Early Season Impressions – Wade’s Weekly ’13 #6

It hasn’t taken long for the action to heat up at Speedway 660. Here we are in the middle of June and because of a wet Spring, we’ve only had two races. But the racing has been great and fans are sure getting their money’s worth in the early going.

We are starting to see rivalries develop and we are already getting a sense of which drivers will be making serious runs for our championships. Racing is all about rivalries and over the years we’ve had some good ones. I remember a young Lonnie Sommerville and an old veteran Gordon Chase. Gordon, better known as “Hokie Wolfe”, didn’t like the upstart Sommerville and in those days Lonnie had a checkers or wreckers mentality. It made for great drama and awesome racing!

Nowadays Chase has retired and Sommerville has developed into one of the best Pro Stock drivers in eastern North America. He competes on the PASS Tour and is always a threat to win big races, like our Auto Value 250.

In the last few years Speedway 660’s biggest rivalries seem to involve our five time DMR Auto Sales & Service Street Stock champion. Rick Cashol makes no bones about it, he makes the trip from Saint John every week to win races and win championships. And that attitude of doing whatever it takes to win makes very few friends and more than a few enemies!

Last year Rick had a bitter rivalry with Shannon Brake. Although neither man would admit it over the PA during my interviews with them, I got a sense that they just didn’t like each other. In the end, Shannon roughed up Cashol on our Fan Appreciation Night of Champions to win the street stock title.

A few years ago Cashol and Brian Fox had a similar rivalry. Those two guys did more than trade a little paint and punch each other’s fenders in! They had at it all season long and like Brake, Fox was able to wrestle a championship away from Rick on the last point race.

BANKS vs. CASHOL – Round #3 Saturday Night!
Matt Banks #69 and Rick Cashol (in the white car) are embroiled in an intense early season rivalry in Speedway 660’s DMR Auto Sales & Service Street Stock Division.

This year Cashol is right in the middle of it again. The newest contender and latest rival is Matt Banks. In week one those two sized each other up and banged on each other a bit, but last week it got real intense. They rattled each other’s cage in the dash and then in the feature they beat and banged on each other for the lead until they took each other out on the last lap! I can’t wait to see round three this coming Saturday night.

And to set the record straight, I like Rick Cashol. Being Speedway 660’s PA announcer I try my best not to have favourite drivers. But Rick is good for the sport, he gets some people’s “blood boiling” but he’s a great old-school racer!

Speaking of rivalries, could there be something developing between George Jamieson and Brent Roy? Jamieson got the worst of Saturday night’s encounter, spinning out down in turns three and four. The two Sportsman veterans are both clean drivers and after finishing third, Brent stood up in his post race interview and took the blame for the incident before heading back to the pits to apologize to George. From where I was standing it looked like one of those racing deals, but the “Camry Kid” obviously saw it different from where he was sitting.

As far as early season favourites go in the quest for Speedway 660 championships things are looking up for Cole Boudreau in the Westwood Estate Apartments Bandoleros; Randy Campbell in the Fredericton Jewelers 4 Cylinders; Roger Slocum in the DMR Auto Sales & Service Street Stocks; Greg Fahey in the Martins Home Heating Sportsman and; Dave O’Blenis in the RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock divisions.

No one is ready to crown any of these guys 2013 champions just yet, but they all have gotten off to terrific starts. And it’s never too early to start stock-piling points!

I get lots of visitors up in the tower every week. Many of them come to answer trivia questions and win prizes or to jot down birthday wishes on our clip-board. I rarely get time to chat with them, because I’m too busy flapping my lips over the PA system.

Last Saturday night Paul Gahan’s Mom came up to wish her son a happy birthday and happy father’s day. She also wanted to wish her grandson Jordan good luck in the races. I enjoyed my brief visit with Mrs. Gahan and it is easy to see she is very proud of the pro stock racers in her family!

One of our prize winners Saturday night was Shawn Hyslop’s little daughter. She won a RE/MAX Kids Night prize from 4 cylinder driver Courtney Barton. It was good to see Shawn, although we didn’t have time to talk. I’ll always remember him as one of those great Charlotte County racers and miss seeing him out on the track every Saturday night. Nowadays Shawn is a proud Dad, focused on his family.

Next Saturday night we’ll see the Martins Home Heating Sportsman 100. With a three grand winner’s prize, up for grabs, we expect to see a great field of cars and drivers in the Geary Woods. These big Sportsman races have traditionally been some of the best events in Speedway 660’s twenty year history.

Well, my word count is over the limit again this week, but there’s always so much to talk about when it comes to racing in the Geary Woods. This week I encourage you to do a little talkin too. Please tell everyone about the Martins Home Heating Sportsman 100 and encourage them to come out to Speedway 660 this Saturday night. It’s a must-see event.

We’ll see you at the races.


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