Last year’s Auto Value 250 at Speedway 660 Speedway attracted one of the best fields of pro stock cars ever seen in the region. This year’s field has already broken that standard and today veteran NASCAR driver Johnny Benson has thrown his hat into the ring for the 2010 Auto Value 250. The 2008 Craftsman Truck Series Champion and former Nextel/Winston Cup regular announced that he has teamed with Martins Home Heating and Sommerville Racing to make the trek north to Fredericton, NB for the Labour Day event.
The Auto Value 250 is now celebrating its 10th Anniversary, and the region’s top pro stock drivers regard the race as the premier stock car event of the season. Benson is no stranger to the event as he led the charge of high profile drivers to compete with his entry in the 2005 and 2006 event.
“I’ve been looking to get back up here since my last run in 2006. It’s an awesome weekend and the folks are a blast. We’ve had some scheduling conflicts over the past few years but I’m excited to be able to come for the 10th Anniversary event” said Benson.
Benson has had some great success since his last visit to Speedway 660 as he won the 2008 Craftsman Truck Series Championship. “2008 was a great year in the trucks and I remember people from New Brunswick sending email and notes along congratulating me. That was pretty neat that they took the time to keep up on what I was doing down south” said Benson.
Benson will be supported in his bid for the Auto Value 250 title by local sponsors Martin’s Home Heating and Venmar. “We are thrilled to have Johnny Benson back at Speedway 660” said Richard Martin of Martin’s Home Heating. “We were completely impressed with Johnny when he was here in 2005 and 2006. You couldn’t ask for a better representative and on top of that the guy can certainly wheel a race car”.
He has competed in 274 Spring Cup races over 11 years and was the Rookie of the Year in 1996. He has also competed in 91 Busch Series races over 10 years and was the 1994 Rookie of the Year. He followed his Rookie of the Year Award with a Busch Series Championship in 1995.
“Johnny is a class act and we are really excited to have him back for the 10th Anniversary Auto Value 250” said track co-owner Chris Johnston, “Johnny was the first NASCAR driver to make his way north and compete in our race and I must say he set the standard pretty high for everyone following behind him”.
The Auto Value 250
The 2010 Auto Value 250 will take place on Sunday, September 5th, 2010 and will be the highlight of the 9th Annual SPEEDWEEKEND. The event will showcase the Speedway 660 Coastal Blending & Packaging Pro Stocks against the best of the Eastern Canada and New England. The purse for 2010 will be over $70,000 with a guaranteed $15,000 to the event winner and possible winner’s cheque of $28,000. Seven years ago, the late Scott Fraser took home a record $25,400 including lap money. Only ten years old, the event as grown in crowd, atmosphere, and car count every year since its inception. Over 8,000 people attended the 2009 event to break attendance records at Speedway 660. Forty plus pro stock cars will be attempting to qualify for 28 spots on the starting grid.
Just like the Auto Value 250, SPEEDWEEKEND continues to grow every year. Over 14,000 people attended last year’s four-day stock car fest that includes a corn boil on Friday night, O’Leary Buick GMC Sportsman 150 race on Saturday night, the Auto Value 250 on Sunday, and finishes up with an Enduro 200 on Monday. While the Auto Value 250 is the highlight of the racing event, the weekend has developed into an event on its own with over 650 campers turning Speedway 660 into a small town over the weekend. It has become the destination of choice for the region’s stock car fans.
Speedway 660 is WicKID Family Fun! The 1/3 of a mile high-banked paved oval features three classes of racing on a weekly basis: Coastal Blending & Packaging Pro Stocks, Martin’s Home Heating, and Leisure Family Rv.com Street Stocks. Over 70,000 people are expected to attend over 18 events during the 2010 season. Speedway 660 is located off Highway 7 on Route 660 in Geary, NB, and is within minutes of Saint John and Fredericton. Speedway 660 can be found online at www.speedway660.com.