Twenty Laps around the Sun! Wade’s Weekly ’13 #2

This is one of my favourite weeks of the Speedway 660 racing season. We all like The Riverview Ford Season Opener, which goes this Saturday night, for several reasons. First-off, we finally get to see some exciting short-track racing almost nine months after Cassius Clark celebrated his Auto Value 250 win at SpeedWeekend 2012.

We’ll also renew old friendships, meet new folks and generally enjoy the camaraderie that is such a big part of the Speedway 660 racing scene. And we all want to see the race-cars too. The teams, in all five of our divisions, have worked hard to get their machines ready for the season and they’ll all look shiny and new for the opener.

There’s always a little nervousness and uncertainty that comes with a new season. Especially this year! I hear there are several new drivers and others who are moving to higher divisions. I’ll bet they are getting a little antsy as we close in on Saturday’s opener. And what about Speedway 660’s new owners? I’m sure the Roy and Foley families are anxious and a little nervous heading into their first night at the helm of Speedway 660.

And how about Brian Speight? Our new race director is moving from his old job, inside the fence to the most important job on top of the tower! Brian’s a very capable and confident guy and he may not show it, but he’s likely going to be a little nervous when he starts making those tough race director decisions. Speaking of Brian Speight, we’ll have a Conversation with him on our website later this week, so please come back in a day or two to check it out.

I’ve got to admit, even after 19 years, I still get a few butterflies when I pick up the microphone to start a new season. We all love racing and we all want things to be perfect, but you know what? We’ll all be flying by the seat of our pants a little bit come Saturday night. And that’s a good thing. A little nervous energy is part of racing. We’ll all be fine.

The Riverview Ford Season Opener is going to be a blast. It always is. How could it be anything else? There’s so much anticipation for the racing season to begin and as the days slide by this week, we’ll be getting amped-up for the first of many trips to the Geary Woods this summer.

Speedway 660 is celebrating it’s 20th season of racing in “The Geary Woods”. For the past two decades fans have been thrilled by our exciting brand of side-by-side racing.

This is going to be a special season of racing for the Speedway 660 family. It’s our 20th season and for us “old-timers” season number one, way back in the summer of 94 seems like yesterday. Well, maybe not yesterday, but it sure doesn’t seem like two decades since the first green flag flew out there.

Jerry O’Leary’s dream to bring racing back to the Fredericton area became a reality. The Father of modern day stock-car racing in New Brunswick deserves a lot of credit for making it happen. Without Mr. O’Leary’s vision and commitment we sure wouldn’t be where we are today.

Back in 94, Chris Duncan was crowned our first Pro Stock Champion. Duncan had to wait until 2010 before earning his second title. That first season’s Sportsman Championship trophy went to Karl Raeburn. And the Street Stock points battle ended in our only tie with Brian Gillespie and Matt Harris sharing the championship. Gillespie, the most decorated champ in Speedway 660 history, won his second Street Stock title in 95 before rattling off five Sportsman titles in 98, 02, 03, 07 and 08.

So let’s go back to the future, after that little history lesson. We are on the eve of our 20th anniversary season. It’s shaping up to be our best year ever. There are lots of story-lines and plenty of exciting action and it all begins this Saturday night and wraps up on SpeedWeekend in early September.

If you are part of our Speedway 660 family, I know you’ll be at the Riverview Ford Season Opener. If you haven’t been down to the Geary Woods in a few years, please come back to be part of the 20th anniversary season. And if you have never been to Speedway 660, this is a great time to experience the best three hours of sports entertainment in Atlantic Canada.

It all officially begins this Saturday night at 7PM – but remember come early because we’ll warm you up with the Bandolero and 4 cylinder heat races at 6:20. We’ll see you at the races!

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