51's NORTHERN EXPOSURE by Mike Twist
Leighton To Try PASS, McCabe Rides Again?  Racerama Ready and More

The race might still be six months away, but the buzz around the Pullen Heavy Industries 400 weekend at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) is already in full swing.
owner put Leighton in his #1x ACT car the next season and from there Leighton went on to win races and titles in both ACT and Busch North.

The PHS 400 weekend is scheduled for September 23rd-25th.


With racing still about a month away in New England, fans are getting their fill of motorsports by attending the annual racing shows in the region.  This coming weekend, one of the first such shows to get started, Racearama in West Springfield, Massachusetts, is on tap.

The show has been in existence for years and the lineup of drivers and cars on display for the 2005 showing is pretty impressive.
Racearama has been going on for many years.  This 1992 photo shows Speed 51's Mike Twist and his #70 Strictly Stock on display in the booth of Star Speedway.  Parked next to Twist  that year was current PASS driver GeGe Gravel.
The headliner for the three-day race weekend will be a 300-lap PASS Pro Stock (Super Late Model) race.  Speed 51 has learned of a new entrant, with a few laps at the track under his belt, for that portion of the show.

Two-time NASCAR Busch North Series champion Brad Leighton will drive a second car for SP2 Motorsports, which also fields the #24 entry for Mike Rowe.  Leighton is no stranger to Beech Ridge.  He raced a Limited Sportsman at the track before starting his touring career.  In fact, it was his championship winning effort at The Ridge in 1990 that attracted the eyes of Gardner Leavitt.  The Maine car
There will be both NASCAR Busch North machines and cars from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in the booth for New Hampshire International Speedway.  Tour driver Donny Lia will be on hand with his #18 and will share the stage with the #00 Mod driven by Steve Park at NHIS in September.  Dale Quarterley, Mike Stefanik and rookie contender Charles Lewandoski will have their vehicles representing the fendered cars in the booth.

PASS will have a booth at the show filled with the Pro Stocks of Mike Rowe, Johnny Clark, Cassius Clark and Donnie Whitten.  The PASS Modified of Wayne Allard will also be there.
The hood of Mike Rowe's PASS car is already promoting the Beech Ridge race.  Row will have a teammate for that event.
well aware of the history between the NASCAR Busch North Series and Oxford Plains Speedway and there is no doubt this race will take place to a “standing room only” crowd at the speedway."

Speed51.com has learned that McCabe might be doing more than just telling the drivers to start their engines.  He might in fact be there to flip a switch himself.  McCabe is said to be considering coming out of retirement to drive in the event.  He pondered a return to racing for the DNK 250 PASS event at Unity last season, but opted out of it when a scheduling conflict arose.  McCabe won the 1992 and 1993 NASCAR Busch North championships and has eight career victories.  He was also named the 1988 Most Popular Driver in Busch North.


The True Value Modified Racing Series will have a pre season meeting on Friday, March 18th at 6:30pm.  It will be held in the Zotto Gym at the E. Charles Community Center, located at 130 Broad Street in Claremont, New Hampshire.  The facility is located behind the Post Office.

It is expected that some teams familiar with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour may make an effort to support some of the TVMRS events this season.  Tight rules are in place for competitors to keep costs down and teams are limited on the number of tires that they can use.


Trouble might be brewing among competitors of the Mini Cup class at Seekonk Speedway (MA).  The division has run as a regular Saturday night class at the ¼ mile oval, but competitors recently received word that their races will take place this year before most fans even get to the track.
The Seekonk Youth Racing Association’s twin divisions are now scheduled to run at 12:15 PM on Saturday afternoon, changing the time from last year's start time of 4:00pm as part of the track’s regular racing card.

"This is absolutely ridiculous,” said Dana Thomas, owner of his son Dale’s #1 car.   “Teams were never contacted or asked what our opinions were about this.  Nothing about this was ever mentioned at the SYRA meeting with track management in late 2004, or at the banquet in January. I guess management was hoping that we would sign our cars up before they made the announcement. Kind of ironic that it
Could Dick McCabe be back in Fisher yellow at Oxford?
ACT Late Model drivers David Avery and rookie Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. will represent their tour.

And the True Value Modified Racing Series will have their racers in attendance as well.  Racers from that tour will be appearing with various tracks that will host events in 2005.   Jack Bateman will have his #17 in the Seekonk Speedway booth, Andy Seuss will pair up with Lee USA Speedway (NH) and Chris Wenzel will be at the Star Speedway (NH) display.

Racearama runs from Friday, March 4th, through Sunday, March 6th, in the Better Living Center at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Mass.


With all of the snow in New England late this winter, Fisher Snowplows is probably doing a pretty good amount of business.  The longtime supporter of Northeastern racing has been somewhat quiet in the past few years, with their signature yellow cars absent from the race scene, replaced by an associate sponsorship of Andy Santerre’s #6 cars in 2003 and 2004.
On August 28th, the company will be the title sponsor of the first NASCAR Busch North Series race at Oxford Plains Speedway since 1992.  To mark the occasion, former Fisher sponsored driver Dick McCabe will serve as the grand marshal of the event.

“We are extremely excited about being involved as the title sponsor of what will be the most anticipated event on the BNS schedule this coming season among both fans and  competitors,” said Fisher’s Gary Dwinal.  “Soon after this event was announced we contacted Bill Ryan’s group to see if we could sign on as the title sponsor of the event. We are
came on the last day of February, which is also the last day to claim our numbers from last year.”

Thomas doesn’t think that change will be a good one for teams.

“What is the sense in racing at Noontime, when there won't be any fans in the stands to watch these kids compete?,” asked Thomas.  “We have sponsors who put money up to advertise their companies on the quarter panels of our cars, and advertising only works if there are people to see the logos.  I hope that the speedway management will reverse this.”


The Pro Stocks (Super Late Models) at Monadnock Speedway (NH) are undergoing a little bit of a transformation in 2005.  Teams will be allowed to races under a new rules package as Outlaw Pros this season.  The changes are mandatory, but teams are encouraged to try them out to make the track stand out from other facilities where the cars are run.

The Outlaw Pros will feature side spoilers and a roof vane, among other modifications, to make the cars look wilder.

Dale Thomas' #1 car.  (51 Photo)