OK, we’ve had our share of April and May showers and now it’s time to get some serious racing in. After two straight rain-outs, we’ll combine the Riverview Ford Season Opener and KIDS Night when Speedway 660 kicks off its 2014 season at 7PM this Saturday.
Practice Makes Perfect!
I cruised on down to the Geary Woods last Saturday afternoon for the Pre-Season Tech and Practice Day. I met up with Tim Terry, from www.TimsCorner.ca, down in the pits and we spent some time catching up after not seeing each other since SpeedWeekend 2013.
Tim and I checked out the tech shed, which saw a constant parade of race cars from five divisions. It was amazing to see Donnie Greer and his capable crew of techies inspect the cars, ask drivers questions and either approve the cars for competition or send them back to their pit stalls for more work.
Donnie Greer (right) is Speedway 660’s Chief Tech Inspector. Donnie and his crew make sure all of the cars in our five divisions are safe and pass Pre-Season Tech Inspection before being allowed on the track.
Safety is paramount in this sport and its important heading into a new season to make sure everything from roll cages, safety harnesses, fire extinguishers and kill switches are all up to par and fully functional. The Pre-Season visits to the tech shed are also designed to make sure the cars in each division are all on a level playing field. Rules and specs are all strictly enforced.
During our conversation, I asked Tim if he was coming up for the Pro All Star Series race on June 7th. When he said he was, I asked him if he would join me in the tower to call the race. I was really pleased when Tim agreed to my request. Tim and I have worked the last few SpeedWeekends together and have a lot of fun calling the races. We’ve established a pretty good rapport behind the mic and I look forward to working with Tim again in early June!
Tim Terry, the “Voice of the Maritime Pro Stock Tour”, has interviewed a lot of drivers over the past few years including Joey Logano who is having a break-out season in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series.
I got to watch a fair amount of the practice on Saturday and was pretty amazed with just how fast some of the rookies were. Alexandra O’Blenis, Drew Greenlaw and Dawson McIntee are all competing for Rookie of the Year honours in the Martins Home Heating Sportsman Division. These kids are awesome and I was really blown away by how smooth Alex was in her sportsman ride.
The older of the two O’Blenis girls just kept getting quicker and quicker with every practice session. She kept improving by a couple of tenths every time out and showed a lot of poise in traffic. And having her Grandfather as her spotter is pretty cool too! Courtney, the younger O’Blenis daughter, is back for one more year in the Bando division. She’ll be in the thick of things for that championship in 2014.
Courtney O’Blenis will be carrying on a “family tradition” when she suits up in the Bando Division at Speedway 660’s season opener on Saturday night. Courtney and her sister Alexandra are two of our rising stars!
I had a little sit-down with young Greenlaw up in the stands in the pits. What a great kid! Drew, our 2013 West Wood Estate Apartments Bandolero champion, is pretty happy to be moving up to Sportsman. He’s got a lot of support from back home in Eastport, Maine. Many of his sponsors are from down there and lots of folks come up every week to see him race.
Drew also plays a little baseball. He pitches and plays first and third base too. Greenlaw is also a decent basketball player. Little wonder, the Grade Ten student has sprouted into a lanky six footer so it stands to reason he’s pretty good at hoops! But there is no doubt that his number one sport is racing.
I also saw Bradley Logan in the pits. We reminisced a bit about bygone years, but he was more interested in talking about what is happening in the sport these days. Bradley is excited about the youth movement in racing and says the Bando and Sharp Shooter divisions have become a great feeder system. Logan says he still has the old number 37, but “just like me, she’s pretty much wore out.” I’ll never forget those championship seasons and how Bradley Logan thrilled race fans on many a Saturday night in the Geary Woods!
Bradley Logan won the Sportsman Feature, six years ago this coming Saturday night, at the 2008 Riverview Ford Season Opener. Logan is one of the top Sportsman drivers of all time at Speedway 660!
It was great to get out and see lots of folks from the Speedway 660 racing family. I had a chance to say hello to many of them including Glyn Nott Senior. “Poppy Nott” continues to be the Grand Patriarch of the Speedway 660 pit area. He’s been involved in racing for five decades or so and is the “go-to-guy” when someone from another team has a problem they can’t quite figure out. “Senior” has seen it all and can pretty much always figure out how to get a race car back out on the track!
Glyn Nott Senior (far right behind the car) is one of the most knowledgeable guys in the Speedway 660 pits. “Poppy Nott” has been around this sport for at least a half a century and continues to be crew chief on Junior’s Pro Stock Team.
I’m glad I took in last Saturday’s Pre-Season Tech and Practice Day or else I wouldn’t have had much to write about in this Weekly Blog! By the way, come back to www.Speedway660.com later in the week for a Conversation with MacKenzie Brewer, one of our exciting young Bando boys!
And get ready for the Riverview Ford Season Opener and KIDS Night, next Saturday at 7PM. We’ll see you at the races!