Six little words: Wade’s Weekly 17#15

(Aug. 14, 2017) “That’s why I love to race.” That’s what Greg Fahey said on Fan Appreciation Night after winning the RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock feature. Greg has won plenty of features in the past, in Street Stock, Sportsman and Pro Stock, but none more dramatic than the door-to-door finish he had with Dave O’Blenis last Saturday night. The margin of victory, according to our electronic transponder scoring system, was .047 seconds. That’s less than half a tenth!

In the late stages of Saturday night’s main event you could sense that something special was about to happen. Greg and Dave came flying through the pack, setting the stage for that incredible finish. They both closed in on and passed race leader Ryan Messer. Then they made a mad dash to complete lap number fifty.

After the race was over, you could still feel the adrenaline in the air. Fahey and O’Blenis got together on the front stretch and you could just see in their faces the respect they have for each other and our sport. They were giddy like little kids!Sportsmanship Fahey and OBlenisGreg Fahey and Dave O’Blenis knew they were part of something special on Fan Appreciation Night. Both winner and runner-up were pretty excited about how the race played out.

The Fahey/O’Blenis finish has to be one of the closest of all time at Speedway 660. This place has a history of last lap passes and close finishes. As a matter of fact before the Pro Stock race on Saturday night, we had a pretty close finish in a Sportsman heat race. And we’ve also had amazing finishes in the McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 – the biggest race of them all.Sportsman action 2017Look at that! Tim Elliot throws the checkered flag as Jacob Logan, Curtis Collins and Andrew Rodgers cross the stripe this past Saturday night in a Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman heat race.Rowe and Benjamin finish action shot 2014 Re/Max 250Travis Benjamin won the 2014 McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 by this much over Ben Rowe.

Scott Fraser told me a long time ago that Speedway 660 (known as New Brunswick International Speedway back in those days) was a driver’s track. I asked him to explain that, and he smiled and said he called it a driver’s track because it challenges drivers to use all of their skills and talent. It’s a tight track and corners one and two are distinctly different from turns three and four and require different strategies to get around. ScottFraserThe late Scott Fraser (centered between Johnny Clark and Ben Rowe) won more than his fair share of races at 660. He loved coming here because this track makes drivers work for their wins. (BTW – back in the day we used to call this place “Fraserville”)      

“That’s why I love to race” said Greg Fahey. And for us fans, what we saw Saturday night is why we love to come to the races._DSC5864Every picture tells a story! This one shows how much Greg Fahey and car owner Andy Fox love racing. Moments like this is what our sport is all about.

So why do you love racing? You obviously enjoy the product that we see on the track every week at Speedway 660. Close finishes happen a lot and sometimes race officials have to resort to electronic scoring to actually determine who got to the stripe first. You gotta love that!

Nobody I know comes to the races to see wrecks, but everyone loves to see drivers bump and run, trade a little paint, go three-wide and sometimes slip and slide around a little. You gotta love those things too!street stock action 2016We don’t like to see cars get wrecked because we know how much time and money it takes to fix them. Having said that, most everyone loves to see a little dust-up once in awhile. 

And what about the kids? This new generation of drivers is just what our sport needs. I’m not taking anything away from Greg Fahey,  Dave O’Blenis and the other veterans, but look out boys because the new kids on the track are coming to get you. They looked up to you from the stands and are thrilled to race against you, but they’ll be even more thrilled to beat you. You gotta love the competitive spirit of our youngest drivers!Sportsman action 2017Curtis Collins (#27) and Jacob Logan (#27) are two of the young stars in our sport. Mix in a few veterans like Richard Atkinson (#40) and you’ve got a recipe for some exciting short-track racing.

The new generation of fans are pretty cool too. They are passionate about our sport, they look up to their favourite drivers and one day some of them will jump into a race car to see what they can do. For now though, they are content to come out to 660 every week to enjoy the wonderful sport of racing. You gotta love all of our fans, especially the youngest ones.Kids Club ride July 8, 2017Some of our Kid’s Club members get to take a spin around Speedway 660 with their favouritie drivers. One day maybe this little fella might be challenging Ryan Messer for a win.

Sponsors, marketing partners, Speedway 660 owners, staff and volunteers all play important roles in our sport. Like Tim Terry said on Saturday night, it takes a lot of people working together as a team to keep the wheels turning. You gotta love what all of these folks do for our sport.

But you’ve got to appreciate the people who put on the show for us every week. Our drivers race hard, everybody wants to win badly, but it’s moments like we experienced last Saturday night that bring us to the races and keep bringing us back.  The sportsmanship and mutual respect, displayed by Speedway 660’s drivers, is just as important as the competitive racing we see every week. Dustin Tucker pro stock winner july 22, 2017Remember earlier this summer when Dustin Tucker shared his first-ever Pro Stock win the his Grandfather and Father? These are the special moments that make racing the best family sport out there.

When Greg Fahey said “That’s why I love to race” it really struck home with a lot of folks. It made us realize that our sport is like no other. We come to see the cars and the action on the track, but it’s the people who make this sport what it is. Thanks Greg for reminding us about all of that when you said those six little words. Alexandra OBlenis sportsman feature win June 11, 2016Racing is no longer just a “boy’s sport”. Courtney and Alexandra O’Blenis, Destiny Enkel, Courtney Barton, Sarah McKay and Allison Hall demonstrate every week that ladies can not only compete, but win.  And thank you Heidi Cooper for being a real trailblazer!

On Saturday night Drew Greenlaw won his Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman heat race and feature. It was a big point night for Drew, but his thoughts and prayers were with a friend who died last week in a tragic accident. Camron Roberts, from Marshfield, Maine had just graduated from high school in June and now he is no longer with his friends and family. This should remind all of us that life is precious and we should appreciate our families and friends and enjoy the times we have together. Drew Greenlaw“Fly high” balloons for Camron! One of Drew Greenlaw’s  friends lost his life in an accident last week. The folks from Eastport, Maine remembered the 18 year old in victory lane last Saturday night.

The Night of Champions is coming up this Saturday night. We’ll see champs crowned and Rookie of the Year Awards handed out. It will be another special night in the Geary Woods. It’ll also remind us why we love racing! Good luck to all of the drivers and race teams chasing championships and rookie awards.

We’ll see you at the races!

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