The Firecracker 150 promises to be one of the most exciting races of the year at Speedway 660. With all due respect to the Pro Stockers, the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman division may very well be the most competitive brand of racing in Atlantic Canada.
We expect a full field of Sportsman teams to attempt to qualify for the 150 on Saturday night. We had over thirty entries for the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman 100 a few weeks ago. This week’s race is a great opportunity for drivers, throughout our region, to prepare for the Coastal Blending and Packaging Sportsman 150 on SpeedWeekend.
On Sunday afternoon the Enduros invade Speedway 660 for their second event of the year. The first Enduro was one of the best we have seen in years and I expect the action will pick right up where they left off three weeks ago.
Who to Watch
Matt Maillet won the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman 100 earlier this year and is the defending Firecracker 150 champ. Matt has found his groove, especially in the longer races, and I expect he will have another good run this weekend.
Ken MacKenzie is our defending Sportsman champ and current point leader. He is aching to win a big race and maybe Saturday will be his night to finally “get-er-done”. Glyn Nott has always had great success in the longer races at Speedway 660 and has to be considered a top contender. Dave O’Blenis, a former Speedway 660 Pro Stock Champ and AutoValue 250 winner, will also be a threat to win.
There are several other drivers in the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman Division who are also capable of winning this race. And we expect a few out-of-towners to make things interesting when the green flag flies Saturday night.
Changing of the Guard
There is a real youth movement happening at Speedway 660. We have about 20 Bandolero drivers between 7 and 15 years of age. Several of the 4 cylinder drivers are youngsters too. I guess you would expect to see younger drivers in those divisions, but our three big divisions also have their fair share of kids.
Andrew Rodgers and Peter Martin are making waves in the RV World Street Stock Division. Peter raced go-karts Saturday mornings at the Speedway for five years. He spent last year in a Bandolero and is having a great season this year in street stocks. Andrew is a third generation driver who also has go-kart experience.
Andrew’s brother Matt is having wic-kid fun in the Sportsman Division (more on that later). Brandon and Mark, the Harris cousins, are also running Sportsman cars this year. Teenager Jordan Gahan is having a blast in the O’Leary Auto Group Pro Stock Division. And just last week we saw another teenager strap into a pro stock to race for the first time.
Colter Wiggins is driving his dad’s patented number 17. As many of you know, Colter’s dad Brent had a serious health issue, during the off-season that severely reduced his vision. It was nice having Team Wiggins back at Speedway 660 last week and we wish Brent good health and Colter a successful career in the pro stock. By the way, the Wiggins team is also preparing a car for Jimmy Spencer to run in the AutoValue 250.
Saturday Night Hero
My Saturday Night Hero from last week is going into Grade 11 this fall. Matt Rodgers is barely 16 years of age, but he has been around stock cars all his life. Grand-dad Bob and dad Steve were both good racers, but it looks like the third generation of the Rodgers racing clan might be the best yet.
On Saturday night young Matt won the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman feature. And he did it with veterans Glyn Nott and Ken MacKenzie breathing down his neck. Matt showed us a lot of composure, under pressure, and sure was proud to get the win. But I think Bob and Steve Rodgers had even bigger smiles than Matt when all was said and done! It was also great to see Glyn and Ken go over to Victory Lane to shake hands with Matt and congratulate him on his first feature win at Speedway 660.
Firecrackers and Enduros!
The Firecracker 150 is going to be a great race. Our Sportsman drivers always put on an awesome show and that’s exactly what you are going to get this Saturday night at 7 o’clock at Speedway 660. And on Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock the Enduros are ready to rip-roar their way into the Geary Woods. So make plans to be there! We’ll see you at the races.