There’s a youth movement happening at Speedway 660. DQ Kids Night and the District School Challenge is happening this weekend. More about that in a bit, but first things first: what a start to the 2010 racing season.
People are still talking about the caliber of racing, the car count, the big crowd and the weather at our season opener. Drivers and their race teams in street stock, sportsman and pro stock were in mid-season form and the two new divisions were a huge hit.
The youth movement is taking flight in the Bandolero and four cylinder divisions. Ryan Messer, winner of the Bandits, is all of eight or nine years of age and the only thing smoother than his driving skills is his ability to handle the Victory Lane interview. Fifteen year old “Young Gun” DJ Casey was impressive too. Kevin Dunster, who just turned 17, has an obvious passion for racing and is going to be a top competitor in the four cylinder division.
Kids are the future of our sport and for some of them the future is now. For example John Rankin, who out-dueled a number of veterans to win the 2009 Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman Division Championship, was still young enough to be living with his parents last season. And Brent Roy, who many folks predict will be a strong contender for the Sportsman title this year, is still a teenager.
And then there is Jordan Gahan. This second generation driver has jumped into a pro stock car he built as part of a project for his studies at Leo Hayes High School. Jordan, who raised more than a few eye-brows by setting his sights on our sport’s fastest division, did a great job on opening night. He brought his number 16 home in 9th spot in a 15 car pro stock field and that’s pretty impressive.
Kids and racing, it’s always amazing to see the enthusiasm of our youngest competitors and fans. Whether it’s on the track or in the stands the kids in the Speedway 660 family are truly amazing. Racing to the stripe for the checkered flag or scurrying up the stairs of the tower to win a prize our kids are pretty special and we sure are proud of them.
And that brings us around to the DQ Kids Night and District School challenge which goes this Saturday. There will be hundreds, maybe even thousands of kids at “The 660” this weekend. DQ always brings along lots of their famous frozen treats, there’s the front stretch candy scramble and lots of fun for kids of all ages. And don’t forget about the racing, it’s guaranteed to be awesome.
Ken MacKenzie is a veteran driver from down Salisbury way, but was as enthusiastic and happy as any kid when he finished 3rd in the 25 car Sportsman season opener feature. Ken, his family and crew came up to Speedway 660 on Friday for practice and set up camp for the weekend.
Unfortunately racing has fallen on hard times in the Moncton area and we can only hope that “Team MacKenzie” and some of the other great competitors from that region will come up the big highway to race with us this season. We already know there are lots of fans from “The Hustlin Hub” in our stands every week and we extend an open invitation for drivers from that neck of the woods to visit us too.
There were lots of contenders on opening night for our first 2010 Saturday Night Hero. Matt Matheson, Glyn Nott and Shawn Tucker all won Robin’s Inn hat trick awards in their respective divisions. However, from this vantage point, Ryan Messer is our first Saturday Night Hero of the year. Ryan, who has not yet turned ten, along with the other Bandolero youngsters put on a great show. They truly are the future of our sport.
Tell your family, friends, neighbours, school-mates and co-workers about the excitement at Speedway 660 and we’ll see y’all this Saturday night.