Our New Race Director: A Conversation with Brian Speight

Speedway 660 is almost ready for the 2013 season. During the off-season Atlantic Canada’s premier stock car racing facility was sold to Debbie and Gary Foley, from Oromocto, and Shawna and Max Roy, from Fredericton. Lots of changes are taking place including the appointment of a new race director. Wade Wilson talked with Brian Speight about the new role he steps into this Saturday night at the Riverview Ford Season Opener.

Wade: Congratulation Brian. The Race Director is one of the most important jobs at Speedway 660. So how do you feel about taking this on?

Brian: At first I was really surprised when the new ownership team asked me if I was interested in this position. Then I felt honoured that they wanted me to become the new race director at Speedway 660. I took a little time to think about it and now that I’ve agreed to do it I am really looking forward to the challenges that will come with this new job.

Wade: All of the drivers know you from your work inside the fence. Fans have seen you for years going around the track on a wheeler making sure everything was ready to begin or restart a race. What’s it going to be like going from inside the fence to the top of the tower?

Brian: It’s going to be a big adjustment for sure. I just hope I don’t get the urge to come down off the tower to help out in a big wreck! We’ve got a excellent infield crew and I have a lot of faith in them and know they’ll continue to do a great job. And I’m sure my new job will keep me plenty busy.

Wade: Speedway 660 has an awesome crew inside the fence. From where I sit it looks like a real team effort out there.

Brian: I am very proud of the team we’ve assembled because they are the best in the Maritimes. The track stewards, broom-crew, emergency medical team, tow-truck crew and fire and rescue all do a great job. I’m talking about quick response, safety for the drivers, staff and fans as well as the quick turn-around time between the yellow and green flags. It’s all about safety and keeping the show moving at a fast pace for Speedway 660’s fans.

Speedway 660’s new Race Director Brian Speight enjoys a moment with
NASCAR legend Jimmy Spencer at SpeedWeekend 2011.

Wade: Down on the track you were real close to the action and had a hands-on approach. Are you going to miss that?

Brian: For sure I will miss it because I know first-hand how important this work is. I remember a few years ago, during SpeedWeekend, when one of our drivers was seriously injured. It was amazing to see how professional our team was and how effectively they worked to get the driver out of the car and into the ambulance. All I could do was try to console the driver’s race team during their trying time. I was glad I could help out in a small way and happy there was a positive ending to that terrible wreck.

Wade: Race Directors have a tough job. Like a hockey referee or baseball umpire they have to make tough decisions and sometimes the players or in our case the drivers may not agree with a call. Are you prepared for all of that?

Brian: Yes, I’ve thought a lot about that part of the job. My goal is to be fair and treat every driver with respect. I hope to be able to end every conversation in a positive way and with a smile. But I do know there will be tough decisions to make and I will try my best to make the right call. Although I am ultimately responsible for making those decisions, I’ll have some pretty good input from the flag-stand and tower.

Wade: Speedway 660 has the best racing in the Maritimes with five exciting divisions and a great fan base. How do you feel about the future of racing here?

Brian: The Speedway 660 brand of racing continues to grow in leaps and bounds. The two newest divisions have opened the door for a new group of racers and fans. But I still can’t believe there are people in our area who have never been to the speedway. It’s a real joy to get a new fan down to the track for the first time to see the best three hours of entertainment in the Maritimes. So if you’ve never been down to the Geary Woods please come check us out this season. Or if you haven’t been to Speedway 660 in a few years, our 20th anniversary season is a good time for you to come back to see how our sport has grown.

Wade: Good luck with your new role here at Speedway 660 and I hope you have a smooth transition from inside the fence to the top of the tower!

Brian: Thank you Wade, I am really excited about the future of racing in the Geary Woods and I know 2013 is going to be a great season of racing at Speedway 660. We’ll see everyone down at the track real soon!


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