The racing sure is intense this year! All five divisions at Speedway 660 are extremely competitive and drivers are going as fast as they can, for as long as they can, to earn as many championship points as they can! And championships are a big deal in the Geary Woods, just ask any driver who hasn’t won one!
Over the years, from my vantage point, it seems that patience is an important part of racing’s big picture. Remember Brain Gillespie’s five Martin’s Home heating Sportsman Championships? On at least one and maybe two occasions, the Nackawic Night Train won the title without winning a feature race!
Mild-mannered Randy Moore is quietly going about his business in the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman division this year. Last Saturday night Moore, who leads the Sportsman championship points race, got a third place finish in the feature - his first Speedway 660 podium of 2012!
This year we are seeing that same kind of patience in the Sportsman division by at least one driver. Randy Moore has never won the Sportsman championship. He has more often than not been a top ten car, perhaps even a top five in a good year. But Randy has never been a bona fide threat to win the title, that is - until this year.
For the entire 2012 season, to date at least, Randy Moore has quietly gone about his business. For the last few weeks he has led the point standings, getting there by being consistent and patient. Randy has not won a feature and hadn’t even had a podium finish until last Saturday night!
For much of last weekend’s Sportsman feature it looked like Moore would get a fourth, fifth or sixth, just like he has done all season long. But up front, Robert Raynes and Richard Atkinson were racing each other hard and spun out, putting them to the rear on the re-start. Then Brent Roy and Glyn Nott, who were second and third in the points were racing each other for the lead and they also got into each other, bringing out a caution and sending them to the back.
Meanwhile, the patient Mister Moore took advantage of both cautions, finishing third - his first podium of the year. By the way, he extended his point lead too. Randy hasn’t won the championship yet and there is still a lot of racing to go, but he is proving, just like Gillespie has in the past, that patience is a virtue!
Having said all of that, it’s understandable that in the heat of the battle, patience is hard to come by. Sometimes it’s difficult to go “big picture racing”. Sometimes drivers aren’t satisfied with a fifth place finish in a car that is only capable of finishing fifth on that particular night.
A couple of youngsters impressed me on Saturday night. High schoolers Peter Martin and Matt Rodgers are both great, young talents. In preliminary heat races these two went toe-to-toe with a couple of veterans who are probably at least three times their age!
First, in the RV World Street Stocks, Peter Martin looked in his mirror and saw five time champ Rick Cashol breathing down his neck. That’s an intimidating site for any street stocker! Peter held his ground, hit his marks and got the better of Mr. Cashol, winning that race.
Same thing happened to Matt Rodgers in his Martin’s Home Heating heat race. Glyn Nott was all over his back bumper. The veteran even got the kid loose, yet Matt did a great job to beat Glyn to the checkers. Those are the moments I love to see in racing. And I know that Rick Cashol and Glyn Nott, two of our most competitive racers, would tip their helmets to the kids too.
Patience - it’s an important word in life and in racing. But I am not sure how much patience you can expect to see this Saturday night at Speedway 660. That’s because we are hosting our first Enduro of the season. Enduro drivers like to rough it up. They like to trade paint. They like to spin each other out. And for the most part they don’t have time for patience. In their case, that’s probably a good thing!
So, tell your friends, tell your neighbours tell everyone that Enduro racing is coming to Speedway 660 this Saturday night at 7PM. We’ll see you at the races!