(May 31, 2017) This weekend all eyes in the northeastern North American short-track world will be on Speedway 660. A Pro All Star Series win in the only Atlantic Canadian PASS race would be a big deal, but six drivers are going to leave the Geary Woods happy. That’s because the top three Americans and top three Canadians in Saturday’s PASS 150 qualify for the 44th edition of the Oxford 250. Check out this week’s Conversation to find out what some of local drivers think about this weekend’s race.
A Conversation with some of the Canadian Hopefuls
Brent Roy: We’re gonna run it and see how we do. It’s always tough when those guys come to town, because they are some of the best race teams, not just in the northeast, but in all of North America. With a chance to race in the Oxford 250 on the line we’re excited and I’ve got full confidence in my team and our equipment. We’ll line up next to those guys with a plan to race hard, stay on the lead lap and try to save something for the final 20 laps. A podium finish would be nice, but to be one of the top three Canadians in this race is our ultimate goal.Brent Roy knows it’ll take a team effort to be successful in the PASS 150 this weekend at Speedway 660. “The Camry Kid” looks forward to seeing how his team stacks up against the Pro All Star Series squads!
Matt Harris: First off, we’re looking to better than the 9th place we got the last time they were here in 2014. We ran with them for a full season three years ago and it’s just a lot of fun running against those guys. The driver is just a little part of it, good equipment is important, but these races are won by the best team. We’ve got a good group and we’re going to beef up our team for the PASS 150 on Saturday. Last week, we were involved in a bad wreck and have got a lot of work to do back at the shop, but we’re planning to do what needs to be done to be ready.Matt Harris finished 9th in the PASS 150 at Speedway 660 back in 2014. He knows it will take a real team effort to get one of those Oxford 250 provisionals.
Sarah McKay: I’m excited to go racing with the Pro All Stars because they are so good to race with and it’s such hard competition. Of course being at Speedway 660 is huge, this is my favourite track, I feel confident here and I’m going to use my experience here to my advantage. I think my experience on the Parts for Trucks Maritime Tour will help a lot too, because I’m used to running longer races. In our 50 lap weekly races, you just give it up and go, but in the longer races you have to work out a strategy and stick with a goal of being the best car out there at the end of the race. Alan Munn, my crew chief, is going to make sure we are prepared to give it our best shot on Saturday.Sarah McKay is one of the most popular race car drivers in the Maritimes. This young lady has won national Go-Kart championships and Rookie of the Year Honours in Sportsman and the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour. This weekend she’s looking for a big run in the PASS 150.
Andrew McKay: I’m really excited to have a chance to race against the PASS guys. I’ve got a yellow rookie’s stripe on the back of my car but figure this is good opportunity to race against and learn from the best. I’m really proud of my daughter Sarah and what she has accomplished in this sport. I enjoy racing with her, but she has more experience, is better focused and has got really good reflexes, so it’s kind of hard for me to keep up with her. We’re both going to go out this weekend and give it our best shot, but Sarah will likely be the McKay to watch! Andrew McKay has always supported Sarah’s racing career. But after seeing how much fun she has in a race car, he decided to give it a go too. Although Andrew is Sarah’s Dad, he is the rookie and she is the racing veteran of the family!
Greg Fahey: I was really excited to see the Pro All Star Series race on the Speedway 660 schedule this year. It’s a great opportunity for the top three Canadian finishers to go to the Oxford 250 because that’s a huge race and it’s very hard to get into. I just hope we get a good starting position this weekend, stay up front and get a good finish. We come prepared every week, the Patterson Toyota is handling great and all I have to do is drive it. Andy Fox and the McLaughlin Roof Trusses race team are an amazing group and I’m just thankful to have the opportunity to drive their car. Greg Fahey has won seven championships at Speedway 660, including four Pro Stock division titles. Another championship is one goal, but Greg really wants to win one of these big races for car owner Andy Fox.
Matt Rodgers: I think it’s going to be fun. I always watched those guys when I was a kid, they are good, clean racers and it’s going to be a great experience to get out of the track with them. It’s always cool to watch those guys in big races move around on the track and change lines as the race goes on, you can kinda learn from them. At the same time, we’re out there to run our race and do the best we can. I don’t really think there is a home track advantage, because whenever you see these guys roll in for the McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250, they unload the cars, go out for a few practice laps, come to the pits, make some adjustments and go out and rattle off a quick time. They travel all over and are fast no matter where they go. It’ll take a real team effort this weekend, we’ll need everybody working together, I couldn’t do it without Dad, Grampy, Tyler, Andrew, Spencer and everyone else who helps out.Matt Rodgers watched the PASS races at 660 when he was a kid. On Saturday night he’ll have the chance to race alongside some of North America’s short-track legends
Dave O’Blenis: We’re still trying to sort out these tires, they are new for us this year and we’re trying to get a handle on them right now. I think we’re gaining on it and think we’ll be decent. We’ve got a good car, just gotta get her fine-tuned and see what we can do. You have to be prepared to face these guys, because they are some of the best short track racers in North America which means we’ve got to up our game. It’ll be fun, I’m looking forward to meeting some of those guys again because I know most of them and it’s always fun racing against them. We’re going to practice pit stops this week back at the shop because a great stop, during the race, can set you up for a good finish. It would be cool to get one of those Oxford provisionals, but we’re not going to think about that too much, we’ll just try to be the best we can be and see what that gets us.Dave O’Blenis has won some big Pro Stock and Sportsman races in the past and knows what it takes to get to victory lane. The five time RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock champ and former McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 winner would love to have another trip to victory lane come Saturday night.
Kevin Moore: We’re excited about it, especially with a chance to qualify for the Oxford 250 on the line. I’ve always wanted to run that big race down in Maine, but with a lower budget team, it’s hard to go down there with 70 other cars and try to qualify for the show. It’s a great opportunity for us and I feel like we’re going to be competitive because the car has been good so far this season. We like the new tire package here at 660 and since it’s the same tire PASS runs, we feel pretty good. Our team has really worked hard in the shop and at the track and they are going to play a big role in whatever success we have next weekend. We love these longer races and enjoy competing against the Americans. Kevin Moore had a podium finish in the first Pro Stock feature of 2017. “Big Kevin” knows his crew is going to give him a good car and would love to be able to punch their ticket to the Oxford 250 with a good showing on Saturday night.
Dylan Gosbee: There will be a lot of excellent competition because a lot of the local guys here are pretty quick and the PASS guys are going to be good too. Running on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour we don’t get to run the good shocks and tires that you guys and the PASS guys run. So we feel like we’re behind the 8 ball a little bit, but our big win in the 50 lap RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock feature at Speedway 660 last weekend is going to give us some confidence. The PASS North Series is second to none and we’re excited to compete against those guys. My goal is to be top three in the race, but being in the top three Canadians would work too. It would be awesome knowing we had a guaranteed starting position in the Oxford 250 before we left home in Prince Edward Island for the trip to southern Maine in August.Dylan Gosbee took the 91 to the “pay window” at Speedway 660 last Sunday afternoon. Fresh off that 50 lap Pro Stock victory, this calm, cool and collected Prince Edward Islander is looking for a repeat performance in the PASS 150!