We are starting to see some good, old fashioned rivalries rise up at Speedway 660 this season. In case you haven’t noticed, racing is a competitive sport and when the competition heats up, racers are going to lean on each other, try to intimidate each other and do whatever it takes to get over to the Speedway 660 Victory Lane!
Rick Cashol, the defending RV World Street Stock champion, is no stranger to rivalries at Speedway 660!
That’s the way it is, that’s the way it always has been and I hope that’s the way it always will be. I love to watch these rivalries and our fan’s reactions to them. For some folks it’s all about heroes and villains. Their favourite driver can do no wrong and the driver they like least can do nothing right!
Don’t get me wrong, they all aren’t bitter rivalries. Some are friendlier than others and still others involve real good friends just racing each other hard. You can always find some of the best rivalries in the RV World Street Stock division. And most of those seem to involve Rick Cashol.
Like him or not, Cashol is a winner. I’ve lost count of how many championships this racing grandfather has won, but his trophy case is overflowing. And Ricky has worked hard and raced hard to win those trophies. When it comes to rivalries, in most cases, Cashol has ended up the king of the castle!
This season it looks like there are a few other street stockers ready to challenge the defending champion. Roger Slocum, Benji Ruff, the former Enduro champ, and Shannon “The Cannon” Brake are all strong runners and Cashol knows he’s in tough in 2012.
Last Saturday night Ricky and Shannon were really having at it in the street stock feature. They leaned on each other, traded more than a little paint and basically were old-school racin. I don’t know how they felt about it, but I know our fans loved it. And so did Benji, because while those two were rough housing, Benji ended up in Victory Lane with first place points.
Street Stocks don’t have a monopoly on rivalries. Kevin Moore in the A.L. Gullison Disaster Kleenup Pro Stock Division has a burr under his saddle these days. Big Kevin is getting tired of watching Greg Fahey win races and championships. Moore is determined not to settle for 2nd or 3rd in the points this year and has his sights set on the pro stock championship.
Dave O’Blenis also has a rivalry with Greg Fahey, but I would suggest it is a little friendlier. And I think there is a bit of a sibling rivalry happening at the O’Blenis homestead too. Dave’s two Bando daughters are pretty intense racers. Alexandra has won a feature and is ahead of her sister in points, but as Dave points out - “Courtney is two years younger and her day will come” - probably sooner than later.
The Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman division early season rivalry appears to be between Glyn Nott and Brent Roy. Many fans think these two veterans will battle each other for the championship and so far their rivalry is pretty tame. Knowing these two guys as I do, they probably will keep it that way - but who knows. I should also point out that Randy Moore and Richard Atkinson are going to make the sportsman championship race interesting too.
My main point is rivalries are part of racing, just like they are part of hockey, baseball and every other sport. But I like racing rivalries the best - just show up at Speedway 660 every Saturday night and you’ll see why.
I got a big charge out of two podium finishers last week. Dawson McIntee was boy-wonder in the Bando feature and had a smile from ear-to-ear over in Victory Lane. Richard Atkinson got his third Sportsman podium in a row and as usual he was ecstatic when he climbed out of number 40.
After almost 20 years all of this never gets old for me. I love Speedway 660’s brand of short track racing!
And this week, we’ve got the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman 100 on the agenda. It’s our first big sportsman race of the season and I know it will be a barn-burner. Look for some extra cars too. O’Blenis and Ken MacKenzie will both do double duty in their Pro Stocks and Sportsman cars. And there will be a few other Sportsman teams, we haven’t seen yet this year, enter the race.
Qualifying heats get underway at 7PM this Saturday evening, but if you want to see the Bando and 4 cylinder heats make sure to get here early because we will run those at 6:20. So tell your friends, tell your neighbours, tell everyone to head down to Speedway 660 this Saturday night for some great short track racing - rivalries and all!