(May 23, 2017) It sure was nice to get back to the race track on the weekend. The biggest season opener crowd in several years was treated to an entertaining afternoon of racing at Atlantic Canada’s number one track. Fan-friendly Speedway 660 delivered the first event of the season and left everyone anxious to return for more this coming weekend.
It’s Nice to be back at the track!
It was amazing to see everyone after the long off-season. Folks were smiling, shaking hands, patting each other on the back and kidding around in the stands and pits. The other thing I always notice on opening weekend is how beautiful those race cars are. The teams put a lot of hours in over the winter to make the cars fast and to make them shine! In a way it’s almost a shame to put them out on the track, because after all racing is a contact sport.Kids lined up to get autographs from Alexandra O’Blenis on Sunday afternoon. Our drivers enjoy these “meet the fans” events as much as the fans do!
For the first time since we started racing in 1994, the Nott Racing Team wasn’t in the pits. Glyn Junior retired after last season and “Poppy” Nott passed away in January. Everyone misses not seeing the 12 car on the track and that team down in the pits.Let’s go back to 2008 when Glyn Nott won the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman 100. For the first time since 1994 Nott Racing is not fielding a car at Speedway 660.
The racing was pretty spectacular during the Riverview Ford Season Opener. The car count was down a little in the Sharp Shooter Division, but the field should grow in the weeks to come. Street Stock, Sportsman and Pro Stock numbers were really good and it was nice to see some familiar drivers return to 660.
I was particularly pleased with the caliber of Street Stock racing. After seeing the two dominant drivers move up to Sportsman, I kinda wondered what we were going to see from the Street Stocks. They didn’t take long to let everyone know that this old school division was going to be as competitive as ever in 2017.The DMR Auto Sales Street Stock division is going to be as “old school” as it ever was. If you like hard-nosed racing you’ll find it right here in the Geary Woods.
The Sportsman division was pretty darn good too. The car count was up and the racing was great. And the Pro Stock division just keeps growing and getting better every year.
Kyle MacKinnon, Luc McLaughlin, Drew Greenlaw and Greg Fahey won the features on Sunday. They all looked sharp and they all looked like championship contenders. These teams were well prepared and you could tell they did their homework and were ready to race hard at the drop of the first green flag.Luc McLaughlin (#11), a former Street Stock champ, is back in the hot seat after sitting in the stands for awhile. Luc served notice on Sunday that he’ll be a force to be reckoned with this season.
There are several rookies in the Speedway 660 roster this year and a couple of them really stood out on Sunday. Ryan Messer, who has won championships in everything he has ever raced, looked right at home in his first Pro Stock outing. He did spin out once, but recovered nicely and after starting at the back in the feature rolled to a fourth place finish in the 50 lapper. Very impressive Ryan! Just as impressive was young Curtis Collins. In his first Sportsman race, Curtis who just moved up from the Sharp Shooter division, finished sixth. Nicely done!It’s not easy jumping up a division or two in our sport. But Curtis Collins looked really good in his first-ever Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman race. Young Collins won some features in his little Sharp Shooter and will be looking for victory lane in the 27 Sportsman.
However, the most impressive thing on opening day, in my books at least, was the number of fans in the stands. I didn’t count heads, but the crowd was pretty big. Speedway 660 has started to utilize social media in a big way and that, I believe, is paying off. Twitter, FaceBook and the website all are playing a big role in getting the word out that Speedway 660 is the place to be this summer.
On Sunday we had several visitors to the track including Jonathan Gahan’s grandparents from Newfoundland. Randy Lewis, from San Clemente, California was also in the stands. Randy is the “World’s #1 Trackchaser. He has been to races in 74 countries and his visit to Speedway 660 was track number 2,322! Last Friday Randy watched a race in Texas, on Saturday he was at Oxford Plains in Maine and on Sunday he came to the Geary Woods. He’s retired, he loves racing and told me he was impressed that we started on time, wasted no time between races and had extremely entertaining and competitive racing.Sometimes we take the quality of racing that we see every week at Speedway 660 for granted. And sometimes it takes someone from away to tell us how good our racing really is!
Week one was great, but it’s only the beginning of an action packed season of racing. Now we turn our attention to next Sunday. Tim’s Corner Motorsports presents the Bandolero Spring Shootout. Combine that with all four of our weekly racing divisions and you’ve got a fantastic afternoon of short-track racing. Then on Saturday, June 3rd we race under the lights for the first time in 2017 with the PASS 150. But more on that next week.
Come back to the 660 web site later this week for a Conversation with Tim Terry, who tells us about the Bando Spring Shootout and talks a little racin with us.
Thanks for checking us out and remember, we’ll see you at the races!