Stafford Springs, CT — When the DARE Stock division takes the green flag for the first time in 2013 at Stafford Motor Speedway, Middletown native Bryan Iwaniuk will fulfill a vision that was two years in the making. Whereas most drivers purchase a chassis and motor to go racing with, Iwaniuk has taken the old school approach of building his car from scratch to make his debut.
“This has been a 2-year project for me,” said Iwaniuk. “I looked at a lot of cars, but it seemed like every car that I looked at needed a front or rear clip, or had been crashed at some point. My brother was putting together a 1985 Monte Carlo and he needed parts, and all I needed was the frame and the engine, so we went halfs on a 1986 Monte Carlo SS and he got the parts he needed and I got a frame and engine to work with. It worked out really well for both of us.”
Iwaniuk formerly raced Street Stocks at Oxford and Wiscassett in Maine, and he also has done some drag racing, but he says he chose to race at Stafford this season because of the race program.
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Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway’s SK Light Modified division will welcome 15-year old Chase Dowling as its newest SPAFCO Rookie of the Year challenger when the 2013 season kicks off at the 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, set for April 26-28, 2013. Dowling won the 2012 Summer Shoot-Out championship racing his Legends car at Charlotte Motor Speedway after finishing 7th in the 2011 Summer Shoot-Out at CMS. Dowling began his racing career at age 4 and in addition to his Summer Shoot-Out championship, he has 4 WKA National Championships to his record. The 2013 season will be Dowling’s first foray into the open wheel modified ranks and he is looking forward to the opportunity as well as a lot shorter trip from Roxbury to Stafford than Roxbury to Charlotte.
“We thought that the SK Light division at Stafford would be a good opportunity for us and our sponsors, S+S Asphalt Paving and All About You Homecare Services, liked the idea of racing at Stafford,” said Dowling. “This is going to be my first experience in a modified and I’m exited about the opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting started in the SK Light division at Stafford. We should have a big advantage now with only an hour and a half drive each way rather than a 12 hour drive each way to Charlotte.”
Dowling and his team bought the #57 car that was formerly driven at Stafford by Rick Burwood and they are busy going through the car in preparation for their rookie season.
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Stafford Springs, CT — For Schenectady, NY native Joe Williams, the 2013 season will be the realization of a dream as he challenges for SPAFCO Rookie of the Year honors in Stafford Motor Speedway’s SK Modified® division. Williams is a 12-year veteran of the dirt modified ranks, and for the past three seasons he has been racing his dirt modified on asphalt tracks. Williams prefers racing on asphalt and he is excited about getting the opportunity to live out his dream in 2013.
“I’ve always wanted to drive a NASCAR modified like Richie Evans,” said Williams. “Richie was a small town guy who did his own work on his cars, and that’s exactly who I am. I’m the third generation of my family at our auto recycling yard in Schenectedy, and we build a lot of our own parts and pieces. It’s going to be surreal to race at Stafford. I think that I’ve always been an asphalt racer that got stuck racing on dirt and thanks to my car owner Mike Wright and Hometown Lawn Care, I’m going to get the opportunity to live out my dream.”
Williams has enjoyed a fair amount of success in the dirt modified ranks. Williams was a winner in 2006 at Oswego Speedway, and in 2007 Williams won the Super Dirt Sportsman Modified national championship with 12 wins. Williams won 8 races in 2010 on asphalt, and in half of a season this year at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, Williams just missed finishing in the top-10 in points. Williams knows he faces a tall task in repeating that success in Stafford’s SK Modified® ranks, but he is confident that he can be a front runner in the 2013 season.
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Stafford Springs, CT — For the very first time, Stafford Motor Speedway will welcome the Northeast Mini Stock Tour Presented by Texas Roadhouse (NEMST) as part of the 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, scheduled for April 26-28, 2013. The Northeast Mini Stock Tour was created by Bob Guptill in 2009 as a way to provide an inexpensive Touring division for competitors across New England. The Tour began with 9 cars in its very first race, and the Tour now averages over 20 cars for each of its races.
“We made a special announcement at our banquet and it was met with cheers from the crowd, so we’re all very excited about coming to Stafford,” said Guptill. “We had 9 cars for our very first race, and our car counts have grown every year since then and it continues to grow. We’ve averaged about 23 or 24 cars for our races this season and our biggest race was at Waterford, where we started 34 cars.”
The NEMST is open to 1980 to present mass produced 4 cylinder passenger cars with a minimum weight of 2,150 pounds. The Tour attracts drivers from all six New England states and Guptill says that the Tour’s rules package allows for a wide variety of cars that show up at the track.
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Saturday, April 27-Seekonk Speedway-Seekonk, Mass.
Saturday, May 4-Oswego Speedway-Oswego, N.Y.
Saturday, May 25-Waterford Speedbowl-Waterford, Conn.
Saturday, June 8-Oswego SpeedwayOswego, N.Y.
Friday, June 21-Autodrome Chaudiere-Vallee-Jonction, Quebec
Saturday, June 22-Autodrome Chaudiere-Vallee-Jonction, Quebec
Saturday, June 29-Stafford Speedway-Stafford Springs, Conn.
Saturday, July 13-King of Wings-Oswego Speedway-Oswego, N.Y.
Friday, July 26-Hy-Miler Fast 40-Sandusky Speedway-Sandusky, Ohio 40
Saturday, July 27-Hy-Miler Nationals-Sandusky Speedway-Sandusky, Ohio 100
Friday, August 9-Ollie Silva Memorial-Lee USA Speedway-Lee, N.H.
Saturday, August 10-Waterford Speedbowl-Waterford, Conn.
Saturday, August 31-Classic Weekend Supernationals-Oswego Speedway-Oswego, N.Y.
Saturday, Sept. 7-Star Classic-Star Speedway-Epping, N.H.
Saturday, Oct. 12-World Series of Racing-Thompson Int'l Speedway-Thompson, Conn.-Heats
Sunday, Oct. 13-World Series of Racing-Thompson Int'l Speedway -Thompson, Conn.-50
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Rookies Score Four Of The Seven Slots
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – There was a record turnout this year on NASCARHomeTracks.com as fans made their selection for the Most Popular Driver Awards in each of the NASCAR touring series with four of the seven winners racing with rookie designation this season.
The Most Popular Driver Award winners for 2012 are:
• Chase Elliott, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
• Cassie Gannis, NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
• Ray Courtemanche Jr., NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1
• Pepe Montaño, NASCAR Toyota Series
• Freddy Nordstrom, Euro-Racecar NASCAR Touring Series
• Ryan Preece, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
• Danny Bohn, NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
Nearly 210,000 votes were cast in the balloting, which opened in mid-August and ended on Sunday, Nov. 18. The total surpassed last year’s record of over 136,000 votes cast by 54 percent. This season’s record number is more than four times the 50,743 votes in 2008, the first year the Most Popular Driver voting was conducted online. For the second straight year voters were able to see the results as they voted.
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Wall, NJ — Although the temperature was 38 degrees with a brisk chilly wind that blew all day, the race fans packed the stands to witness the Modified portion of Turkey Derby XXXIX 2012.
27 Modifieds took time trials on the high banked 1/3 mile track with Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks, CT pulling down the fastest timed lap of the day at 11.914 seconds. Matt Hirschman was second fastest with 11.932, Jimmy Blewett third with 11.953. The top 10 redrew for starting positions for the 150 lap event.
The redraw had #60 of Hirschman on the pole and #29Zane Zeiner of Lancaster, PA outside pole, bringing the field to green. Hirschman slipped into the lead with Zeiner, #76 Jimmy Blewett of Howell, NJ, #08 Tommy Farrell III of Neptune, NJ, #06 Hinckley and #14 Ken Woolley of Howell, NJ rounding out the first six. On lap 5, Blewett shot by Zeiner for second and by lap 10 the leaders already running into lap traffic. 13 yellow flag periods slowed the action constantly throughout the 150 laps, the first coming out on lap 19 for a minor spin which helped to sort out and close up the field. A lap 33 yellow had #93 Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, PA pitting from his 7th position, never to return to action.
[Photo Gallery] by Crystal Snape
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West Haven, CT — On Saturday evening December 8, New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member Billy Greco will host a NEAR racing movie party at the Polish-American Club on 194 West Spring Street in West Haven, Connecticut. Tickets will be available at the door and are affordably-priced at $20.00. Things get underway at 6:00.
The event serves as an official fund raiser for the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
Highlights of the evening include a display of vintage racing videos from a variety of New England raceways, many of-which have not been viewed for years. Also on display will be photo collections including many rare images from the early days of the sport. Raffles and door prizes, along with plenty of food and drink complete the evening.
“This is a way to get everyone together for an enjoyable night,” states Greco who was inducted into the HOF in 1999. “All the proceeds benefit the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame, something that we all support very-strongly.”
It’s expected that many members of the HOF will be in attendance.
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PASS To Sanction $25,000-to-win Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway
PASS South Returns To Southern National Raceway Park
NAPLES, ME — Pro All Stars Series (PASS) officials released the 2013 schedules today for both the PASS North Super Late Models and PASS South Super Late Models. In its 13th year of operation, PASS will sanction over 30 Super Late Model races across North America in 2013, including the previously announced PASS Northwest races at Wenatchee Valley Super Oval in Washington and the PASS National opener at Florida’s Auburndale Speedway on February 9th.
The PASS North schedule consists of 13 confirmed dates with races in Maine, New Hampshire, and the Canadian province of Quebec. PASS South has 14 confirmed dates with races in the Carolinas and Virginia. Both schedules could see up to two more additional dates to be added by January.
“We are very pleased to have our 2013 schedules out for the PASS North and PASS South Super Late Models at such an early date,” said PASS President Tom Mayberry. “It is my hope that our teams of talented racers and mechanics around the country can start making plans for next year and hopefully this schedule release will help out in their search for sponsors. I think the PASS fans will enjoy the tracks we are going to in 2013 and will have the chance to see some really great racing at some outstanding venues.”
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On Sunday afternoon November 18 hundreds of victories and untold contributions to auto racing during the sports early era in New England were celebrated before a packed-house at the Inaugural New England Antique Racers Pioneers Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held at the Thompson Speedway Clubhouse.
The selection of inductees followed a lengthy and comprehensive voting process administered by a committee of New England’s foremost auto racing historians.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame were stock car drivers Tony Mordino, Sparky Belmont, Hank Stevens, “Big Ed” Patnode, Johnny Georgiades, Wally Silva, and Ray Brown.
Midget racing standouts Eddie Casterline, George Rice, Al Pillion, Billy Tibbert, Frank Simonetti, Charlie Ethier, and George Monsen completed the open-wheel inductees.
Also taking their place among the most-celebrated personalities of our region’s short track racing history were car owners Anthony “Beebe” Zalenski, Ed Stone, Wen Kelley, Bob Oliver, and Gordon Ross. Joe Tinty, owner & promoter of Connecticut’s former Plainville Stadium, is now also a member of the Hall of Fame.
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Frank Gehling, 70, Retired Norwalk Race Car Driver
NORWALK, Conn. – Frank Gehling of Norwalk died Nov. 14 at his home. He was 70.
Born May 5, 1942, in Newton, Mass., he was the son of Daniel Chester Gehling and Esther Lawson. He had a love for race car driving early on and began his racing career at age 16.
As a pit crewman, Gehling traveled to more than 40 races a year. He became interested in driving when a driver was late one night and he was asked to fill in.
When he was 19, Gehling purchased a three-quarter midget and fudged his age to obtain a racing license. He competed during the winter months indoors in Hempstead, N.Y. In 1963, he was introduced to stock car racing and the Southern New York Racing Association.
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Westport, MA – Drivers Randy Cabral and Ian Cumens and owners Tim Bertrand and Bobby Seymour carried off the biggest trophies Saturday night at the Northeastern Midget Association’s Awards Banquet at White’s of Westport. It ended NEMA’s 60th season.
Cabral and Bertrand celebrated their second straight and fourth championship in five seasons. The Bertrand #47 was the only multiple winner in a campaign that saw 11 drivers capture checkered flags.
Cumens, who often traveled seven hours from his Pennsylvania home, and Seymour captured the NEMA Lites Hoosier Tire Challenge title. It was a six-race series that included the Oswego Speedway race that Cumens won in the Seymour #9
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Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway welcomed a guest list of nearly 500 people consisting of teams, drivers, sponsors, and employees this past Friday night, November 16 at the La Renaissance Banquet Facility in East Windsor to officially honor Ted Christopher, Woody Pitkat, Zach Aszklar, Cory Casagrande, and Cliff Saunders as the 2012 Stafford Motor Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champions.
With Stafford Motor Speedway broadcasters Matt Buckler and Joe Coss serving as the Masters of Ceremony, the 43rd annual Stafford Motor Speedway NASCAR Champions Awards Ceremony not only honored thier five track champions, they also honored the top-20 points finishers from the SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions. Special awards that were presented during the evening's festivities were Most Popular Driver Awards, Most Improved Driver Awards, SPAFCO Race Chassis & Parts Rookie of the Year awards, and the UNOH Ultimate Mechanic of the Year Award.
The 2012 SK Modified® season saw Ted Christopher add to his record haul of Stafford track titles by capturing the 8th championship of his career. Christopher won the season opening CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler feature and he was on the podium in each of the first three SK Modified® races this season. A 20th place finish on May 25th left Christopher having to play catch up in the points standings, but once he retook the points lead following the June 29th feature, he led the standings for the remainder of the 2012 season. In 18 starts this season, Christopher and the #13 Broadband Access team posted 4 wins, 13 top-5, and 15 top-10 finishes for an average finish of 5.3, which gave him the championship by a 34-point margin over Woody Pitkat.
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Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has released its 2013 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event schedule. The 2013 schedule will consist of 22 racing events, with the season kicking off with the 42nd Annual Tech-Net Spring Sizzler presented by CARQUEST on April 26-28, and concluding with the 41st Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend on September 28-29.
Highlighting the 2013 schedule will be 7 races featuring Modified touring divisions. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will make their customary four visits to Stafford, and the Valenti Modified Racing Series Stafford schedule has been expanded to include three races. The Whelen Modified Tour comes to Stafford on April 26-28 for the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, May 24 for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125, Aug. 2 for the Stafford 150, and Sept. 28-29 for the CARQUEST Fall Final Weeeknd. The VMRS visits Stafford on June 21 for the VMRS 80, Aug. 30 for the Shark Cycle 80, and Sept. 13 for the Lincoln Tech 80.
Continuing with the special event theme, all five of Stafford’s weekly divisions will once again get to partake in an extra distance feature with bonus money on the line from XtraMart Convenience Stores. The Late Model 35-lap XtraMart Xtra D feature will be May 10, the DARE Stock 20-lap XtraMart Xtra D feature will be May 17, the Limited Late Model 25-lap XtraMart Xtra D feature will be May 31, and the SK Light 25-lap XtraMart Xtra D feature will be July 5. The SK Modified® XtraMart Xtra D feature will be sponsored once again by Coors Light with the race distance getting trimmed from 100 laps down to 80 laps. In addition to the five XtraMart Xtra D feature events this season, both the SK Modified® and Late Model divisions will partake in a “Double Distance” night with the SK Modifieds® running an 80-lap feature on July 19th and the Late Models running a 60-lap feature on August 16th.
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Stafford Springs, CT — Buy early and save on your 2013 Season Pass. Plan ahead and enjoy an early buy discount on Season Paddock, Reserved, General Admission and Kids Club passes. To take advantage of the best money-saving offer, purchase your passes by December 17th.
General Admission Season Passes are priced at $299.00 offering a savings of $214.00; Reserved Seat Passes $349.00 a savings of $221.00; and Kids Club $60.00 a savings of $50.00. All prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. The Season Paddock Pass offers over 50% savings and is priced at $ 399.00. Don’t delay, these early buy prices increase after December 17, 2012.
The General Admission Season Passes will increase to $329 after December 17th, Reserved Seat Passes to $379.00, Kids Club to $70 and Paddock Pass to $449.00. These prices are good through March 15, 2013.
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TRENTON, NJ — Modified stock car driver Jimmy Blewett has never driven a single lap in a Three Quarter (TQ) Midget, nor raced indoors. He will have three opportunities to broaden his racing horizons this winter when he steers Bobby Watkins’ car in the “Fatheadz Eyewear Indoor Racing Series.”
The three indoor auto racing events are produced by Len Sammons Motorsports Productions.
The first race is set for 1st Mariner Center in Baltimore, Md, on Saturday, December 8th The newly named series’ second event is logged in for Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R I , on December 31 and the two-race weekend finale is scheduled for February 1-2, 2013 in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
Blewett will drive a car owned by Bobby Watkins Jr , a racing veteran from Levittown, Pa “I’m looking forward to driving for Bobby,” Blewett said “I’ll have the car in my shop before the first race and hope to shake it down in advance of heading to Baltimore,” Blewett said.
Entries have been coming in at a steady rate for the Baltimore, Providence and Atlantic City TQ Midget class and for the support Champ Kart division Atlantic City’s schedule of events includes two other class, a 600 Micro Sprint class and the Slingshots.
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Waterford, CT — Speedbowl management has announced track forms for the 2013 season are now available. Car Number Request & Registration Forms as well as Driver Applications for the upcoming year are posted on the track’s website, Speedbowl.com. The popular “early-bird” sale for 2013 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Season Passes is back and order forms available online.
Car owners and drivers planning to compete in 2013 are required to return completed registration forms at their earliest convenience for all race divisions. Car owners renewing a number used in competition during at least one event in 2012 have until January 31, 2013 to return a completed registration form before their number may be made available to others. The car number registration fee remains at $35.00 for 2013.
A limited advance sale price for 2013 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Season Passes returns for the fourth consecutive year. Savings greater than 50% off the retail price is available for 2013 Season’s Pit Passes with a $399.00 offer during the special promotion. Adult General Admission Grandstands Season Passes for 2013 are currently on special for $329.00 including admissions tax, more than 40% off the retail pricing.
Season Passes grant admission to all 2013 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanctioned race events only. The pre-season special is limited to the first 50 passes sold for each, pits and grandstands.
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Eight NASCAR champions head a list of drivers that have earned locked-in spots in the field fields at the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach on Feb. 18-19 at Daytona International Speedway.
The UNOH Battle At The Beach features two nights of racing with NASCAR K&N Pro Series, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on the .4-mile oval on the backstretch.
Locked-In spots go to:
• 2012 race winners and champions from K&N Pro Series and Whelen Modified tours, earn spots in their respective races
• Top-10 finishers in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I national standings earn starting spots in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model race.
• In addition, the 2012 overall champions from the Canadian Tire Series and Euro Racecar Series will also receive secured starting positions for the event and can choose which one of the three races they wish to compete.
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Three New Tracks Slated for 2013
ACT officials have announced a 14-race schedule for the 2013 American Canadian Tour season at eleven different Northeast short tracks. The schedule will include three new additions to the Tour schedule. There will also be three more non-point counting special events during the 2013 campaign.
The Tour will return to 2012 tracks Lee USA Speedway, Thunder Road, Devil’s Bowl Speedway, Airborne Speedway, White Mountain Motorsports Park, and Beech Ridge Speedway in 2013. A visit to Riverside Speedway in Groveton, NH is planned for a 150-lap event on Sunday, June 2nd and will mark the first time ACT has raced there since 2004. The American Canadian Tour will also head to Canaan Fair Speedway on Saturday, June 15th for the first time since 2005, and has set a date for Star Speedway on Saturday, July 6, last visited in 2003.
The American Canadian Tour schedule will include two point-counting combo events with the Canadian Série ACT Castrol at Sanair Super Speedway, which will be increased to a 150-lap event from 100, and at St-Croix, QC’s Circuit Riverside Speedway for the 4th Annual Can-Am 200.
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ACT Announces 2013 Série Castrol Schedule
Following a joint meeting of all participating Quebec promoters and the American Canadian Tour, the 2013 Série ACT Castrol schedule has been announced. Along with significant bonuses and increases in purse, the 11-race schedule will include races at Autodrome Montmagny, Circuit Riverside, Autodrome St Eustache, Sanair Super Speedway, and Autodrome Chaudière.
The season will boast the richest purses in Série ACT Castrol history with over $400,000 being offered, and will include an $80,000 point fund for teams that participate in 100% of the events. $20,000 will be awarded to the Série ACT Castrol Champion. Another $70,000 in tire bonus money will be spread evenly throughout teams that participate in the full schedule.
Major racing events will include Circuit Riverside’s Can-Am 200, a 250-lap event at Autodrome Montmagny, and the traditional 300-lap finale at St Eustache. The combination ACT US and Série Castrol event at Sanair Super Speedway will also be increased from 100 to 150 laps, requiring competitors to do a tire change.
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TRENTON, NJ — Len Sammons Motorsports Productions has announced a new partnership for its three-race Indoor Series.
Fatheadz Eyewear of Brownsburg, Ind. has become the title sponsor of the newly designated “Fatheadz Eyewear Indoor Racing Series Presented By Precise Racing.” The first of the trio of events is set for 1st Mariner Center in Baltimore, Md, on Saturday, December 8th. The newly named series’ second event is logged in for Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., on December 31 and the two-race weekend finale is scheduled for February 1-2, 2013 in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
Fatheadz is synonymous in the Midwest with open wheel racing by marketing heavily in the Sprint car and Midget ranks since it’s founding and sponsors other forms of motorsports throughout the country. Drivers Dave Darland, Jon Stanbrough, Tracy Hines, Brady Bacon and Hunter Schuerenberg, all fly the Fatheadz banner wherever they pilot their open wheeled machines.
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When some of us think of Thanksgiving and the following weekend, thoughts of being seated together with family around a dining room table come to mind, but for young Derek Griffith of Hudson NH, he will be seated in his pro stock running against some of Floridas' best Super Late Model drivers.
On November 24th fourteen year old Griffith will drive the Louie Mechalides owned #12 Super Late Model at Showtime Speedway located in Clearwater FL for the Florida State Championship 100 Lap Super Late Model Race. Although Derek has never been to this track before, he is sure to be a contender in the $5000 to win 100 lap race.
The Hudson, NH native has been on the race scene for only a short time, running Thunder Lights, Mini Stocks, Outlaws and most recently Pro Stocks at such tracks as Hudson, LeeUSA, Star, Monadnock and other speedways on the Granite State Pro Stock Series.The 2012 GSPSS season saw the Griffith/Mechalides Pro Stock finish in the top ten in points with an impressive 2nd place finish in a 100 lap race at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester NH.
Louie Mechalides and crew will have the Blackwater Firearms, F.E.B. Insurance Chevrolet in race trim for the Nov 24th outing, hoping to bring the win and big pay off back home to New England. That will make for a nice Thanksgiving!
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Joe Cast of Somerville, MA began his career in stock cars at the old Medford Bowl in the mid-1950s. He competed at a number of tracks including Hudson, Manchester, Norwood and West Peabody. He drove the #72, 46, 15 and the Falconi #10 cars.
He was as driver with the Atlantic Auto Racing Association circuit at Brookline, NH and Westboro, MA. A regular winner at both facilities in the Class A cars, Cast won an incredible 9 in a row at Brookline in 1964.
After his retirement from driving, he served as the flagman at Westboro Speedway.
[Photo Gallery] from LaSheefs Racing Photos
Here is my interview with Cast from the 2010 Westboro Speedway reunion.
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SOPHIA, N.C. – Ryan Preece saw an opportunity he simply couldn't pass up.
Preece, of Berlin, Conn., was in the right spot when the leaders wrecked ahead of him with four laps remaining Saturday night at Caraway Speedway, inheriting the lead he would not relinquish on the ensuing restart to win the 10th annual Colors Edge John Blewett III North-South Shootout presented by PPG. Preece held off Chuck Hossfeld and Matt Hirschman to win the 125-lap Tour-Type Modified feature event.
Preece was making his debut in the No. 7ny owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and previously piloted by Ryan Newman to wins at Bristol Motor Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
“I'm still in shock right now,” Preece said. “I don't even know what to say. That was just the most up-and-down race. I can't thank my Dad enough, 'Bono,' and everybody who gave me this opportunity. Holy crap!”
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SOPHIA, N.C. – Burt Myers knows as well as anyone how to get around Caraway Speedway, and he let everyone know how it's done on Friday afternoon.
Myers, of Walnut Cove, N.C., turned a fast lap of 15.743 seconds (104.046 mph) around the .455-mile oval to win the pole for the 10th annual Colors Edge John Blewett III North-South Shootout presented by PPG. Myers, the second-to-last car to go out in the 30-car field in time trials, just nipped Matt Hirschman to earn his third career North-South Shootout pole for the 125-lap Tour Modified main event on Saturday afternoon.
“We're happy. We love running this event,” said Myers, whose brother, Jason Myers, qualified third. “We love these money-type races where you run like crazy, come in and put on tires, and then go back out and run like crazy again. Little brother's third, my son, Slate, is going to run his first pedal car race tomorrow, so it's a pretty good start to the weekend so far.”
George Brunnhoelzl III, the reigning NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion, qualified fourth, while Kyle Ebersole rounded out the Top-5 in time trials. Ryan Preece, Erick Rudolph, Tommy Barrett, Patrick Emerling and Danny Bohn qualified sixth through 10th, respectively.
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Doug Coby, the National NASCAR Whelen Modified champion, and Tim Bertrand are talking about doing a handful of Northeastern Midget Association races for next year, including the opener. Coby spelled Todd Bertrand in the #39 at Lee’s Ocktoberfest, finishing second in a heat before being involved in a first-lap feature crash. “I am looking forward to it,” said Bertrand. “Doug was incredibly impressive in the car for his first ever run, and just an absolute pleasure to work with as a driver.”
There are some other possible topics for conversation at the NEMA Banquet Saturday night (Nov. 17) at White’s of Westport in Westport, MA.
Long-time Midget competitor Bobby Seymour delights in the probability of Keith Rocco and Coby running with NEMA next season. Rocco made four Lites starts, winning one at Waterford in a Manafort car. Returning to Waterford, he had a win taken from him but returned to run at Lee. “I want NEMA to be good and having these guys run with us is good for the club, for the fans, for the promoter,” says Seymour who insists a number of drivers in other divisions continue to seek NEMA rides.
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TRENTON, NJ — Picking a favorite in any auto race is difficult. Picking the winner of an Indoor Three Quarter (TQ)Midget feature event is almost impossible. Yet three talented drivers, hailing from three different states, figure to be among the competitors with a distinct advantage at 1st Mariner Center on December 8 in Baltimore, Md., December 31 at Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., and at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on February, 1-2, 2013. The three indoor auto racing events are produced by Len Sammons Motorsports Productions.
Erick Rudolph, of Ransomville, N.Y., won indoors this past year in Atlantic City. Mike Tidaback of Little Falls, N.J., is a past winner in Atlantic City and a past champion of the outdoor American Three Quarter Midget Racing Association. And Ryan Tidman of Levittown, Pa., won the ATQMRA TQ Midget driving
championship in each of the past two years.
Rudolph, 20, will be driving the same Timex Morgan owned, Rochester, N.Y. based car he used to dominate indoor racing last year. “You can’t stand still in racing and even though the car was fast last year, we made some changes it that should make it better,” Rudolph said.
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Sussex, NJ — Matt Pappa, the US Legends 2012 Pro Division National Points Champion, will be talking a big step in his racing career when he sits behind the wheel of his No.20 Jr. Dirt Sportsman Brett Hearn Racing prepared Teo Pro Car in 2013.
The 15 year old Nassau, NY native won 45 races in 2012 while being crowned the US Legends Pro Points and Touring Champion as well as the Chemung Speedrome crown and was looking for his next step in his career.
Brett Hearn racing will be entering its first year of Driver Development with Pappa fielding a car identical in design to Hearn’s. Pappa will be racing a full campaign at Lebanon Valley Speedway as well as a few big races at the end of the season.
“This was the next logical step for Brett Hearn Racing to help the next generation of racing”, stated Hearn. “Rolfe Schnur of Motorsports On Demand introduced me to Matt and his family and they came to Eastern States Weekend to see how we work. It’s not often you get the opportunity to work with a 15 year old that has already won a National Championship. I am really looking forward to working with Matt.”
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Thompson, CT — The Thompson International Speedway is preparing to honor those who excelled in the racing competition during the 2012 season. The track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series featured seven different divisions of race cars competing at the historic speedway and the efforts of top finishing race teams will be rewarded on Friday, December 14th and Saturday, December 15th . These events will be held at the Raceway Restaurant and Lounge on the grounds of the Thompson Speedway.
Because of the large number of competitors that typically attend the track’s annual awards banquets, two nights have been set aside to accommodate all of those expected to be part of the gala celebrations. Friday’s banquet will spotlight the efforts of competitors in the track’s Late Model, Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman and Monster Mini Stock divisions. Saturday’s gathering will focus on the Sunoco Modifieds, Super Late Models, Thompson Modifieds and the LKQ/Keystone Lite Modifieds.
Awards will be presented to the race teams finishing the year In the top ten in points in the Sunoco Modifieds, Late Models, Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman and Monster Mini Stocks. The Super Late Models ran a very limited schedule in 2012 and as a result the top five will be honored. The top five will also be honored in the Thompson Modified and LKQ/Keystone Lite Modified divisions.
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SOPHIA, N.C. – Burt Myers is one of three multi-time North-South Shootout champions, and the Walnut Cove, N.C., driver isn't shy about wanting to win a third Tour Modified title to his resume next weekend.
“Winning the North-South Shootout, it's like winning a heavyweight prize fight,” Myers said. “It's the best Southern cars against some of the best Northern cars. Not only do I want to win the Shootout again, but I want to win one at Caraway Speedway, too, because I haven't won there in a while.”
The 10th annual Colors Edge John Blewett III North-South Shootout presented by PPG is scheduled for next week – November 8-10 – at the historic Caraway Speedway. Already, nearly 30 Tour Modifieds have entered the 125-lap, $6,000-to-win main event.
Myers was the 2008 and 2009 North-South Shootout winner, breaking up a run of dominance by Pennsylvania driver Matt Hirschman – who has one four of the last six North-South Shootouts in the Tour Modified ranks. As added incentive for Myers and the No. 1 Citrusafe/Adams Towing/Trantham Moorefield Enterprises Ford, Phoenix Pre-Owned Motors is offering a $1,000 bonus to the highest finishing NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour-based driver in the event.
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