10 Reasons Why You Should Be at the Irving Blending & Packaging Speedweekend
Are you ready for the biggest weekend in stock car racing in Atlantic Canada?!
The Irving Blending & Packaging Speedweekend is here and Speedway 660 is getting ready for four incredible days of action at the track. From Friday night’s Harvey’s Family Farms Corn Boil and Tristan Horncastle concert to Monday’s Capital City Auto Parts 200, there is a little something for everyone.
While there are a ton of storylines to follow throughout the weekend and things to watch out for, we have a few here to offer you as you prepare to head out to the Geary woods for the Labour Day Long Weekend.
Photos by McCarthy Photographic
No Points – Just WIN!!!
Speedway 660 conducts point championships in five divisions from May to August. Drivers from around the region and as far as central Nova Scotia haul to Geary to try and take a prestigious track title.
All that counting points, having to track where Driver “A” is running as opposed to Driver “B” is on the track, all that is over. The goal is simple, win your respective Speedweekend race and hold those bragging rights right up to the Riverview Ford Lincoln Season Opener in May 2016.
What does this mean for the fans? It’s pretty simple. You will see the drivers all lay it out on the line for you for the final time at Speedway 660 in 2015. Whether it is a Bandolero, a Pro Stock or an Enduro car, they all have something to prove.
Ashton Tucker to Make Pro Stock Debut
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play.
The newly minted Westwood Estates Bandolero Champion will be sliding through the window of the #3 car Sunday to not only attempt to qualify for the Irving Blending & Packaging 250, but it also marks the debut in a Pro Stock for the 14-year old. It is the same car driven by Alicia Mowat this season but the entry is owned by Ashton’s father Cory Tucker, hence the same number on the car that Mowat campaigned this season.
Tucker has made one “big car” start this season thus far, driving for Darcy O’Neill in the Street Stock division in mid-August.
You’d have to believe that making the field on Sunday will be a win for this team, but we’ve seen big things out of drivers that have hopped from Bandoleros into a Pro Stock car. Tucker has shown in Bandoleros that he has the skills to make it to the next level. Keep an eye on this combination on Sunday.
Qualifying for the 250
Anytime you have more cars than positions in a field, qualifying spots are held up at a premium.
With around 35 cars expected to qualify for a race that only starts 30, you are bound to have a sense of urgency in the field on Sunday afternoon. You have to remember too, nobody is safe. Remember a few years ago when John Flemming missed the show over Brad Mann when it came down to handing out provisionals? Trevor Sanborn missed the field last year in the #29 car because of a bad afternoon of qualifying. It can happen.
What if a guy like DJ Shaw has a bad afternoon and misses the show? At this point, only five are going to miss the show if 35 show up – but take a look at the entry list at the bottom, who do you discount from the show?!
While the big show isn’t going green until early in the evening, the heat of the day might very well bring us the best racing of the afternoon.
Horncastle Brings The Friday Night Party to “Recreation Land”
The whole weekend gets kicked off on Friday night with the Harvey’s Family Farm Corn Boil, bonfire and Tristan Horncastle concert. The event creates a party atmosphere to kick off the weekend prior to getting down to the business of racing on Irving Blending & Packaging Speedweekend.
It has been a busy year since Horncastle last played on the Speedweekend stage. Horncastle is nominated for the Rising Star Award at the Canadian Country Music Awards next weekend in Halifax and also got the chance to hop behind the wheel of an Enduro car during the first Capital City Auto Parts Enduro 200 of the year.
The party gets underway in the infield of the track at 7pm and is completely free to come down and check out.
Keep in mind, the party atmosphere doesn’t stop at the Harvey’s Family Farm Corn Boil on Friday.
The campground on Irving Blending & Packaging Speedweekend welcomes hundreds of campers for the weekend of racing to share great times with friends and family over the Labour Day long weekend. There will be new acquaintances made and a lot of bench racing done throughout the weekend, so be sure to call the office now if you haven’t already at 506 454 7223 to book your space!
Irving I24 Sportsman 150 Perfect Appetizer Round to Weekend
Traditionally, one of the best races of the weekend is on Saturday night with the running of the Irving I24 Sportsman 150.
The event, broken up into two 75-lap segments, brings drivers from around the region to Speedway 660 to compete for Sportsman supremacy. Among Speedway 660’s best, drivers such as Wayne and Russell Smith Jr., Chris and Kyle Reid and Waylon and Will Farrell are making the trek to the Geary woods to vie for the win.
The Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman division has been hotly contested this season, led by Randy Moore who captured his first division championship last weekend. Alexandra O’Blenis has a couple wins to her credit, Braxton Stafford has been impressive in his first full season in a stock car and Devin Snell was in the title hunt all the way up to the last laps, just to name a few.
Those part-time guys like former champion Brent Roy, Andrew and Matt Rodgers, Laurie Cormier and Pro Stock guys Dave O’Blenis and Lonnie Sommerville will also be tough to beat on Saturday.
As mentioned with the Pro Stock race, there is a potential for more cars to show up than there is starting spots on Saturday night. This means qualifying for the Irving I24 Sportsman 150 will be hotly contested, so you’ll want to arrive before post time at 6:30pm so you guarantee that you are in your seat prior to the green flag flying.
There’s also some big money on the line on Saturday night, stay tuned below!
Sharp Shooter Super Sunday
Ask racing enthusiasts that have been at Speedway 660 for every lap this season and most will tell you that the Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters have produced some of the best racing all season long.
The field has been seemingly growing each week with an average of 20 cars taking the green flag each week and Donnie Greer along with his tech staff have kept the cars close in competition. That point is proved on the track each week with thrilling features that are unpredictable to say the least. The championship this season came down to five points between champion Kyle Boudreau and Mac Suley, and keep in mind, those two plus Neil Miousse who finished third never won a feature all season long. Talk about a competitive field.
The Sharp Shooters will put on one final show on Sunday as a part of the Irving Blending & Packaging 250 festivities.
History in the Making for Rowe and Flemming
Should Ben Rowe or John Flemming win the Irving Blending & Packaging 250, they will make Maritime racing history on Sunday night.
Both Rowe and Flemming have won the other two 250-lap Pro Stock events in Atlantic Canada, the IWK 250 at Riverside International Speedway and the Atlantic Cat 250 at Scotia Speedworld, but never the big show on Speedweekend at Speedway 660. While a dozen have won two of the three, including Craig Slaunwhite who nearly completed the triple in July, no driver has ever won all three races in a career.
The feather in the cap would be huge for both if either can win the race. Keep in mind though, while Flemming has struggled a bit with his new car this year and Rowe had an early exit from the McLaughlin Roof Trusses 150 in July, Rowe does have two podiums in the last two years in this race.
Could history be made on Sunday?! The only way to find out is to be there for yourself and witness it first hand!
Big Money on the Line
Big races deserve big purse and Speedway 660 has been able to deliver thanks to a few sponsors.
On Saturday night, the Irving I24 Sportsman 150 will be worth $3,000 to win, but the money doesn’t stop there. Three laps will be worth extra money to lead, giving us an extra $2,000 to play with.
Lap 29 has been purchased by division sponsor Martin’s Home Heating and will be worth $300 to the leader of the race on that lap. The Halfway Award on Lap 75 is worth $700 from Pub’s Drive Thru Bottle Exchange. Four laps after the halfway break will be Lap 79, presented by Farrell’s Excavating of Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and will pay a cool $1,000 to the leader of the lap. Picture how hard these guys will be driving four laps after the halfway break!
In Sunday’s event, three laps are worth $1,000 to lead, including Lap 91 (Greenfield Enterprises), the Modern Electric Halfway Award at Lap 125 and Lap 203 in memory of Gordie Halpin. Combined with every other lap in the race being worth $50 a lap to lead, that makes $15,350 in lap money available in the Irving Blending & Packaging 250 alone. That does not include the $15,000 to win the event. A good night is likely going to net a driver $20,000, a really good night could see the winner pocket $25,000 and it is possible for someone to take home a $30,000 payday if the cards fall into their lap.
In total, over $100,000 is available throughout the weekend for the drivers participating. That’s a huge figure, making it one of the richest weekend race weekends in the region. The Irving Blending & Packaging 250 is the richest race to win in Eastern Canada and will likely end up paying the winner the biggest pay check for stock car anywhere in the country.
Long Haul – Newfoundlanders Make Haul to Geary Woods
For the first time in the 15 year history that we know of, two Newfoundland teams will attempt to qualify for the Irving Blending & Packaging 250.
Shannon Squires and Josh Collins are both hauling from Newfoundland to compete in this weekend’s events. Fans in the region are familiar with the Collins name from multiple Sportsman and Pro Stock starts throughout the region, along with two trips to New Smyrna Speedway in February for the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. Squires is coming off a big win in the Race for the Crate during the Edward Collins Contracting 125 last weekend at Eastbound Speedway and will make his Pro Stock debut on Sunday afternoon.
Squires and Collins making the trip are in addition to brothers Waylon and Will Farrell making the trek from Conception Bay South, Newfoundland for the Irving I24 Sportsman 150 on Saturday. Both have won Sportsman features at Eastbound Park this season while Waylon Farrell is the most recent winner in the Hanlon Realty Legends division at the track after edging out Dylan Blenkhorn last Saturday at the Avondale oval.
They are sure to attract some big attention back home and the teams will be bringing some fans along that will make the trip. Imagine if they were to win either or both events? That would be huge!
A brief summary of the weekend can be found below, along with an expected entry list for the Irving Blending & Packaging 250. Make plans now to be in the Geary woods on this long Labour Day weekend!
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – What Division Runs When?!
Friday – 7PM: Harvey’s Family Corn Boil and Tristan Horncastle concert.
Saturday – 7PM: Irving I24-150 Sportsman race as well as the West Wood Estate Apartments Bandoleros and the Atlantic Modified Tour.
Sunday – 2PM: Qualifying for the Irving Blending & Packaging Pro Stock 250; Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters and; DMR Auto Sales & Service Streets.
Sunday – 7PM: Green Flag- Irving Blending & Packaging 250.
Monday– 2PM: Capital City Auto Parts ENDURO 200.
$30 – Youth General Admission
$60 – Adult General Admission
$70 – Adult Reserved Sunday Seating
$75 – Adult General Admission & Weekend Pit Pass
$85 – Adult Reserved Sunday Seating & Weekend Pit Pass
Sunday Only Passes
$20 – Youth General Admission
$45 – Adult General Admission
$55 – Adult General Admission with Pit Pass
$55 – Adult Reserved Seating Main Grandstand or Licensed Grandstand
$65 – Adult Reserved Seating & Pit Pass
Saturday Only Passes
$20 – Youth General Admission
$25 – Adult General Admission
$30 – Adult General Admission & Pit Pass
$40 – Entire Weekend
*NOTES: Children seven years of age and younger are admitted free of charge to all Speedway 660 events and Youth tickets are for ages 8 to 15.
Irving Blending & Packaging 250 Entry List
List is subject to change without notice
|03||Steve Halpin||Saint John, NB|
|07||Robbie Fraser||Riverview, NB|
|10||Brady Creamer||Miramichi, NB|
|12||Glyn Nott||Burton, NB|
|13||Cassius Clark||Farmington, ME|
|14||Terry Dougay||Albany, PE|
|16||Paul Gahan||Lower St. Mary’s, NB|
|17||Travis Benjamin||Morrill, ME|
|18||Shannon Squires||St. John’s, NL|
|2||John Rankin||Quispamsis, NB|
|23||Lonnie Sommerville||Barnesville, NB|
|28||Kirk Thibeau||Fort Fairfield, ME|
|29||Greg Fahey||St. Stephen, NB|
|29T||Robert Tomlinson||Arthurette, NB|
|3||Ashton Tucker||Lyttleton, NB|
|32||Sarah McKay||Quispamsis, NB|
|32x||Nick Jenkins||Milo, ME|
|48||Dave O’Blenis||Boundary Creek, NB|
|52||Dustin Tucker||Fredericton, NB|
|54||Johnny Clark||Hallowell, ME|
|55||Jason Carnahan||Stilesville, NB|
|56||Josh Collins||Placentia, NL|
|57||Austin Theriault||Fort Kent, ME|
|60||DJ Shaw||Center Conway, NH|
|71||Raphael Lessard||St. Joseph Beauce, QC|
|72||Michael Kyle||Sussex, NB|
|74||Alexandra O’Blenis||Boundary Creek, NB|
|8||Ben Rowe||Turner, ME|
|87||Matt Harris||Fredericton Junction, NB|
|88||Kevin Moore||Noonan, NB|
|9||Derek Christie||Fredericton, NB|
|91||Dylan Gosbee||Cornwall, PE|
|97||John Flemming||Halifax, NS|
|97D||Chris Duncan||Hampton, NB|
|99||Craig Slaunwhite||Terence Bay, NS|