Fans – Championships – Drama: Wade’s Weekly ’13 #14

Right around this time every year, I look at the calendar and wonder where the racing season went. It’s kind of like being a kid all over again. I remember getting out of school in late June and looking forward to an endless summer, only to realize a few short weeks later that September was coming along much faster than I thought it would.

But when the end of summer was in sight I also always tried to make the most of what summer was left. Well the end of our racing season is in sight and we certainly are getting ready to make the most of our last two weekends of racing at Speedway 660.

This weekend we’ve got Fan Appreciation Night of Champions and then it’s on to SpeedWeekend. What a way to end our racing season!

This Saturday night we’ll see five drivers earn the 2013 Speedway 660 championships and five rookies crowned as the best newcomers in their divisions. For some it’s jubilation, for others it’s a crowning achievement of their racing career and for a few it’s a relief to finally win a title after coming close so many times.

For example, Glyn Nott won the Martins Home Heating Sportsman title last year. It took his team almost a decade and a half to finally earn that elusive championship. It seemed every year they were in the hunt and every year they just weren’t able to close the deal, until one year ago! With that little bit of unfinished business taken care of the Nott’s finally felt comfortable moving up to the RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock Division.

It took 14 years before Glyn Nott finally won the Martins Home Heating Sportsman Championship. Nott won the heat, dash and feature during Fan Appreciation Night of Champions to take the 2013 title!

I encourage you to come back to later this week because we will post the latest in our series of Conversations. We’ll talk with Brian Gillespie, a guy who has won seven championships here. Our most celebrated champ talks about what it takes to win one of our coveted titles and gives this year’s contenders a little advice.

Fan Appreciation Night of Champions is always packed with amazing action. Contending drivers sometimes do things in the final race of the season they would never do on a regular race night. We like to say drivers are racing on the edge out on the track, well on the final point race we often see a driver or two go over the edge!

There’s a lot of pressure. We’ve seen guys stay cool as a cucumber on Fan Appreciation Night of Champions, but we’ve also seen guys melt-down like a prefabricated cheese slice on a hot grill. It’s mind-boggling for the drivers, race teams and their families but it’s an incredible night of entertainment for race fans.

We’ve got some great championship point battles that will only be decided when the final checkered flag flies in our divisional features this Saturday night. The DMR Auto Sales & Service Street Stock and Martins Home Heating Sportsman divisions are particularly interesting. Will Rick Cashol win his sixth street stock championship? Will Greg Fahey win the sportsman title and become the first driver in the history of Speedway 660 to win championships in each of our top three divisions?

Seeing those two situations play out will be well worth the price of admission this Saturday night! There are other questions in every division that will only be answered during Fan Appreciation Night of Champions.

Rick Cashol (#54) will be racing for an unprecedented sixth championship in the same division this Saturday night. The five time DMR Auto Sales & Service Street Stock champ trailed Roger Slocum all season in the standings until last weekend when he took over the points lead. Cashol has a slim two point lead over Slocum and is only six up on Robert Raynes heading into Fan Appreciation Night of Champions!

The other thing about this Saturday night that is so cool is the fact that all of the cars in all of the divisions will be on the track all at once. Fans are encouraged to come early because from 5:30 until 6:15PM everyone is invited out onto the track to mingle with the drivers, race teams, sponsors and other fans. Drivers sure appreciate getting encouragement from their fans before the biggest point race of the season.

It only happens once a year and it’s a pretty impressive sight. Autographs, driver’s cards, photo-ops and treats for the kids are all part of the pre-race festivities on Saturday night. And oh yeah, during the course of the evening we’ll be giving away a bunch of terrific prizes to our great race fans.

Fan Appreciation Night of Champions pre-race festivities are a hit with fans of all ages. Everyone is invited to come to Speedway 660 early this Saturday night to go out on to the track to meet their favouritie drivers, check out the race cars and get some autographs, drivers cards, photos and treats!

At 6:30PM we’ll have the Bando and Sharp Shooter heat races and then at 7PM street stock, sportsman and pro stock drivers will strap into their cars for an evening of intense racing. It will be a joyous occasion for a few of them and a bitter disappointment for some. But one thing is for sure, it is going to a heck of a night in the Geary Woods. And when the final checkers fly on Saturday night, drivers won’t have much time to celebrate, because they’ll have to turn right around and get ready for SpeedWeekend 2013.

But more on that next week in this same space. For now the focus is on Fan Appreciation Night of Champions and seeing who will rise to the occasion and leave Speedway 660 this weekend with those championship and rookie crowns. But that’s not all that’s at stake. Drivers who are in the top ten or top five in their divisions will race to maintain or improve those positions and drivers just outside the top five or top ten will go all out to get into those coveted positions in the points.

It all makes for a dramatic night of racing. Our “endless summer” is coming to an end, but it is going to go out with a BIG BANG!

We’ll see you at the races!

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