The 2013 racing season roars to life on May 25th with the Riverview Ford Season Opener. I usually start my weekly “blogs” the same week the season starts, but there has been so much happen over the off-season that I thought I better start a week early.
First off, Speedway 660 has new owners. Shawna and Max Roy and Debbie and Gary Foley closed the deal on Atlantic Canada’s best stock car racing facility in early March. The Roy’s, from Fredericton, and the Foley’s, from Oromocto are excited about getting into the racing entertainment business and have been working hard to get ready for opening night.
I feel honoured that they have asked me to continue my work behind the microphone and in front of the computer screen. This is my 20th season at Speedway 660 and to tell the truth I am not quite sure I would know what to do with myself every Saturday night, during the summer, if I wasn’t involved in the racing scene.
Saturday night’s the night for racing! Thousands of fans love Speedway 660′s exciting
brand of short-track racing every Saturday night.
The new owners recently held an open-house for Speedway 660 employees and volunteers at the Geary Lions Club. It was great to see everyone after the long New Brunswick winter and I must say they are all excited and enthused about the future of racing in the Geary Woods.
I would like to say a few words about the former owners of the Speedway. I really enjoyed working with Chris Johnston and Steve and Tracey Burns for the last 17 years. We all became good friends and I’ll always appreciate their work ethic, sense of humour and commitment to the sport of racing and our fans.
The Johnston and Burns ladies also played a big role in the success of Speedway 660 over the years. Chris’s mom Flo and his wife Jane along with Tracey’s wife Joyce and Steve’s wife Sara worked hard, behind the scenes and out of the spotlight, to make our track what it is today. Mrs. Burns is one of the happiest and most positive people I have ever met and she and Tracey deserve the opportunity to finally retire!
On behalf of Speedway 660 fans, employees, advertisers and race teams I would like to thank the Johnston and Burns families for their dedication to the sport for almost two decades. They helped a young speedway grow into one of the most exciting racing facilities in all of Canada.
We’ll still see the Burns and Johnston families around, from time to time this season, as they help the new owners “learn-the-ropes”. And I hope they keep coming to the track for years to come as fans to enjoy our awesome brand of racing.
2013 is the 20th anniversary season of racing at Speedway 660. There has been a little bit of a discussion about that, but 1994 was season number one and if you count it all out on your fingers and toes, you will see that 2013 is indeed season number 20!
There’s lots of movement among divisions this year. Sportsman drivers going to Pro Stock, Street Stock to Sportsman, Four Cylinder to Street Stock and even Bando to Pro Stock. It is going to be a great season of racing with tons of action and lots of excitement.
We had a story about Glyn Nott, our 2012 Sportsman champ last week. Glyn bought a Shawn Tucker car and will join the Pro Stock division. Former Bando champ Dana Hamm-Cameron says he’s ready to play with the big boys too! I also hear that Luc McLaughlin, our 2012 Fredericton Jewellers Four Cyclinder Champ, bought a pretty good street stock machine that could make him an immediate contender in that division.
Max and Gary have been pretty much living in the Geary Woods for the last few weeks, putting in long hours of hard work to get Speedway 660 ready for season number 20. Fans will see a big improvement in terms of access to the seating area in the pits and the boys are busy replacing boards, painting the main grand stands and generally sprucing up the facility.
It’s great to see the enthusiasm of the new owners. And when you get to the Riverview Ford season opener, in less than two weeks, I hope you take time to say hello and thank them for their efforts to grow racing at Speedway 660.
Later this week we’ll post a Conversation with Shannon “The Cannon” Brake. The 2012 street stock champ gives us the low-down on his immediate and future plans in our sport.
Saturday, May 25th can’t come fast enough. We’ll see you at the races!