The first big event of Atlantic Canada’s stock car racing season is scheduled for this Saturday night at 7PM. Speedway 660, celebrating its twentieth anniversary season, is proud to host the PASS 150. Wade Wilson recently talked with Tommy Mayberry about North America’s most exciting short-track tour.
Wade: Fans up here in New Brunswick sure like fast cars and side-by-side racing. They are really looking forward to welcoming the Pro All Star Series for your annual visit to Speedway 660.
Tommy: We are really looking forward to our annual visit to Speedway 660. The Pro All Star Series drivers and staff enjoy coming up your way, because it’s always a great race. The fans in New Brunswick always are excited to see our great brand of short-track racing and welcome us with open arms when we come to to your beautiful province and country.
Wade: How long has the PASS tour been around and how did it get started?
Tommy: The tour started in 2000. At that time there was a need for a touring series and I was asked to start something. It really has taken off and grown over the years and we are still growing.
Wade: PASS has North and South divisions. You have 42 races from early February until late November and visit just about everywhere on the east coast of North America from Florida to New Brunswick and Quebec. That’s a lot of travelling and a lot of races.
Tommy: It sure is. We put on a lot of miles driving up and down the eastern seaboard of North America. But we really enjoy bringing our brand of racing to the fans. As a matter of fact we are currently working to expand PASS into new markets that have an audience for and drivers looking to race in a Super Late Model tour.
Cassius Clark, winner of April’s PASS season opener down at Maine’s Oxford
Plains Speedway, is returning to Speedway 660 this weekend. Cassius, winner
of the 2012 Auto Value 250, will be gunning for another trip to our Riverview
Ford Lincoln Victory Lane.
Wade: You have been coming to Speedway 660 for several years now. How do you feel about our track and fan support up here in New Brunswick?
Tommy: Speedway 660 is a tough track and our drivers really enjoy racing up there. It seems to bring out the competitive spirit in all of the drivers. They have to be well-prepared and ready to race hard for 150 laps. There are no easy wins at Speedway 660. The fans in New Brunswick are supportive of the tour and very knowledgeable about short-track racing. We see lots of people from the Maritimes down in Maine and New Hampshire when we hold PASS events there. They don’t mind travelling down our way when they know they’ll see great racing and I know this weekend there will be a lot of American fans, who follow our tour, making the trip up to Speedway 660.
Wade: There are some pretty good Pro Stock racers up here. Lonnie Sommerville, Matt Harris and Matt Matheson run a lot of races with you and guys like John Flemming and Shawn Tucker often compete against your guys when you come up our way.
Tommy: We enjoy having the Canadian drivers join us, on a regular basis or for a few races here and there. As a matter of fact, I am sure we’ll see a few of your guys this weekend. Some of them are very competitive and I know they really want to put on a good show for their fans and prove they can go door-to-door with our guys. But it will be tough because I expect over 20 PASS regulars to make the trip north. With your guys, added to the mix, fans are in for a great show this weekend.
Wade: Johnny Clark has won the last three PASS races at Speedway 660. He also has been to Victory Lane twice at our SpeedWeekend Auto Value 250. Why do you think he has had so much success here?
Tommy: Johnny’s a great racer. He’s won the PASS North championship a half a dozen times and has right around forty wins in our series. Johnny Clark is competitive no matter where he goes, but when it comes to Speedway 660, I think he has figured out the set-up on his car to make strong runs up there. But there will be lots of other drivers who are going to New Brunswick this weekend to give Johnny a run for his money and try to break his winning streak at your track.
Wade: How is the season going so far and who should fans keep an eye on this weekend when the Pro All Star Series rolls into Speedway 660?
Tommy: Our PASS North season started the third week of April down at Oxford Plains Speedway and Cassius Clark was the winner. I think your fans may know a little bit about Cassius. I heard he won the Auto Value 250 up there last year. In early May, DJ Shaw won our race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway and about three weeks ago Patrick Leperle won at the Autodrome Chaudiere up in Vallee-Jonction, Quebec. And we got rained out at the White Mountain Motorsports Park, the same weekend you got rained out for your season opener. So we’ve had great competition so far this season and there are lots of drivers who will be in serious contention for the win at Speedway 660.
Wade: On behalf of Speedway 660 fans, I want to thank-you for continuing to bring the PASS Tour up here. It’s an event we all look forward to and everyone hopes you keep us on your schedule for years to come.
Tommy: We always look forward to heading up to Speedway 660. I know we’ll see a great race this weekend and I encourage race fans from all over the Maritimes, New England and Quebec to visit the Fredericton area this weekend to see the PASS 150.