The racing season at Speedway 660 wrapped up with an exciting and entertaining SpeedWeekend. Despite rainouts in three of our first five events, 2011 was a great season in the Geary Woods. We saw some awesome racing in what was “The Year of the Kids”.
Bando Girls and Boys
We expected to see the youngsters flourish in the Hanwell Village Mart Bandolero division. Dana Hamm-Cameron won three features in a row on his way to the championship. Cole Boudreau had a terrific second half. Kenny MacKenzie Jr. picked up the pace and Ryan Messer was uninjured in the most spectacular wreck of the season in any division!
And the girls were great too. Alicia Mowat put lots of pressure on young Dana in the title chase. Courtney and Alexandra, the O’Blenis girls, really improved during the season. Alicia and Alexandra both won feature races.
More Successful Kids
But the youngsters were not just providing fans with thrills in the Bandoleros. We saw a youth movement in every division. Gregory Cashol won a feature in a four cylinder car this year. The grandson of five time street stock champ Rick Cashol has great potential and don’t be surprised if Greg lands at Speedway 660 in a street stock in a year or so.
SpeedWeekend 2011 is now history, but I’ll bet everyone will be talking about this one for years to come. This year’s AutoValue 250 was one of the most exciting and dramatic races we have ever seen at Speedway 660, in terms of lead changes, cars with opportunities to win, pure entertainment and controversy.
Drivers pushed their cars to the limits to have a shot at Victory Lane. There was very little margin for error and just when it appeared someone had the upper hand, something happened and the cards, well in this case the cars were shuffled again.
A Triumphant Tucker
Shawn Tucker became the third driver to win the AutoValue 250 for the second time. Had it been the AutoValue 251, I am not so sure Tucker could have held off Dave O’Blenis for the win. To say the race was exciting, just wouldn’t do it justice!
As for the controversial part, drivers weren’t giving an inch. Ben Rowe, who has won every major short-track race in eastern North America, except the AutoValue 250, maybe could have shown a little more patience. Rowe ran down Greg Fahey, who was leading late in the race, but slid up into Fahey and cost both drivers a chance to win.
Johnny Clark and Craig Slaunwhite, two former winners, just couldn’t stay clear of each other and their animosity boiled over with Slaunwhite climbing out of a wrecked car, sprinting across the infield to confront Clark.
The crowd loved it. Every lap was an adventure. Yeah, there were a few more cautions than we would have liked to see, but the race was a dramatic spectacle. And when the dust and tempers finally settled down, there was Shawn Tucker, his family, crew and sponsors celebrating in Speedway 660’s Victory Lane.
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September 5th, 2011-The third leg of Speedweekend 2011 hit the Geary oval on Monday afternoon with the largest field of cars in recent years. Twenty four cars put on a great show in front of crowd of over 3000 people as Speedweekend came to a close.
There were four different rollovers during the event with the most eventful being on lap 156 when the leader at the time Brody Seveck was taken out between turn 1 and 2 and ended up on his roof. The #44 of Seveck was quickly put back on all four tires but not without a little excitement. When the car was brought upright the #44 rolled down the speedway and struck the Dana’s Collision Center Speedway Rescue van. All would be ok with the van but not for Brody Seveck. After leading much of the race Seveck was forced to retire to the pits for several laps, opening the way for Matt Caissie the #19 and reigning points champion, the #51 of Pat Sharpe to take a run at the lead. Caissie would lead for several laps but would have a tire go down with just 15 laps to go. That paved the way for the #51 of Sharpe to take home the checkers.
The event used electronic scoring for the first time in the history of the event. That led to some great feedback for the fans. With Sharpe’s win he would take home his second Enduro win of the year and clinch the points championship for 2011. Rounding out the top three for the day were Matt Caissie, the #19 and the #44 of Brody Seveck.
After starting 14th and going to the back multiple times Shawn Tucker of Fredericton would make his final push towards victory lane beginning on lap 170.
Going to the back after pitting, Tucker would begin his push to his second Auto Value 250 victory. On lap 175 he would be back in the top ten and making quick work of the field and having Brian Gillespie and Dave O’Blenis get together on lap 180 he would move up to fifth. Tucker would bounce between fifth and seventh until lap 194 when he was in fifth and Ben Rowe and Greg Fahey got together to bring out a caution to put Tucker in third.
He would move into second on lap 197 and take the lead for four laps before Fahey would take over the lead. Tucker would trail Fahey in second before falling back to fourth on lap 213 as Rowe and Kirk Thibeau moved into second and third.
SUNDAY SEPT 4, 2011
8:30am Pit Gate Opens
9:00am Grandstands Opens – For Adv ticket holders
10:00am Grandstands Windows at Ticket Booth Open
10:00am – 1:00pm Practice
2:00pm Auto Value 250 Heats
Hanwell Village Mart Bandolero Heats
RV World Street Stock Heats
Auto Value 250 Consi’s
Hanwell Village Mart Bandolero Feature Fredericton Hyundai Street Stock 50
Auto Value 250 Last Chance
6:30 Driver introductions
6:50 Welcome and Anthems
Approx 7:00pm Auto Value 250
Fredericton N.B. Starting on the pole, Lonnie Sommerville of Saint John would lead the first 75 laps of the Coastal Blending and Packaging Sportsman 150.
On lap 75 there would be the competition caution for cars to refuel and make any adjustments. At the halfway point Dave O’Blenis of Boundary Creek was in second, with Matt Maillet of Oromocto in third, John Rankin of St. Martin’s in fourth, and Colby Smith of Cape Sable Island, NS rounding out the top five.
In the second half of the main event Smith would make a push to the front, moving into fourth on lap 76 and up to second by lap 82.