All is Quiet on the Eastern Front!
This week Speedway 660 sits silent. We are taking a little breather before the stretch run of the 2011 season. In just a month we will be heading into SpeedWeekend and the AutoValue 250. Fans, race teams, sponsors and track officials, employees and volunteers are all exciting about being a part of our region’s biggest and best racing event of the year.
But this week we all have other plans. It’s a great time to go fishing, hiking, mountain biking or to participate in a variety of other summer outdoor activities. But most important it’s quality family time away from the race track.
When we come back, we will start the stretch run with the RV World Street Stock 75. That will happen on Saturday, August 6th at 7 o’clock.
Let’s look at the first half highlights. Early on, rain was the big story. Three of our first five events were washed out. When we did race, the action was great. One of the big highlights is the growth of the Bandolero and 4 cylinder divisions. Last year, car counts were in single digits for the two new divisions. This year the “4 bangers” and Bandos are each running close to 20 cars. That’s unbelievable growth!
Greg Fahey, the pride of Charlotte County, ran a strong 2nd in the Maritime Pro Stock Tour race and dominated the Best of the Best 150. That tour race performance is right up there for the top story of the first half. Another one is the continued dominance of Johnny Clark. He won the Pro All Star Series race for the 2nd year in a row. Throw in the fact that Clark won the 2010 AutoValue 250 and you can see why we might have to take down the Speedway 660 signs and replace them with signs reading Clarksville! We’ll see if J.C. can continue his string of victories in this year’s 250.
I always chuckle when drivers say they don’t pay any attention to the points. Divisional championships are a big deal at Speedway 660, so let’s use this space to take a quick look.
Greg Fahey has dominated the O’Leary Auto Group Pro Stock Division and has opened up a 13 point lead over Matt Harris. Brian Gillespie and Chris Duncan are breathing down Harris’s neck in 3rd and 4th. Rookies Derek Christie and Steve Halpin are 6th and 7th. Fahey missed a championship three-peat by a whisker in 2010, but is determined to win his third in four years this season.
Ken MacKenzie, the surprise 2010 Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman Champ, is quietly leading the points again this year. I say quiet because he has only had one podium finish so far. “Kenny-Mac”, who won the title on the last lap of the last race last year, has a 26 point lead over Randy Moore. The veteran Moore is one of the big surprises at Speedway 660 in 2011. We’ve had over 30 Sportsman teams compete at our track this year!
With Peter Gaddess and Jason Shannon moving up to Sportsman, many folks pretty much conceded the RV World Street Stock Championship to Rick Cashol. But someone forgot to tell Benji Ruff. Cashol, the four time street stock champ, does lead the points, but Benji the former Enduro driver is only seven points back. Shannon Brake has hit his stride and Gentleman Jack Lane is also having a pretty good season. Peter Martin and Andrew Rodgers are four points apart in 11th and 12th in the rookie of the year battle.
Kevin Peterson, the defending four cylinder champ, leads the points again year, but is only four up on Tyler Seveck. Dana Cameron-Hamm has won two features in a row to propel himself to the top of the Hanwell Village Mart Bandolero Division. Alicia Mowat, an inspiration to all of the young girls at Speedway 660, is tied with last year’s champ Ryan Messer for second.
Saturday Night Heroes
This week my Saturday Night Heroes are everyone in the Speedway 660 racing community who has plans to do something special with their families during our break. Family comes first and this is a great time to have some fun with your family. Dave O’Blenis, last week’s Saturday Night Hero, is going camping with his family during our week away from the track. I encourage everyone else to take time to appreciate their family.
Get Ready for the Home Stretch Run
On August 6th, we resume racing at Speedway 660 with the RV World Street Stock 75. From there we go non-stop every Saturday until we wrap things up with SpeedWeekend 2011. We’ll see you at the races!