(July 26th, 2023) – Santa Claus makes his annual mid-summer pit stop in the Geary Woods Saturday night, as part of festivities for Speedway 660’s popular Christmas in July race! Headlining an action-packed weekend, Christmas in July is always a highly anticipated event that features a Christmas theme with plenty of excitement on and off the track, and a visit from Santa himself! The second Power Wheels race of 2023 is also part of the festivities in addition to a full slate of short track racing!
After a near month long mid-summer break, drivers in all classes will be hoping Santa delivers them a trophy in Riverview Ford victory lane. As the midpoint of the season is reached, attention gets turned to championship battles and Speedweekend prep for competitors. This will be particularly true for the Sportsman division – which returns to the track for the first time since May for the rescheduled C.B. Warren’s Auto Care Sportsman 100! Being just the second Sportsman race of the season, drivers have not had many opportunities to turn laps around Speedway 660, which could set the stage for an unpredictable race.
In addition to the C.B. Warrens Auto Care Sportsman 100, this Saturday night showdown will see all four Speedway 660 house divisions in action contesting championship points racing! The Re/Max East Coast Elite Pro Stocks, Shur-Fit Automotive, Bumper to Bumper Street Stocks, and Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters are set for thrilling races, with action getting underway Saturday July 29th at 6:30pm.
Greenlaw Leads Sportsman Drivers into C.B Warrens Auto Care 100
You have to go back to May for the last time Sportsman drivers competed at Speedway 660 after a few rain outs – but it was Drew Greenlaw (#23) who was victorious that day in a heated late race battle over Brady Creamer (#10). Greenlaw has since also scored a feature victory down the road at Petty International Raceway as part of the joint ten-race Sportsman series between the tracks, as have Courtney O’Blenis (#48) and Koven Lewis (#46).
Two-time defending champion Alexandra O’Blenis (#74) has been shut out thus far in 2023 – a stat she’d love the change in an extended distance race. O’Blenis is no stranger to victory lane – especially in big races, with four big wins at Speedway 660 alone. It’s been an uncharacteristic season for O’Blenis, but that could all change Saturday.
Big races bring out big names, which is sure to put on a show for the fans in the Geary Woods. Watch for drivers like “The Old Musket” Richard Atkinson (#40), the “Nackawic Nite Train” BJ Gillespie (#69), Caleb Urquhart (#11), Brody Seveck (#44), Michael Cormier (#68) and more!
More stars are sure to come out to battle for the first of two extended distance Sportsman races of the season. The ending to the Sportsman race last Speedweekend was nothing short of dramatic and kept fans on the edge of their seat until the checkers flew!
Pro Stock Drivers Back on Track
Dave O’Blenis (#48) continues to show the way in the Re/Max East Coast Elite Realty Pro Stock division. With a feature win and a second-place finish on his stat sheet, O’Blenis is well on his way to a record seventh Pro Stock championship at Speedway 660, if he can keep this momentum rolling.
Ryan Messer (#1) picked up the victory last time out – but Messer is not competing full-time for points in the Re/Max East Coast Elite Pro Stock division. This puts Hudson Weston (#43) as the closest challenger for O’Blenis. Weston has scored a second and a third-place finish in the first two events of the season, and the young driver and Pro Stock freshman is positioned well to do the unthinkable and steal a championship in his first full time season. With three points races remaining, Weston is just five points back of the lead.
Ian Rasmussen (#81) finds himself holding onto third in points over Clark Moore – who both have been knocking on the door of podium finishes. Kevin Moore (#88) does have a podium to his credit, but mechanical issues resulted in him not making the call to the green last race and dropping him to fifth in points ahead of Ryan Raynes (#94).
It will be a seventy-five (75) lap showcase for the Re/Max East Coast Elite Pro Stock division. There are only three points races remaining – but there are two other major events over the next six weeks including the Super Late Model Series ReCar 150 presented by Wonder Auto and Tire on Saturday August 19th, and the 23rd Annual Pro Stock 250 as part of Speedweekend on Sunday September 3rd – making Saturday’s race a very crucial one.
Justin Cole Emerges as Top Competitor in Street Stock Division
It’s been back-to-back big wins for Shur-Fit Automotive, Bumper to Bumper Street Stock points leader Justin Cole (#38). Cole ended a long winless draught at the Targett’s Windows and Doors 100 in June, then backed that performance up with a commanding win in the Ricky Bobby 150. The big wins have been part of a career defining season for the Harvey driver, whose next big goal is the 2023 Speedway 660 championship!
Success comes with a target, and Cole will certainly be the target for the remaining drivers in the Street Stock division. Michael Cormier (#68) has crossed the line second in both races which saw Cole leave victorious, and also finds himself second in points. Cormier surely will be looking to end his recent bridesmaid curse. Shawn Hyslop (#99) sits third in points with a feature win to his credit, ahead of defending champion Rick Cashol (#54). Kyle MacKinnon (#22) rounds out the top five in points through four events.
The scheduled distance is thirty-five (35) laps for the Shur-Fit Automotive, Bumper to Bumper Street Stock division on Saturday.
New Points Leader for Sharp Shooters in Prelude to the Gunslinger
After weeks of sitting in the runner-up position, Randy Titus (#75) has finally moved atop the Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter point standings following the Ricky Bobby 150 – albeit he does not have the lead by a wide margin. Thus far, a three-horse race has separated themselves from the competition in the championship battle, with Titus leading the most recent winner Darren Wilcox (#32) and Alex Gallant (#5). Eight (8) points separate these top 3 competitors through four events.
Of the top three, only Wilcox has taken a feature victory in 2023. His win on July 1st made him the fourth different winner of the season – and the third driver to score their first career feature win. Mitchell Harvey (#19) and Jason Duffield (#91) were first time winners in the month of May, with Daniel Atyeo (#15) picking up his fourth career feature win in June.
While the top three have broken away in points, anything can still happen. Todd Day (#4) and Evan Gallon (#9) have been having quiet and consistent seasons which has them sitting fourth and fifth in points respectively.
Twenty-five (25) laps is on tap for the Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter division, which has impressed in every show thus far in 2023 with clean competition. Saturday’s feature will be extra important, serving as the final tune-up before the Gunslinger 75 on Saturday August 12th.
Stay in the Know
Action starts at 6:30pm on Saturday July 29th. Pits for competitors will open at 1:00pm with practice getting underway at 2pm. Grandstand tickets are $25 for adults, and as always kids fifteen (15) years of age and under will be admitted free to the grandstands. Pit admission is $30 and is restricted to those at least sixteen (16) years of age and older, except for youth who are direct family members of a driver, who can enter the pits with proper signed waivers. All entrants to the pits must complete the e-waiver prior to entering the pits.
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.