantic Canadian PASS race would be a big deal, but six drivers are going to leave the Geary Woods happy. That’s because the top three Americans and top three Canadians in Saturday’s PASS 150 qualify for the 44th edition of the Oxford 250. Check out this week’s Conversation to find out what some of local drivers think about this weekend’s race. Continue reading
(May 24, 2017) Tim’s Corner Motorsports presents the Bandolero Spring Shootout at Speedway 660 this coming Sunday afternoon. After a great show, during SpeedWeekend 2016, the Bandos are coming back twice this year. We caught up with Tim Terry, from TCM, to talk about Bandolero racing and the Spring Shootout. Continue reading
(May 16, 2017) Speedway 660 has had its fair share of characters over the past 24 years. The late “Smokin” Joe Albert was quite the boy and was loved by race fans near and far. Today there are still a lot of drivers down at the track who love to have fun and entertain the fans. In this week’s Conversation we catch up with Kyle MacKinnon, one of our most exciting drivers. Continue reading
(May 9, 2017) Everyone in the Maritime racing community is ready for the 2017 season to begin and they’ll get their first taste of action this weekend at Speedway 660. We tracked down last year’s champs and rookies of the year to talk about their accomplishments and look ahead to the coming season of racing. Continue reading