SPEEDWEEKEND 2010 is almost here and everyone at Speedway 660 is gearing up for our region’s most anticipated racing event. The Auto Value 250 is the highlight of the weekend, but from early Friday evening until late Monday afternoon Speedway 660 will be alive with action.
Ten Big Years
It’s amazing how fast time flies. It seems like yesterday when we were getting ready to host our first SPEEDWEEKEND and wondering how it would be received by fans and race teams. We don’t have to wonder anymore because it has taken on a life of its own and has become a must-attend event for race fans in our region and beyond.
In the early years we used to be concerned about car count, but those days are long gone. These days we can expect upwards of 40 race teams for each of the big races on the weekend. The O’Leary Buick-GMC 150 and the Auto Value 250 are the premier races in Atlantic Canada for Sportsman and Pro Stock teams. A win in one of those races goes to the top of a driver’s resume.
There have been eight different pro stock winners in the first nine SPEEDWEEKENDs. Last year Lonnie Sommerville became the first two time winner. New Brunswickers have four wins – Shawn Tucker and Dave O’Blenis each have one to go with Lonnie’s two. Maine drivers have won three times. Kirk Thibeau, Scott Chubbuck and Johnny Clark have all turned the trick. Nova Scotia drivers have won twice. The late Scott Fraser and Craig Slaunwhite were winners. Prince Edward Island has been shut-out in the Auto Value 250, but this could be their year because they have a couple of heavy hitters on the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour.
Favourites – A Matter of Opinion
It’s really hard to pick an all out favourite heading into this year’s Auto Value 250. However it’s not hard to pick a few drivers who might turn the trick. Shawn Tucker leads the CARQUEST Tour and has a string of second place finishes in 2010. He would like nothing better than to win his first race of the season this weekend at Speedway 660.
Johnny Clark dominated the Pro All Star Series race here in June and loves this track. Lonnie Sommerville wants to be the first driver to win back to back 250s. Dave O’Blenis sure looked good winning the Pro Stock 150 a few weeks ago and is capable of winning this race for the second time. Ben Rowe is always a top competitor and will try to become a winner when he finally runs his first Auto Value 250.
I guess you could go on and on and talk about Wayne Smith, John Flemming, Scott Chubbuck, Travis Kittleson and others. The fact is there is no clear cut favourite.
Oh What a Night!
Last week we had Fan Appreciation and the Night of Champions at Speedway 660 and it was truly amazing racing. We crowned champions in five divisions and saw incredible battles in street stock, sportsman and pro stocks. All five of our division champs are Saturday Night Heroes, but I would say that Ken MacKenzie deserves special mention.
Ken, who joined us full time this year, was trailing Mike Banks by seven points at the start of the night and by the time the two drivers lined up for the feature they were tied. Fans couldn’t take their eyes off MacKenzie and Banks and the incredible see-saw battle they had for the championship. Ken finally bested Banks and took the title in his first season at Speedway 660.
See You at SPEEDWEEKEND 2010
Some people call it Labour Day Weekend, but we call it SPEEDWEEKEND. One thing is for sure there will be a lot of hard work taking place this weekend by the best race teams in the business. We look forward to experiencing another action-packed SPEEDWEEKEND at Speedway 660. See you there!