Wow, it’s almost the end of August already and that means the biggest weekend of racing is just days away. SpeedWeekend 2013 is so close you can almost taste it! Speedway 660 is a bee-hive of activity this week as lots of last minute things are being done to prepare for the big event. Motor-homes, trailers and RV’s of all shapes and sizes are either already here or soon to be on their way. Thousands of fans and well over a hundred race teams have made plans to head our way for SpeedWeekend.
SpeedWeekend has a festival atmosphere. You can already feel the buzz in the air. This week lots of Speedway 660’s part-time employees and volunteers have taken vacation from their regular day jobs to spend the week in the Geary Woods getting ready for our region’s biggest and most exciting weekend of short-track racing.
The phone lines and internet connections are humming in the Speedway 660 office this week. Angela and Wanda are up to their ears dealing with a million and one requests and questions. Around the track Max, Gary and who-ever they can find to help them out will be painting, mowing and doing what-ever else is on their to-do-list to spruce things up for the weekend. Debbie and Shawna will be looking after lots of administrative stuff and Michelle will be working with our marketing partners to make sure everything is done-up just right.
It takes a lot of work to get ready for SpeedWeekend, but it’ll be all worth it when Sunday arrives and the cars are on the grid and the drivers are getting ready to take the green flag to start the 2013 Auto Value 250. The Roy & Foley families want to thank all of Speedway 660’s employees and volunteers and everyone else who is helping us get ready for SpeedWeekend.
If you are down to Speedway 660 this week, you’ll likely see Richard and Anne Martin volunteering to do lots of last minute jobs and errands that always seem to pop up the week of SpeedWeekend. Wally & Joe are likely using their skills and working their magic to get things done. Everybody is working together to pull off a great weekend of racing and a great weekend of family fun and entertainment.
And that’s what it’s all about - family fun and entertainment. The Foley and Roy families have worked hard this year after buying Speedway 660 back in March. This is their first SpeedWeekend as track owners and promoters. They have been on a steep learning curve this season and have done a great job. Once SpeedWeekend is over, I know they will take the time to examine the business side of racing and develop strategies to take us into 2014 and beyond.
One thing is for certain and that is the focus will continue to be on families. Racing is all about families. Whether it’s Dave O’Blenis and his daughters Courtney and Alexandra racing out on the track or your family sitting in the bleachers, this sport is tailor-made for families. And going forward I know that’s where we have to focus in order to grow our sport and get more people excited about our brand of family entertainment.
SpeedWeekend will kick-off with a corn-boil and bonfire presented by Harvey’s Family Farms. This is a free event and it’s not just for the racers and campers, it’s for everyone. Fresh corn-on-the-cob, a huge bonfire, great live music from Tristan Horncastle and his band plus more tunes from DJ Dale Case. It shakes down at 7PM on Friday evening, so you should head on down to the track for some great fun. And did I mention it’s free?
SpeedWeekend is all about side-by-side racing! You will see lots of that Saturday night in the Irving Blending & Packaging 150 and on Sunday afternoon and evening in qualifying and the Auto Value 250. The great SpeedWeekend races in the past have set the stage for 2013 as we get ready to enjoy another awesome family event.
On Saturday afternoon you will start to feel the intensity build as the race teams roll out onto Speedway 660 for their practice sessions. Our Martins Home Heating Sportsman drivers will get some laps in and so will a strong contingent of other drivers from across our region. With five grand to the winner, the Irving Blending & Packaging 150 should see one of our strongest fields of Sportsman drivers in years.
The West Wood Estate Bandolero drivers will be part of the Saturday night show too. These kids are amazing. This will be the last hurrah for some of them, because next year we’ll see some of them move up the ranks here at Speedway 660. Our Bando drivers are going to have to be on their game too, because SpeedWeekend will see other youngsters, from all over our region travel to the Geary Woods to see if they can earn a trip to the Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane.
Sunday afternoon we’ll see qualifying for the Auto Value 250. This year’s race is being presented by Jim Gilbert’s Wheels & Deals and RE/MAX Group Four Realty. We’ll get a great crowd for qualifying, but it will continue to build as the afternoon rolls on until the place is packed when the green flag flies to start the 250.
The clock is tickin and the days are slipping past. It won’t be long before we settle onto the edge of our seats for this year’s edition of SpeedWeekend. The atmosphere will be electric in the Geary Woods on Sunday evening when the 2013 Auto Value 250 is about to Go Green!
Also on Sunday, fans will see the DMR Auto Sales & Service Street Stocks and Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters. Drivers in these two divisions love to race in front of SpeedWeekend crowds and they’ll put on a great show too.
And after the fireworks light up the Geary sky on Sunday night to celebrate the 2013 Auto Value 250 champion, we’ll get ready for Monday. The ENDURO 200 championship, is a great way to wrap up SpeedWeekend and our racing season.
We’ve been doing SpeedWeekend since 2001. We started fairly small, at least compared to where we are now, but it didn’t take long for the idea to grow. SpeedWeekend has become a spectacle, a show-stopper, a barn-burner and an event avid families of race fans will not miss.
And it’s almost here, the days will fly be fast this week and before you know it the stands will be packed with loyal fans, the track will see the best race teams in eastern North America and the Geary Woods will come alive for our biggest weekend. Can’t you almost taste it?
We’ll see you at the races!