The Best of Times: Wade’s Weekly 17 #13

(Aug. 2, 2017) There’s still a buzz in the air after another great show at Speedway 660 last weekend. Clark Chevrolet presented the Best of the Best 150 and there was something for everyone during this action packed event. We’re taking this weekend off, but will be back on the 12th and 19th with the Fan Appreciation Night and the Night of Champions.

The Clark Chevrolet Best of the Best 150 was a thrilling race but it didn’t have a surprise winner. Cassius Clark won the race a year ago and was considered one of the favourites heading into last weekend’s event. It wouldn’t have surprised too many folks that Ben Rowe finished second in the big race. But the final podium position was a shocker, at least from where I watch the races.SpeedWeekend 2015 Cassius Clark pro stock trophy Cassius Clark has won some big races at Speedway 660 over the years including the 2012 & 2015 McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 and the 2016 & 2017 Best of the Best 150. We always expect Clark to be in the thick of things every time he comes up our way from his home in Maine. 

Ashton Tucker came of age on Saturday night. The kid, I think he’s going into grade 11 in the fall, sat back in the first three-quarters of the race, staying on the lead lap and saving his brakes and tires. I don’t remember calling his name early in the race, but with 25 or 30 to go the kid from Lyttleton, a suburb of Sunny Corner, started making moves.

He passed Brady Creamer and Derek Christie and Kirk Thibeau and Big Kevin Moore. The car seemed to be on rails, but five-time RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock champ Dave O’Blenis, was up next. Dave had used up a lot of car battling with Cassius for the lead early in the race, but he still was turning pretty quick laps times.Pro Stock action 2017Ashton Tucker drives past Dustin Tucker (no relation) during his march toward the front of the field in the Clark Chevrolet Best of the Best 150.

Ashton, showing composure well beyond his years, approached O’Blenis and followed him for a couple of laps. Then he pulled out and went on by. That move got everyone’s attention. Tucker also passed Ben Rowe and hounded Clark for the lead. It took everything Cassius had to fend off young Ashton and preserve the win._DSC5409The young North and South Esk Regional High School student races around Ben Rowe before challenging Cassius Clark for the win. It was a thrilling display by a kid racing against two legends of our sport. 

After the race Ben Rowe, who got around Tucker on the final restart to reclaim second place, spent much of his post-race interview complimenting Ashton for his efforts. Jumping from a Bandolero into a Pro Stock is no easy task for most people, but Tucker is an exception.  He was our Pro Stock Rookie of the Year in 2016. He won a feature earlier in the season, led the points for a week or two and now he`s on the Best of the Best 150 podium!_DSC5434What a rush! It’s hard to imagine what was going through Ashton Tucker’s mind when he joined Ben Rowe and Cassisus Clark on the Clark Chevrolet Best of the Best 150 podium.Ashton Tucker 2013 Bando Rookie of the YearIt wasn’t that long ago that Ashton was winning races and a championship in the Bandolero division.  Back then he used to sit in the stands watching the Pro Stocks, dreaming of one day racing against his Saturday night heroes. This past Saturday night that dream came true.

What`s next for Ashton? You’re gonna have to come out to Speedway 660 to see for yourself.

We had another tremendous crowd Saturday night. The weather helped for sure, but Speedway 660’s decision to provide free admission for kids 15 and under was also a factor. I talked with a few Moms and Dads before the races and they were more than a little happy that taking the family to the races just became more affordable.

The crowd gave the track owners a nice round of applause when I mentioned the decision by the Roy and Foley families to let more kids in free. Speedway 660 truly is family friendly and this latest decision is going to help get more fans in the stands in the Geary Woods._DSC5073It sure was nice to see another big crowd on hand in the Geary Woods last Saturday night. Families sure appreciate Speedway 660’s decision to offer free admission to all kids 15 years of age and under. 

I was checking out lap times on the electronic scoring computer during the Clark Chevrolet Best of the Best 150. Cassius Clark ran some 13.5 and 13.6 second laps. The old track record used to be 13.88 seconds! Many of the cars in the field on Saturday night were running laps under 14 seconds.

The Clark Chevrolet Best of the Best 150 was an amazing race, but the undercard wasn’t too shabby either.  We saw some wild spins, door-to-door racing, new and old rivalries pop up and the Grey Owl fly into the catch fence on the exit of turn four. The fence did its job, but sustained significant damage. It was amazing to see how everyone snapped into action to repair the damage so the racing could continue._DSC5255John Powell is an avid race fan and he’s also a welder. When the fence needed mending John left his usual seat near the flag stand, donned a welding mask and fixed the damaged fence. Thanks John!

So, we’re off this coming Saturday to celebrate the annual New Brunswick Holiday Weekend. But we’ll be back on track on August 12th with Fan Appreciation Night, followed by the Night of Champions on the 19th. The point races are tight and drivers are going to go all out on the next two race dates to claim one of those coveted championships or rookie of the year awards.Fan Appreciation Night 2015Fan Appreciation Night is fun for fans and drivers alike. Come out early on Saturday, August 12th for the big on-track autograph session which gets underway shortly after 5PM.

So enjoy the weekend off and get ready for some of the best racing of the season when Speedway 660 invites you back to the Geary Woods on the second Saturday in August. And by the way load up your car with kids because they all get in free.

We’ll see you at the races!

*NOTE: I would like to dedicate this edition of the Weekly to my very first Saturday Night Hero. My Father Ross Wilson passed away earlier today, after dealing with prostate cancer for more than two decades. He’s pictured here with legendary Riverglade Speedway flagman Ken Brace in 1967. Ross Race Car0001

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