The 2014 racing season is just around the corner. As a matter of fact it was scheduled to begin this weekend. But with all the recent rain that followed a long winter that dropped tons of snow on us, it’s little wonder that the Riverview Ford Season Opener has been postponed until next weekend (May 17 & 18).
We Can’t Wait to Start the Season!
I rode my motorcycle down to Speedway 660, between the rain drops, last Saturday. Things are pretty soggy down there, particularly the pits, the infield and the camping area. So we’ll just have to wait another week and hope thing dry out enough for us to get back down to the Geary Woods.
A new racing season always brings high expectations for fans, race teams, marketing partners, staff and Speedway 660’s owners. It’ll be great to hear the engines roar once again in the Geary Woods! It’s always nice to see everyone in our racing family and check out the cars and see the new paint schemes several of them will be sporting.
During the off-season we always hear lots of talk – dare I say rumors – about who is moving from one division to another, who is retiring from the sport and who is jumping into racing for the first time. Opening day is the time we actually see if all of this talk is for real.
So looking ahead to the 2014 season, it looks like the West Wood Estate Apartments Bandolero title is going to be wide open. Drew Greenlaw, the 2013 champ, is reportedly jumping into a Sportman car. There’ll be some new kids in Bando and it will be interesting to see who steps up in this exciting division.
Tyler Seveck became the first two-time Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter champ last year, winning the title on the last day of the season. If he’s back in that division, he’ll be in the title hunt, but there are plenty of other Sharp Shooters who’ll be taking aim at the title this season. *Note: After posting this story I heard another “rumor” – word has it that Tyler is going to move up to street stock!
One of the most emotional celebrations in 2014 occurred when Roger Slocum won the DMR Auto Sales & Service Street Stock title. Roger is anxious to defend his championship, but he’ll have a hard battle especially with a good crop of young drivers including Luc McLaughlin and T.J. Madore. And don’t count out Rick Cashol and some of the other street stock vets!
As for Luc, he was Sharp Shooter rookie of the year in 2011 before winning that championship the next year. Last season he took rookie of the year honours in street stock, so will the Flying Frenchman claim a major award for the fourth straight season? Only time will tell.
Greg Fahey made history last season when he became the first driver in the 20 year history of Speedway 660 to win street stock, sportsman and pro stock championships. Greg was a model of consistency in 2014 and used his years of experience to claim the Martins Home Heating Sportsman title. If he’s back in Sportsman this year, he’ll be tough. But I’m hearing we might see Greg run a few Pro-Stock Tour races in 2014.
Last season Dave O’Blenis made it back-to-back Re/Max Group Four Realty Pro Stock championships. His fourth Speedway 660 pro stock title might have been his most rewarding, considering he focused much of his time on the racing careers of his two young daughters. Dave may very well be the toughest champ to unseat in 2014!
Alexandra O’Blenis had a couple of historic firsts at Speedway 660 last season. She became the very first Lady to race a pro stock in the Geary Woods and she was the first person to run in three different divisions in the same year! In addition to her late season pro stock ride, Alexandra also raced bando and street stock machines during the course of the season. I hear she’ll be a Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman rookie of the year contender this year.
The beginning of a new racing season is always exciting. There will be lots of exciting story-lines and new history is just waiting to be written. But we’ll have to wait another week before we get to go racing.
Pre-tech and practice is scheduled to start at 1PM on Saturday (May 17th) and the Riverview Ford Season Opener is set for 2PM on Sunday (May 18th). Let’s just hope the weather co-operates so we can scoot on down to the Geary Woods to see all of our racing friends and hear those engines roar.
We’ll see you at the races!