The Riverview Ford Lincoln Season Opener on Sunday, May 19th will begin an action packed year of racing that will open on the Victoria Day Long Weekend and close on the Labour Day Long Weekend with SpeedWeekend. The four Speedway 660 house divisions will each open their season on Sunday with point paying features, including the RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty Pro Stocks, Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman, DMR Auto Street Stocks and Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooters. Post time for Sunday’s Riverview Ford Lincoln Season Opener is 2pm.
Speedway 660 is excited to welcome back longtime marketing partner Riverview Ford Lincoln. Riverview Ford Lincoln is one of the most visible marketing partners at the track through their support of the Riverview Ford Lincoln Season Opener on Sunday, May 19th, the presenting partner of Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane and the supplier of the pace vehicle that will lead every race of the 2019 season onto the oval. Riverview Ford Lincoln will also play host to a Race Car Show and Display on Saturday, June 1st at their dealership. Riverview Ford Lincoln can be found at 970 Hanwell Road in Fredericton and their full inventory can be accessed online at RiverviewFord.ca.
The RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty Pro Stock division may very well come down to a battle of past champions. Dave O’Blenis (Boundary Creek, NB) is the most recent division champion, taking his sixth crown by edging out Ryan Messer (Harvey, NB) in a tiebreaker in 2018. Greg Fahey (St. Stephen, NB) is also a former multi-time champion that will look to take the championship back for the first time since his last title in 2016 when he outraced veterans Kevin Moore (Fredericton, NB) and Matt Harris (Fredericton Junction, NB) for the top spot.
Brent Roy (Hanwell, NB) may very well enter as the longshot in this battle of former champions but he has climbed the mountain once to reign supreme in the top class at Speedway 660. Roy was the champion in his sophomore season in Pro Stock, where he fended off Ashton Tucker (Lyttleton, NB) and Dustin Tucker (Fredericton, NB) to win it all.
Roy is taking the role in stride as he enters the 2019 season against some of the best Late Model competition within the Province.
“It will take some consistency and a little bit of luck,” said Roy on the season long championship battle ahead. “To win a championship, you have to make sure your car is ready for the fight every single week and every single lap. Being the underdog in this battle will be a fun challenge but we are up for it!”
The RE/MAX East Coast Elite Realty Pro Stock division will also be joined by a host of competitors looking to take away checkered flags and championship points throughout the season. Ian Rasmussen (New Denmark, NB) leads the charge of “young guns” looking to further cement themselves into the Speedway 660 history books. Devin Snell (Saint John, NB) and Shawn Warren (Waasis, NB) are also pre-registered for the 2019 season in the premiere division at Speedway 660.
After a nail biting battle in the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman division championship in 2018, one would think Curtis Collins (Barnesville, NB) is looking to finish on the opposite end of the fight. After battling with fellow Lonnie Sommerville Racing stablemate Drew Greenlaw (Eastport, ME), Collins is not thinking as much big picture as one would think heading into Sunday’s Riverview Ford Lincoln Season Opener.
“We’re just hoping to have a good season and stay out of trouble,” said Collins ahead of Sunday. “Like all drivers, we want to put on a good show for the fans, we have one of the most dedicated fan bases in the Maritimes at Speedway 660. Looking forward as a team, we don’t have any goals necessarily, but if our crew is in contention near the end of the season we’ll be digging hard for the championship.”
Several championship contenders are expected to return for another shot at the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman title, including the O’Blenis sisters (Alexandra and Courtney, Boundary Creek, NB), Rob Raynes (Saint John, NB), Clark Moore (Saint John, NB), Ryan Raynes (Saint John, NB), 2018 Rookie of the Year Destiny Enkel (Fredericton, NB) and Hudson Weston.
Richard Atkinson (Geary, NB) will debut the new Gen 2 Five Star Body on his Sportsman car on Sunday. Luc McLaughlin (Geary, NB) is moving to the Late Model Sportsman ranks in 2019 and will begin his season at Speedway 660, a track where he owns three track titles between the Sharp Shooter and Street Stock divisions. The class was one of the most competitive of any division at the track in 2018 with seven different feature winners hitting Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane in 12 races.
Speaking of the DMR Auto Street Stock division, St. Stephen, New Brunswick’s Shawn Hyslop will look to defend his title earned in 2018. Hyslop fended off Justin Cole (Harvey, NB) and Roger Slocum (Chipman, NB) for his championship and appears he will have some stiff competition once again. Early registrations include familiar faces like 2018 Rookie of the Year Kyle MacKinnon (Lincoln, NB), fan favorite Courtney Barton (Minto, NB), veteran Benji Ruff (Carlow, NB), Charlotte County driver Chris Hanley (St. Stephen, NB), the duo of Karl Schaefer and Luke Dukeshire and a returning Peter Martin. Rick Cashol (Saint John, NB) will not be in the seat of his car for the first race but fans should be on the lookout for the new look No. 54 this season.
The closest championship battle heading into Night of Champions in 2018 was in the Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter division. When all the dust settled on track and in post race technical inspection, it was Bryan Suttie (Keswick, NB) hoisting the championship trophy. Suttie had toyed with the idea of stepping back over the winter but has since made the decision to defend his Sharp Shooters crown. Part of that decision may have been contributed to one of the new entries in the class in Pit Bunny Racing, with Bryan’s wife Maggie Suttie expected to drive that No. 41 car on Sunday. Rebecca Rose, wife of Jeff Rose (Harvey, NB), will split the car with Maggie Suttie in 2019.
Several returning drivers will give the handful of rookies all they can handle, including Brody Levesque (Fredericton), Scott “Bat Hubby” Kennie (Fredericton, NB), Malcolm Suley, Randy Storey (Fredericton, NB), Frankie Harnish, and reigning Rookie of the Year Randy Titus (French Lake, NB), who will sport a new number on his Neon. Matt Martin (Fredericton, NB) will return to the Sharp Shooter division after a brief hiatus.
BJ Gillespie will be a busy driver on Sunday afternoon as he does double duty on the day. Gillespie has built a new Sharp Shooter ride for 2019 and will also be sliding in the window of a Street Stock.
As the Riverview Ford Lincoln Season Opener nears, entries continue to pour in to the Speedway 660 offices. As is usually the case, teams are in crunch mode getting their race cars ready to compete on Sunday afternoon.
Returning for 2019, children aged 15 and under will be admitted to the grandstands for free to every stock car event at Speedway 660. The admission structure makes it easier for families to attend race events at the track and received positive feedback from fans when implemented mid-season in 2017.
Adult grandstand admission price for Sunday’s Riverview Ford Lincoln Season Opener is $15 (aged 16 and up). Pit admission is $18 and is restricted to those 16 years of age and older. Tickets are available at the gate on race day. Pit gates for competitors will open at 9:30am, grandstand gates open for spectators at 12pm with racing getting underway at 2pm. A complete race day format will be available via Speedway660.com later in the week.
An optional Practice and Pre-Tech day for competitors at Speedway 660 will be held on Saturday, May 18th from 1pm to 5pm. Admission for Saturday afternoon is $10 per person.
For more information about the Riverview Ford Lincoln Season Opener or any event at Speedway 660, visit Speedway660.com, like @Speedway660 on Facebook or call the Speedway 660 Raceline at (506) 454-7223.
About Riverview Ford Lincoln:
Riverview Ford Lincoln Sales is the number one choice for all things Ford in Fredericton, NB and the surrounding areas. Whether you’re in the market for a new or quality pre-owned vehicle, servicing, parts or accessories, you’ll find everything you need along with the warmest of welcomes here at Riverview Ford Lincoln. Your complete satisfaction is our absolute priority, and that philosophy permeates through every aspect of our operation. Ford has what must be the most impressive lineup of new vehicles in its history available right now, and you’ll find them all here at Riverview Ford Lincoln. Visit them at 970 Hanwell Road, online at RiverviewFord.ca or call them at (506) 453-0400.
About Speedway 660:
Speedway 660 is one of Canada’s premier stock car racing facilities. Located in New Brunswick’s Fredericton region, it attracts race teams and fans from the Maritimes, New England and Quebec. The Speedway 660 racing season runs from mid May until Labour Day Weekend. SpeedWeekend, one of the most prestigious short track events in eastern North America, wraps up Speedway 660’s racing season.