NEW ENGLAND MOTORSPORTS NORTH
By Lou Modestino (for 4/13-4/14/12)
There will be no less than (13) thirteen former champion drivers entered in the 2012 ACT opener at Lee USA on Sunday, April 15, 2012. Between them they have accumulated 48 track and/or touring series championships during their careers. The annual opening New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway is expected to field the best opening day group of racers in its 22 event history.
Heading the list of former champions is Brian Hoar, Williston, VT. He is an (8) eight-time ACT Champion and also owns a Thunder Road and Airborne track championship. Hoar also is the defending NH Governor Cup winner. Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton, VT is a (7) seven-time ACT Champion and also is the 2010 Thunder Road track Champion.
Part-time ACT driver and noted car builder with nine (9) Oxford Plains Speedway Pro Stock titles, Jeff Taylor from Farmington, ME, along with two-time Oxford Pro Stock Champion Ricky Rolfe from Farmington, ME will look to take the Cup back to the Pine Tree State.
A home track favorite from New Hampshire and top ACT US competitor will try and bring the Governor’s Cup back home to the Granite State. Wayne Helliwell, Jr. has 6 championships; he is a two-time Ford Blue Oval Champion and a four-time Lee USA track Champion. Another favorite looking for his first ACT win is Lancaster, NH’s Quinny Welch. He has three titles at the White Mountain Motorsports Park. Randy Potter from Groveton, NH is a former Riverside Speedway Champion and veteran ACT challenger.
Potter’s Crew Chief Pete Knights said, “We really think we had a ‘bounce back’ season last year. We were in a position to win at least two or three races but didn’t get the job done. Winning the opener at Lee would really help our team regain the momentum we established in 2011. We have had a good off-season preparing the car and are anxious for the season to start.”
Three-time Airborne Champion Brent Dragon, Milton, VT and another Airborne Late Model Track Champion Mark Lamberton from Mooers Forks, NY have entered. “Well, we have a new car built at the McColl shops in Ontario and have tested it with the McColl folks. I know Richard Green Racing has been involved in ACT racing for a long time, and I would love to get things started at Lee like we did last year at New Smyrna. The key for us is to get the car to last and be consistent. I would love to have a great season for Rick (owner RGR),” said Lamberton.
Thunder Road former track Champions Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, VT and Nick Sweet from Barre, VT are both capable of contending for the NH Governor’s Cup. Sweet said, “We have taken over the responsibility for the Mad Dog Racing Team in 2012. That means that our touring responsibility is to help owner Eric Chase, but we also get to do some touring, so we will just see what happens at Lee. I know we are also excited about getting Thunder Road weekly racing going. It should be a fun race season.”
Two surprise entries for the 2012 opening event have been received by perennial title contenders on the ACT Castrol Series in the Province of Quebec. Former champions Donald Theetge, Boischatel, QC and Karl Allard from Ste. Felicien, QC will join the rest of the champions. Theetge will look for his third title in 2012 and Allard will contest for his second beginning May 26, 2012 at the Castrol Series opener at the 1/3rd mile speedway in Montmagny, QC, east of Quebec City.
“This has to be one of the strongest opening day fields of cars we have ever enjoyed. With all the championship talent mentioned, we can’t forget about guys like former winner Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, NH, Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, MA, and new young star Austin Theriault from Fort Kent, ME. I am sure there will be other surprises over the April 15 weekend. Lee NH Gov. Cups have given us nine (9) different winners in a row. With over forty teams expected to be at the Governor’s Cup 150, a lot of unexpected things can happen. Fans are in for a real treat to get the season started,” said Tom Curley, President of the American Canadian Tour.
The opening event for ACT at Lee USA will be the first event to qualify the winner for the Bond Auto ACT Invitational to be held at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend, September 22/23, 2012.
The NH Governor’s Cup 150 is scheduled for Sunday, April 15 at Lee USA Speedway, in Lee, New Hampshire. Gates will open at 10 a.m. Admission is $25 Adults, $15 Junior 13-16, and Kids 12 and under free.
Rookie stock car drivers from around the northeast will learn their craft on the asphalt half-mile at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT this summer. The track’s weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program has more than a dozen rookies registered to date, with several more expected to enter by the season opening Spring Green event on Sunday, May 6.
The headline Bond Auto Parts Modified class has freshman racers Joey Roberts, Andy Smith, and Jeff Haskins, each with vastly different racing backgrounds. After success in Sportsman and Renegade cars, Roberts, of Georgia, VT, will make his open-wheel debut in the No. 50x Bicknell chassis sponsored by Vermont Life Safety. South Glens Falls, NY driver Smith was a frequent winner on both the clay and asphalt Devil’s Bowl surfaces in the former Duke Stock class, and will pilot the No. 91 E-Z Marine & Storage/Weller’s Auto Parts Bicknell. Haskins, of Wells, VT, ran the first five stock car races of his career last season and earned an impressive seventh-place finish at Devil’s Bowl in his Dirt Wheels-built No. 95 Fuller Sand & Gravel/Concrete Professionals, Inc. car.
Seven rookies populate the Late Model driver roster. East Montpelier, VT teen and fourth-generation racer Joey Laquerre made a big splash while testing the waters in four Devil’s Bowl starts last year. Rutland, VT driver Jesse Carris has purchased the former Jacob McGrath car and will begin his racing career, and Danny Sullivan of Morrisonville, NY comes to the Late Models after a solid Sportsman career at Airborne Speedway. Manhattan police officer and former open-wheel Formula 2000 and Sprint Car standout Tad Uzzle of Wappingers Falls, NY makes his full-fender debut, as does New Hampshire native and former Granite State Mini Sprint champion dirt tracker Johnny Chesnut, now living in Elizabethtown, NY. Rookies planning part-time schedules include multi-time Allison Legacy Series winner Emily Packard of East Montpelier, VT and former Canaan Fair Speedway and Twin State Speedway standout Kyle Davis of Pittsford, VT.
The entry-level four-cylinder Bomber division has seen growth in the off-season and claims Vermont-based rookies Jacob Doran of Benson, Kyle Watrous of Bomoseen, and Bristol’s Josh Masterson, a former Enduro winner at Devil’s Bowl.
The Devil’s Bowl Speedway season begins on Sunday, May 6 with the historic Spring Green event, and weekly Friday night racing returns to Devil’s Bowl beginning May 25 with the People’s United Bank Memorial Day Special. Discount season passes are available.
Coca-Cola, Devil’s Bowl Speedway, and stock car racing fans in the Champlain Valley will celebrate their independence in style on Wednesday, July 4 at the first annual Coca-Cola Firecracker Twin 44s. The event is scheduled to be the only stock car race held in the area on the Independence Day holiday and will include a pair of special feature races and a massive fireworks display.
Coca-Cola will host extra-distance 44-lap races for both the Bond Auto Parts Modified and Late Model divisions at the event, along with championship races for the Renegade and Bomber divisions as part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program. The event will begin at a special 5:00pm twilight start and will conclude with a festive fireworks show.
As part of its long-term partnership agreement, Coca-Cola will be the Official Soft Drink of Devil’s Bowl Speedway through the 2016 racing season. Coca-Cola will be served in Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s concession areas at each event, along with top brands including Diet Coke, Sprite, Dr. Pepper, Fanta, and NOS Energy Drink.
“Coca-Cola is thrilled to be celebrating a true American holiday with our partner Devil’s Bowl Speedway this year,” said Jerry Jokinen, Market Development Manager. “Coca-Cola’s unique twilight race and fireworks display is a refreshing way for NASCAR racing fans to enjoy the Fourth of July, while sharing moments of happiness with their favorite brand.”
Devil’s Bowl Speedway opens its 46th season of stock car racing on Sunday, May 6 at 1:30 p.m. with the prestigious Spring Green 112 for the American-Canadian Tour Late Models and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. General admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors (62+), and free for children 12 and under; season passes are also available.
Here’s what else is happening in northern New England this week into the weekend. New England Dragway in Epping, NH has Street Night at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday nights. The adjacent MotoX 103 schedules practice at 9 a.m. On Sunday NHMS in Loudon, NH offers Kart racing on the 1.6 mile roadcourse at 9 a.m.