(Aug. 7, 2017) Every year, when August rolls around, I always ask myself where did the racing season go? In a month the gates at Speedway 660 will be locked up and another long off-season will begin. But we’ve got some pretty exciting things happening between now and then. Fan Appreciation Night, the Night of Champions and SpeedWeekend are the remaining entrees on our 2017 racing menu.
Points, points, points – it’s all about the points in the last two regular season events. And it’s about you, our fans too – you’ll be treated to some intensely exciting entertainment this weekend and next. Drivers will give it their all to earn one of those track titles and the next two Saturday’s will determine who has got what it takes to stand alone at the top of the mountain. Winning a championship at Speedway 660 is a big deal. Just ask Ryan Messer and his Mom (Penny) and Dad (Robb). Ryan surprised everyone when he captured the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman title last season. In his rookie Pro Stock campaign, Ryan is tied for fourth just 25 points out of first with two weeks to go!
Here’s how things stack up right now. It sure looks like we will have a first time champion in the RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock Division. Brent Roy leads the points, while Kevin Moore, Dustin Tucker, Ashton Tucker and Ryan Messer round out the top five. None of them have ever won a Pro Stock championship. Only 25 points separate 1st from 5th. Five time champ Dave O’Blenis has been coming on strong lately and is in sixth place, lurking in the weeds, but still 27 points behind Brent.Big Kevin Moore (#88) has spent much of this season chasing Brent Roy (#26). Kevin trails Brent by 15 points in the RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock Division. Neither driver has ever won the Pro Stock title, but Moore has finished second or third on several occasions!
John Rankin’s Pubs Drive Thru Bottle Exchange Sportsman ride is a rocket this season. But John only leads the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman Division by seven points over Drew Greenlaw. Alexandra O’Blenis, Jacob Logan and Andrew Rodgers complete the top five and there are 44 points between first and fifth. It looks like either Rankin will win his second championship or Greenlaw will win his first, but again we’ll have to wait to see.Drew Greenlaw (#23) and John Rankin (#28) are in the closest championship battle at Speedway 660. Rankin won the title back in 2009, while Greenlaw has finished second in the points in each of the last two years.
Luc McLaughlin has been rolling along nicely in the DMR Auto Sales Street Stock Division and has a 26 point advantage over second place Shawn Hylsop. Destiny Enkel is running third, while Roger Slocum and Riley Goodwin round out the top five. Although Luc is smiling at the top of the standings, only ten points separate second from fifth. So there will be some intense Street Stock action during the next two weeks.Luc McLaughlin’s three feature victories have given him a comfortable lead atop our Street Stock Division standings. But Luc knows he has some more work to do in order to claim his second Street Stock championship in four seasons.
The Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter division appears to be a two horse race between the two Kyle’s. What about Brody Levesque you ask? I wondered the same thing when I checked the standings. Young Brody’s car failed the post race inspection last time out and that pretty much has taken him out of contention. Kyle Boudreau leads Kyle McKinnon by 13 points and it’s a good bet that one of the Kyle’s will become our first two-time Sharp Shooter champ.We’ve never had a two-time champion in our Sharp Shooter Division. But Kyle Boudreau (#81), the 2015 champ, and Kyle McKinnon (#22), the defending champ, both have a shot at their second title. It’ll be worth the price of admission to watch the two Kyle’s battle it out the next two Saturdays!
This week’s Fan Appreciation Night is one of the highlights of the Speedway 660 season. In addition to the drama surrounding the championships, there’s the popular pre-race on-track autograph session. I’m not really sure who likes it more, the fans or the drivers and members of their race teams.
Our drivers value and respect the fans and love rolling their race cars out onto the front stretch for this event. And the fans love meeting the drivers, getting some treats, an autograph or two, driver cards and just hangin out the guys and gals who put on the show every week in the Geary Woods.Everybody loves Fan Appreciation Night. Popular pre-race festivities followed by intense championship point racing makes for an incredible evening of family entertainment.
And they’ll put on a show Saturday night. You’ll see moves that you might not have seen earlier in the season. With the championships on the line, drivers will drive harder, take more chances and do whatever it takes to get one step closer to claiming a Speedway 660 championship. The goal at the end of Fan Appreciation Night is to be in a position to win a title come the Night of Champions, on August 19th.
Preparations are well underway for SpeedWeekend 2017. On behalf of everyone involved in our sport, I want to thank Richard & Anne Martin for sponsoring the big Sportsman 150 on SpeedWeekend Saturday. The Martin family have supported racing at 660 in many ways ever since the track opened back in 1994. BTW the Martin’s Home Heating 150 pays $5000.00 to win – that should get the attention of Sportsman drivers around the Maritimes!Everyone loves SpeedWeekend. The biggest crowds of the season come to the Geary Woods to see the best racing of the year. SpeedWeekend 2017 runs from Friday, September 1st until Sunday, September 3rd
I also want to thank everyone who sent along condolences after my Father passed away last week. We really are a racing family and I appreciate the thoughts and prayers that were sent our way. Every time I visited him or we talked on the phone, he always wanted to know what was happening at Speedway 660. I’ll miss those conversations.
We’ll see you at the races!