O’Blenis Scores Second Pro Stock 250 Win at Speedway 660
Track Release/Photo by Mike Francis
(September 3rd, 2023) – One of the greatest running’s of Speedway 660’s Pro Stock 250 occurred Sunday night – in the midst of the tracks 30th anniversary season – and it culminated with the one of the most successful drivers in track history stealing a dramatic win in the closing laps. Dave O’Blenis (#48) used a restart with three laps to go to muscle his way around Ryan Messer (#1) for the victory. Messer would hold off defending winner Ashton Tucker (#2) in a photo finish for the second spot. Dustin Tucker (#52) and Robbie MacEwen (#40) had stellar performances to round out the top five.
A capacity crowd was on hand to witness the thrilling victory. It was a race where every contender utilized different strategies trying to secure glory. O’Blenis waited until the last possible moment to pit for his tires, pitting from the lead on a lap 212 caution. The caution came from contact between Dustin Tucker and Nicholas Naugle (#08), moments after Ashton Tucker and Messer made contact vying for the second spot as they marched to the front on fresh tires.
Messer showed the way for the entire first half, with Robbie MacEwen in tow. MacEwen would be one of the first drivers to pit, doing so just before the halfway break aiming to gain track position when other contenders pitted later. Messer would stay out and fend off a challenge from Dustin Tucker for the Modern Electric Halfway Bonus, and then would pit on a lap 140 yellow for his tires. Dave O’Blenis assumed the lead at this point for the first time all race. After making several early pit stops, Ashton Tucker worked into the top three and showed himself as a contender, and he would pit around lap 170 for his fresh set of rubber. But while everyone else pitted, the O’Blenis team held steady at the front.
Tucker, with speed of fresher tires than Messer, got to the 1 car as lap 200 was crossed and they started dueling for second position when the lap 212 caution came that changed the complexion of the race. Restarting on the front row, Messer and Tucker would continue to wage a war for the win, with Tucker showing the way, and O’Blenis battling through traffic to get back up front. Another yellow on lap 235 was just what Dave needed. Restarting third, he would get around Tucker on the restart as Messer vaulted back out front. Initially, it looked like Messer would still hang on, but one final restart with three laps to go set up the restart of a lifetime, which O’Blenis used to secure the win.
Leading 75 laps en route to his win, Dave O’Blenis will walk away with a cheque for $18,750. Ryan Messer had a solid payday after leading 153 laps plus the Modern Electric Halfway Bonus, while Ashton Tucker secured some lap money leading 22 laps.
MacEwen, Messer, and Cory Hall (#83) claimed heat race victories to start the day. Hall, a former winner of the race, fell pit side just after halfway.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series star Stewart Friesen (#52F) had an impressive showing going, battling his way into the top five, but unfortunately a broken axle on lap 69 cut his race short. But nevertheless, Friesen put on a show for the fans while raising funds and awareness for AIM Autism and VIVA Therapeutic Services.
Six lead changes amongst three drivers put on a show for the fans, with fourteen cautions slowing the field.
Support classes results from Sunday are to come, but Donny Young (Heart of a Champion Hot Rods), Doug Matchett (Atlantic Modified Tour), Terry Lawson (Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter), Danny Chisholm (CrossRoads Maritime League of Legends), and Landon Pierce (Bandolero Blast) scored feature victories earlier in the day.
That wraps up SpeedWeekend 2023. Only on weekend remains on the 30th anniversary calendar for Speedway 660, and it’s a big one with the Riverview Honda Weekend of Champions! Saturday September 23rd will be the Night of Champions for all four stock car classes, and Sunday September 24th the season will wrap up with the Enduro 300! Stay tuned for more information.
23rd Annual Pro Stock 250 Results
- Dave O’Blenis #48
- Ryan Messer #1
- Ashton Tucker #2
- Dustin Tucker #52
- Robbie MacEwen #40
- Brady Creamer #10C
- Andrew Rodgers #14
- Devin Snell #10
- Lonnie Sommerville #23
- Ian Rasmussen #81
- Greg Fahey #11
- Nicholas Naugle #08
- Curtis Collins #27
- Ryan Raynes #94
- Clark Moore #54
- Hudson Weston #43
- Paul Gahan #66
- Steve Halpin #03
- Kent Vincent #4
- Kevin Moore #88
- Austin MacDonald #13
- Cory Hall #83
- Stewart Friesen #52F
- Chris Duncan #97
- Gary Elliott #36