Speedway 660 is home to the only weekly Pro Stock series in Atlantic Canada. We’ve had Pro Stock racing since day one, way back in 94 and sometimes I think some of us take it for granted. I like all of our awesome divisions, but the RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock Division sets racing in the Geary Woods apart from any other track in our region.
On Saturday night the Pro Stocks take center stage. The Best of the Best 150 is always a great race, but it has taken on greater significance ever since the winner of the event started earning an automatic, guaranteed starting position in the Auto Value 250. Imagine winning the Best of the Best and knowing that come SpeedWeekend, you are going to definitely be in the biggest race of the season.
Our pro stock drivers are excited about the opportunity they have this weekend. But they better be ready to up their game because we could see a few heavy hitters come our way this Saturday night. That’s because the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour and the Pro All Star Series are both off this coming weekend and we expect some of those teams will head to the Geary Woods.
I don’t like to talk car counts or names, when it comes to any race, because you never really know for certain who is going to show up until race day. But one thing is for certain, several race teams look at this weekend’s race as a chance to have a good long run at Speedway 660 in preparation for the Auto Value 250. What they learn this weekend will definitely help them in a little over a month when they come see us on SpeedWeekend.
But there are a couple of guys I would be surprised not to see this weekend. One of them is Shawn Tucker. The 2004 and 2011 Auto Value 250 winner is riding high right now. And it all started at Speedway 660 - his home track. Shawn began the Parts for Trucks season uncharacteristically slow. But a few weeks ago he ran 2nd here and used that momentum to win the two tour races since then, including last weekend’s IWK 250 at Riverside International Speedway near Antigonish.
It must have been one of Tucker’s biggest thrills in his illustrious racing career. Shawn out-duelled none other than Brad Keselowski to win the IWK 250! He passed the defending Sprint Cup Champ with about 25 laps to go for the lead and win!
In his post-race interview with sports reporter Monty Mosher, from the Chronicle Herald in Halifax, Tucker was obviously proud to get the win over such a strong field including the NASCAR champion.
“At halfway we made some changes and as soon as I took off I knew the car was good. On one of the restarts I let a few of them go to save some stuff for the end. It worked out. I loosened him (Keselowski) up a bit off the corner and sat beside him and we raced clean after that. It was a good pass. I don’t think he was losing power, I think he was losing his turning ability and he was slowing down to get around the turns. I kept the pressure on and he kept getting a little looser in the middle of the corners. It’s crazy. We’ve worked so hard and come so close so many times in this race. This is awesome. I can’t say anything else.”
Shawn Tucker (#52) loosens up defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski just before making the pass for the win in the IWK 250 last weekend at Riverside International Speedway.
(photo by Mark Goudge - Halifax Chronicle Herald)
Tucker is a home-grown racing super-star. He won Speedway 660`s RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock title in 95 and three Parts for Trucks championships in the last decade. And right now Shawn is riding high. Since that 2nd place finish at his home track a few weeks ago, Tucker has catapulted from 10th to 3rd place in tour points!
Hopefully Tucker will show up for the Best of the Best 150 on Saturday night to see if he can keep the Mighty Momentum on his side.
The other guy I won’t be surprised to see this weekend, is one of America’s short-track racing legends. Ben Rowe has forged a friendship with “Hurricane” Hal O’Neal and has raced Hal’s car in the last few Auto Value 250’s. They won the Best of the Best 150 last year, but mechanical issues led to a disappointing 24th place finish in the 250. Ben was here, earlier in the season, to run our season opener, but it got rained out.
No matter who comes out to the Geary Woods on Saturday night, they’ll have to contend with Dave O’Blenis. He’s been dominating our pro stock division this year, after racking up his third championship here last year. And I think he would have won the Tour race here a few weeks ago if he didn’t have a flat tire with about 40 laps to go. As it was, he rallied for a third place finish behind Tucker and Tour points leader John Flemming.
And we’ve got a few other guys who could make things interesting, especially if things go their way and they catch a break or two.
One thing is for certain, Saturday night’s Best of the Best 150 is going to be a great race. It’s always a highlight of our season. And don’t forget you will also see the Martins Home Heating Sportsman, DMR Auto Sales & Service Street Stock, Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter and West Wood Estate Apartments Bandolero Divisions too.
It’ll be a full night of exciting action that will see one driver visit the Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane and punch his ticket to the Auto Value 250 on SpeedWeekend.
Spread the word and head on down to Speedway 660 on Saturday night. We’ll see you at the races!