(July 24, 2017) Last Saturday truly was an amazing night at Speedway 660. The Sportsman Firecracker 150, the Pro Stocks, Street Stocks, Sharp Shooters combined with an incredible Christmas in July promotion was just what the doctor ordered. Everybody, I mean everybody I ran into in the Geary Woods had a big smile on their face. That’s because the weather was finely fine, the racing was superb as always and with Santa in attendance you couldn`t help but sport a big grin!
2017 has given us more than our share of rain-outs, rain-dates and unsettled weather, even on the days we were able to race. Last Saturday was just a perfect night at Speedway 660. We`ve had incredible racing all season long, but with one eye on the track and the other on the sky looking for rain clouds we just hadn`t been able to build the momentum we`re used to seeing in the Geary Woods. During the driver intros for the Firecracker 150 it was nice to look up into the stands and see a great crowd on hand for an awesome evening of racing.
Saturday night`s crowd reflected the weather. Both the crowd and weather were outstanding! That`s what we`ve needed all along and hopefully that`s what we`ll get for the rest of the season. With the Clark Chevrolet Best of the Best Pro Stock 150 on the schedule this Saturday night, I can feel the momentum building.
Sometimes people ask me what is it about racing that attracts me after all these years? After all I`ve been in the announce booth at 660 for 24 years. Add some time behind the microphone at RiverGlade Speedway and many years in the stands as a kid down there watching my Dad and other guys race. That’s almost a lifetime hangin around short-tracks.This kind of on-track action and hangin around with my racin buddies in the stands is what I got excited about back when I first started going to the races in the 60’s. A lot has changed over the years, but what hasn’t changed is the friendliness of the people in our sport.
Racing like anything else has its high and low points, but a night like last Saturday night reminds us what an amazing sport this really is. Yeah the racin on the track is what we all come for, but the human side of things is what really moves me.
For example on Saturday night, Dave O’Blenis loses a hard fought battle with Dustin Tucker and settles for second in the RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock feature. But Dave knew the significance of the moment, congratulating the young driver on his first-ever win.Dave O’Blenis embraces Dustin Tucker after the RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock feature on Saturday night. The five-time champion knows how important that first career win is to a young driver.
Then there were three or four kids who came up to the tower together to win prizes, who were vibrating with excitement. They told me Brent Roy had just sat down with them in the stands for a few minutes to talk about racing. He also signed autographs and gave them “Camry Kid” hats and t-shirts. They were stoked about it and now they have a new favourite driver.Brent Roy remembers how his racin heroes treated him when he came to the races as a little kid. That’s why the “Camry Kid” always has time to hang out with youngsters who come to the races now.
My brother Craig, who lives in Albert County, was up for a visit last weekend. He wandered around the pits before the races started and was amazed how friendly everyone was. He said Andrew McKay spent ten minutes chatting with him about racing and Drew Greenlaw’s Grandfather talked with him about everything from his grandson’s racing career to the Raye’s Mustard factory down in Eastport, Maine.Speedway 660 is a friendly place. Smiling faces are a common sight and it’s easy to make new friends in the stands or in the pits.
The human element is what sets our sport aside from all the others. People are genuinely friendly and love to talk about racing and share their passion for our sport with other folks. It doesn’t matter if you have been coming to 660 since our first race on July 20th, 1994 or show up for the very first time this coming weekend, you’ll be treated like family. And that’s what truly moves me about racing!
People I hardly know or don’t know at all will come up and initiate a conversation about racing. You can talk to everyone and everyone will talk with you. When you go to 660 everyone knows you love or are at least interested in racing, so we’ve all got that in common and it’s easy to start a conversation.Street Stock sensation Destiny Enkel loves meeting and talking with fans. It’s pretty easy to find someone to have a conversation with when you come to the races at Speedway 660.
I probably should have been writing more about the Firecracker 150 or this weekend’s Best of the Best 150, but I think once in awhile we all need to be reminded about the personal side of racing. Like Laurie Cormier’s dash to the front in the Firecracker and the broad smile he sported on the podium after one of the biggest Sportsman races of the season.
Or Glyn and Brenda Nott’s ongoing love for the sport. Glyn retired at the end of last season after almost three decades. He lost his Dad during the off-season and was back at 660 Saturday night with a cash contingency award, in memory of Glyn Senior. Cormier smiled an even bigger smile not because of the extra cash, but because he was honoured to be chosen for an award in memory of one of the pioneers of our sport.Glyn Nott presents Laurie Cormier with a nice cash contingency award in memory of Glyn Senior. Last Saturday was a time to reflect on how much this sport really means to everyone and how fortunate we are to be members of the racing fraternity and family.
“That’s Racin” is what my old buddy Hughie Yorke used to say. Those two words can mean so much and we see positive examples of it every time we come down to the Geary Woods.
The Clark Chevrolet Best of the Best Pro Stock 150 is on this weekend. It’ll be awesome and it’ll be another shot in the arm for our sport and the people who love it.
Thanks for taking the time to check out this edition of the “Weekly”.
We’ll see you at the races!