Monday, April 6, 2009

Scott Eager for NHMS Tire Test

Phil Scott of Montpelier and Donald Theetge of Boischatel, Que. will make short track racing history on Tuesday as the first American-Canadian Tour Late Model competitors to drive their cars around the 1.058-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., in a private test held by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

In a closed, two-day session on Tuesday and Wednesday, Scott and Theetge will gather information for the tire maunfacturer, chassis builders, competitors, and the track, in preparation for the inaugural ACT Invitational on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 weekend in September.

"It's certainly an interesting proposal, being invited to participate in this test," said Scott, the 2002 ACT Late Model Tour and three-time Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl champion. "Getting an opportunity like this is kind of cool, being the first ACT drivers on the track. I'm anxious to see how the cars perform, and testing for Goodyear is something you don't get to do every day."

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, David Ragan, and David Stremme will also be a part of the test. Scott offered a "No comment," when asked if there will be any information shared between the Cup teams team and those of Scott and Theetge.

"I'm sort of sworn to secrecy, which I believe is probably a standard policy put in place by Goodyear," Scott said. "And truthfully, I'm not really sure what will happen anyway."

Scott did say that he would like to share information with his fellow ACT competitors, however.

"The list of people allowed into the test was fairly strict. I know Donald is bringing (Race Basics chassis builder) Dave Smith along to gather information, and I'm sure they will help out the Race Basics teams with what they learn," Scott said. "I haven't spoken with Pete (Duto, Scott's crew chief) yet about his take on sharing. I personally want to share information with everyone, especially if it's something that will help us all put on a better show and be more competitive." Scott will drive a chassis built by Dale Shaw Race Cars of New Hampshire.

Although a rookie in the ACT-type Late Model at the superspeedway, Scott does have a bit of seat time at NHMS, having practiced a NASCAR Camping World Series East car there in 2003.

"I am concerned with the brake issue in the long run," he said. "But the straightaways are fairly long and should give the brakes some good cooling time. I imagine that it will be similar to running at Sanair (a 9/10-mile track in Qu├ębec) and there shouldn't be much of a problem. We'll know more in a day or two."

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