Kuhn at Thompson last season in the NASCAR Modified ranks.  (Howie Hodge Photo)
51's NORTHERN EXPOSURE by Mike Twist
ACT Opener and Sizzler Ready to Go Green, Kuhn To True Value Mods and More
ACT KICKS OFF SEASON
KUHN FITS INTO TRUE VALUE MODIFIED SERIES

Jimmy Kuhn was a semi-regular in the NASCAR Modifieds during the 2004 season and had a good amount of success while running on a tight budget. 
SPRING SIZZLER ROLLS AROUND

Meanwhile, down in Southern New England, the roar of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will rumble through the town hamlet of Stafford Springs, Connecticut.  The annual Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway will take place with qualifying for the Tour Modifieds on Saturday and the 150-lap feature slated for Sunday.
Kuhn is based in Southern Massachusetts, while the majority of TVMRS events take place in Northern New England.  Still, he doesn’t think that the traveling will be much of a problem.

“We ran the NASCAR Tour and traveled all over the place to Richmond and Martinsville, so this won’t be bad.  2 ½ hours to us is nothing.”

BEECH RIDGE STARTS OFF SEASON

Last weekend, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) kicked off their 2005 racing season with David Oliver taking the checkered flag in the NASCAR Pro [Stock] feature.  Oliver held off Trevor Sanborn and Bobby Babb for the victory.

LOVE WINS AT WISCASSET

Wiscasset Raceway got the 2005 Maine racing season started on Saturday afternoon with a full card of action, highlighted by the "Cabin Fever Reliever" Late Model 100.

Late Model Sportsmen took center stage with the 100 lap main event that paid $2000 to the winner. The race was the first in a special three-race Late Model.  Patience and experience proved to be the key word of the day in a race that saw 10 cautions whittle the field in half. Duane Love used patience to hold off Jason Oakes for the victory.


The ACT Late Models start their season up this weekend at Lee USA Speedway.  The tour will run the first event of a 10-race schedule with the Seacoast Late Model Challenge on Sunday.
Lee presents an interesting stop on the ACT schedule because of the strength of the tracks’ Late Model regulars.  Hometrack heroes from the facility have done well in the past and are always a threat for top finishing positions.

An added subplot to this weekend’s race will be a new qualifying procedure for the event.  Under the format specially designed for the upcoming race, officials will split ACT Late Model Tour drivers and Lee USA regulars into separate groups for preliminary qualifying rounds, while mixing them together for the 100-lap main event.

The racing at Lee will kick off at Noon on Sunday.
In 2005, Kuhn is setting his sights primarily on the True Value Modified Racing Series.  He led laps in the season opener at Monadnock, but suffered a flat tire and then rear end problems that dropped him out of the race early.

Kuhn is planning more TVMRS shows this year.

“I’m going to try and run the whole deal,” said Kuhn.  “We’ll see what we can do and have some fun.  We’re going to do a few [NASCAR Whelen] Tour races.  We aren’t going to run that whole deal because it’s just too much money.  That is why we are here.  It’s a lot cheaper to run.”
Open wheeled fans will also be able to catch races for the SK Modifieds and NEMA Midgets over the weekend.  All other regular Stafford divisions will also run.

Last season, Jerry Marquis won the event in the Boehler #3 car.  This year Marquis will be driving the Mystic Missile #4 car. 

Eric Beers, the new driver of the #3, is sidelined by injuries from a wreck in the Icebreaker at Thompson International Speedway (CT) earlier this month.  Todd Szegedy will sub for him at Stafford in a return to the Modifieds.  The 2003 NASCAR Modified champion also won at Stafford late in the 2004 season.

Speed51.com will have full coverage of the Spring Sizzler with stories, photos and maybe even a little bit of racing gossip.  Stay tuned for more.
Marquis won the Sizzler last year.
The pits were full last season when the ACT Late Models visited Lee.  (51 Photo)