We sure saw some show last Saturday night at Speedway 660! The PASS North 150 lived up to and exceeded expectations. We saw incredible performances by our very own Street Stock and Sportsman drivers too. This coming weekend we’ll turn our attention to our youngest drivers who’ll entertain us in a 30 lap Bando Blast.
Sharing PASS Moments
How about those Pro All Star Series Drivers? Weren’t they amazing? It’s a long drive from Hallowell, Maine to the Geary Woods but it’s a drive Johnny Clark doesn’t mind making. Think about it – Clark has won the last four PASS races at Speedway 660! None of them have been easy, but each time Johnny has found a way to get to the Riverview Ford Victory Lane.“The Last Train to Clarksville” – the Monkees 1966 hit single always reminds me of Johnny Clark. Perhaps Speedway 660 should be renamed “Clarksville”. Imagine – four PASS victories and an Auto Value 250 win in his last six trips to the Geary Woods!
It’s been a long while since we’ve seen the kind of dominance Johnny Clark has exhibited at Speedway 660. In our early years no one wanted to run the high groove here, until “Fearless” Frankie Fraser’s boy showed them how to get it done. I used to call our track “Fraserville” because Scott won so many big races here that he practically owned the place. In July, 2003 Scott Fraser (center) showed the PASS boys a thing or two when they came to visit us. Fraser won the PASS race that year, while Ben Rowe (right) and Johnny Clark (left) settled for 2nd and 3rd. It was one of the last times we would see Scottie in action. In March of 2004, the racing community was shocked and saddened to hear he died in a snowmobile accident.
I was amazed at how the top PASS competitors can run side by side and bumper to bumper without causing cautions. The Service Master Clean Cautions we did see on Saturday night were caused by drivers mid-pack or at the rear of the field. But up front Clark, D.J. Shaw, Joey Doiron, Glen Luce, Cassius Clark and Martin Latulippe and a few others raced hard lap after lap without taking each other out.
And how about Cole Boudreau and Sarah MacKay? Cole finished 10th and Sarah brought her car home 13th. What’s more, they both finished on the lead lap and didn’t damage their cars. Cole, a RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock rookie of the year contender, and Sarah going for rookie of the year in the Carquest Pro Stock Tour were absolutely _________ (go-ahead fill in the blank)!It wasn’t that long ago that Cole Boudreau was winning races and a championship in our Bando division. Nowadays Cole is progressing nicely on the Pro Stock “fast-track” at Speedway 660. Great run in that PASS race Cole!
The Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman feature was an incredible race too. Andrew Rodgers loosened up Brent Roy and drove underneath for the lead, but Brent battled back to go to the point before Andrew got around him again for the win. Richard Martin told me it reminded him of the days when Brian Gillespie and Bradley Logan had those kind of battles out at Speedway 660. Ain’t that the truth!
Speaking of Andrew Rodgers, I owe the kid an apology. Last week in this space I told you that Dawson MacIntee was the youngest driver ever to win a Sportsman feature and I also said I thought he was the youngest to ever win a feature in any of our top three divisions. Well, guess what? I thought wrong!
Tim Terry and I were walking through the pits on Saturday having a little chat, when Andrew approached us. Young Andrew politely reminded me he was just a young pup when he won a Street Stock feature here two years ago. When I asked him how young, without blinking he replied: “Fourteen years, two months and ten days”. I stand corrected – The youngest driver ever to win a feature in one of Speedway 660’s top three divisions is Andrew Rodgers who had barely turned 14 when he won this Street Stock feature in August, 2011.
Now that I have consumed my serving of crow which is mighty hard to stomach, especially for a vegetarian, it’s time to move on.
How about Rick Cashol? Just when some fans were thinking or even saying out loud that “Father Time” had caught up with him, Ricky goes out and wins the feature. It was a dominating win too. Before I had a chance to ask Rick, in his post race interview, about those orange wheels, he said he did them up to honour the memory of “Smokin” Joe Albert.Remembering “Smokin Joe”. Rick Cashol dedicated his feature win on Saturday night to racing legend Joe Albert. “Smokin Joe” passed away during the off-season and we all miss him.
Rick and Joe had some unbelievable battles here at Speedway 660. Joe in his trademark orange 04 and Cashol in his white 54. They didn’t always see eye to eye, but they respected each other and I swear Rick had a tear in his eye when he was talking about Smokin Joe in victory lane on Saturday night. So much for being “The Villain”!Rick Cashol (left) and “Smokin Joe” Albert (the bearded one) share a ride one night last season when we honoured Speedway 660’s former Street Stock champions. Joe was a beloved figure in the Geary Woods where he “owned” the Most Popular Driver Award.
Coming up this weekend the Westwood Estate Apartments Bandolero Division drivers are ready to put on a show for our fans. The 30 lap Bando Blast is going to be a lot of fun. These rising young stars are fun to watch and they get pretty racey out on the track. In the pits they help each other out and in the campground area they all hang out together. They race hard, but they’re friends. Kinda like Roy and Rodgers – of course Brent and Andrew are still kids too!
Having a blast! On Saturday night Speedway 660 is proud to present the fastest kids in the Maritimes in the 30 lap Bando Blast. It’ll be a lot of fun for everyone, so come on down to the Geary Woods and check it out!
There’s so much happening in our sport these days and so many story lines. So I want to finish up with one that in my books is pretty amazing. We all know that Richard and Anne Martin love racing and they love it here at Speedway 660. They bring us the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman Division each week.
In just over a week we’ll see the first big Sportsman race of the season. On Saturday night I did an interview with Richard who told our fans and drivers that the family business is putting up some extra cash for the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman 100. It will now pay $3 Grand to win! Not only that, there is extra money added for every other finisher between 2nd and 10th.Richard and Anne Martin are dedicated to Speedway 660 and especially the Sportsman Division that bears their company name. These race fans, turned marketing partners, have given race teams all over our region good reason to show up for the Martin’s Home Heat 100 on June 21st.
Sportsman car counts all over the Maritimes are down this year. Mind you, the Sportsman racing here at 660 has been great, but it’ would be nice to see more cars out there. The Martin’s know how expensive it is for race teams to compete and have decided to put their money where their mouths are, so-to-speak. So let’s hope all you Sportsman drivers out there make tracks to the Geary Woods on Saturday, June 21st for one of the biggest races of the year.
And thank-you Anne and Richard for your dedication to the sport we all love and for your friendship.
We’ll see you at the races!