(May 10th, 2023) – The 30th season of competition commences at Speedway 660 on Saturday May 13th with the Riverview Ford Season Opener. It will be one for the record books, with the debut of Atlantic Canada’s new Super Late Model Series headlining the event with a 150-lap feature, with upwards of 30 cars expected to attend. Not to be outdone, the action will also be thrilling from the Speedway 660 house classes. The Sportsman division, Shur-Fit Automotive, Bumper to Bumper Street Stocks, and Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter division join the Super Late Model Series and Atlantic Modified Tour to kick-off their points championship chases for the 2023 season.
Start time for the event is 4pm. Pit gates open at 9am and grandstand gates open at 3pm. Fans can purchase advanced tickets via ShowPass (https://www.showpass.com/s660race1/) or purchase tickets at the gate on race day. It is encouraged to purchased advanced tickets and / or arrive early on race day to avoid lineups and catch all the action!
See the official Super Late Model Series event preview and entry list on their website here: https://www.slms.ca/post/dawn-of-slms-era-set-for-saturday
O’Blenis Sisters Lead Sportsman Division Into New Season
Alexandra O’Blenis (#74) enters the 2023 season as the reigning two-time Sportsman champion at Speedway 660, and the competition will be looking to knock her off the throne. No one will be hungrier to do so then her own sister, Courtney O’Blenis (#48c) who finished runner-up to the elder O’Blenis in both Speedway 660 and Petty International Raceway championship points one season ago.
It will be a different dynamic in 2023 for the Sportsman division, as the points championship will be contested between the two tracks at Petty International Raceway and Speedway 660. The 10-race joint championship series will see one champion crowned between the two tracks. Expect plenty of competitors to set their sights on this championship, including long-time veteran “The Old Musket”, Richard Atkinson (#40). Maine competitor Drew Greenlaw (#23) will be making the trek across the border – Drew took the victory in the Sportsman division in the Riverview Ford Season Opener one year ago. Caleb Urquhart (#11) will be a driver to watch after his year-end rise to prominence in the class. Fans will also be excited for the Nackawic Nite-Train to make a triumphant return to the Sportsman division, as two-time defending Sharp Shooter champion BJ Gillespie (#69) brings the historic entry back to the class.
The Sportsman feature at the Riverview Ford Season Opener is slated to be 75 laps in distance.
Heated Street Stock Points Battle Brewing
The Shur-Fit Automotive, Bumper to Bumper Street Stock division is staring down an intense championship battle in 2023, as many top drivers have put their focus on winning the title. Rick Cashol (#54) enters as the defending champion after scoring his historic sixth Speedway 660 Street Stock championship one year ago. One of his toughest competitors may be a driver that he tangled with during the D. Gillespie & Sons Trucking 100 on Speedweekend last year, Justin Cole (#38). Cole has scaled back in recent seasons but has committed to making another attempt at a long awaited championship this summer.
While Cashol and Cole were battling, 2018 track champion Shawn Hyslop (#99) emerged victorious. Hyslop will certainly be a threat to win his second championship. Ron Enkel (#52) is fresh off runner-up points finish and Rookie of the Year honours one season ago, and is ready for his sophomore campaign. Jonathan Hanley (#16), Nicholas MacKenzie (#48), Christian Savoie (#25), and Jimmy Sommerville (#5) have all additionally filed entries for the upcoming season.
The Riverview Ford Season Opener will feature a 30-lap main event for the Shur-Fit Automotive, Bumper to Bumper Street Stocks – the first of ten scheduled races for the class in 2023.
Championship Wide Open in Sharp Shooter Division
The last 2 seasons have been the BJ Gillespie story in the Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter Division, but as he transitions to a Sportsman car for 2023, the championship battle will be wide open. As of press time, twenty-three (23) registrations have been filed by competitors for the Sharp Shooter division, with even more expected as the season gets underway.
Fresh off a second-place finish in points, Alex Gallant (#5) will be a favorite to improve his position in final points and take the championship. Through the field, veteran drivers like Randy Titus (#75) and Darren Wilcox (#32) will promise to contend. Jesse Madore (#16) rose to the occasion many times in 2022 and is widely regarded as one to watch. Wesley Harnish (#61) found victory lane last season as well and will look to find it more often this year.
It’s a deep field that will have lots of talented drivers with a healthy mix of rookies. Randy Storey (#92), Austin Harnish (#13), Curtis Tremblay (#00), and Brandon Young (#21) are drivers who have made their presence felt in recent seasons. Among the early return for rookies includes Terry Lawson (#14), Eli Malloy (#96), Jesse Savoie (#96) and John Richard (#7).
Thirty (30) laps will be the distance for the Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter division at the Riverview Ford Season Opener.
Atlantic Modified Tour Kicks-Off 2023 Season
Part of the excitement for opening day will also be the season opener for the Atlantic Modified Tour. It will be the first of five stops in the Geary Woods for the series. Braxton Stafford (#91) picked up his lone win of his championship season one year ago at Speedway 660. Chris Wilson (#2W) and Travis Conroy (#7) also found victory lane last year. A great race is sure to be on tap from the mighty modifieds, stay tuned to their website “atlanticmodifieds.com” for more info. The Atlantic Modified Tour feature is slated to have a 35-lap distance.
Stay Up to Date, and In The Know!
Grandstand tickets for the Riverview Ford Season Opener are $30 each. Returning for the 2023 season at Speedway 660, all youth aged 15 and under will be admitted into the grandstands for free! Pit admission is $40 per person and requires the electronic waiver form to be completed in advance – you only have to complete this waiver once for the entire season. New for 2023, youth that are a direct family member of a driver (either a sibling or child) will be permitted to enter the pits will a completed parental consent waiver being completed. Note – the Speedway 660 ticket office accepts cash and debit, but the canteen and other amenities are cash only.
For all up-to-date info from Speedway 660, check us out online at Speedway660.com, or find them on Facebook at “Speedway 660”.
About Speedway 660:
Speedway 660 is one of Canada’s premier stock car racing facilities. Located in New Brunswick’s Fredericton region, it has attracted race teams and fans from the Maritimes, New England and Quebec since 1994. The Speedway 660 racing season runs from mid May until late September. SpeedWeekend, one of the most prestigious short track events in eastern North America, is the marquee event of the Speedway 660 season on Labour Day Weekend.