Archive for March, 2008

Williams A Winner at Hickory

Maine speedster Corey Williams drove his Chevrolet to a hard fought victory in  Saturday’s PASS South Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory (NC. Motor Speedway. Williams battled 2007 PASS South champ Ryan Lawler for thirty laps in the closing stages of the 150 lap event, taking the lead  for good on lap 137. Lawler settled for second, with teenagers John Stancill and Zach Stroupe third and fourth. Heath Hindman completed the top five.

Blue skies, a warm breeze and a pit area full of race cars – it’s the recipe for a perfect  kick off  to any race season, and the Pro All Stars Series (PASS. South racers and fans that made the trip to Hickory Motor Speedway Saturday were greeted by all three. Forty four of the fastest Super Late Models in the country were on hand to try and crack the field of thirty.

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Miller Has Caraway Figured Out

Asheboro, NC — Miller won four of the six races at Caraway last year en route to the championship. He won the season opener last year despite a flat front tire in the closing laps. This time around, he had his hands full with NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour veteran Ted Christopher.

“Last year we won with a flat tire and a dominant car; this year we had all our tires but we weren’t so dominant,” Miller said. “I knew Teddy was good. I had to keep it on the bottom.”

Christopher, who won the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour openers in 2005 and 2006 at Caraway, settled for second, followed by Robert Loftin, Tim Brown and Bobby Grigas III.

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Short Track Racing’s Most Prestigious Race Moves to January

Daytona Beach, FL — In a change that further cements the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown as the ‘Daytona 500 of short-track racing,’ NASCAR announced today that the sixth edition of the postseason special event will be held Jan. 23-24, 2009 at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.

In its five-year history, the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown – held at one of NASCAR’s premier racing facilities – has quickly become a showcase of top short-track racing.

The race includes protected starting spots for the champions of each of the NASCAR Developmental Series. The move of the race from the Fall to January allows for increased preparation and provides greater exposure for the teams and drivers.

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NEMA, Speedbowl: A Torrid Love Affair

Waterford, CT — It’s doubtful if anybody loves Waterford Speedbowl more than the Northeastern Midget Association. A large contingent ranging from 34-year veteran Nokie Fornoro to 17-year old Chris Leonard agree with Joey Payne Jr. – “it’s probably the best Midget Track on the east coast.”

“If I had to pick any midget track that I would like to race on once a week, 52 weeks a year, it would be the Speedbowl,” says Fornoro.

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Thompson’s Sunoco Modified Look To Be Most Competitive Ever

Thompson, CT — The Sunoco Modifieds, the premier NASCAR Whelen All American Series division at Thompson International Speedway, looks to be the most competitive weekly Modified division at any race track in the northeast as a brand new season arrives.

This exciting open wheel division has provided fans with truly great racing events week in and week out for many years. It has grown stronger and stronger with each passing year and 2008 looks to be this division’s best year ever. It all gets underway when the Sunoco Modifieds will compete in two feature events on ICEBREAKER weekend, April 5th & 6th.

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Hirschman Returns to Speedbowl’s SK-150

Waterford, CT– Last year, Matt Hirschman came to Waterford Speedbowl’s SK-150 expecting to have some fun. He was second fastest in time trials and then found himself in a position to win late in the race.

“Jeff Pearl and I went side-by-side for a couple laps,” he recalls. “We had a really good run but came up a few feet short. Jeff won. He did it clean and he did it fair and I congratulated him. I’d like to come back and give him a run for it again.”

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Four Decades Later, Modifieds Return to Thunder Road

Vermont’s Jarvis brothers will try to win for the “home” crowd

Barre, VT — The True Value Modified Racing Series will make its first appearance at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road International Speedbowl on Sunday, May 25, at the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic.

It has been forty-three years since a fire-breathing, open-wheeled modified stock car last roared around the high banks at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement.” Forty-three years ago, those same cars created quite a bit of controversy.

May 30, 1965: The annual 30-lap Memorial Day Classic has come to Thunder Road. For the first time in the track’s six-year history, powerful overhead V8 Modifieds are allowed to race weekly against the older flathead-powered coupes of Thunder Road. Outsiders Ernie Reid and André Manny have captured the first two events of the year, dominating over Thunder Road favorites Harold “Hard Luck” Hanaford, Chester T. Woods, Tony Colicchio, Ronnie Marvin, and the famous Ingerson brothers of North Haverhill, NH.

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Toyota To Sponsor Irwindale Speedway

Irwindale, CA — Irwindale Speedway celebrates its 10th anniversary on Saturday, March 22 kicking off its NASCAR schedule of events and officially announcing a multi-year naming rights sponsorship program with the Southern California Toyota Dealers Advertising Association (SCTDAA) and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. in which the Speedway will be renamed TOYOTA Speedway at Irwindale.

“On behalf of the Southern California Toyota Dealers Association, we are very excited about our partnership with TOYOTA Speedway at Irwindale,” said Clifford Cummings, President of Toyota of San Bernardino. “It is a popular facility among motor sports enthusiasts and features some of the most entertaining racing action anywhere in the country. Just as important, the partnership with TOYOTA Speedway provides our dealers with the opportunity to conduct promotions and ancillary activities with the facility as well as showcase Toyota’s versatile lineup of vehicles in a unique environment.”

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Mototown USA Clips

Nokie Fornoro Takes Aim At Another NEMA Crown

Things seem to be in order for Nokie Fornoro – all the things necessary to capture the Northeastern Midget Association championship for himself and owner Mike Jarret. “I’m going after it,” declares Fornoro, about to start his 34th season. “I have no other commitment. I don’t have to worry about missing races. It’s about time. I haven’t had a championships in over 10 years and that sort of bothers me.”

NEMA opens its 19-race schedule April 4-5-6 at Thompson International Speedway.  A spot on Waterford Speedbowl’s Budweiser Modified Nationals follows a week later (April 12-13). A large and impressive entry list compliments the agenda.

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He Lives

We celebrate Easter this week. Never was there so much hope in something empty, the tomb. Let’s take some time this week and discover that hope we have in a risen savior. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Luke 24:1-9, NIV, 1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 `The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.

9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.
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Plenty In Store For NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

Electronic Timing & Scoring, Spec Engine New To Tour

Daytona Beach, FL — The 2008 season for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be one of reflection with the celebration of 60 years of champions, and a year of progression for race teams and fans alike, when it takes the green flag April 6 with the Icebreaker at historic Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.

New to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2008 is the implementation of an electronic scoring system for all 16 races. Also new to the tour for the coming season is the option for race teams to utilize a spec engine.

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ACTion News 3/19/08

At the risk of sounding like we know what we’re talking about, we’ll predict a warm spring, parking lots that aren’t soggy, and the images of eight-foot-high snow banks becoming merely a memory.  This, of course, will lead to fantastic openings at race tracks across the northeast, pit areas jam-packed with race cars, grandstands overflowing with screaming fans, and action on the asphalt like you’ve never seen before.

Those snow banks are still sitting outside the window here at American-Canadian Tour headquarters in Waterbury, VT, and the mercury in the thermometer is still barely visible.  But the joke’s on them – spring IS coming, and so is the racing season.

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American-Canadian Tour Drivers Volunteer for Autism Benefit

Fourteen of the northeast’s top stock car drivers have pledged their support for the Autism Puzzle Foundation’s 3rd Annual Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction on Saturday, April 12 at 5:00pm.  Racers from the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Barre, VT’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl will serve as dealers at the Autism Puzzle Foundation’s “Casino Night” fundraiser at the Barre Auditorium.  The event will benefit both the Autism Speaks and the Autism Puzzle Foundation charities, as proceeds will go directly to national scientific research and local education and assistance.“We are getting busy preparing for our event, and we’re excited about having ACT join us the year,” said Randy Lamberti of the Autism Puzzle Foundation.  “The drivers will be dealing at each of the games during the evening.  We have ten blackjack tables as well as craps, roulette, and a wheel of fortune.”

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Miller’s Title Defense Begins Saturday At Caraway

For fans, drivers and teams of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, their off-season misery will turn to bliss about 8 p.m. this Saturday night at Caraway Speedway by the four most famous words in motorsports: “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!”

After those words are echoed though the loudspeakers surrounding the famed .455-mile Caraway short track, the field of 26 drivers will start their racing engines to kick off their season in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour 150.

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Stafford Previews 2008 SK Modified® Season

Stafford Springs, CT — With the 2008 Tech-Net Spring Sizzler less than a month away at Stafford Motor Speedway, another season of SK Modified® racing at the Connecticut half-mile is fast approaching. Ted Christopher enters the 2008 season lined up directly in the crosshairs of the SK Modified® field as drivers will be looking to dethrone Christopher from the champion’s seat. Christopher enters the 2008 season fresh off his record sixth track championship and only three feature wins away from 100 career wins at Stafford. Christopher has won 83 SK Modified® races, 7 Whelen Modified Tour events, 6 ProStock races, and 1 Camping World Series East event for a grand total of 97 wins.

One of Christopher’s chief contenders for the 2008 track title will be Woody Pitkat, who returns to Stafford after an 8 win season that saw him win 5 races in a row during the summer. Keith Rocco will also return to Stafford after driving to 4 SK Modified® feature wins last season, second to only Pitkat. Frank Ruocco, the 2006 track champion, will be looking to return to the consistent form of his championship season after winning 3 races last year to put himself back atop the SK Modified® field.

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Malave Joins SK-150 Entry List

Waterford, CT — Jeff Malave is coming to the Waterford Speedbowl for the SK-150 April 12-13 without a lot of experience on the historic three-eighths oval. He is not overly concerned.

“I’ve got good equipment; I’ve got a good crew,” he boasts. “In situations like this you have to use your head and stay out of trouble.” The “150” will be the first of what he expects will be several Speedbowl appearances this year.

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Preece Lands Ride With Boehler

In an offseason full of change, Ryan Preece became the latest driver to find a home with a new team. BRE Racing recently announced that Ryan Preece has joined their NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team and will drive the tradition-laden No. 3 car in 2008.

Preece is a 17-year-old driver from Berlin, Conn., who ran his family-owned No. 40 as a rookie in 2007. In 14 starts he compiled three top-10s and finished 19th in driver points. Preece closed his first season on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in strong fashion as he posted a seventh-place finish – his best of the year – and earned the Featherlite Most Improved Driver award at Thompson International Speedway to close the season.

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Chasing Miller Starts At Caraway

The biggest question heading into the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season is really rather simple. Can anybody dethrone champion L.W. Miller?

To do so, they’ll need to find a way to beat Miller at Caraway Speedway. The 34-year-old from Duchore, Penn. dominated the .455-mile oval in Asheboro, N.C.. He overcame a late-race flat tire to win the season opener and posted three more wins and a fifth-place.

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First of Two Open Practice Sessions This Saturday

Thompson, CT — It is a sure sign that the traditional racing season opener in New England is just around the corner when Thompson International Speedway schedules its open practice sessions. The first of these two open practice sessions is scheduled for this Saturday, March 22nd from 12 Noon until 6 PM. The second such session is slated for March 29th at the same times.


Thompson’s open practice sessions are designed for the benefit of any race team having a safe and legal race car. During the 2008 racing season, many different racing divisions will be in competition at the historic asphalt oval. Race car divisions ranging from the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Mini Stocks, NEMA Midgets and Pro Four Modifieds all the way up to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the ISMA Super Modifieds will race at Thompson and are therefore welcome to participate in the open practice sessions. Antique race car clubs are also encouraged to participate.

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Andy Seuss To Start a New Era at Caraway Speedway

Hampstead, NH — A new chapter in the racing stories of both Andy Seuss and the Advance Auto Parts / Riggs Racing team will begin with this weekend’s NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Series season opening race at Caraway Speedway (NC). Seuss will be making his first start for the storied team, while the team will feature Seuss as their latest in a long list of notable drivers.

“It’s a whole new era that will hopefully last for awhile,” said Seuss. “The closer it gets, the more excited I get about going out and racing.”

Seuss will drive the #47 Modified in a full season of WSMT racing after making occasional starts in the series over the past few seasons with his family-owned team. The 21-year-old racer from New Hampshire isn’t going to his new team alone either.

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“Second Consideration” For Speedbowl’s ‘Home Team’

Waterford, CT — There is a “second consideration” among the “home team” heading into the April 12-13 SK-150, the headline event of Waterford Speedbowl’s season-opening Budweiser Modified Nationals. The “150” kicks off the run for the 2008 SK-Modified championship.


It is the same for the Bowl’s other NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions, the Late Models (50 laps), Sportsman (30) and Mini Stocks (30) on opening docket along with the Legends. Other divisions due for the two-day affair are the NEMA Midgets, Pro4 Modifieds, AllStar Race Trucks, Allison Legacy Cars and NEMA Lites.

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Ryan Preece Teams Up With Ole Blue for 2008 Season

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has an interesting pairing setup for the 2008 season. Sophomore competitor Ryan Preece of Kensington, CT, will be pairing up with one of the most-storied teams in Modified history, Boehler Racing Enterprises. Preece has found recent success on the Modified campaign, capturing his first victory during Speedweeks at New Smyrna, FL.

The seventeen-year-old is the grandson of legendary car owner Bobby Judkins, whose #2X was piloted by the likes of Hall of Famers Gene Bergin and Ed Flemke. In an ironic twist, the new driver of Ole Blue will be driving for a team his grandfather competed against during the 1960s and 1970s. Given the track record of Boehler and Judkins in New England racing, the team is primed for success. Another talented New Englander, Bobby Santos, III, scored a popular victory at the Thompson World Series last Fall, as the latest winner in the distinctive #3.

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Phillips, Smith & Perrego Make Mototown History

Guerard, Charland, D. Jacobs and Rocco Keep Winning

Windsor, CT — Justin Phillips, of W. Suffield, Conn., Ryan Smith, of Kunkletown, Pa., and Anthony Perrego, of Montgomery, N.Y. made MototownUSA Bud Light 12 Pack Indoor Racing Series history while winning their respective features Sunday afternoon.

Marc Guerard, of Hartford, Ryan Charland, of Somers, Darren Jacobs, of Springfield, Mass. and Keith Rocco, of Wallingford, meanwhile added to their feature victory totals on the indoor one-quarter-mile clay oval.

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Optimistic Payne Set For NEMA’s Opener


Ruocco Taking Aim At Bowl’s SK-150

Waterford, CT — Frank Ruocco lists the 2006 SK-150 victory at Waterford Speedbowl as “one of the top things on my resume.” He’ll be back at the ‘Bowl on April 12-13h for the 12th rendition of the short-track classic, the centerpiece of the Budweiser Modified Nationals.

The one-time high school hockey standout is hoping to become only the second driver to claim two “150” victories.

“Patience is key to winning,” says Ruocco who won in his second “150” start by beating back a late challenge from close friend Kenny Horton. He was fourth last year. “I really like the long-distance races. If we don’t wreck, we usually find our way to the front.”

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Wall Township Speedway Ends Its 57 Years of NJ Racing

Garden State Quarter Midget Racing Club Continues On-Site

Wall Township, NJ — Wall Township Speedway General Partners Managing Member Timothy H. Shinn announced March 14 that the 57-year-old oval has closed.

“It is with an extremely heavy heart that I must, at this time, formally announce the closing of our beloved Wall Township Speedway, formerly known to the vast majority of us as Wall Stadium,” said Shinn in a letter posted on Friday night. “Unfortunately, we find ourselves joining the long, ever-growing list of short tracks across the country which have been forced to close.”

Shinn, in his two-page letter, said that he and his three co-owners “did everything in our power since 2002 to provide top quality short-track racing and keep the Speedway open.

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Oswego Super Nationals Added to ISMA Schedule

Tentative Cayuga race will not be held on Classic Sunday

Oswego, NY – After hours of spirited negotiations by ISMA, MSA and Oswego Speedway over the past few months and particularly after meetings at the early March Gater Racing News Motorsports Expo in Syracuse, an accord was reached in regard to the 2008 Budweiser Classic weekend Friday winged event. On March 14 ISMA president Howie Lane indicated that agreements had been made for the traditional and historic Oswego Speedway Classic weekend, which would include ISMA, MSA and Oswego winged cars.

In a brief statement Lane said that the Budweiser-Burke’s Winged Super Nationals would now be a co-sanctioned ISMA and MSA event on Friday, August 29. The $35,000 purse should once again bring in the best of the best of supermodified racing to the 15th running of the Super Nationals 50 as part of the week-long events. It was also announced that to show further solidarity among the three groups, the Cayuga Speedway ISMA race tentatively included in the 2008 ISMA schedule would NOT go on as planned. It was decided for all those involved – racers and fans alike – that this race would not be held on the same day as Budweiser Int’l Classic 200.

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Ricky Miller To Be Remembered

In a joint announcement, track owner Dennis Fleury and series president Jack Bateman, the principals responsible for the inaugural event, advise the 1st annual “Ricky Miller Memorial 100,” presented by New England Outdoor Furnaces,” will be held on Sunday afternoon Sept.28th as part of the Twin State Speedway Fall Challenge, a two day event.

Miller, a Twin State (Claremont Speedway) standout for many years before moving on to the Whelen Modified Tour and the NASCAR Busch Series died at the age of 34. The popular competitor, a one time Florida racer and crew chief for noted car owner/builder Mario Fiore, would also win the last Whelen Modified Tour race at the famed Riverside Park Speedway, Agawam, MA., and claim that tracks final championship for the modified division prior to it’s 1999 closing.

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March 2008
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