New Hampshire Motor Speedway coverage presented by RPM Racing Engines
LOUDON, N.H. -- "This is definitely not where I expected to be when I started racing Tigers," smiled Dave Pembroke as he unfolded his driving suit in the infield at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon.
But Pembroke wasn't necessarily speaking of racing at NHMS.
If it wasn't for the American-Canadian Tour's innovative and cost-effective Late Model 'spec' engine program, which began ten years ago next weekend, Pembroke likely would never have been able to get out of the mid-level Tiger Sportsman division at Barre's Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl, and subsequently never would have had the opportunity to race a Late Model car at NHMS.
After winning Rookie of the Year honors at Thunder Road in 2000, the Middlesex driver went on to score in the prestigious Milk Bowl, Memorial Day Classic, and Labor Day Classic events, a Thunder Road track championship, and at various ACT Late Model Tour races.
"No question, the spec engine is how we got into the Late Model division," said Pembroke, who will start 16th the ACT Invitational just after 5:30pm. "And now look at us."
Pembroke looked outside his trailer and smiled again as a rush of NASCAR Camping World Trucks screamed by. "Even now, I'm 38 years old and I still get all excited when I see these (NASCAR) guys race at this track.
"And in about an hour I get to be one of the guys racing here. And it's because of that spec engine."