Sunday, May 30, 2010

Masse, Pembroke Repeat Thunder Road Memorial Day Wins

Modified Racing Series coverage presented by

BARRE-- It was nearly as simple as copying and pasting last year’s Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic results at Barre’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl on Sunday: Steve Masse dominated the Modified Racing Series event, and Dave Pembroke dominated the Late Model race.

But it wasn’t that simple.

While he stole the headlines with his career-first MRS win last year, Masse was nearly an afterthought to the MRS portion of the event in 2010, after a controversial finish involving Les Hinckley and Rowan Pennink at Airborne Speedway on Saturday night centered the focus on those two drivers.

Hinckley would prove to be a non-factor at Thunder Road, but Pennink kept everyone’s attention with two frightful trips over the top of the first turn, one of which sent his car into a barrel roll.

But once Pennink’s dust settled and he eventually retired from the event, Masse assumed the lead role. Masse was unchallenged virtually the entire 100-lap distance, leading by as much as a half-lap.

“I like this track,” said the 20 year-old Bellingham, Mass., driver, whose two career Modified Racing Series victories have both come at the track known to chew up and spit out veterans three times his age. “For some reason I know how to drive it. I feel like I’ve got a good grip on it. I don’t know how to explain it.”

Masse wrecked his primary car at Airborne on Saturday night and rolled out his back-up car to win at Thunder Road.

“The car was awesome, that’s it,” said Masse, who started fifth on the 24-car field. “[The win] is a tremendous thing. We found something [wrong with the car] over the long break we just had, and I think we’re going to be a contender all year long from now on. We should be fast at every track.”

Rob Goodenough of Swanzey, N.H., drove from seventh at the start to finish as the runner-up, and Ken Barry of Preston, Conn., came from 12th to finish a season-best third. Three-time MRS champion Kirk Alexander of West Swanzey, N.H., was fourth and rookie Max Zachem of Preston, Conn., was fifth. Hinckley finished sixth with Ascutney rookie Joey Jarvis seventh. Charlie Pasteryak, Dwight Jarvis, and Eddy Spiers completed the unofficial top ten.

Pembroke’s drive wasn’t quite as easy initially during the 100-lap Late Model feature, coming from 14th at the start.

As Pembroke drove through the field, Graniteville’s John Donahue battled Jeffersonville driver Joe Becker at the front, banging doors and fenders several times. Nick Sweet, who had arguably the fastest car on the track, made his way by Becker on lap 37 and raced outside Donahue for the lead until they came together on lap 46.

Sweet spun to bring out the yellow flag, leaving Pembroke in fourth place for the restart. Donahue and Becker resumed their previous fight up front, with the final blow coming on lap 68. As Becker slid up the track, Pembroke dived under both drivers to take the lead, then cruised to a large lead. He withstood a lap-96 restart and beat Donahue by two car-lengths to the finish. Donahue nipped Hyde Park’s Eric Williams by a foot for second place; Becker faded to sixth.

“I don’t want to say that luck was why I won, but it helped that I didn’t have to pass Nick to win the race. He had the fastest car, I think,” Pembroke said. “When [Donahue] and Joe Becker kind of touched a little bit getting into [Turn 1], Becker had to chase his car up the track and I just was able to turn under him.”

Pembroke’s Memorial Day Classic victory was his third in four years in the event. His name now ranks among some of the all-time Thunder Road elite winners and champions, including multi-time Memorial Day winners Dave Dion, Jean-Paul Cabana, and Robbie Crouch.

“I used to come here as a kid [to watch them race], and now… I don’t even know,” Pembroke said of his accomplishment. “It’s crazy. Crazy.”

Joey Laquerre of East Montpelier was fourth behind Williams, with Charlotte’s Rich Lowrey fifth. Tracie Bellerose, Jamie Fisher, Sweet, and Brent Dragon followed Becker across the line to complete the top ten.

Brendan Moodie of North Wolcott held off a race-long challenge from Hinesburg’s Tom Therrien to win the 35-lap Tiger Sportsman feature. Ricky Roberts was third, with Lance Allen and David Finck rounding out the top five.

Travis Hull of Graniteville earned his first career Street Stock victory over Mike MacAskill, Dan Lathrop, Jamie Davis, and Dave LaFleche. Ken Christman of Cabot earned his second Junkyard Warrior win in as many starts, beating Josh Erwin and Brock Parrott. Amanda Habel of Roxbury earned her first win the Street Stock/Warrior reserve feature.

RESULTS: Memorial Day Classic Twin 100s @ Thunder Road, 5/30/10

Modified Racing Series coverage presented by

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 100
Modified Racing Series – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Sunday, May 30, 2010

# - denotes rookie

1. Steve Masse, Bellingham, Mass.
2. Rob Goodenough, Swanzey, N.H.
3. Ken Barry, Preston, Conn.
4. Kirk Alexander, West Swanzey, N.H.
5. #Max Zachem, Preston, Conn.
6. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, Conn.
7. #Joey Jarvis, Ascutney
8. Charlie Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn.
9. Dwight Jarvis, Ascutney
10. Eddy Spiers, Beacon Falls, Conn.
11. Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa.
12. Todd Annarummo, Swansea, Mass.
13. #Norm Wrenn, Nashua, N.H.
14. John Cleary, Madison, Conn.
15. #Kurt Vigeant, Oxford, Mass.
16. Kenny White, Jr., Weare, N.H.
17. Jimmy Kuhn, Jr., Bridgewater, Mass.
18. Eric Goodale, Wading River, N.Y.
19. Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H.
20. Geoff Gernhard, Salem, Conn.
21. Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass.
22. Jacob Dore, Sanford, Me.
23. Jimmy Dolan, Bethel, Conn.
24. Rowan Pennink, Huntington Valley, Pa.

Late Model 100
1. Dave Pembroke, Middlesex
2. John Donahue, Graniteville
3. Eric Williams, Hyde Park
4. Joey Laquerre, East Montpelier
5. Rich Lowrey, Charlotte
6. Joey Becker, Jeffersonville
7. Tracie Bellerose, Gorham, N.H.
8. Jamie Fisher, Shelburne
9. Nick Sweet, Barre
10. Brent Dragon, Milton
11. Matt White, Northfield
12. Brooks Clark, Fayston
13. Eric Chase, Milton
14. Pete Potvin, III, Graniteville
15. #Cody Blake, Barre
16. Dave Whitcomb, Essex Junction
17. Mike Bailey, South Barre
18. D.J. Shaw, Center Conway, N.H.
19. Pete Fecteau, Morrisville
20. Doug Murphy, Tunbridge
21. Jerry Lesage, Winooski
22. Dylan Smith, Randolph
23. Grant Folsom, Waitsfield
24. Reno Gervais, Island Pond
25. Cris Michaud, Northfield
26. Chris Chambers, Brookfield
27. #Nate Brown, Craftsbury
28. Tony Andrews, Northfield
29. Phil Scott, Montpelier

Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman (35 laps)
1. Brendan Moodie, North Wolcott
2. Tom Therrien, Hinesburg
3. Ricky Roberts, Washington
4. Lance Allen, Barre
5. David Finck, Barre
6. Shawn Fleury, Middlesex
7. Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg
8. Derrick O’Donnell, Bradford
9. Joel Hodgdon, Craftsbury
10. Eric Badore, Milton

Allen Lumber Street Stock/Junkyard Warrior (25 laps)
1. Travis Hull, Graniteville (SS)
2. Mike MacAskill, Williamstown (SS)
3. Dan Lathrop, Hyde Park (SS)
4. Jamie Davis, Wolcott (SS)
5. Dave LaFleche, Williamstown (SS)

18. Ken Christman, Cabot (JW)
23. Josh Erwin, Waterbury (JW)
24. Brock Parrott, Williamstown (JW)
27. Fred Schroeder, Bristol (JW)
28. Kevin Dodge, Barre (JW)

Street Stock/Junkyard Warrior Reserve Feature (25 laps)
1. Amanda Habel, Roxbury (SS)
2. #Jayme Lee, Barre (SS)
3. Ron Gabaree, Barre (SS)
4. #Donny Yates, North Montpelier (SS)
5. Rick Utley, Jr., Wheelock (SS)

Hinckley, Pennink Provide Modified Sparks at Airborne

Modified Racing Series coverage presented by

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- Rowan Pennink had it all but won 99 and ¾ laps into the inaugural Modified Racing Series event at Airborne Speedway.

But after lap 100, Les Hinckley walked away – literally – with the winner’s trophy.

Hinckley, of Windsor Locks, Conn., led the race from the outset until a lap 74 restart brought Pennink, who started 15th, to the front row and eventually the lead. Pennink led through two more quick restarts, but had a rear view mirror full of Hinckley and Dwight Jarvis over the final eight laps.

As the white flag flew signaling the final lap, Pennink appeared to have the race in hand. Geoff Gernhard, about to be put one lap down, pulled to the inside lane in turns three and four to stay out of the leaders’ way.

Pennink, of Huntington Valley, Pa., closed on Gernhard’s car quickly and appeared to get out of the throttle exiting the final corner. Hinckley’s car made contact with Pennink’s rear bumper, causing Pennink to get sideways. At that moment, Hinckley swept to the outside, beating Pennink by less than a foot in a drag race to the finish line. As they crossed the stripe, both cars came into contact again and both slammed into the wall in a shower of sparks, grinding to a halt in Turn 1.

With both cars heavily damaged, Hinckley and Pennink walked to victory lane where they exchanged a war of words through the media.

“The 06 (Hinckley) just flat-out wrecked us there coming to the checker,” Pennink said. “He wasn’t gonna beat me to the start/finish line so he had to try something, and I guess that’s how he wanted to do it. He just destroyed two cars when we’ve got a race tomorrow [at Thunder Road] as well. It’s a shame that people gotta drive like that. The 06 just drove like a complete retard tonight.”

Hinckley admitted getting into Pennink, but felt that the post-race wreck was intentional on Pennink’s part.

“I got into the back of him a little bit in the left-rear when he turned down on me [in turn four],” Hinckley said. “His momentum was broke, I drove up the outside of him, cleared him at the start/finish line, and then he turned right on me and drove us both down the frontstretch [wall]. He doesn’t like it, and I don’t like being torn up, but I didn’t turn left on anybody, and I didn’t turn right on anybody. He can point the finger at me all he wants but he knows what he did.”

Both drivers were critical of lapped traffic not yielding to the leaders.

Jarvis, of Ascutney, came from 14th to finish third. Carl Pasteryak of Lisbon, Conn., was fourth with Ken Barry of Preston, Conn., fifth. Todd Annarummo, Jimmy Kuhn, Eric Goodale, rookie Norm Wrenn, and Eddy Spiers completed the unofficial top ten finishers in order.

The Modified Racing Series will complete its weekend doubleheader at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., on Sunday at 1:30pm. Hinckley’s car owner, Chuck Montville, said that while the frame of their car was slightly damaged, they expected to be at Thunder Road to compete. Pennink’s car suffered heavy damage to the front and rear ends and his Gary Casella-led crew was preparing to work throughout the night to try to repair the car.

Patrick Dupree of Saranac Lake, N.Y., won his third Airborne Speedway Modified feature in four starts, beating out Leon Gonyo of Chazy, N.Y., and Maxime Viens of St-Cesaire, Que., who finished a career-best third. Brandon’s Don Scarborough was fourth, and Napierville, Que., driver Martin Roy recovered from a flat tire at mid-race to finish fifth.

Bucko Branham of Plattsburgh, N.Y., won the Sportsman feature over Morrisonville, N.Y.’s Shawn Duquette, with Jamy Begor, Robin Wood, and Nick Heywood completing the top-five.

Lonnie Rivers of Cadyville, N.Y., won the Renegade feature, followed by Keith O’Neill of Mooers, N.Y., and Swanton’s Kevin Boutin. Randy Martin inherited the Mini-Modified win in the technical inspection line when Rick Doner was disqualified, and Billy Joyal was the Bomber winner.

RESULTS: Modified Racing Series at Airborne 5/29/10

Modified Racing Series coverage presented by

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – US Army/Greg Atkins Logging/Taylor Rental 100
Modified Racing Series – Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Saturday, May 29, 2010

# - denotes rookie

1. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, Conn.
2. Rowan Pennink, Huntington Valley, Pa.
3. Dwight Jarvis, Ascutney
4. Carl Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn.
5. Ken Barry, Preston, Conn.
6. Todd Annarummo, Swansea, Mass.
7. Jimmy Kuhn, Jr., Bridgewater, Mass.
8. Eric Goodale, Wading River, N.Y.
9. #Norm Wrenn, Nashua, N.H.
10. Eddy Spiers, Beacon Falls, Conn.
11. Geoff Gernhard, Salem, Conn.
12. Max Zachem, Preston, Conn.
13. Bobby Drown, Milldale, Conn.
14. David Cranmer, North Hanover, N.J.
15. Jacob Dore, Sanford, Me.
16. Joe Doucette, Framingham, Mass.
17. Kenny White, Jr., Weare, N.H.
18. John Cleary, Madison, Conn.
19. Steve Masse, Bellingham, Mass.
20. Shelly Perry, Westerly, R.I.
21. Jimmy Dolan, Bethel, Conn.
22. Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass.
23. #Joey Jarvis, Ascutney
24. Sean Bodreau, Claremont, N.H.
25. Rob Goodenough, Swanzey, N.H.

Airborne Speedway Modified
1. Patrick Dupree, Saranac Lake, N.Y.
2. Leon Gonyo, Chazy, N.Y.
3. Maxime Viens, St-Cesaire, Que.
4. Don Scarborough, Brandon
5. Martin Roy, Napierville, Que.

1. Bucko Branham, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. Shawn Duquette, Morrisonville, N.Y.
3. Jamy Begor, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
4. Robin Wood, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
5. Nick Heywood, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

1. Lonnie Rivers, Cadyville, N.Y.
2. Keith O’Neill, Mooers, N.Y.
3. Kevin Boutin, Swanton
4. Keith Pelkey, Clintonville, N.Y.
5. Chad Provost, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

1. Randy Martin, Keeseville, N.Y.
2. Steven Bressette, Keeseville, N.Y.
3. Kris Clark, Keeseville, N.Y.
4. Speedy Bressette, Castleton
5. Bobby LaVair, Gabriels, N.Y.

1. Billy Joyal, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. Michael Whalen, Jr., Plattsburgh, N.Y.
3. Curtis LaGrave, Jr., Plattsburgh, N.Y.
4. Josh Durivage, West Chazy, N.Y.
5. Cody Meyers, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Douville, Pierson Wins Highlight Bear Ridge

BRADFORD -- Bear Ridge Speedway held off a spirited fight from Mother Nature on Saturday to record seven feature winners.

Danny Douville of Concord, N.H., notched his first career win in the Sprint Cars of New England series, with Robby Bodwell second. Bodwell, of Sanford, Me., was involved in a harrowing wreck at Big Daddy’s Speedbowl in New Hampshire last week and rebounded with his best career finish. Rookie Chris Donnelly of Orford, N.H., was third.

Adam Pierson of Fairlee earned his first Sportsman Modified win of the season after a final-lap pass of Brian Whittemore. Whittemore, of Florence, held on for second with Travis Shinn of Groton, N.H., third. Josh Harrington of Topsham earned his first Sportsman Coupe win of the season with Gene Pierson and Melvin Pierson rounding out the podium finishers.

Jeremy Hodge of Newbury followed up his first career Limited Late Model win last Saturday with a second-straight victory. Will Hull and T.C. Forward were next in line. Josh Sunn of White River Junction remained undefeated in the Fast Four feature and Tom Placey took his first Hornet win of the year.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Juice: The Big Beginning

-by Justin St. Louis
VMM Editor

The 2010 racing season started quite a while ago in this neck of the woods. Vivid, teeth-chattering memories of the opener at Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut still swirl in this writer's head like so many windblown snowflakes that fell during the drive up Interstate 89 on the journey home that March night. New England has been racing for two solid months now, and even we wintry Vermonters have enjoyed one form of on-track action or another since the first Thunder Road practice in mid-April.

But for all intents and purposes, this weekend is the big beginning.

Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the most celebrated in motorsports, whether it's the Indianapolis 500, NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, or the grind of weekly short tracks around the country. For the first time this year, all three Vermont speedplants will be open this weekend, and -- along with the well-timed 90-degree weather -- we can all welcome the arrival of the summer racing season.

If you can't find something to do at a race track this weekend, well, you're not trying very hard.


Congratulations to Jerry Richards and the management at Devil's Bowl Speedway for such a successful opening event on the new asphalt. The crowd was one of the largest in the speedway's 44-year history, and the racing was competitive and exciting, with lots of side-by-side racing. Dave Pembroke and Mike Bruno put on a great show for the win, and Grant Folsom even did his part by getting upside down on the frontstretch in front of the packed grandstand.

We're looking forward to rest of the season at Vermont's fastest half-mile.


From the "Beating A Dead Horse Even Deader" file: Is it totally ironic that Patrick Laperle won the Série ACT-Castrol opener at Autodrome St-Eustache last weekend? Wasn't that the place where he decided after the season finale that he was so frustrated that he was done racing with ACT for a couple years?

What's so intriguing about Laperle is that he simply can't stay away, and that's only a good thing. He may butt heads with Donald Theetge or Tom Curley or whomever, but that's because Laperle has such an obvious fire-in-the-belly for competition and winning.

Last Saturday's win may have been as important for Laperle personally and mentally as it was for his career numbers. It also qualified him for the second annual ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September. Patrick Laperle is back, folks.

Not that he ever really went anywhere anyway.


Here's a tip: If you're a betting person and you like dirt racing, put your money on Ryan Avery this year. Dude is cleaning house.


With low car counts and little growth over the past several seasons, officials at White Mountain Motorsports Park in New Hampshire disbanded the Super Street division over the winter and adopted the rulebook from Thunder Road's Tiger Sportsman class, creating the new Super Sportsman division for 2010.

Of the 15 drivers that raced in the inaugural feature on Saturday night, only one -- Gary Griswold -- has been a regular weekly competitor at White Mountain, and he finished 14th. The rest were Thunder Road regulars or drivers that plan to compete mainly on the four-race ACT Tiger Sportsman Series.

White Mountain is not only a beautful and scenic place to visit, it's a competitive, well-run race track that deserves good support divisions. (The headline Late Model class enjoyed a 26-car field with only a few outside visitors.) Here's hoping that the Super Sportsman field last weekend wasn't just a fluke.


Not only did Chris Donnelly win two features at Bear Ridge on Saturday, he won one the features using two different cars. While we're not totally sure how that's legal, we do marvel at it.

Donnelly finished second in the first leg of a two-segment feature at the season opener on May 15, but r rain postponed the second segment to last Saturday. In the interim, he was presented an offer he couldn't refuse and sold his only car. Donnelly found himself in a bind for the May 22 event, though, as his Wicked Racing Products business was the presenting sponsor and he wanted to compete in the event.

With a quick phone call, he borrowed a car from Tom Forward and drove from the rear to finish second in the second segment. With a low score of four points, Donnelly was declared the winner. Not sure we've ever seen anything like that before.



Time to take a look at the top Vermonters from the past weekend...

Airborne Speedway (Plattsburgh, N.Y.): Brandon's Don Scarborough finished fifth in the Modified feature last Saturday, with Milton's Bill Sawyer third in the Sportsman race. Lance Rabtoy of Fairfax was third in the Renegades with Milton's Larry Underwood fifth.

Albany-Saratoga Speedway (Malta, N.Y.): Mike Bruno of Bomoseen took his second-straight Modified win on Friday night with Brandon's Don Scarborough fourth. Middlebury teen Hunter Bates won the Sportsman feature.

Bear Ridge Speedway (Bradford): Chris Donnelly of Orford, N.H., swept both Sportsman Modified features on Saturday night, followed by Thornton, N.H.'s Ryan Avery and Jason Gray of East Thetford in the first race and Travis Shinn of Groton, N.H., and Fairlee's Adam Pierson in the second race. Bradford's Jason Horniak won the first Sportsman Coupe feature over East Corinth's Melvin Pierson and Topsham's Josh Harrington, while Pierson beat Chris Carbee of South Ryegate and rookie Shane Race of South Strafford in the second race. Newbury's Jeremy Hodge took his frist career Limited Late Model win over Will Hull of East Montpelier and Tyler Stygles of Bradford. Josh Sunn of White River Junction swept both Fast Four races, with Danville's Danny Doyle and Andy Johnson of Wilder finishing second and third once each. Bobby Bell of St. Johnsbury won the Hornet race over Bradford's Tom Placey and Mark Harran of St. Johnsbury, while Dawn Woodward of Corinth beat her neighbor, Melissa King, and St. Johnsbury's Misty Bell in the Hornet Queen race.

Big Daddy's Speedway (Rumney, N.H.): Tyler Stygles of Bradford won the Super Street featrue on Sunday, and Josh Sunn of White River Junction was the Mini Stock runner-up.

Canaan Dirt Speedway (Canaan, N.H.): Rookie Dan Eastman of Thetford Center was third in the Sportsman Modifed feature on Friday and took over the point lead. Josh Sunn of White River Junction won the Mini Stock feature, and Dakota Stender of Tunbridge won the Bandit feature.

Canaan Fair Speedway (Canaan, N.H.): Kevin Menard of South Royalton was sixth in the first of two Pro Stock features on Saturday, and Mendon's Chris Wilk was third in the second race. Jamie Hodgdon of Ascutney was the Pure Stock runner-up with North Springfield's Rory Merritt fifth. Bobby Prior of White River Junction was fourth in the Outlaw Mini feature. Ascutney's Tyler Lescord won the Bandit feature over Mike Parker of Bradford.

Devil's Bowl Speedway (West Haven): Dave Pembroke of Middlesex beat Bomoseen's Mike Bruno to win the "Thunder at the Bowl 100" Late Model event on Sunday, with Tracie Bellerose of Gorham, N.H., third. Don Miller of Wells won the Sportsman feature over Clifton Park, N.Y.'s Fred Proctor and Hunter Bates of Middlebury. Milton's Cody Benoit won the Renegade feature over Jon Miller of Malta, N.Y., and Lance Rabtoy of Fairfax, and Miton's Chad Brown beat Garry Bashaw of Lincoln and Russ Downing of Hartland to win the Bomber Warrior race. Andy Smith of South Glens Falls, N.Y., won the Duke Stock race.

Modified Racing Series: Ascutney rookie Joey Jarvis was 15th in the East-West Showdown 100 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday, with uncle Dwight Jarvis of Ascutney 18th. Rowan Pennink of Huntington Valley, Pa., was the winner.

Monadnock Speedway (Winchester, N.H.): Josh King of Vernon was 17th in Saturday's Modified feature. Putney's Dana Shepard was ninth in the Super Street feature. Joe Rogers of Ludlow finished fifth in the Mini Stocks with Mike Metcalf of Westminster ninth.

PASS North Super Late Models: Steven Legendre of Danville finished eighth in Saturday's event at White Mountain Motorsports Park, and Milton's Scott Dragon was 15th. Johnny Clark of Hallowell, Me., was the winner.

Riverside Speedway (Groveton, N.H.): Dan Sidney of St. Johnsbury won the Outlaw Sportsman feature with Davey Ofsuryk of Newport Center fourth. Michael Smith of St. Johnsbury was fourth in the Super Stock race, and Doug Duprey of St. Johnsbury was third in the Street Stocks. Howard Switser of West Burke was third in the Dwarf Car race with Anthony Young of Beecher Falls fourth.

Sprint Cars of New England: Sunday's event at Big Daddy's Speedbowl was cut short due to a racing accident.

Twin State Speedway (Claremont, N.H.): Dallas Trombley of Rutland finished fourth in the Late Model feature on Friday night. Chris Wilk of Mendon was the Super Street winner with Russ Davis of Cavendish third. Pittsford's Kyle Davis won the Strictly Stock feature over David Greenslit of Waitsfield and Jacksonville's Kaitlin Stone.

White Mountain Motorsports Park (North Woodstock, N.H.): Stacy Cahoon of St. Johnsbury was the Late Model runner-up on Saturday with Bernie Lantagne of McIndoe Falls third. Graniteville's Chip Grenier won the Super Sportsman feature over Derrick O'Donnell of Bradford and North Wolcott's Brendan Moodie.



Friday, May 28

Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Malta, N.Y. -- 6:45pm (Regular Event)
Canaan Dirt Speedway, Canaan, N.H. -- 7:00pm (Regular Event)
Twin State Speedway, Claremont, N.H. -- 7:30pm (Regular Event)

Saturday, May 29
Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y. -- 5:00pm (Modified Racing Series)
Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford -- 6:00pm (SCoNE 360 Sprint Cars)
Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, N.H. -- 6:00pm (Regular Event)
Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, N.H. -- 6:00pm (NEMA Midgets)
Riverside Speedway, Groveton, N.H. -- 6:00pm (Regular Event)
White Mountain Motorsports Park, North Woodstock, N.H. -- 5:00 (Regular Event)

Sunday, May 30
Big Daddy's Speedbowl, Rumney, N.H. -- 4:00pm (Granite State Mini Sprints)
Devil's Bowl Speedway, West Haven -- 2:00pm (Modified Tri-Track Series)
Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl, Barre -- 1:30pm (Modified Racing Series)


Granite State Mini Sprints: Sun., May 30 -- Big Daddy's Speedbowl, Rumney, N.H. (4:00pm)
Modified Racing Series: Sat., May 29 -- Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y. (5:00pm)
Modified Racing Series: Sun., May 30 -- Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl, Barre, Vt. (1:30pm)
Modified Tri-Track Series: Sun., May 30 -- Devil's Bowl Speedway, West Haven, Vt. (2:00pm)
NASCAR Nationwide Series: Sat., May 29 -- Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C. (ABC/2:00pm)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Sun., May 30 -- Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C. (FOX/5:45pm)
Pro All Stars Series: Sat., May 29 -- Concord Speedway, Concord, N.C. (7:00pm)
Série ACT-Castrol Edge: Sat., May 29 -- Autodrome Montmagny, Montmagny, Qué. (6:00pm)
Sprint Cars of New England: Sat., May 29 -- Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt. (6:00pm)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Polewarczyk Ready To Put Rough Start Behind Him

(From team press release)

As far as Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., is concerned, his season starts now.

Less than two weeks after failing to qualify for an American-Canadian Tour race at Oxford Plains Speedway, Polewarczyk's No. 97 Pole's Automotive/NH Precision Ford will be back on track -- this time with a renewed effort and a reinvigorated engine -- this Friday night at Lee USA Speedway. He'll compete in the track's 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model feature.

"I can't wait to go to Lee," he said. "It's sort of like my home track. It's where I watched my father race for a lot of years, and it's a place where I've always seemed to run well. To go there and get back at it will be really big for us."

Following his DNQ at Oxford, Polewarczyk had his new Ford crate engine pulled and shipped to Butler-MacMaster Automotive in Hallowell, Maine. Butler-MacMaster supplies all ACT teams with their engines, and the engine remained at their shop for more than a week.

Polewarczyk switched to Ford during the off-season, after the manufacturer debuted its crate engine program in 2009 with Thunder Road International Speedbowl driver Cris Michaud.

"They found some issues with (the engine)," said Polewarczyk, who reported that the engine spent the better part of an entire day running through tests on the dyno. "They are going to rectify those issues."

During the race at Oxford, where Polewarczyk has won twice in his career, he said that he noticed his car was not picking up speed off the corners. That led him to believe that there was something wrong that went beyond track position or handling issues with his car.

This week at Lee, Polewarczyk said he's ready to prove a point -- both to himself and to others.

"I know we have a really good team," he said. "Yeah, I started to doubt myself (after Oxford), but I know what we're capable of. You never want to miss a race, but the fact that we did -- I think -- got us to take a step back and look at things overall.

"I think we're going to be better for it. I really do."

If all goes well at Lee USA, Polewarczyk said the team plans to make the trip to either White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H., or to Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl on Saturday night.

The ACT Late Model Tour continues with the rescheduled New Hampshire Governor's Cup 150 at Lee USA on Friday night, June 11. Polewarczyk, 10th in the current ACT standings after two races, finished second in that event in 2009.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Big Holiday Weekend Ahead For Modifed Racing Series

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- In keeping with the tradition of being the biggest motorsports weekend of the season, the Modified Racing Series sponsored by will spend the Memorial Day holiday weekend competing in two states in two days. It’s the first time race events have been scheduled back-to-back by the touring series.

Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y., will host the series on Saturday, May 29, for the first time at the US Army/Greg Atkins Logging/Taylor Rental 100. On Sunday, May 30, the action shifts to the famed Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., for the running of the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic, the third appearance there by the MRS.

MRS drivers expected to enter at Airborne include defending champion Jon McKennedy of East Chelmsford, Mass., 2006 champion Dwight Jarvis of Ascutney, Vt., veteran Carl Pasteryak of Lisbon, Conn., recent Albany-Saratoga Speedway winner Rowan Pennink of Huntington Valley, Pa., defending Rookie of the Year Jacob Dore of Sanford, Me., and Kenny Barry of Preston, Conn., to name a few.

Each is also expected at Thunder Road on Sunday, along with defending Thunder Road winner Stephen Masse of Bellingham, Mass., three-time MRS champion and former T-Road winner Kirk Alexander of Swanzey, N.H., and former series champion Charlie Pasteryak of Lisbon, Conn., who is returning to competition after being sidelined with health problems.

Veterans Mike Holdridge, Sean Bodreau, Jimmy Dolan, and Les Hinckley, are also expected entries. Koszela Speed Rookie of the Year candidates Joey Jarvis, Norm Wrenn, and Kurt Vigeant are also planning to enter the holiday program.

Saturday’s Airborne Speedway race program gets underway at 5:00pm, while Sunday’s race card starts at 1:30pm at Thunder Road. For additional information log on to

ACT Invitational at NHMS Qualifiers

The following drivers have earned an invitation to compete in the American-Canadian Tour Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., on Sat., Sept. 18, 2010, by winning an ACT Late Model Tour event, Série ACT-Castrol event, or special qualifying event.

(#-Driver-Hometown-Qualifying Event-Date)

1. Nick Sweet, Barre, VT -- Thunder Road, 5/02
2. Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, MA -- Oxford Plains Speedway, 5/16
3. Patrick Laperle, St-Denis, QC -- Autodrome St-Eustache, 5/22

Spectators Hurt in Crash at NH Track

RUMNEY, N.H. -- Two spectators were injured in a crash on Sunday night at a dirt track in Rumney, New Hampshire.

In what was described to Vermont Motorsports Magazine as a "freak accident" by one eye witness at Big Daddy's Speedbowl, the car of Robby Bodwell hit a wall and became airborne at the end of the backstretch. Bodwell's car then traveled up a rocky embankment in Turn 3 and struck two spectators, Harvey Kage, 67, and his son, 26 year-old Christopher Kage, causing broken bones and other injuries. Bodwell was uninjured, but was "upset" according to an Associated Press story.

The crash happened at around 10:00pm during a Sprint Cars of New England event. WMUR-TV of Manchester, N.H., reported that Harvey Kage was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchock Medical Center in Hanover, N.H., to treat a broken femur, while Christopher Kage was being treated at Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth, N.H., for scrapes and bruises.

Big Daddy's Speedbowl owner Mike Rivers said that Christopher Kage pushed his father out of the way just before the car hit. Around 15-20 spectators were standing in the area where the accident occured. There was no indication that Bodwell's car was in trouble before the crash. The racing program was suspended immediately following the incident.

Rivers purchased the facility -- formerly known as Rattlesnake Motordrome, Legion Speedway, and Pines Speedway -- and spent several months improving the track's safety features. Included in the improvements was a state-of-the-art catch fence system, although there was no fence in Turn 3 at the crash site.

Rivers did not respond to attempts by Vermont Motorsports Magazine to contact him on Monday.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

COMPLETE RESULTS -- Thunder at the Bowl 100 @ Devil's Bowl 5/23/10

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS -- Thunder at the Bowl 100
Devil's Bowl Speedway, West Haven, Vt.
Sun., May 23, 2010


1. 44VT Dave Pembroke, Middlesex, 100
2. 72ON Mike Bruno, Castleton, 100
3. 2NH Tracie Bellerose, Gorham, N.H., 100
4. 55VT Brent Dragon, Milton, 100
5. 16VT Joey Becker, Jeffersonville, 100
6. 14VT Phil Scott, Montpelier, 100
7. 88VT Nick Sweet, Barre, 100
8. 00VT Mike Bailey, South Barre, 100
9. 1VT Tony Andrews, Northfield, 100
10. 4NH Chris Riendeau, Ascutney, 100
11. 99VT Jeff Zuidema, North Brookfield, Mass., 99
12. 18VT Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, 99
13. 26VT John Donahue, Graniteville, 99
14. 34VT Dylan Smith, Randolph, 99
15. 42VT Matt White, Northfield, 99
16. 25VT David Whitcomb, Essex Junction, 99
17. 24VT Steve Fisher, Shelburne, 55
18. 81VT Grant Folsom, Waitsfield, 55
19. 15VT Joey Laquerre, East Montpelier, 47
20. 8VT Rich Lowrey, Charlotte, 33
21. 40VT Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton, 33
22. 4VT Doug Murphy, Tunbridge, 33
23. 12VT Reno Gervais, Island Pond, 33
24. 49VT Nate Brown, Craftsbury, 33
25. 74VT Jerry Lesage, Winooski, 15
26. 68VT Brooks Clark, Fayston, 2

CVRA Sportsman
1. Don Miller, Wells
2. Fred Proctor, Clifton Park, N.Y.
3. Hunter Bates, Middlebury
4. Kevin Wright, Fair Haven
5. Jared McMahon, Hydeville

1. Cody Benoit, Milton
2. Jon Miller, Malta, N.Y.
3. Lance Rabtoy, Fairfax
4. Randy Alger, Fair Haven
5. Dave Emigh, Ballston Spa, N.Y.

Bomber Warrior
1. Chad Brown, Milton
2. Garry Bashaw, Lincoln
3. Russ Downing, Hartland
4. Brent Warren, Salisbury
5. Justin Lilly, Castleton

Duke Stock
1. Andy Smith, South Glens Falls, N.Y.

Pembroke Wins at Devil's Bowl

WEST HAVEN -- Dave Pembroke took the win in the "Thunder at the Bowl" 100 at the freshly paved Devil's Bowl Speedway on Sunday. Pembroke, of Montpelier, battled side-by-side with hometown favorite Mike Bruno of Castleton for the majority of the race.

After starting third, Pembroke took the lead on lap 14. Pembroke broke away from Bruno several times while working through lapped traffic; Bruno reeled him in each time, but didn’t have enough to complete the pass. Pembroke and Bruno were followed to the line by polesitter Tracie Bellerose of Gorham, N.H., Milton's Brent Dragon and Joey Becker of Jeffersonville. Phil Scott, Nick Sweet, Mike Bailey, Tony Andrews, and rookie Chris Riendeau rounded out the top ten.

The event was slowed by six cautions including a red flag for a Grant Folsom flip on the frontstretch. The race was completed in just over 1 hour, 12 minutes with sixteen of the twenty-six starters running at the finish.

The event was the first asphalt race at Devil's Bowl Speedway -- formerly a dirt track -- since 1972, and awarded championship points for the Late Model division at Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl in Barre.

Don Miller of Wells won the Sportsman Modified feature over Fred Proctor of Clifton Park, N.Y., and Middlebury teenager Hunter Bates. Airborne Speedway regular Cody Benoit of Milton won the Renegade feature over Malta, N.Y., driver Jon Miller and Lance Rabtoy of Fairfax. Thunder Road regulars Chad Brown of Milton and Garry Bashaw of Lincoln went 1-2 in the Bomber Warrior feature, with Russ Downing third. Andy Smith of South Glens Falls, N.Y., was the Duke Stock winner.

Donnelly Doubles Up At Bear Ridge

BRADFORD – There wasn’t much left for Chris Donnelly to accomplish at Bear Ridge Speedway. The Orford, N.H., driver is a winner and champion many times over at the Bradford dirt track, but could never recall winning two feature events on the same night.

Until now. And he did it in a borrowed car, to boot.

A veteran of more than 25 years running on dirt tracks in Vermont and New Hampshire, Donnelly decided to shift some of his attention toward the Sprint Cars of New England series this year. He was approached with an offer earlier in the week to sell his Sportsman Modified to another racer and jumped at the chance, but had some business to take care of: Donnelly’s fabrication business, Wicked Racing Products, was serving as the presenting sponsor for Saturday’s event at Bear Ridge, and he felt he needed to have an on-track presence for the race. He borrowed a Modified from Tom Forward, and in doing so swept the previously rained-out opening night two-segment feature and the regularly scheduled 30-lap race.

“I had a good opportunity to sell my car, so I sold it and then I went out and borrowed the best car in the area. I figured I’d be okay,” Donnelly said. “The secret was this car, I guess. It handles real good and it felt a lot like my other one. It made me happy, and when I’m happy I go fast.”

Between last week’s first segment and the segment that was postponed by rain to this week, Donnelly grabbed two runner-up finishes for a low total score of four points, earning him the overall win. Ryan Avery of Thornton, N.H., and rookie Dan Eastman of Thetford Center won the segments. Avery ended up second overall with East Thetford’s Jason Gray third, Bryan King of Corinth fourth, and defending track champion Gary Siemons of Orford, N.H., fifth.

Brian Whittemore of Florence started on the pole of the regular 30-lap feature and led the first three laps before Groton, N.H.’s Travis Shinn took over. Donnelly drove form 11th starting position to take the lead from Shinn on lap 19, then cruised to the win. Shinn, of Groton, N.H., finished second. As Whittemore and Jack Cook slowed to avoid a spinning lapped car coming to the checkered flag, Fairlee driver Adam Pierson squeaked by for third place. Cook held on for fourth with Whittemore fifth.

Jason Horniak of Bradford took the overall victory over East Corinth’s Melvin Pierson and defending champion Josh Harrington in the Sportsman Coupe make-up feature. In the nightcap, Pierson held a comfortable lead late in the going until the lapped car of Dwight Burgoyne spun. With nowhere to go as the caution flag flew, Pierson slammed head-on into Burgoyne’s car. Neither car was severely damaged and Pierson continued on in the lead once the race resumed; he held off Chris Carbee and Shane Race for the win, despite suffering a flat left-front tire in the crash with Burgoyne.

“It was a little tough with the flat tire, I had to use the brakes a little more,” said Pierson, “but the car was a rocket ship tonight.”

Newbury’s Jeremy Hodge scored his first career victory in the lone Limited Late Model feature after a tight battle with East Montpelier’s Will Hull and Tyler Stygles of Bradford during the closing laps. T.C. Forward and Sean Greene completed the top-five finishers.

Josh Sunn of White River Junction swept both Fast Four features. Danny Doyle of Danville beat Wilder’s Andy Johnson for second place in the first race, while Johnson beat Doyle for the runner-up spot in the second event.

Bobby Bell of St. Johnsbury won the Hornet feature over Bradford’s Tom Placey and Mark Harran of Danville, and Dawn Woodward of Corinth beat Melissa King for the Hornet Queen checkers.

Bear Ridge Results 5/22/10

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – Wicked Racing Products/Snap-On Tools Night
Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, May 22, 2010


Bond Auto Sportsman Modified – Feature #1
1. Chris Donnelly, Orford, N.H.
2. Ryan Avery, Thornton, N.H.
3. Jason Gray, East Thetford
4. Bryan King, Corinth
5. Gary Siemons, Orford, N.H.
6. Adam Pierson, Fairlee
7. Dan Eastman, Thetford Center
8. Jack Cook, Moultonboro, N.H.
9. Justin Comes, Middlebury
10. Blake Shepard, Newton, N.H.

Bond Auto Sportsman Modified – Feature #2
1. Chris Donnelly, Orford, N.H.
2. Travis Shinn, Groton, N.H.
3. Adam Pierson, Fairlee
4. Jack Cook, Moultonboro, N.H.
5. Brian Whittemore, Florence
6. Gary Siemons, Orford, N.H.
7. Justin Comes, Middlebury
8. Kevin Chaffee, Orange
9. Jason Gray, East Thetford
10. Ryan Avery, Thornton, N.H.

Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe – Feature #1
1. Jason Horniak, Bradford
2. Melvin Pierson, East Corinth
3. Josh Harrington, Topsham
4. Gene Pierson, East Corinth
5. Chris Carbee, South Ryegate

Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe – Feature #2
1. Melvin Pierson, East Corinth
2. Chris Carbee, South Ryegate
3. Shane Race, South Strafford
4. Jason Horniak, Bradford
5. Steve Ellsworth, Corinth

A Notch Above Auto Limited Late Model
1. Jeremy Hodge, Newbury
2. Will Hull, East Montpelier
3. Tyler Stygles, Bradford
4. T.C. Forward, Lyme, N.H.
5. Sean Greene, Haverhill, N.H.

Journal Opinion Fast Four – Feature #1
1. Josh Sunn, White River Junction
2. Danny Doyle, Danville
3. Andy Johnson, Wilder
4. Tim Hodge
5. Kevin Harran, St. Johnsbury Center

Journal Opinion Fast Four – Feature #2
1. Josh Sunn, White River Junction
2. Andy Johnson, Wilder
3. Danny Doyle, Danville
4. Robert Tilden, East Thetford
5. Josh Connor

1. Bobby Bell, St. Johnsbury
2. Tom Placey, Bradford
3. Mark Harran, Danville
4. Brad Martin
5. Karl Sheldon, St. Johnsbury

Hornet Queen
1. Dawn Woodward, Corinth
2. Melissa King, Corinth
3. Misty Bell, St. Johnsbury

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Juice: Changes to the Plan

-by Justin St. Louis
VMM Editor

Ricky Craven grew up like so many kids across the country, wanting to be a NASCAR superstar. But actually Craven saw the plan through. He began racing at Unity Raceway in his native Maine in 1982 at age 15. By 1995, he was the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year.

He was fourth in points in his sophomore season before a series of harrowing crashes left him with head injuries and out of a ride. After months of rehabilitation, he returned full-time in 2001 to earn his first Cup win at Martinsville, and was made famous for his .002-second margin of victory over Kurt Busch at Darlington in 2003. After a season on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2005, Craven retired. He now works as a popular analyst for ESPN's "NASCAR Now" program.

Craven did an interview with writer Bones Bourcier for Stock Car Racing magazine during his rookie year in what is now the Sprint Cup Series. Craven was intense in the interview, noting himself that he was "aggressive," "hard to get close to," and "committed" while attaining his goal of graduating from the short tracks of Maine and becoming a Cup racer.

He said that he never intended to stay in one place for too long during his ascension to the Cup level, and planned to reach that plateau by the time he was 30 years old. For the record, he made absolutely good on that plan: He raced weekly at Unity for two years, moved to Pro Stocks at Wiscasset Raceway and other tracks for three years, raced with ACT for three years, ran just two full seasons of the old Busch North Series -- winning ten races and the championship during the second year in 1991 -- was in the Nationwide Series for two years, and made it to Cup by age 28, two years ahead of schedule.

"I love plans and my plans always come together," Craven told Bourcier in 1995.

Fifteen years later, he sat with us at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and looked back at that plan.

"I've always put a lot of thought in to things and I've always worked hard, because I felt like that was the only way I'd have an advantage, to put in the effort and the detail," Craven said. "I never considered myself the world's greatest race car driver. I knew I was good, I mean, you have to be good to get to a certain point, but things turned out about like I'd hoped, honestly."

"To be very clear, I expected to win. My goal was to win ten Cup races, and I felt like I should have won have won ten Cup races, but I didn't volunteer to go through trauma twice. I didn't volunteer to get helicoptered out of Talladega (in 1996) or Texas (in 1997). You just have to react to that, and I'm no different than anybody else."

After taking time off from his Hendrick Motorsports ride to deal with his injuries partway through the 1998 season, Craven's first race back was at his "home" track, New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He knocked his teammate Jeff Gordon off the top of the speed chart to win the pole position. Still, he lost his ride with Hendrick shortly thereafter and took second-rate rides until Cal Wells came calling in 2001.

"I never considered quitting, but I can't honestly sit here and say that it was easy to not quit," Craven said.

"I remember a reporter asking me in 1999, 'Why do you keep doing this?' I grew up on a farm in Newburgh, Maine, and I started racing when I was 15. When I won my first race at 15, Bobby [Allison] was a guest at Unity Raceway [and] gave me his hat. I wanted to be a big-time Cup racer [like him] and win, and I did."

On his way out the door, headed for a flight back home to Charlotte, N.C., to celebrate daughter Riley's high school graduation, Craven pulled out his cell phone. The background image was a photo of his wife and two children. He took a moment to reflect on his driving career, his current role with ESPN, and his role as a family man.

"Things you learn about life, it's never perfect. You shoot for perfect, but it's never perfect," he said. Then he looked at the photo again.

"I've got nothing to complain about," Craven smiled. "My life is great."


Sunday is a big day for Devil's Bowl Speedway. It marks the first time in nearly 40 years that the track will return as an asphalt facility. It'll be a great thing for Vermont and northeastern stock car racing if it works. We lose one-third of the racing in our state if it doesn't, something race folks can ill afford.

Champlain Valley Racing Association president C.J. Richards opened the West Haven half-mile in 1967 as a clay-dirt track. He laid a coat of asphalt down on top of the clay in 1970, but theexperiment was a flop. Clay was returned to the racing surface after the 1972 season and the track has operated that way since. Five years ago Richards' children took over control of the CVRA, Devil's Bowl, and its sister track, Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, New York. Things continued to run well with the two-track dirt circuit, with lots of fans and respectable car counts.

Politics and weather threatened to shutter the Albany-Saratoga track, though: A multi-million dollar microchip manufacturing plant in Malta began demanding that dust kicked up by race cars be eradicated. A three-year stretch of rainy summers had badly affected the racing schedules at both tracks. Dirt speedways require almost constant grading, packing, and massaging, especially after messy weather, and the manhours poured into the racing surfaces took time away from other important tasks that come with operating two race tracks.

The CVRA group had a choice to make: Get rid of the dust and the strain by closing their tracks, or by paving them. Thankfully, they chose the latter. They also chose to keep the same dirt-style divisions intact, implementing only minor rule changes and a switch to an asphalt-friendly tire in an attempt to keep their core group of racers.

A five-hour test session last Saturday was considered a success by all accounts, with teams from Devil's Bowl's Modified, Sportsman, Renegade, and Mini Stock divisions, as well as Tom Curley's Thunder Road Late Models, all giving favorable reviews. Modified driver Mike Bruno came within a few tenths of a second of the track speed record, reaching over 106 miles per hour -- that's an average speed for the entire lap, meaning straightaway speeds were closer to 130 mph -- even though he says he "wasn't pushing it." Perhaps most importantly, fans that attended agreed that the increased speeds on the asphalt have the potential for more exciting competition.

Yes, Sunday is a big day for Devil's Bowl Speedway. Maybe its biggest day ever. Go check it out.



Time to take a look at the top Vermonters from the past weekend...

Airborne Speedway (Plattsburgh, N.Y.): Brandon's Don Scarborough finished third in the Modified feature last Saturday, with Milton's Bill Sawyer sixth in the Sportsman race. Lance Rabtoy of Fairfax was the Renegade runner-up.

Bear Ridge Speedway (Bradford): East Montpelier's Will Hull won the Limited Late Model feature on Saturday night before rains moved in. Jason Giguere of Enfield, N.H., was second, with Newbury's Jeremy Hodge third. Karl Sheldon of St. Johnsbury beat Bradford's Tom Placey for the Hornet checkers, with Mike Pittman of Corinth third. Make-up features for the Sportsman Modified, Sportsman Coupe, Fast Four, and Hornet Queen divisions have been added to this week's program.

Big Daddy's Speedway (Rumney, N.H.): Louie Cadwell of Vershire was sixth in Sunday's Sportsman Modified feature. Josh Sunn of White River Junction was the Mini Stock runner-up.

Canaan Dirt Speedway (Canaan, N.H.): Rookie Dan Eastman of Thetford Center was fifth in the Sportsman Modifed feature on Friday. Josh Sunn of White River Junction was second in the Mini Stocks. Dakota Stender of Tunbridge was fourth in the Bandit feature with Mike Stender of South Strafford fifth.

Canaan Fair Speedway (Canaan, N.H.): Chris Wilk of Mendon was second in Saturday's Super Street feature, and Jamie Hodgdon of Ascutney won the Pure Stock feature with North Springfield's Rory Merritt fifth. Bobby Prior of White River Junction was fourth in the Outlaw Mini feature. Mike Parker of Bradford won the Bandit feature over Ascutney's Tyler Lescord.

Monadnock Speedway (Winchester, N.H.): Josh King of Vernon was 13th in Saturday's Modified feature. Ascutney's Joey Jarvis won the Sportsman Modifieds with Nate Kehoe of Windham in eighth. Putney's Dana Shepard was tenth in the Super Street feature. Joe Rogers of Ludlow finished seventh in the Mini Stocks with Mike Metcalf of Westminster ninth.

NASCAR Nationwide Series: Shelburne's Kevin Lepage was 38th at Dover Int'l (Del.) Speedway on Saturday.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: David Stremme finished 27th at Dover Int'l (Del.) Speedway on Sunday for Vermont-based Latitude 43 Motorsports.

Riverside Speedway (Groveton, N.H.): Derek Ming of Island Pond won Sunday's Late Model feature, with Jesse Switser of West Burke third. Dan Sidney of St. Johnsbury won the Outlaw Sportsman feature, and Michael Smith of St. Johnsbury was third in the Super Stock race. Doug Dupuis of St. Johnsbury won the Street Stock race over Concord's Brett Rowell. Willie Merchant of Concord was fourth in the Dwarf Car race, Waterford's Lorin Vear won the Cyclones, and Alison Barney of Granby won the Angels.

Sprint Cars of New England: Anthony Cain of Fairfax was fourth at Canaan Dirt Speedway on Friday, with Orange's Kevin Chaffee sixth and Lacey Hanson of Orwell tenth.

Twin State Speedway (Claremont, N.H.): Dallas Trombley of Rutland finished fifth in the Late Model feature on Friday night. Chris Wilk of Mendon was the Super Street runner-up. with Russ Davis of Cavendish third. David Greenslit of Waitsfield won the Strictly Stock feature over Pittsford's Kyle Davis and Jacksonville's Kaitlin Stone. Robert Leitch of Cavendish was the Wildcat runner-up.



Friday, May 21
Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Malta, N.Y. -- 6:45pm (Regular Event)
Canaan Dirt Speedway, Canaan, N.H. -- 7:00pm (Regular Event)
Twin State Speedway, Claremont, N.H. -- 7:30pm (Regular Event)

Saturday, May 22
Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y. -- 5:00pm (Regular Event)
Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford -- 6:00pm (Regular Event plus make-up features for Modifieds, Coupes, Fast Fours, Hornet Queens)
Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, N.H. -- 6:00pm (Season Opener)
Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, N.H. -- 6:00pm (Regular Event)
Riverside Speedway, Groveton, N.H. -- 6:00pm (Regular Event)
White Mountain Motorsports Park, North Woodstock, N.H. -- 4:00 (PASS North)

Sunday, May 23
Big Daddy's Speedbowl, Rumney, N.H. -- 6:00pm (SCoNE 360 Sprint Cars)
Devil's Bowl Speedway, West Haven -- 2:00pm (Grand Re-Opening, Late Model 100)

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Fri., May 21 -- Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C. (SPEED/7:30pm)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Sat., May 22 -- Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C. (SPEED/7:00pm)
Pro All Stars Series: Sat., May 22 -- White Mountain Motorsports Park, North Woodstock, N.H. (4:00pm)
Série ACT-Castrol Edge: Sat., May 22 -- Autodrome St-Eustache, St-Eustache (Montréal), Qué. (6:00pm)
Sprint Cars of New England: Sun., May 23 -- Big Daddy's Speedbowl, Rumney, N.H. (6:00pm)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

For The Love: Zampieri Keeping Thunder Road History Alive

LOUDON, N.H. -- “Did you find a coil for that thing today?” bellows the thickly accented voice of an elderly man. It’s Harold Hanaford, 80, seeking shelter in a dry garage bay as the mist falls outside.

“Naw, I couldn’t find one. But I heard you can reverse the wires and still get it started,” replies Paul Zampieri. The two are standing in the infield at New Hampshire Motor Speedway hoping that the rain will stop before a barbeque party begins at 6:30 that evening.

It’s the 20th annual Vintage Racing Celebration at the track, and four 20-bay garages are packed with race cars from yesteryear -- everything from Modifieds to Midgets, from Indy Cars to an ex-Jeff Gordon NASCAR Winston Cup car that has been converted to SCCA road racing specs. NASCAR champion Bobby Allison is in attendance, too.

Zampieri, of Montpelier, purchased and painstakingly restored the car Hanaford drove to the 1964 track championship at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., nearly a decade ago, and has been on tour with the car ever since, taking part in car shows and exhibitions all over the northeast. New Hampshire is the latest stop on his circuit.

“I bought the car for $500 back in 1998,” he explains. “It was in rough shape, but I’d done body work before and that was no big deal. But I needed help with the details.”

After two years of work and research, Zampieri brought the car to Hanaford’s garage in Plymouth, N.H., to “get it right.” By September 2002, the car was complete and on display for the first time at Thunder Road’s Milk Bowl, a race Hanaford won twice in the early 1960s. Hanaford took the car around the track for pace laps that day and has driven it on occasion in exhibition races with the New England Antique Racers club.

“It was a lot of fun and a lot of work,” says Zampieri. “We have to work on it a lot, though. I just put a new engine in a couple weeks ago.” The car’s flathead Ford engine, a staple of the early Coupes at Thunder Road, recently turned over for the final time. A “new” Offenhauser flathead was installed in time for the week-long NHMS celebration, which includes three days of on-track times, but the ignition coil burned out while Zampieri was loading the car on Tuesday night. Still, he brought the car for the show anyway.

He’s not stopping with the Hanaford car, either: Original pieces of a 1932 3-window Ford driven by Ronnie Marvin at Thunder Road and Northeastern Speedway near St. Johnsbury are being incorporated -- along with the rear deck of a 1930 Chevrolet -- into a replica of the original Marvin car. Once finished, the car will complete a restored team of three cars originally campaigned in 1962 by owner Andy Cote and drivers Marvin, Paul Martel, and Tony Colicchio.

Zampieri estimates his Hanaford project car has cost him a total of $7,000, and that the Martel car restored by another enthusiast has between $10,000 and $15,000 sunk into it.

“We have fun,” says Zampieri, looking around the garage at Hanaford and restoration buddies Cho Lee and Lloyd Hutchins. “That’s what it’s about.”

(PHOTOS: 1. Paul Zampieri (left) and Harold Hanaford with their restored Thunder Road Coupe at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; 2. Zampieri's next project will restore the #13 Ford driven by Ronnie Marvin in 1962. Justin St. Louis/VMM photos)

VIDEO: New Hampshire Motor Speedway Press Conference

WARNING: Some of the language in this video may be inappropriate for children!

LOUDON, N.H. -- Vermont Motorsports Magazine took in the 20th Annual Vintage Racing Celebration at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Wednesday. Although it was a bit cold and rainy, there was still plenty going on.

An afternoon press conference brought together NHMS Founder Bob Bahre, NHMS Vice President and General Manager Jerry Gappens, NASCAR Champion Bobby Allison, and New England favorites Ricky Craven and Brad Leighton to remember their favorite moments from NHMS and Bahre's first track, Oxford Plains Speedway.

Stay tuned to VMM for more updates!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Brent Dragon Heads For Devil's Bowl

(From team press release)

MILTON -- Though the ACT Late Model Tour is slated for a break in the schedule this weekend, Brent Dragon will not be resting.

Dragon is entered in the Late Model 100 at the new-look Devil's Bowl Speedway in West Haven on Sunday, May 23. Qualifying gets underway at 2:00pm.

"It's a brand new asphalt track," said Dragon, who sits third in the ACT standings after two races. "It's a half-mile, and I really like the fast tracks like that."

Until this year, Devil's Bowl existed solely as a dirt track and Dragon had never raced there. To open its first season as an asphalt facility, the track is hosting an event for Thunder Road International Speedbowl's Late Model division on Sunday.

"I'm really looking forward to getting down there," Dragon said. "It's not very far from home, and I'm excited about seeing it."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

MacDonald Wins Again at Oxford

OXFORD, Me. -- Eddie MacDonald is considered the man to beat every time he races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and with four wins there since 2008 he’s earned that recognition. After his American-Canadian Tour victory on Sunday, the same could be said about him at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway.

MacDonald’s first ACT Late Model Tour win came at the 3/8-mile oval in 2007, and he won the TD Bank Oxford 250, one of the country’s most prestigious short track events, last year. Sunday, he led the final 96 laps of the WJAB 150 and held off regular Oxford competitor Tommy Ricker en route to another win.

“This is just awesome,” said MacDonald, of Rowley, Mass. “It’s our first run out with the car [since] we changed a bunch of things over from last year and upgraded a few things, and just everything paid off.”

MacDonald, a top driver on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, gave all the credit to his team and crew chief Rollie LaChance. “Rollie got the car just handling awesome. We were tweaking on little things all day long, but as soon as we unloaded the car it was pretty good. The crew did an awesome job.”

MacDonald took the lead from rookie Austin Theriault on lap 54 and held a comfortable lead until Ricker caught him with 30 circuits remaining. Ricker reeled MacDonald in as they sliced through lapped traffic, and made two attempts to take the lead during the closing laps. His car broke loose several times, though, the result of worn out tires.

For Ricker, who had yet to even finish an ACT event, it was a career day.

“This is terrific. I’ve never been more excited [except] getting into the 250 I think,” Ricker beamed. “I think I wore the tires out trying to get to Eddie. I should have been a little more patient. Eddie’s a close friend and I enjoy racing with him. It would have been a great thrill to beat him if I could have, I just worked too hard at it.”

“I am so happy for Tommy, he did an awesome job,” said MacDonald.

Defending ACT champion Brian Hoar of Williston finished in third place after leading the first 25 laps. Graniteville’s John Donahue drove from 31st at the start to finish fourth, with former Oxford Plains Speedway champion Tim Brackett fifth. Travis Adams, Scott Payea, Brent Dragon, Jeff White, and T.J. Brackett completed the unofficial top-ten.

Only one caution period slowed the event on lap 54, and all but four of the 33 starters were running at the finish. 53 cars attempted to qualify. The next ACT event is at Lee USA Speedway on June 11.

For the win, MacDonald earned an invitation to compete at the second annual ACT Invitational at New Hampshire in September – an event he won last year.

ACT Late Model Tour WJAB 150 Results @ Oxford 5/16

American-Canadian Tour – Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Me.
Sunday, May 16, 2010


# - indicates rookie

1. (5) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass.
2. (12) Tommy Ricker, Poland, Me.
3. (2) Brian Hoar, Williston
4. (31) John Donahue, Graniteville
5. (4) Tim Brackett, Buckfield, Me.
6. (14) Travis Adams, Canton, Me.
7. (3) Scott Payea, Milton
8. (27) Brent Dragon, Milton
9. (21) Jeff White, Winthrop, Me.
10. (7) T.J. Brackett, Buckfield, Me.
11. (20) Eric Williams, Hyde Park
12. (26) # Bradley Babb, Windham, Me.
13. (10) Scott Luce, Strong, Me.
14. (17) Scott Dragon, Milton
15. (16) # Chris Riendeau, Ascutney
16. (6) # Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, Me.
17. (22) Corey Morgan, Lewiston, Me.
18. (9) Quinny Welch, Lancaster, N.H.
19. (25) Donald Theetge, Quebec, Que.
20. (13) Mark Lamberton, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
21. (1) Travis Stearns, Auburn, Me.
22. (15) Ricky Rolfe, Albany Twp., Me.
23. (19) T.J. Watson, Cundy’s Harbor, Me.
24. (18) Ben Ashline, Pittston, Me.
25. (29) Bryan Kruczek, Newmarket, N.H.
26. (23) Dennis Spencer, Jr., Oxford, Me.
27. (33) Shawn Martin, Turner, Me.
28. (32) # Dave Paya, Milton
29. (30) Gary Chaisson, Peru, Me.
30. (8) Jay Laquerre, East Montpelier
31. (28) Randy Potter, Groveton, N.H.
32. (24) Glen Luce, Turner, Me.
33. (11) Mark Hayward, Newport, N.H.

ACT Late Model Tour WJAB 150 Starting Lineup @ Oxford Plains Speedway

American-Canadian Tour -- WJAB 150
Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Me.
Sunday, May 16, 2010

Starting Lineup


1. Travis Stearns, Auburn, Me.
2. Brian Hoar, Williston
3. Scott Payea, Milton
4. Tim Brackett, Buckfield, Me.
5. Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass.
6. # Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, Me.
7. T.J. Brackett, Buckfield, Me.
8. Jay Laquerre, East Montpelier
9. Quinny Welch, Lancaster, N.H.
10. Scott Luce, Strong, Me.
11. Mark Hayward, Newport, N.H.
12. Tommy Ricker, Poland, Me.
13. Mark Lamberton, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
14. Travis Adams, Canton, Me.
15. Ricky Rolfe, Albany Twp., Me.
16. # Chris Riendeau, Ascutney
17. Scott Dragon, Milton
18. Ben Ashline, Pittston, Me.
19. T.J. Watson, Cundy’s Harbor, Me.
20. Eric Williams, Hyde Park
21. Jeff White, Winthrop, Me.
22. Corey Morgan, Lewiston, Me.
23. Dennis Spencer, Jr., Oxford, Me.
24. Glen Luce, Turner, Me.
25. Donald Theetge, Quebec, Que.
26. # Bradley Babb, Windham, Me.
27. Brent Dragon, Milton
28. Randy Potter, Groveton, N.H.
29. Bryan Kruczek, Newmarket, N.H.
30. Gary Chaisson, Peru, Me.
31. John Donahue, Graniteville
32. # Dave Paya, Milton
33. Shawn Martin, Turner, Me.

Ricky Rolfe Beating Cancer and Winning Races

OXFORD, Me. -- As Ricky Rolfe pulls into technical inspection at Oxford Plains Speedway, it appears to be business as usual. The 46 year-old from nearby Albany Township is a multi-time champion at the track and is among the all-time winners, surely winning a 12-lap qualifying heat is no big deal.

But on Sunday, it was a big deal. Rolfe begins his first round of chemotherapy for colon cancer at 7:00 on Monday morning.

“I’m fine, I’m feeling real good,” Rolfe says, although it took him a couple extra moments to climb out of his car.

“About the first of March I had symptoms that something was wrong. I went to the doctor’s and they decided to do a colonoscopy and discovered I had a tumor in my colon,” Rolfe explains.

Within five days of the visit, Rolfe was on the operating table as doctors removed one-third of his colon. His road to recovery is just beginning, though.

“They discovered a little bit of cancer in other places,” Rolfe says, although he quickly adds “but nothing major.”

Three weeks after his surgery, Rolfe was with his doctor again to get a port inserted in his chest to assist in administering chemotherapy treatments. Ever the racer, Rolfe brought his HANS head-and-neck restraint system with him, instructing the doctor to place the port away from where the HANS shoulder supports fit.

Rolfe’s heat victory came against the American-Canadian Tour, a series he contested full-time for the first time last year. He finished a respectable tenth in driver points and expected to improve upon that this summer. Instead, he’ll stay closer to home in 2010, with the goal of winning the Oxford Plains Speedway championship – even as he undergoes his treatments.

“This is home,” he smiled. “Even a bad day here is good. I just like it here. I’m going to miss Tour racing, but with the chemo I’m probably going to be pretty fatigued. So we’re not going to concentrate on the Tour this year, we’re gonna concentrate here. You know, local races are twenty-minute races at the most, but if I feel good and I’m healthy we might go to [ACT races at] Lee and do the Beech Ridge race, stuff like that.

“Just to make it [to the track] every week is going to be big-time, and if I win the championship this year with everything that’s going on… This same thing happened to my father a month before me. Same operation, same everything, he’s going through it, too, except he opted not to take chemo.”

The distraction of Rolfe’s cancer might be enough to sideline most drivers, in addition to the added stress of his father’s health. But Rolfe says he’ll keep pressing on.

“I’m young enough where I want to keep racing for a while. I want to be like Joey Laquerre and race when I’m sixty-something.”

Devil's Bowl Asphalt Gets Rave Reviews

WEST HAVEN -- Consider the Devil’s Bowl Speedway experiment a success, at least as far as the first practice session goes.

Champlain Valley Racing Association management paved the track this month after four decades of operating it as a dirt facility, invoking the ire of some race teams and fans. But to the surprise of the nearly 30 teams that tested the new asphalt surface on Saturday afternoon, the results of the change were impressive.

"It’s gonna be fast," said Tim LaDuc, a veteran Modified standout from nearby Orwell. "I think it’ll be competitive. There appears to be a couple of lanes for traffic, so hopefully it’ll be good." LaDuc has raced a handful of times on asphalt at Airborne Speedway in New York and Canaan Fair Speedway in New Hampshire.

Former American-Canadian Tour champion Dave Whitcomb of Essex Junction and Modified driver Mike Bruno of Bomoseen, a veteran of both dirt and asphalt surfaces, likened the new surface to the 5/8-mile Riverside Speedway in Ste-Croix, Que.

"I'm looking forward to it. I like the fast tracks and the long straightaways," said Bruno, who won at the CVRA’s other track, Albany-Saratoga Speedway -- also a newly transformed asphalt track -- on Friday night. "It kind of seperates the guys that can drive it down deep into the corner and keep the car straight."

Keeping it straight, though, is Bruno's biggest concern for his fellow competitors. "It’s gonna be pretty wild. It’s going to take a while with the [Modified] guys here because a lot of them haven't raced pavement. I think it’s going to be a lot of defensive driving in the beginning for the first few races, but I think the racing will get better as the guys get more acclimated to the race track."

Sportsman driver Hunter Bates of Middlebury said the difference between the asphalt and dirt surfaces is big. "It's a lot tighter and a lot less forgiving [than dirt]," Bates said. "We’ll help each other out a little bit, but it’s pretty tough to figure it out as a whole. Everybody’s going to have to try to learn."

A few small groups of fans watched the practice. Most were impressed at the increased speeds of the open-wheel divisions, especially the top-tier Modifieds. Bruno was clocked at a little more than 106-mph in the first practice session, less than one mile per hour off the existing dirt track record, and Bruno admitted he "wasn't pushing it" at the time.

Race fan Sharon Randazzo of Granville, N.Y., was eager to see how things would turn out with the new surface after watching dirt races at Devil's Bowl for more than 20 years. "This is the first time we've seen the cars on asphalt, so it should prove interesting for this year."

"I'm excited. I want to see it."

Rain Cuts Bear Ridge Opener Short

Hull wins Late Models, Sheldon is top Hornet

BRADFORD – Mother Nature won the majority of Bear Ridge Speedway's opening night event on Saturday, but not before Will Hull and Karl Sheldon put their cars in the winner's circle.

East Montpelier driver Hull put together segment finishes of first and second for an overall low score of three points to win the Limited Late Model main event, while St. Johnsbury racer Sheldon took a third and a first in the Hornet segments to win his division's overall trophy before rains forced the postponement of the evening's final three races.

Jason Giguere of Lebanon, N.H., beat Hull to win the second Limited Late Model segment and finished second overall, with Bradford's Jeremy Hodge third. Tyler Stygles of Bradford and T.C. Forward of Lyme, N.H., completed the unofficial overall top-five.

Defending Hornet champion Tom Placey of Bradford was the overall runner-up in the Hornet class, with Corinth's Mike Pittman third, Mike Chapin of Chelsea fourth, and Jesse Smith fifth, unofficially.

Ryan Avery’s quick start continued as he took the first of two Sportsman Modified segments. The Thornton, N.H., driver also copped the opening night victory at the new Big Daddy’s Speedbowl in Rumney, N.H., last week. "I’ve got a lot of laps in this car, it’s my third year with this chassis," said Avery. "We turned about 130 laps already at Big Daddy’s, and I know what this car is going to do. We left 'em [behind] tonight. It felt really good." Chris Donnelly, Blake Shepard, Bryan King, and Jason Gray completed the top-five in the segment.

Chris Carbee of Topsham took a surprise victory in the first Sportsman Coupe segment after a pass of Jason Horniak at the halfway point. King finshed third with Mike McGinley and defending champion Josh Harrington in tow.

Josh Sunn of White River Junction took the first segment in the Fast Four division over Danny Doyle, Andy Johnson, Robert Tilden, and Kevin Harran.

The second segments for the Sportsman Modified, Sportsman Coupe, and Fast Four divisions will be completed at the May 22 program at Bear Ridge in addition to a full card of racing for all five divisions and the Granite State Mini Sprint Club.

Bear Ridge Speedway Results 5/15/10

Bear Ridge Speedway -- Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, May 15, 2010


A Notch Above Auto Limited Late Model Overall Finish
1. Will Hull, East Montpelier
2. Jason Giguere, Lebanon, N.H.
3. Jeremy Hodge, Bradford
4. Tyler Stygles, Bradford
5. T.C. Forward, Lyme, N.H.

KDD NAPA Hornet Overall Finish
1. Karl Sheldon, St. Johnsbury
2. Tom Placey, Bradford
3. Mike Pittman, Corinth
4. Mike Chapin, Chelsea
5. Jesse Smith

Bond Auto Sportsman Modified Segment #1 Finish
1. Ryan Avery, Thornton, N.H.
2. Chris Donnelly, Orford, N.H.
3. Blake Shepard, Newton, N.H.
4. Bryan King, Corinth
5. Jason Gray, East Thetford

Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe Segment #1 Finish
1. Chris Carbee, Topsham
2. Jason Horniak, Bradford
3. Bryan King, Corinth
4. Mike McGinley, East Barre
5. Josh Harrington, Topsham

Journal Opinion Fast Four Segment #1 Finish
1. Josh Sunn, White River Junction
2. Danny Doyle, Hancock
3. Andy Johnson, Wilder
4. Robert Tilden, East Thetford
5. Kevin Harran, St. Johnsbury

Saturday, May 15, 2010

SCoNE 360 Sprint Car Results @ Canaan, May 14

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS -- Sprint Cars of New England
Canaan Dirt Speedway -- Canaan, N.H.
Friday, May 14, 2010

# - denotes rookie

1. Shawn Lawler, Mason, N.H.
2. Mark Cole, Lebanon, N.H.
3. Clay Dow, Ossipee, N.H.
4. Anthony Cain, Fairfax
5. Dan Douville, Concord, N.H.
6. # Kevin Chaffee, Orange
7. # Chris Donnelly, Piermont, N.H.
8. Bruce Kimball, Lebanon, N.H.
9. Robby Bodwell, Sanbornton, N.H.
10. Lacey Hanson, Orwell
11. # Shawn Berry
12. # Chris Chalke, Jaffrey, N.H.
13. # Randy Wimert, Falmouth, Me.
14. Randy Howe, Lebanon, N.H.
15. Eli Deshaies, North Kingston, R.I.

Lawler Wins SCoNE Opener at Canaan

CANAAN, N.H. -- Former Sprint Cars of New England champion Shawn Lawler of Mason, N.H., opened the 2010 season with a victory at Canaan Dirt Speedway on Friday night. Former SCoNE champion Mark Cole of Lebanon, N.H., was second, with Ossipee, N.H., driver Clay Dow third. Anthony Cain of Fairfax, Vt., was fourth with Concord, N.H.'s Dan Douville fifth.

Rookies Kevin Chaffee of Orange, Vt., and Chris Donnelly of Piermont, N.H., finished sixth and seventh, respectively in their first SCoNE starts. Bruce Kimball, Robby Bodwell, and Lacey Hanson completed the top-ten finishers.

Increased interest in the SCoNE 360 Sprint Car series saw 15 teams compete in the Canaan opener including five rookies. The series' next event is at Big Daddy's Speedbowl in Rumney, N.H., on May 23.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Airborne Hosts Modified Racing Series Memorial Day Weekend

(From track press release)

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- Airborne Speedway will celebrate Memorial Day weekend by hosting a Modified Racing Series event for the first time Saturday, May 29, and the tour’s top drivers are looking forward to racing their low-slung 600-horsepower machines on the progressively-banked half mile.

“We’re hearing that there are three or more racing grooves to play around with,” defending Series champion Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Mass., said. “That should be a lot of fun and it should make it a very interesting, competitive race.”

Veteran Dwight Jarvis of Ascutney, recent Modified Racing Series winner at Monadnock Speedway, feels the same way. “We’re excited,” Jarvis said. “We’ve heard a lot of good things about Airborne.”

“The Airborne race is the first part of a big doubleheader for our series,” founder, promoter and competitor Jack Bateman said. “We race the next day at Thunder Road. It’s something we’ve never done before. This is our seventh season and we have 65 teams entered, which is a record for us. It’s really exciting.”

Greg Atkins Logging and Taylor Rental present the Modified Racing Series 100-lap event. All Airborne divisions will also compete. Post time is 5 p.m.

“I think this race will be a treat for our fans and it should bring in some race fans from outside the area,” Perrotte said. “The Modified Series cars are the type that race so well at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. They’re a link to a lot of Airborne history from the '50s and '60s.”

This Saturday, May 15 is Econo Lodge Kiddie Rides Night. Kiddie rides begin at 4:40 p.m. Post time is 5 p.m. All Airborne divisions will be in action. Admission is $10 for adults, kids 12 and under free.

The Juice: ACT's Bicentennial By The Numbers

-by Justin St. Louis
VMM Editor

Hey, the rain can't stop us all year, right? The weekend forecast looks pretty good, and two of Vermont's three tracks will get up and running on Saturday.

We're headed down Routes 7 and 22A to West Haven to take in the first asphalt practice session at Devil's Bowl Speedway in nearly 40 years early Saturday afternoon, then over Route 4 and up I-91 to Bradford for the Bear Ridge Speedway season opener.

If that wasn't enough, we're getting up bright and early Sunday morning to head wicked east to Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine for the American-Canadian Tour show.

Ayuh. (Or "Yessah" for you Mainers.)

There's short track racing everywhere, now that spring is actually here. Where are you headed?


Sunday's WJAB 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway will be the 200th championship event for the present-day ACT Late Model Tour.

With its deepest roots planted at Barre's Thunder Road, the series has ushered in several changes revolutionary to the short track world including "spec" crate engines, tires and shocks, and the first-ever trip to New Hampshire Motor Speedway last fall. The series has gone through a few name changes, scheduling formats, rulebooks, and occasionally a cast or two of characters, but it is, for all intents and purposes, the same old Tour.

I'm a self-admitted stats junkie and have been looking for some sort of outlet lately, so without further ado, here's a look at the history of the ACT Late Model Tour by the numbers...

0 -- The number of wins for ACT Late Model Tour champions Phil Scott in 2002 and Jean-Paul Cyr in 2007.

0 -- Cautions in the Time Warner Cable 100 at Oxford Plains Speedway, the only caution-free race in ACT history. Eddie MacDonald scored his first ACT win in the race.

1 -- As in, the first race. Warren, Vt.'s Norm Andrews, a multi-time Thunder Road track champion in the 1970s and '80s, won the first-ever "ACT Late Model Sportsman International Series" event, a 25-lap race at the 9/10-mile Sanair Super Speedway tri-oval in St-Pie, Que., on April 26, 1992.

1 -- The number of Canadian drivers to win the ACT Late Model Tour championship -- Patrick Laperle, 2008.

1 -- In points, the margin of victory for Laperle over runner-up Scott Payea in 2008, the narrowest championship margin in history.

1 -- The number of ACT races Maine's Ryan Moore won in 2001... a year before he won the ACT Rookie of the Year title.

2 -- Norm Andrews' winning car number in the first event at Sanair.

2 hours, 42 minutes, 8 seconds -- The amount of time it took Ben Rowe to win the 2006 "Mega Classique" at Sanair Super Speedway, the longest race of record in series history.

3 -- Drivers to win in their first career ACT start: Norm Andrews (Sanair, 1992 -- ACT's first race), Ryan Moore (Oxford, 2001), D.J. Kennington (Lee USA, 2004).

3 -- Consecutive wins for Gary Caron in 1995 and Ben Rowe in 2006, the ACT Late Model Tour record for victory streaks. Interestingly, neither driver had ever won an ACT race prior to their threepeats.

3 -- The car number of the first last-place finisher, Jimmy Young, who was 26th with a transmission failure at Sanair. Young would make one more Late Model start in his first rookie attempt before going back to the Tiger Sportsman division and dominating for most of the decade. Young would return as an ACT rookie in 1999, finishing third -- where else? -- in his first start at Thunder Road.

4 -- The number of top-five finishes Scott Payea turned in during the first four races of his ACT career in 2005.

4 -- Races that have won by a last-lap pass for the lead. Jim Cilley beat Kevin Lepage at Thunder Road on August 26, 1993; Dave Whitcomb won in a famous three-wide photo finish at Airborne Speedway over Ron Weston on Sept. 22, 1996; Tracie Bellerose beat Phil Scott in a controversial finish at Thunder Road on Sept. 1, 2001 that resulted in suspensions for driver Joey Laquerre and ACT president Tom Curley; and Brent Dragon assumed the lead at Airborne on May 8, 2004 when Laquerre pit out of the lead under caution, one lap before rains cancelled the final 34 laps of the race. For Cilley, Whitcomb, and Dragon, the final lap was the only lap each driver led en route to his respective win.

4 -- Consecutive championships for Brian Hoar, 1997 to 2000.

5 -- Consecutive championships for Jean-Paul Cyr, 2003 to 2007, an all-time ACT record.

5 -- The number of events run in two-part "segments" in the 1992 season, out of eight total races.

6 -- The number of events held in 1994, the shortest schedule to date.

6 -- Career championships for Brian Hoar (first was in 1993).

7 -- Career championships for Jean-Paul Cyr (others in 1994 and 1996).

8 -- The number of car numbers to win the ACT Late Model Tour championship. They are: 14 (Phil Scott, 2002), 25 (Dave Whitcomb, 1992), 31 (Lance Ferno, 1995), 32 (Jean-Paul Cyr, 1994, 1996 and 2003-07), 37 (Brian Hoar, 2009), 45 (Brian Hoar, 1993 and 1997-2000), 75 (Pete Fecteau, 2001), and 91 (Patrick Laperle, 2008).

10 -- Combined top-five finishes by rookies Jamie Fisher, Scott Dragon, and Jimmy Young in 1999.

12 -- The number of different drivers to win in 2004, an ACT record. Six were first-time winners.

14 -- Drivers whose first career top-five ACT finish was a victory. They are: Norm Andrews in 1992, Pat Corbett in 1993, Kip Stockwell, Pete Fecteau and Billy Holbrook in 1996, Chris Fisher in 1998, rookie Jamie Fisher in 1999, Ryan Moore in 2001, Jacob McGrath in 2002, Joey Becker, Shawn Martin, Dale Shaw and D.J. Kennington in 2004, and Eddie MacDonald in 2007.

16 -- The number of events held in both 2002 and 2003, the longest schedules to date.

16 -- The number of events run at a distance of less than 100 laps.

16 -- The record for the ACT Late Model Tour's smallest starting field. It has happened twice, at Riverside Speedway (Ste-Croix, Que.) in 1992 and Sanair Super Speedway in 1993.

17 -- The number of times a driver has led every lap of an ACT Late Model Tour race. Norm Andrews led all 25 laps of the first-ever ACT event in 1992 for his only victory, and Pat Corbett did so in two of his three career wins. Jean-Paul Cyr has done it a record three times. Joey Laquerre and Cyr did it in back-to-back races at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, N.H., and Thunder Road in August 2002.

18 -- The record number of cautions in the "Massacre at Ste-Croix" at Riverside Speedway in Ste-Croix, Que., on June 29, 2002. The mark was equalled at Autodrome St-Eustache on July 28, 2007.

18 -- The number of ACT Late Model Tour events held at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H., since 1998.

19 -- The record for lead changes in a single event. It has happened twice -- the 2004 Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic at Thunder Road and the 2009 Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Fall Foliage 300 at Airborne Speedway.

19 -- Jean-Paul Cyr's career win total, second all-time.

20 -- The number of ACT Late Model Tour events held at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Me., since 1995.

21 -- The age of champion Brian Hoar in 1993, the youngest of any ACT Late Model Tour champion.

23 -- The number of drivers with just a single ACT Late Model Tour win.

25 -- Brian Hoar's career win total, tops all-time.

25th race -- The Coca-Cola 100 on July 3, 1995 at Thunder Road in Barre, Vt., won by Gary Caron.

26 minutes, 30 seconds -- The amount of time it took Jean-Paul Cyr to win the 2002 Labor Day Classic 100 at Thunder Road, the quickest race of record in series history.

35 -- The number of drivers with multiple ACT Late Model Tour wins.

35 -- Brian Hoar's winning percentage through the first three seasons of the ACT Late Model Tour, 1992-94 (7 wins in 20 races).

36 -- The number of ACT Late Model Tour events held at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y., second-most of any track on the circuit.

43 -- The largest starting field in ACT Late Model Tour history, at Sanair Super Speedway in 2006.

50th race -- The Fleur-de-Lys Classic on August 16, 1998 at Sanair Super Speedway in St-Pie, Que., won by Joey Laquerre.

51 -- The age of champion Pete Fecteau in 2001, the oldest of any ACT Late Model Tour champion.

57 -- The number of ACT Late Model Tour events held at Thunder Road in Barre, the most of any track on the circuit.

58 -- Different drivers to have won at least one ACT Late Model Tour event.

66 -- The number of laps run in the Spring Green at Airborne on May 8, 2004. It is the only ACT Late Model Tour race to date that has been cut short of its advertised distance (the race was scheduled to go 100 laps). Joey Laquerre pitted out of the lead under caution with a vibration on lap 65, only to have the rains come one lap later. Brent Dragon inhertied the lead and took the win. Laquerre finished 15th.

75th race -- The Currier Auto Group 100 on August 24, 2000 at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H., won by Phil Scott.

100th race -- The Subway 100 on June 23, 2002 at Canaan Fair Speedway in Canaan, N.H., won by Kenny Dufour.

125th race -- The New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl on October 5, 2003 at Thunder Road in Barre, Vt., won by Eric Williams.

150th race -- The Merchants Bank 150 on April 30, 2006 at Thunder Road in Barre, Vt., won by Jean-Paul Cyr.

175 -- Career starts for Brent Dragon, most all-time.

175th race -- The New England Dodge Dealers 150 on April 26, 2008 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Me., won by Ricky Rolfe.

184 -- In points, the margin of victory for Brian Hoar over runner-up Chuck Beede in 1999, the widest championship margin in history.

199th race -- The Merchants Bank 150 on May 2, 2010 at Thunder Road in Barre, Vt., won by Nick Sweet.

200th race -- The WJAB 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Me., to be run on Sunday at 2:00pm.

300 -- Laps run in the Fall Foliage 300 at Airborne Speedway last September, the longest-distance ACT race in history.

24,182 -- Laps completed by the ACT Late Model Tour since 1992.



Time to take a look at the top Vermonters from the past weekend...

Big Daddy's Speedway (Rumney, N.H.): Louie Cadwell of Vershire was the runner-up in the inaugural Sportsman Modified feature at Big Daddy's Speedbowl on Sunday, with Hartland's Ed Tobin fifth. Josh Sunn of White River Junction won the Mini Stock feature.

Canaan Dirt Speedway (Canaan, N.H.): Rookie Dan Eastman of Thetford Center was sixth in the Sportsman Modifed opener on Friday, with Hartland's Ed Tobin ninth. Josh Sunn of White River Junction was fifth in the Mini Stocks. Dakota Stender of Tunbridge won the Bandit feature with Mike Stender of South Strafford fifth.

NASCAR Nationwide Series: Shelburne's Kevin Lepage was 38th at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Friday night.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: David Stremme finished 24th at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Saturday night for Vermont-based Latitude 43 Motorsports.

PASS South Super Late Models: Steven Legendre of Danville finished 19th in Friday's event at Wake County Speedway in Raleigh, N.C.

Twin State Speedway (Claremont, N.H.): Dallas Trombley of Rutland finished 13th in the Late Model feature on Friday night, while Robert Hagar of Windsor was tenth in the Modified event. Russ Davis of Cavendish won the Super Street feature over Chris Wilk of Mendon, with Mt. Holly's Kayla Bryant fifth. Pittsford's Kyle Davis won the Strictly Stock feature over Jacksonville's Kaitlin Stone and David Greenslit of Waitsfield.



Friday, May 14
Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Malta, N.Y. -- 6:45pm (Regular Event)
Canaan Dirt Speedway, Canaan, N.H. -- 7:00pm (SCoNE 360 Sprint Cars)
Twin State Speedway, Claremont, N.H. -- 7:30pm (Regular Event)

Saturday, May 15
Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y. -- 5:00pm (Regular Event)
Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford -- 10:00am (Car Show @ Jiffy Mart), 6:00pm (Season Opener - Double Features)
Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, N.H. -- 6:00pm (Season Opener)
Devil's Bowl Speedway, West Haven -- 1:00pm (Open Practice)
Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, N.H. -- 6:00pm (Regular Event)

Sunday, May 16
Big Daddy's Speedbowl, Rumney, N.H. -- 4:00pm (Regular Event)
Riverside Speedway, Groveton, N.H. -- 1:00pm (Season Opener)


ACT Late Model Tour: Sun., May 16 -- Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Me. (2:00pm)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Fri., May 14 -- Dover Int'l Speedway, Dover, Del. (SPEED/8:00pm - Tape Delay)
NASCAR Nationwide Series: Sat., May 15 -- Dover Int'l Speedway, Dover, Del. (ABC/1:00pm)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Sun., May 16 -- Dover Int'l Speedway, Dover, Del. (FOX/7:30pm)
Sprint Cars of New England: Fri., May 14 -- Canaan Dirt Speedway, Canaan, N.H. (7:00pm)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

PAVED: Devil's Bowl Speedway Officially An Asphalt Track

(From track press release)

WEST HAVEN -- Devil's Bowl Speedway, after months of hard work, has been transformed from a dirt race track to a modern paved speedway. The venerable track has been an institution in western Vermont since 1967 and will be opening its 44th season of racing on May 23rd on a brand new asphalt surface provided by Wilk Paving of West Rutland.

"Working with a local company like Wilk is the way I like to do business," said track promoter Jerry Richards. "Chris Wilk has been with me every step of the way and I couldn't be happier with the final product. We worked together using input from Mike Perrotte (promoter of Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y.) and Tom Curley (promoter of Thunder Road in Barre) to design the progressive banking in order to turn this clay track into a paved surface that would provide the same level of excitement and competitive racing that we're used to."

Jerry Richards, brother Bruce Richards (promoter at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta N.Y.), and sister Sharon Richards are partners of both race tracks and owners since 2005. In the past, Jerry managed the facilities while Bruce handled the promotional responsibilities. This year Bruce will take on all aspects of management at Albany-Saratoga and Jerry will do the same at Devil's Bowl.

Jerry Richards noted, "Bruce lives in New York and I live in Vermont. It just made good business sense. It would have been a big enough learning curve for both of us without the decision to go to pavement, but we've been through a lot together and he's learning from me at the same time I'm learning from him. As far as the asphalt goes, we're learning together."

Perrotte and Curley have been instrumental in helping Jerry Richards to make the transition to pavement racing. Having the advice of the other nearby pavement promoters has been invaluable.

"In working together, we hope to maintain and even strengthen local short track racing," Jerry Richards said. "It's a tough business, [it's] seasonal and dependent on weather and you have to have a certain amount of backbone to be in it year after year. Having grown up with it, it's in our blood and none of us can really imagine doing anything else, so this is a big gamble for us, but one we feel will really pay off going forward."

The Devil's Bowl Speedway season opener is scheduled for Sunday, May 23rd and will feature the Thunder Road late models in a 100-lap race to christen the new pavement. Devil's Bowl has also been fortunate to have some very important partners sign on to support local racing in 2010: Coca-Cola Products has been instrumental in helping with schedule distribution, and will provide all beverages this year at the speedway. The May 30 Tri-Track Modified Series race is presented by Chittenden Bank. LaValley's Building Supply is holding their Employee's Night at the Races on June 6th, and Ace Carting Corp. of Fort Ann, N.Y., is sponsoring the traditional 4th of July show, in addition to bringing two race teams all season. Heritage Family Credit Union sponsors the Renegade Roundup on August 15th and will continue the tradition of saying thank-you to their customers by admitting all HFCU members into the grandstand for free that night. Brown’s Quarried Slate has returned as a sponsor, and CRM Specialties of Orwell has come on board for the first time.

The first two events on May 23 and May 30 are $15 adult tickets, while adult admission for regular shows remains only $10, and this year all children 12 and under will be admitted free. Racing will begin an hour earlier with a 6:00 p.m. start time. Up-to-date information and the complete racing schedule can be found on the internet at and the speedway telephone is 802-265-3112.