Let’s try this again! Wade’s Weekly ‘13 #17

It’s coming on to mid September and by now the gates to Speedway 660 are normally locked-up for the long off-season. Well, not this year because we are still trying to get in the last event of the season. After rain-outs the last two weeks, the 2013 Championship ENDURO 200 is scheduled for this Sunday afternoon at 2PM.

The weather was one of the biggest stories of the 2013 racing season. Our season opener was rained-out and so was it’s rain-date! We lost the Pro All Star Series Race when it poured the entire weekend they were supposed to be here in June. We lost our Saturday night ENDURO race and another date or two to boot! We were lucky to get SpeedWeekend in, at least the Saturday and Sunday Sportsman and Pro Stock races. We rained out on SpeedWeekend Monday and the Enduro that was supposed to run that day was also rained-out last Sunday.

But, we’ll try again this Sunday afternoon to run our Championship Enduro 200. And it’s going to be a blast. These drivers always put on an amazing show for our fans and I expect when we go green Sunday afternoon that they won’t hold anything back. The final ENDURO race of the year is when no-one saves anything for the next race. They’ve got all winter to get geared up for the 2014 season, so they kind of throw caution to the wind!

You never know what’s going to happen when the ENDURO race teams take to the track at Speedway 660. After two rain-outs in a row, everyone is primed for our last race of the 2013 season this Sunday afternoon.

Congratulations to Shawn Tucker. Last weekend Shawn went back to Riverside International Speedway for round 11 of the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour. He won the Lucas Oil 100, following up the IWK win he had at Riverside earlier this summer and the Auto Value 250 win on SpeedWeekend. Tucker has won three feature races in a row and has taken the checkered flag in four of the 11 tour races this season.

Shawn Tucker followed up his big win on SpeedWeekend with a Parts for Trucks Tour win down at Riverside International Speedway this past weekend. Tucker, the three time Auto Value 250 winner, has been on an incredible roll in the 2nd half of the 2013 racing season!

He’s on a pretty amazing run right now, but he’ll need some more magic to win the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour title for a fourth time. That’s because he trails John Flemming by 49 points heading into the Dartmouth Dodge 200 down at Scotia SpeedWorld this coming Saturday night. Even though Shawn has been pretty much unbeatable in the 2nd half of the season, he had a couple of tough outings early in the year and that’s why he trails Flemming. We hope you have a great run this weekend Shawn and hope you find a little more magic!

Speaking of magic, it was a magical season for Dave O’Blenis at Speedway 660. He won the RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock Championship for the second year in a row and fourth time over-all. O’Blenis has set the bar high in our Pro Stock division and the other drivers have got to work hard to compete with him. Dave won the Best of the Best 150 earlier this season and finished third in the Parts for Trucks tour race here. I think he would have won that race if it wasn’t for a flat tire that made him give up the lead and pit under caution. Dave was also a force in our major Sportsman races this year.

Dave O’Blenis had a great 2013 season at speedway 660. He made several visits to the Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane in his RE/MAX Group Four Realty  Pro Stock and his Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman cars this year.

But we’ve seen domination in Pro Stocks at Speedway 660 in the past. Greg Fahey won three titles in four years and in that stretch won numerous features. Glen Rasmussen won four Pro Stock titles here and there was a time when Brad Mann was the man in this division when he took three titles back to Glen Levit.

So, even though O’Blenis seems to be head and shoulders above the other Pro Stock drivers right now, it will be interesting to see what the future holds. Will he continue his dominance in 2014 and become our first five-time RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock Champ? Or will someone else emerge as the top dog of our top division? Only time will tell.

2013 continued to see the Youth Movement develop here at Speedway 660. The kids were amazing, not only in the Bando and Sharp Shooter divisions, but also in Street Stock, Sportsman and Pro Stocks. Luc MacLaughlin, “Hollywood Madore”, Justin Cole and Kenny MacKenzie Junior really stepped up in the DMR Auto Sales & Service Street Stock Division. Andrew Rodgers was unbelieveable in the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman Division, challenging Greg Fahey for the title. And Dana Hamm and Cole Boudreau both looked pretty amazing in the RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock Division.

As good as the kids were, I really think the young ladies were perhaps an even bigger story in 2013. Sarah McKay won the Sportsman rookie of the year and had an incredible run in the Irving Blending & Packaging 150. And then there was Courtney O’Blenis who emerged as one of our rising young stars. Courtney’s sister Alexandra is pretty good too. This year she ran Bando full-time, Street Stock a couple of times and Pro Stock once. Alicia Mowat is another one of our great young ladies and we expect to see her in a Pro Stock next season.

And this brings me to Heidi Cooper. Heidi is a real trail blazer here at Speedway 660. For years she was the only girl racing here. And she has become a role model and mentor for all of the other girls. Heidi gives them advice and encouragement and they all look up to her. And Heidi is a leader too. She initiated a fund-raiser in the pits and grand-stands the week after Mike Stevens died in that tragic racing accident on the Island. As a result the Living Trust Fund for Mike’s two young boys got a nice injection of funds. And on SpeedWeekend, Heidi ran number 13 on her Street Stock car in honour of Jack Lane.

Heidi Cooper is an inspiration to the other young ladies who race at Speedway 660. She is also a crowd favourite and looks forward to continuing her Street Stock career in 2014 and seeing other young ladies get into this exciting sport!

Despite the rain, the 2013 racing season was really good at Speedway 660. Our racing family went through some tough times, but we stuck together, supported each other and enjoyed our favourite sport together. Next week, in what should be the last weekly blog of 2013, we’ll take a look at some other highlights of the 2013 season.

But first, we’ve got one more race date to enjoy. This Sunday at 2PM, we’ll crown the 2013 ENDURO Champion. It’s going to be a fun day in the Geary Woods.

We’ll see you at the races!

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