(May 7, 2017) The countdown is on for Speedway 660’s 24th season. It all gets underway with an inspection and practice session this coming Saturday, May 13th and the Riverview Ford Season Opener on Sunday, the 14th. It’s been a long winter and fans and race teams are anxious to head on back to the Geary Woods.
We’re all excited to go racin in 2017, but we’re going to miss one of Speedway 660’s real gentlemen this season. Glyn Nott Senior passed away, during the off-season, and it’ll be difficult walking down through the pits knowing that he’s not going to be there. Senior, best known as “Poppy” to his grand-children and many race fans, loved racing almost as much as he loved his family. Our sport was in his blood – he lived and breathed racing and had a wealth of knowledge about the history of our sport. He could fix anything on a race car and oftentimes some of his “old school” tactics astonished many of the “new age” mechanics!That’s “Poppy Nott”, sitting side-saddle on his wheeler, with J.R. and Brenda alongside. Senior will sure be missed down at 660 when we go racin this weekend.
Senior was one of the first guys I met when New Brunswick International Speedway opened back in 94. He was always a joy to hang out with in the pits or back at the campfire in the campground and I loved listening to him tell racing stories from the old days. We’ll miss you my friend.
Last weekend I saw some real nice race cars and ran into a lot of racing folks down at FrexRod, the Capital City’s annual car show. Speedway 660 thanks all of the race teams who took their cars to the show to help promote our sport. Richard Atkinson, one of our “old muskets” was at the FrexRod car show in Fredericton. Richard spent a lot of time talking with folks, promoting our brand of racing and encouraging them to come out to Speedway 660 this summer for some incredible family entertainment!
Opening weekend at the track is always a great time. We haven’t seen a lot of people since SpeedWeekend and it’ll be kinda like a family reunion when we all get together for the first time in 2017 at Speedway 660. Everybody will sport big smiles and you’ll be able to feel the excitement in the air. The start of a new season is always a special time of the year for race fans.I always enjoy getting to the track early, especially on opening weekend, to stroll through the pits and say hello to all of the folks I haven’t seen since SpeedWeekend. You would have to go a long way to find a friendlier group of people.
There’s been some news floating around about drivers moving up divisions and new drivers coming into our sport. I’ve heard a few rumblings, but have learned to wait until the Riverview Season Opener to actually see who shows up ready to race.
But I do know that Ryan Messer is moving up to the Re/Max Pro Stock Division. Messer, who captured the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman title last season, will join the McLaughlin Roof Trusses stable. That means Ryan and Greg Fahey will be team-mates, so watch for those guys to be a formidable force this year.Ryan Messer and his Mom (Penny) and Dad (Robb) were all smiles after Ryan captured the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman rookie of the Year Award last season. Watch for this kid to keep having success when he buckles into a pro stock this season.
Staying with pro stock, I hear that Shawn Warren is jumping from sportsman into our highest class. And apparently Sarah McKay is headed back to her home track, after a couple of pretty good years on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour. Sarah’s Dad, Andrew is reportedly going to field a pro stock car too. I also hear that Dave O’Blenis, who ran a part time schedule last season, will be back in pursuit of a 6th pro stock championship. I am sure there will be some other surprises in our top division when the green flag flies this coming weekend.
We know that Courtney O’Blenis will jump from the DMR Auto Sales Street Stock division to join her sister Alexandra in the sportsman ranks. Courtney and Rob Raynes had a wicked battle for the street stock title last year, with Rob grabbing his second straight crown on the 2016 Night of Champions.The O’Blenis girls will both be running Sportsman this year. Courtney (right) and Alexandra (left) continue working their way up through the ranks and providing fans with lots of thrills along the way. That’s Corrie, their proud Mom in the middle!
Speaking of Rob, I hear he has a new car and is making the jump to sportsman as well. He ran in that division a few years ago, but came back to street stock where he won the last two championships. I figure sportsman will be tough enough this year with 2016 Rookie of the Year Jacob Logan and Drew Greenlaw both eyeing the championship trophy. I’m sure there are others who will make a run for glory as well.
I understand Riley Goodwin has a new street stock ride this year. After battling a few mechanical issues, early last season, young Riley got it all together and finished strong winning Rookie of the Year honours. This kid will be a contender this season in Speedway 660’s “old school” division. We saw Shawn Hyslop back in a street stock for the last couple of races in 2016 and I’m wondering if he’ll be back fulltime this season. I also hear Luc MacLaughlin, the Flying Frenchman, is coming back to race. And I believe Matt Crocker is jumping to street stock too.Matt Crocker hopped into a street stock last August, after a couple of great years in a sharp shooter. If he runs full-time this year, he’ll have a good shot at Rookie of the Year and maybe even a championship. That’s just how good this young man is on the race track.
The Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter division always brings fans to the edge of their seats. Who knows what has been going on in the garages in the Fredericton area this past winter? I’m sure the fur will fly when these guys and gals go racing. Kyle MacKinnon, last year’s sharp shooter champ, will be back to defend the sharp shooter title.The Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters provide fans with this kind of excitement every weekend at Speedway 660. Its an affordable brand of racing that allows anyone to buckle up to go racing and have some fun!
The 2017 season opener is just around the corner. Make sure to encourage all of your friends to make tracks to Speedway 660 this weekend for the Pre-Season Inspection and Practice on Saturday at 1PM and the Riverview Ford Season Opener on Sunday at 2PM.
We’ll see you at the races!