For the last two years we have posted weekly conversations on the Speedway 660 web site. These conversations featured drivers and other people associated with racing in the Geary Woods. Heading into SpeedWeekend 2013, Wade Wilson asked several folks about the importance of this weekend’s event.
Wade: What does SpeedWeekend mean to you?
Dave O’Blenis: We actually won the Auto Value 250 in 2002. It’s our biggest race of the season which makes it our Daytona 500. We put a lot of effort into it because it’s one of the three biggest races of the year in the Maritimes and if you win or get a good finish in the last race of the season, you’ve had a good year. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of pressure for the RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock drivers because we are representing Speedway 660 and taking on some of the best short-track racers in North America. We feel we have a pretty good car this year, so it’s going to be interesting. We’ll be running the Auto Value 250 and the Irving Blending & Packaging 150 so we’ve had to work hard as a race team to get ready for the pro stock and sportsman races. My daughters Courtney and Alexandra will both be running their Bandolero cars and Alex wants to bring her street stock car, so we’ll be busy.
For us, as a family, we enjoy camping among the fans, meeting a lot of folks and talking racing. This is a great weekend and our family looks forward to it all year.
The O’Blenis family is really looking forward to SpeedWeekend 2013. When SpeedWeekend first started, over a decade ago, Corrie & Dave’s daughters Alexandra and Courtney were small, little girls cheering for Dad. Now they are young ladies who drive race cars and that will make this SpeedWeekend pretty special for this family. Plus Dave is considered a strong contender in both the Irving Blending & Packaging 150 and the Auto Value 250.
Ken MacKenzie: SpeedWeekend is a real big thing for us. It marks the end of a great year of racing at Speedway 660, which is our home track. We enjoy the camping all season long, but it’s especially a lot of fun on SpeedWeekend. Kinda sad in a way because we’ll be saying good-bye to our camping buddies. We’re eating pretty good and racing real hard here in the Geary Woods. In terms of racing, if I can qualify for the Auto Value 250 and run the entire race, I’ll be happy. And Kenny Jr is having a great year in street stock, so if he can have a strong run in that race, we’ll consider it a great weekend and fantastic season.
I’ve never been anywhere like Speedway 660, we always have a blast here. The racing is fantastic and competition is tough. After we load the cars in the trailers after the races we always get together at the campfire and have a few laughs. Did I mention the food? Someone is always cookin ribs, chicken wings, burgers and other good stuff.
Ken MacKenzie has made Speedway 660 his home track. After racing around the Maritimes for many years, this veteran driver loves the competition and the respect the drivers have for each other in the Geary Woods. Kenny also likes his camping buddies and enjoys having a campfire and a major “chow-down” in the campground after the races! Ken will be attempting to qualify for the Auto Value 250 on SpeedWeekend and Kenny Jr. will be running in the DMR Auto Sales & Service Street Stock race.
Glyn Nott: We’ve been watching the Auto Value 250 since it started in 2001. For all of those years we’ve been running a Sportsman car and have sat in the stands watching the pro stocks run on Sunday. This year we’ll watch the Saturday night show and attempt to qualify for the 250 on Sunday. Making the Auto Value 250 starting grid is our final goal of the 2013 season. If we get in, we’ll try to have a good finish and complete all 250. The pit stops, during cautions, will be something we aren’t used to and that will be a challenge. This year the car has been better than the driver, but I am starting to get comfortable in a pro stock and look forward to having an opportunity to race against Ben Rowe, Shawn Tucker, John Flemming and all of the other strong competitors we’ll see on SpeedWeekend. Our family and friends also enjoy the camping experience, we always have an incredible pot-luck feast at our camp-site and it’s great to see everyone having a lot of fun on SpeedWeekend.
Glyn Nott is the 2013 RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock Rookie of the Year. Glyn won his heat race and dash, on Fan Appreciation Night of Champions, to pick up his first checkered flags of the season. With a couple of wins and the rookie award to his credit, Nott says qualifying for the Auto Value 250 is the final goal of his pro stock rookie season. Nott, who has run every SpeedWeekend Saturday night Sportsman race, is excited to finally have the opportunity to make a qualifying run for the big race on Sunday. By the way, Team Nott is famous for it’s SpeedWeekend campground potluck!
Brent Roy: SpeedWeekend is something you look forward to all season long. We’re excited about Saturday’s Irving Blending & Packaging 150. After finishing second in both the Martins Home Heating 100 and the Firecracker 150, we`ve got something to prove this weekend. When you come here for SpeedWeekend you’ve got a crowd of close to 10 thousand fans, you’ve got the best racers in the region and if your car is not 110 percent, you are not in the hunt.
Brent Roy has high aspirations heading into SpeedWeekend. After finishing in second place in both the Martins Home Heating 100 and the Firecracker 150, there’s only one place the Camry Kid wants to be on Saturday night. His goal is to visit the Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane right after the checkered flag comes out on the Irving Blending & Packaging 150.
Cole Boudreau: The Auto Value 250 is the biggest race of the year in Atlantic Canada and for me it’s pretty special this year. Speedway 660 is my home track and now that I am racing in the top division, I am excited about having the chance to qualify for the 250. Jumping from bandolero to pro stock was not as hard as I thought it was going to be and I think that is because we’ve got a great car from Frank Fraser. All I’ve done is followed Mr. Fraser’s advice and raced as hard as I can without banging up the car. I know it will be a huge task just to qualify for the Auto Value 250, but that’s our goal and we’re going to give it our best shot. Our first race in a pro stock was the Best of the Best 150, we had a lot of fun and came home in the top ten. The 250 will be a much bigger challenge, but we’ve got a great crew and fantastic sponsors and I will try my best to put the car into the show for all of them.
Cole Boudreau made his RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock debut in the Best of the Best 150 earlier this season. Cole, our 2012 Bando champ, feels right at home in Speedway 660’s top division and credits Frank Fraser for providing him with a great race car. We think this kid deserves a little credit too, because he’s shown fans and other drivers that he’s more than ready to step-up to pro stock. Cole will face his biggest challenge of his young racing career on Sunday when he attempts to qualify for the Auto Value 250.
Dana Hamm: Everybody from around the Maritimes comes out to SpeedWeekend to see the Auto Value 250 and Irving Blending & Packaging 150. It’s a huge event at Speedway 660 and I am really looking to be strong in qualifying. Making the race would be a huge accomplishment for us on SpeedWeekend Sunday. We’ll definitely do our best to get into the Auto Value 250 for our sponsors. It’s been a big jump from bandolero to pro stock this year, but I think we’ve had a pretty good season. It’s a steep learning curve, but we just tried to get a handle on the car, earn the respect of the other drivers and finish as many races as we could.
Dana Hamm ran a full season in our top division this year. He finished second in the Pro Stock Rookie of the Year chase. Like Cole Boudreau, Dana is a former Bando champ who will try his best to make the field for the Auto Value 250. Hamm earned the respect of our fans and the other pro stock drivers in his 2013 rookie season by being patient and learning how to run these big, powerful cars.
Michelle Roy: Our family has been here as part of a race team for many years, but this is our first year as track owners. We are finding out quickly that there is a never ending list of things to do to get ready for Speedway 660’s biggest weekend of the year. But we are blessed to have great employees who have been around for several SpeedWeekends and their organization skills, dedication to the sport and love of racing has helped us prepare for our first SpeedWeekend as owners of Speedway 660. We have made a few changes, on Friday night for example we have a live band playing at a free event. Tristan Horncastle has just released his first country album and is excited to be here for the Friday night corn-boil and infield family party. DJ Dale Case will also be here playing some tunes. We really have seen how racing has become a family sport and in the future we really want to focus our efforts in this area. I hope all of the fans, race teams, our marketing partners and employees have a great SpeedWeekend 2013. I know we’ll see some awesome racing and the Foley and Roy families just want to make sure everyone has a great time.
Michelle Roy says it takes a lot of strategic planning and hard work to get ready for SpeedWeekend. Speedway 660’s Marketing, Promotions and Advertising Manager welcomes fans, race teams and our marketing partners to the “Geary Woods” this weekend for great family entertainment.