With Speedweeks and winter vacations behind us, the focus now switches to car shows and the countdown to opening day which is fast approaching. Racin’ Preview, the Marco Thomas produced wintertime stock car racing showcase, will take place Friday and Saturday February 22nd & 23rd at the Portland Expo in Portland Maine.
The TVMRS will be well represented with series officials on hand along with the modified race cars of both Jack Bateman and David Pinkham scheduled to be on display. Bateman will showcase his brand new SPAFCO # 17 racer while veteran car owner Tom Greeley debuts his new ride for Pinkham. The # 22 racer is a former Peter Daniels car driven briefly by Ben Rowe in TVMRS competition. By all accounts Greeley is a well liked and respected car owner that will be a nice addition to the TVMRS tour.
The series will visit the state of Maine three times in 2008. Wiscasset Raceway has been added to the schedule joining Beech Ridge and Oxford Plains.
In other off season developments, new faces will appear with the series in 2008 not only on the track but in the pit area as well. Added to the officials roster are Race Director Mike Chapman, assistant flagman Josh Vanada, assistant tech man Roger Hunt, and tire program coordinator John Pettengill.
Chapman, age 55, a truck driver by trade, has been involved in racing since the early 70’s first as a driver at Seekonk, a crew chief for modified driver “Gomer” Taylor, and most recently as a crewman for Jimmy Kuhn.
Vanada joins chief starter John Spence Jr on the flag stand and will work in race day prep. He has served as chief starter at Seekonk and as race director for the Allison Legacy Series.
Hunt, another trucker, has been a driver and car builder with a strong Waterford background. He has crewed for several late model and modified teams and is currently a member of the Thompson fire safety staff. Pettengill, a retired truck driver, will assist in race day prep and will be in charge of the series tire program at each event.
Donnie “Jet” Miller is the new webmaster for the TVMRS website. Welcome Jet.
Series president Bateman announced this off season that 26 cars will start feature races in 2008.
In addition to Bateman, Marco Turcotte will be putting a 2008 SPAFCO under Lou Mechalides this season. Mike Douglas Jr’s car has been gone over at the SPAFCO shop.
Long Island veteran Johnny Bush is building a new car. Ted Christopher will have a new mount from the Czarnecki team. Christopher will again run a selected schedule.
Chatted with Hall of Famer Bob Polverari at the recentHall of Fame induction dinner.
Filled Bob in on last season and he passes a hello along to everyone. What a shot in the arm for this series when Bob chose to run the TVMRS. A real ambassador for modified racing.
Quite a buzz on the announcement that the TVMRS is Twin State Speedway bound in September. And they said it couldn’t happen. Reminds this writer of the mid sixties fallout at the defunct Pines Speedway in Groveland MA. The tracks top class was the cut downs that were evolving into supermodifieds as we know them. A group of drivers/owners, unhappy over the way things were going, banded together and formed a travelling series. They too booked in at tracks around New England and then roughly in the same amount of time, five years, somebody hugged somebody, or somebody said lets works this out and the group returned to their old stomping grounds, both Pines and Hudson Speedways to packed houses. Hopefully the same will happen for TSS.
While Andy Seuss and old friend Bobby Grigas were pounding the pavement at New Smyrna, Peter Jarvis headed down “memory lane” in the Vintage Car series there. Peter also gave the old coupes a shot at Concord NC a couple years ago.
Eddie Dachenhausen will pilot the Nils Linstedt # 10 this season.
Chief Starter John Spence Jr joins the staff of the Thompson Speedway in 2008. Spence worked a handful of shows last year for Ben Dodge. Thompson will not affect his commitment to the TVMRS.
See ya in Portland.
TVMRS Trivia: What current driver was once an assistant flagman at Star Speedway?? Answer in the next notebook. Any news or views send along to email@example.com.
Sources: John Spence, Sr./TVMRS PR