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Issue 216

Fahey Etches Name Into History Books

I mentioned last week that I wouldn’t be surprised one iota if Greg Fahey became the 34th different winner in Maritime Pro Stock Tour history last weekend at Speedway 660.

The Andy Fox led McLaughlin Roof Trusses team came prepared to Speedway 660 and it showed as Fahey drove a flawless race en route to his first Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour race. Fahey moved from his seventh place starting spot early, took the lead from Dylan Gosbee and set sail for the Cummins 150 victory.

Exhaustion from the heat and emotion of the moment overcame Greg in victory lane. He has tried for so long to win one of these races and now he can finally lay claim to a win on the series, something only 33 others can say they have been able to do in 16 and a half seasons. I would love to see what Greg and a team with the strength of the #29F team could do full time on the Tour. I’ve said it before, I think Greg is one of the top talents not on our series full time and fully believe he could contend for a championship.

Dylan Gosbee finished second in the Cummins 150 and rightfully so, they had the second best car most of the day behind the #29F. Gosbee has been strong all season but we knew going in that he would be a favorite at Speedway 660. Gosbee was able to get to the inside on the restarts late in the race, which was key for track position, and able to get a gap on his competition on those green runs. Maybe more importantly, it keeps Gosbee in the thick of the championship conversation as he looks to become the first Islander to win the overall series crown.

While we saw a few cars migrate to the second groove, especially through the first set of corners, later in the race, Dylan Blenkhorn was able to keep the bottom groove working for him and the #67 car to record their fifth straight podium on the season with a third place run. Blenkhorn and the team have struggled a bit over the last year and a half on their flat track program but with the guidance of 2015 track champion Lonnie Sommerville it seems they found their way around.

Cole Butcher and Shawn Turple fought back and forth with Butcher ultimately taking fourth behind the #67 and in front of the #0. Turple has been keeping with Blenkhorn’s stride in the standings after starting off the season with two wins and not finishing worse than sixth. That is a record you have to keep to become a champion in this series and it could be one Turple will have to keep up if he wants to get a third title. The hard earned top five he learned at Speedway 660 could go a long way in that chase for another championship.

Kudos to Devin Snell, Matt Rodgers and Nicholas Naugle on their top ten runs in Geary. For Snell, it is his first career Maritime Pro Stock Tour top ten, becoming the 110th driver to pull that feat since 2001. For Rodgers and Naugle, it is their second top ten finishes with the series and for all three, it is their first Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour top ten at Speedway 660. Terry Dougay slotted between Naugle and Jarrett Butcher, earning Naugle his second Exide Batteries Rookie of the Race Award after getting the nod at Riverside in June.

Craig Slaunwhite and his team had to thrash on their car after a practice crash in the opening moments of the first on track time of the day destroyed the rear end of their car. The Slaunwhite Motorsports team was hard at work and Slaunwhite drove the car to second place in his heat and an eighth place finish in the Cummins 150. The team never gave up, something that is a crucial trait in a champion crew. Watch these guys in the second half of 2017, I can see a win or two on the horizon.

One of the drivers most impressed with Speedway 660 was Stevie Lively. Lively had cut his teeth at Scotia Speedworld and had never seen the Geary track prior to Sunday. After a couple of practices, the track grew on Lively. “Man, that is a fun track,” Stevie told me after the race. “Everyone told me it was a tough track, they told me to not overdrive or I would end up off the track, but once I got a hang of it I had a blast.” The clutch went on the #30 car and Lively finished 19th after 62 laps of racing.

Overall, the Cummins 150 at Speedway 660, even with the extra 50 laps, was a pretty entertaining race. Behind Fahey’s domination there was a lot of racing action from top to bottom, something we expect every week that I hope the fans in the Fredericton area enjoyed. Great job to our drivers - you put on an awesome show last Sunday!

Next week, we dive into the 2017 IWK 250. With 39 entries, including a NASCAR Hall of Famer in Mark Martin, this one will be tough to choose a winner in. Maybe Mother Nature will let us race this one on a Saturday this time for only the second time this year!

Enjoy your off-weekend, it is about to get busy again next Saturday!

Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!