SPEEDWEEKEND SUPPORT CLASSES SET STAGE FOR PRO STOCK 250 ON SUNDAY
Track Release/Photo by Michelle Roy
(FREDERICTON, NB – September 1st, 2022) – SpeedWeekend 2022 is upon us and while the 22nd Annual Pro Stock 250 anchors the action on Sunday evening, the green flag flies on Friday evening, September 2nd on three days of bumper to bumper action. In total, eight unique divisions of race cars will compete throughout the weekend as they warm up the track for the Pro Stocks. The racing excitement kicks off on Friday evening, September 2nd at 7:30pm, Saturday afternoon, September 3rd at 5:30pm and again on Sunday, September 4th at 2pm.
In the spotlight Friday night to kick off SpeedWeekend 2022 are the Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters and Atlantic Modified Tour. The Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters will compete in a 40-lap feature with valuable championship points on the line while the Atlantic Modified Tour will work a split shift, twin 20-lap exhibition event.
BJ Gillespie of Harvey, New Brunswick has a commanding lead on the Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters field when it comes to the championship chase. Gillespie, who will look for back-to-back titles in 2022, has a comfortable 47 point margin on Randy Titus and Alex Gallant with Wesley Harnish only seven points behind the pair tied for second. While a 47 point mountain is not an impossible climb, especially with the division averaging 20 cars per race, Titus, Gallant and the field will need to start chipping away at Gillespie’s lead sooner rather than later.
In their only appearance at Speedway 660 in 2022, Braxton Stafford of Miramichi, New Brunswick captured the checkered flag in the Northside Auto Parts 35 in June for the Atlantic Modified Tour. Stafford’s car won the Friday portion of SpeedWeekend 2021 with Dave O’Blenis (Boundary Creek, NB) at the wheel. Stafford will look to continue the hot hand in the Geary woods, but is sure to be challenged by several former SpeedWeekend open wheel winners including Chris Wilson (South Esk, NB), Joe Hoyt (Waasis, NB), Yves McCray (Neguac, NB) and more. Doug Matchett (Miramichi, NB) is the most recent winner on the Series.
Both divisions return as a part of SpeedWeekend Sunday. The Atlantic Modified Tour Sunday feature will be a point race on the Series while show points will be given to all Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter competitors that race on Sunday.
Following the two divisions of racing on Friday night, a Pro Stock Happy Hour practice will hit the track. This one-hour session is the only nighttime practice before the Pro Stock 250 and will give teams a good chance to dial in their cars for Sunday evening. A concert with popular local band Hazzard will take place following the Pro Stock practice in the Turn Five bar area. The concert is restricted to those 19 years of age and older.
SATURDAY – RIVERVIEW FORD LINCOLN SPORTSMAN 150
A staple event on the Late Model Sportsman schedule in New Brunswick, the SpeedWeekend Sportsman show returns to a 150-lap showcase with Riverview Ford Lincoln presenting the event. As of press time, over 16 drivers have pre-registered for the event with more expected to pull into the gates on race day for the Saturday Sportsman show.
The entry list is led by the Speedway 660 Late Model Sportsman regulars. Courtney O’Blenis and her older sister Alexandra O’Blenis (both of Boundary Creek, NB) have not only seen success on the track throughout the season but have been pretty tough when SpeedWeekend rolls around. In fact, they are the last two Riverview Ford Lincoln 150 winners with Alexandra visiting victory lane last September and Courtney in 2020. In 2022, Courtney has two feature wins at the track while Alexandra has four including July’s Firecracker 100. Alexandra has the championship point lead in the class as she searches for a second consecutive championship at Speedway 660.
Richard Atkinson (Geary, NB) has kept the youngsters honest up front. “The Old Musket” has six podium finishes in feature competition at his home track, including three in the last three races. Atkinson and the No. 40 traditionally find themselves up front early and often but are hoping 2022 is finally the year the glass slipper fits on SpeedWeekend.
Hudson Weston (Saint John, NB) and Matt Rodgers (Smithtown, NB), a pair of drivers with countless laps around the track, are pre-registered to compete. Leading rookie in the class Caleb Urquhart (Harvey, NB) will look to build on the foundation laid during his freshman year in the Late Model division. Several returning faces, including veteran George Jamieson (Fredericton, NB), Luc Bourgeois (Memramcook, NB), Jacob Logan (Harvey, NB) and Kyle Campbell (Salisbury, NB) are looking to make a splash during the Riverview Ford Lincoln Sportsman 150. Reigning Maritime Street Stock Series Champion Michael Cormier (Grand-Barachois, NB) and Sportsman standout Brandon Carter (Moncton, NB) are also looking forward to making a trip to Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane after 150-laps on Saturday.
Expected to compete on Saturday include Drew Greenlaw (Eastport, ME) and Curtis Collins (Barnesville, NB). Both cars come out of the Lonnie Sommerville Racing stables, a camp very familiar with SpeedWeekend success. Should either pull into the pit gates on Saturday, they will be a surefire contender for the top prize at the end of the night.
The Westwood Estates Bandolero Blast will also begin on Saturday night. This two-day, Twin 20-lap feature will put the spotlight on the rising talent of the sport. Chase MacKay (Bear Cove, NS) is the reigning champion of the event and a two-time champion after winning the overall title in 2019 to go with his 2021 triumph. The division has seen growth in the Fredericton region, with Beginners Tylar Dempsey, Mandi Lee and Hudson Ruff all putting up impressive runs in their first seasons. The Bandoleros will also run on Sunday afternoon and compete for the tallest Bandolero trophy in the region.
The Passione Flooring & Interiors East Coast Mini Stock Tour and Cross Roads Maritime League of Legends Tour will compete on Saturday. The Pub’s Drive Thru Bottle Exchange 50 will see the return of Dave Matthews (Kennetcook, NS) to the track as he chases Matt Watson (Miscouche, PE) in the championship standings. The CYV Chevrolet Buick GMC 40 for the Cross Roads Maritime League of Legends Tour is the first of two races on the weekend as the Series will also compete Sunday in the Sherwood Sawmills 40. Cross Roads Rookie Gage Gilby (Enfield, NS) has a slim lead on Owen Mahar (Hubley, NS) and Danny Chisholm (Canning, NS) in the standings heading into the double header. Mahar was a winner at Speedway 660 last September while Chisholm picked up the Tour’s visit to the Geary woods in May.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON – D. GILLESPIE AND SONS TRUCKING STREET STOCK 100
The Shur-Fit Auto Parts, Bumper to Bumper Street Stocks will take to the track on SpeedWeekend Sunday with 100-laps on tap. The 2021 edition of the D. Gillespie and Sons Trucking Street Stock 100 was a wild affair which featured an iconic battle between Michael Cormier and Luc McLaughlin, which ended up with Cormier standing tall in Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane. The 100-lap Street Stock feature may end up stealing the show once again as top teams in the Province will gather in the Geary woods to fight for Street Stock supremacy.
While an official pre-entry list is not available, fans can expect their favorites, including Shur-Fit Auto Parts, Bumper to Bumper Street Stock point leader Rick Cashol, 2021 champion Riley Goodwin, former champion Shawn Hyslop, fan favorites Justin Cole and Kyle MacKinnon, rookies Ron Enkel and Jonathon Hanley and many, many more!
The Heart of a Champion Hot Rod Classics powered by Conrad Bros will compete in the Steele GMC and Fredericton Hyundai Classic. The 30-lap feature will see several of the Maritimes top vintage race cars on track in their only appearance of the year at Speedway 660. Fans can get a closer look at several of the cars up close during the SpeedWeekend Show & Shine at Fredericton Hyundai and Steele GMC Buick Fredericton on Saturday from 10am to 2pm.
In addition to the D. Gillespie and Sons Trucking Street Stock 100 and the Heart of a Champion Hot Rod Classics Steele GMC and Fredericton Hyundai Classic, four other support classes will join the Sunday card. Second appearances on the weekend for the aforementioned Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters, Atlantic Modified Tour, Cross Roads Maritime League of Legends Tour and Westwood Estates Bandoleros will also race on Sunday afternoon prior to the Pro Stock 250.
A complete preview, including an entry list, for the 22nd Annual Pro Stock 250, can be found at Speedway660.com.
Ticketing and camping pricing and further information are available for SpeedWeekend 2022 at Speedway660.com. Tickets are available at the gate on race day or by contacting the Speedway 660 Office. New in 2022, all those entering the pit gates must complete their insurance waiver online prior to heading to the track. This can be done on any smart phone and takes seconds to complete. The link to the form can be found on Speedway660.com under the “Race Team Information” menu or by going to Speedway660.speedwaiver.com. A complete race day format for each day of competition is available via the track’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Speedway660.
For more information about upcoming racing events 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 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.