Speedway 660 Race Report By Wade Wilson
Just a few hours after rain forced postponement of the biggest race of Speedway 660’s season, fans returned to the Geary Woods on Monday morning to witness one of the most incredible Pro Stock races of all time. Travis Benjamin from Morrill, Maine, finally won his first-ever Re/Max 250 over two other American short track drivers.
Benjamin battled Ben Rowe for the win in the last few laps, after duelling with Austin Theriault, who finished third, for much of the race. It will go down as one of the best Re/Max 250’s in the history of SpeedWeekend. Benjamin led 104 laps and won $20,200.00 in prize money. Joey Doiron, another American, was fourth while Lonnie Sommerville was the top Canadian at fifth.
“Finally we got to win the big one at Speedway 660, this means so much to us, I love coming to this place and these great fans saw one heck of a race” said Benjamin from the Riverview Ford Victory Lane. “To win here in New Brunswick with an Irving logo on my hood is pretty special, they have supported me since 2000 and to win the Re/Max 250 right here in the heart of Irving country is a memory I’ll always cherish.”
Ben Rowe really put the pressure on Benjamin in the last 20 laps. Rowe worked the low groove and the two Americans swapped the lead several times before Benjamin finally took the checkered flag. The race started with a 70 lap green flag run and took just a little over two hours to complete.
“I love coming up here once or twice a year to run this car for Hal O’Neal and I really wanted to win the Re/Max 250 for Hal and his team and these awesome fans” said Rowe. “You gotta give Travis a lot of credit, he ran me clean and gave me lots of room on the low groove and as much as I wanted to win this thing he deserved the victory.”
Austin Theriault, who led 94 laps, turned up the wick and passed Benjamin just before lap125 to claim the Modern Electric $1500 Half Way Challenge. Benjamin, winner of the 2014 Oxford 250 and Theriault, who finished second at Oxford, battled each other for the lead for much of the race.
“This was my first time here and it was an awesome race, I love Speedway 660 because this is a driver’s race track and I’m putting the Re/Max 250 on my calendar for next year” said Theriault. “The hospitality here is tremendous, these fans love their racing and the folks at Speedway 660 really made me feel right at home here in New Brunswick.”
The Re/Max 250 was scheduled for Sunday night, but rain forced postponement of the race until Monday morning. However, fans did see some incredible racing on Sunday afternoon. Dave O’Blenis, Dylan Gosbee, Austin Theriault and Kevin Moore won the Re/Max 250 qualifying heats. Matt Harris and Brady Creamer took the Last Chance races.
Re/Max 250 Results
1. Travis Benjamin (Morrill, ME), 2. Ben Rowe (Beechridge, ME), 3. Austin Theriault, 4. Joey Doiron (Berwick, ME), 5. Lonnie Sommerville (Saint John, NB), 6. Kevin Moore (Fredericton, NB), 7. Sarah McKay (Quispamsis, ), 8. Paul Gahan (Lower St Mary’s, NB), 9. Derek Christie (Fredericton, NB), 10. Shawn Tucker (Killarney Road, NB), 11. Cole Boudreau (Chipman, NB), 12. Ken MacKenzie (Petitcodiac, NB), 13. Kirk Thibeau (Presque Isle, ME), 14. Dana Hamm (Fredericton, NB), 15. Greg Fahey (St. Stephen, NB), 16. Chris Duncan (Hampton, NB), 17. Glyn Nott (Burton, NB), 18. Matt Harris (Fredericton Jct., NB), 19. Dylan Gosbee (Cornwall, ), 20. Dave O’Blenis (Boundary Creek, NB), 21. John Flemming (Willamwood, NS), 22. Steve Halpin (Saint John, NB), 23. John Rankin (St.Martins, NB), 24. Cassius Clark (Farmington, ME), 25. Brady Creamer (Miramichi, NB), 26. Jason Carnahan (Moncton, NB), 27. Michael Kyle (Sussex, NB), 28. Robbie MacLean.