The “Best of the Best” Gather in Geary Saturday for Pro Stock 100
Track Release/Photos by Michelle Roy and Mike Francis
(GEARY, NB – July 3rd, 2019) – Speedway 660 will host their first extended distance Pro Stock event of the 2019 season on Saturday evening. The Best of the Best 100 will serve as a tune up for the Pro Stock 250 on SpeedWeekend in September and is expected to draw some of the top talent from across the province to race for the checkered flag. The Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman, DMR Auto Street Stock and Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters will play support. Racing begins on Saturday, July 6th at 6:30pm.
Among those making the trek to the Geary oval on Saturday is Harvey, New Brunswick’s Ryan Messer. Messer will make his first start at Speedway 660 since his triumph in the Pro Stock 250 last September as he has taken the 2019 season to compete part time with the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour. Speedway 660 is Messer’s home track, winning Bandolero and Sportsman championships at the 1/3-mile oval over his racing career, and hopes to pick up where he left off last September.
“I am very excited to get back to Speedway 660 on Saturday and race in front of my hometown fans,” said Messer ahead of Saturday’s Best of the Best 100. “I feel we have a very good piece for the Best of the Best 100 and hope to have a good run. There is a bit of pressure after our win in the 250 last year, but at the same time we learned a lot as a team over those 250-laps that we can apply to Saturday. I am very confident in our team and cannot wait to get racing in the Geary woods in the Best of the Best 100!”
The competition at Speedway 660 in the RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty Pro Stock division has been stiffer than ever. Seven different drivers own podium finishes over the first five races of the season and six of them are expected to race on Saturday. Of the five races, Dave O’Blenis (Boundary Creek, NB) is the only driver that owns multiple victories, taking two wins in the month of June. Brent Roy (Hanwell, NB) leads the division standings and was a winner during the Riverview Ford Lincoln Season Opener. Greg Fahey (St. Stephen, NB) was the winner on Kids Day and will look to race back to the front on Saturday evening.
Lonnie Sommerville (Barnesville, NB) is the most recent winner in the division but will be donning a headset over a helmet on Saturday as he will be crew chiefing the No. 87 Matt Harris & Son Limited Ford for Matt Harris (Fredericton Junction, NB). John Rankin (St. Martin’s, NB) and Chirs Duncan (Rothesay, NB) made their 2019 debuts on June 22nd, a race in which Ian Rasmussen (New Denmark, NB) scored a strong third place finish in.
Steve Halpin (Saint John, NB) and Kevin Moore (Fredericton, NB) are anticipated to make a return to the Geary woods on Saturday evening. Both are no strangers to being strong in extended distance events with Halpin most recently joining Messer and Sommerville on the podium in the Pro Stock 250 last September. Shawn Tucker (Fredericton, NB) has yet to finish outside the top five in feature competition in his return and will look to build on that foundation with a trip to Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane on Saturday evening.
With familiar faces like Devin Snell (Saint John, NB), Robert Tomlinson (Arthurette, NB), Ben Pelletier (Quispamsis, NB) and Jeff Doherty looking for a breakthrough finish to kick off the Summer months, fans are in for quite the show with a stout field of talent set to assemble in the Geary woods on Saturday evening.
While the focus will be at the RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty Pro Stock class on Saturday evening, three house divisions will be grinding it out for championship points with the ultimate goal of winning a track title in mind at the end of 2019.
The top three in the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman standings are only separated by ten points with Curtis Collins (Barnesville, NB) leading Richard Atkinson (Geary, NB) and Martin’s Home Heating 100 winner Alexandra O’Blenis. In five feature contests this season, O’Blenis and Collins both have two victories while Atkinson will look to even the tally with his second win on Saturday evening.
The DMR Auto Street Stock division will resume their 2019 season. With almost a month off between scheduled off-weeks and unscheduled rain outs and the Ricky Bobby 150 presented by DMR Auto next Saturday evening, this 30-lap feature on July 6th carries a bit of weight with it.
Roger Slocum (Chipman, NB) leads the way with two feature wins in four races with Chris Hanley (St. Stephen, NB) close behind, just seven points off Slocum. Courtney Barton (Minto, NB), “The Villain” Rick Cashol (Saint John, NB) and reigning Rookie of the Year Kyle MacKinnon (Lincoln, NB) complete the top five in the standings early in the year. Peter Martin (Saint John, NB) is the most recent feature winner in the class.
With a season high 20 cars at the last point race for the Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters combined with a rain out of the Gunslinger 50 to August 10th, it is expected that the Sharp Shooters will be chomping at the bit to get track time on Saturday. Matt Martin (Haneytown, NB) and Brody Levesque (Lincoln, NB) are tied atop the point standings with the Allison Hall Racing car in third, just five points back from the top spot. Last time out, the No. 73 went to victory lane with Ryan Bernard (Harvey, NB) at the wheel. One point behind Hall Racing is BJ Gillespie (Harvey, NB), the only two-time feature winner on the season. Tristan Harris (Harvey, NB) is fifth overall in the standings, 17 points back of Martin and Levesque, and leads the Rookie of the Year standings over Caleb Urquhart (Charters Settlement, NB).
Returning for 2019, children aged 15 and under will be admitted to the grandstands for free to every stock car event at Speedway 660. The admission structure makes it easier for families to attend race events at the track and received positive feedback from fans when implemented mid-season in 2017.
Adult grandstand admission price for Saturday’s Best of the Best 100 is $25 (aged 16 and up). Pit admission is $30 and is restricted to those 16 years of age and older. Tickets are available at the gate on race day. Pit gates for competitors will open at 1pm, grandstand gates open for spectators at 5:30pm with racing getting underway at 6:30pm. A complete race day format will be available via Speedway660.com later in the week. Should inclement weather interfere with the racing program on Saturday, a rain date of Sunday, July 7th at 2pm has been set aside for the Best of the Best 100.
Fans are reminded that the Ricky Bobby Street Stock 150 presented by DMR Auto will take place on Saturday, July 13th at 6:30pm. Competitors and fans are encouraged to keep tabs to Speedway660.com or the track’s social media channels for updated information on the weekend’s events.
For more information about the Best of the Best 100, or any event at Speedway 660, visit Speedway660.com, like @Speedway660 on Facebook or call the Speedway 660 Raceline at (506) 454-7223.
About Speedway 660:
Speedway 660 is one of Canada’s premier stock car racing facilities. Located in New Brunswick’s Fredericton region, it attracts race teams and fans from the Maritimes, New England and Quebec. The Speedway 660 racing season runs from mid May until Labour Day Weekend. SpeedWeekend, one of the most prestigious short track events in eastern North America, wraps up Speedway 660’s racing season.