Looking Back and Thinking Forward – Wade’s Weekly ’13 #18

Sunday was a beautiful day in the Geary Woods and our fans were treated to a great afternoon of ENDURO racing. It was a nice way to end the 2013 season and now it’s time to lock up the gates of Speedway 660 until we go racing next May.

Most of us will remember 2013 as the rainy season at Speedway 660. We had to work around the weather all summer and finally wrapped up the season last Sunday after two straight rain-outs! But the racing sure was great this year.

Last week I wrote about the young ladies who are making this sport exciting. But I failed to mention Destiny Enkel. Destiny moved up to Street Stock from Bandolero this year and after taking a few weeks to get comfortable in the bigger car, she become very competitive and had a strong finish to her season. Congrats Destiny and sorry for not including you in last week’s story.

Destiny Enkel had a successful season in the DMR Auto Sales & Service Street Stock Division. Destiny is one of several young ladies who is proving that racing is not just a “man’s sport”.

Now that the season is over, it is time to take a breather. Race teams will pack up their equipment and put their cars away, but it won’t be long before the more serious crews start preparing for 2014. I am sure there will be a lot of tough decisions to be made, because several drivers are considering moving up to higher divisions.

Fast cars attract lots of race fans! Speedway 660 has been entertaining fans for twenty years. As we enter our third decade we’ll continue to be dedicated to providing our fans with the best bang for their entertainment dollar. Although the 2013 season has just wrapped up, we can’t wait for 2014 to arrive!

This year we saw a lot of movement and I expect more of the same in 2014. Just last Sunday Chuck Mercer hinted that he and his cousin Clifford are thinking about moving from ENDURO to Street Stock. And a lot of other drivers will be on the move in 2014. I can’t wait to see for the season opener next May to see what our divisional line-ups look like.

The Roy and Foley families will also be looking forward to the future. They jumped into the racing business a little over a month before the start of the 2013 season and spent most of this year on a roller-coaster ride! They didn’t have a lot of time to plan and prepare for the season and were forced to take things as they came along and learn the business as they went.

I think they did a great job. They made some changes, but pretty much were forced to go with the status-quo for most of the season. I am excited to see where they take our sport in the years to come. The new owners are business people and today you have to run a racing facility as a business.

Now that the 2013 season is over, I know the Roys and Foleys are going put their heads together to talk about what went right, what the challenges are and where they want to make improvements beginning next season.

I have a couple of suggestions. Marketing and advertising certainly is an important component of racing and an area that always needs a strong effort. We all know Speedway 660 has awesome weekly racing and there are some great opportunities to develop marketing strategies for local, regional, national and even international companies.

We saw new corporations get involved this year and I am sure the Speedway 660 owners will want to build the brand and attract new marketing partners for the 2014 season. Having RE/MAX on board is going to help. I believe to take racing to the next level, we really have to follow the NASCAR example and demonstrate to businesses the advantages of being associated with our sport.

And we also have to build our fan base. Speedway 660 has the best attendance of any track in Atlantic Canada and that’s because we have the best weekly racing in our region. But we always need to work hard to get more folks out to the track to see our great family entertainment. And once they come for the first time, they are bound to return. After twenty years, I am always amazed when some folks tell me they have never been out to the Geary Woods! We’ve got to find ways to get these people out to the track.

It’s all about “Fan Appreciation” at Speedway 660. We’ve got great drivers & race teams, incredible marketing partners and awesome staff members, but this sport is all about entertaining our fans. Introducing more folks to the Speedway 660 brand of short-track entertainment will be a primary goal in 2014.

I would suggest looking at what I would call “grass-roots” promotions in the years to come. A few years ago we had a Military Appreciation Night for members of the Canadian Forces. How about a Fire Fighters Appreciation Night or other promotions to attract new fans?

And I think we will want to re-tool www.speedway660.com during the off-season and amp up our social media efforts. This is an extremely important way to keep people up to date and informed about our sport.

So, in the off-season there will be a lot of work to do to prepare for next year. I can’t wait to see this sport evolve and grow. In recent years, we’ve added two new divisions and opened up our sport to a whole new generation of drivers and fans. Now we have to build on that success and continue to introduce short-track racing to more folks.

Our fans love coming out to the Geary Woods for a great night of racing. Speedway 660 is committed to growing the sport, attracting more fans and providing the best weekly racing in our region. We are going to work hard in the off-season to make 2014 an incredible year for our fans! We look forward to seeing you all back at the track in May.

The end of a racing season is always kind of sad. First off, we won’t get to see live short-track racing for almost nine months and more important, we won’t get to see our racing friends until the 2014 season begins next May. I know I’ll see some of you up at Crabbe Mountain or at a hockey rink this winter and as always we’ll talk racing.

So, everyone have a great off-season. Be safe and we look forward to seeing you all back in the Geary Woods on a sunny, warm day next May!

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