51's NORTHERN EXPOSURE by Mike Twist
Tomaino Goes South; Flemke Gets A New Helmet & More
TOMAINO GOES TO BOWMAN GRAY
The helmet features “Ed” along the side and a small inscription of “Father and Son”.  What it doesn’t include are the colors of Flemke’s current car – or the #79 ride that he drove last season, when the idea for the design came about. 

“They didn’t match the colors of that car, but that’s alright,” said Flemke.  “I told them to do whatever they wanted.  It wouldn't have matched anyways because I changed cars since the time that they started it.”

Flemke has one upped his father in one small way.  The original helmet that Flemke’s father wore had gold leaf paint and new one has real platinum flakes in the paint.

The best thing about the new helmet though is what it means to Flemke.

“Friends like that make it all worth it,” said Flemke.  “All the wins, all the wrecks and the good and the bad.  It makes racing enjoyable.”  

UNITY GETS MUDDED OUT

It may or may not rain this weekend, but either way there won’t be any racing at Unity Raceway.  The track has called off their opening day program early because of soft ground conditions.  It’s mud season in Maine because of melting snow and April showers, so a move like this is not unheard of.

A HAND-ME-DOWN SUIT
“I haven’t been there in at least 20 years, I don’t even remember it hardly.” said Tomaino.  “My family has never been there.  My crew chief and son Trey is dying to see the place.”

And of course, Tomaino wants to run well at the tight quarter mile, where beating the locals is quite a challenge.

“I just hope that I can give Junior Miller and those guys a fit down there,” said Tomaino 

FLEMKE GETS COOL BIRTHDAY PRESENT

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Eddie Flemke celebrated his 50th birthday on the day of the Spring Sizzler.  The occasion was perfect for him to receive a very prized gift – a helmet present to him by the brothers Brian, Eric and Gary Williams – a trio of long time Flemke fans.

“I’ve got my new helmet,” Flemke beamed on Sunday.

And the story behind that helmet is quite an interesting one.  It goes back a few decades in fact and includes Eddie Flemke, Sr., one of the most noted Modified racers in history.
The reason for the hand me down suit is purely an economic one.

“I’m too cheap to buy my own,” said Clark.  “So I just scrounge around for them.  I have a Billy Clark one for practice and an Andy Santerre one for the races.  I’ve got them from just about everyone else, but not one of my own.”

PASS ON TAP FOR OXFORD

Meanwhile, Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) is all ready to go with their opening race weekend.  Saturday night’s racing card will include the track’s first PASS Pro Stock (Super Late Model) event in a few years.  It will be the first of two such shows in 2005.

Drivers who are entered include all of the PASS and Oxford regulars, as well as NASCAR Modified Tour driver Ted Christopher and NASCAR Busch North drivers Ryan Moore and Billy Penfold.

Speed51.com will be at Oxford and will have full coverage of the event.


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.
When Bowman Gray Stadium (NC) opens its doors on their 2005 season this Saturday night, there will be at least one invader in the crowd from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Jamie Tomaino will drive a team car to Brian Pack in the race.

“The Pack family said that they are going to have a car ready for me to race down there.  I’m going down and having some fun.”

Tomaino is looking forward to a little time south of the Mason Dixon Line, he has towed his own car to a few events this year on the Whelen Southern Modified Tour, but hasn’t seen Bowman Gray in quite some time.
Continuing with the father and son fashion theme of this week’s column, let’s now take a close look at PASS driver Cassius Clark’s driving suit.

When Speed51.com was recently talking with Clark, we noticed that the name on the top pocket is actually that of Billy Clark – Cassius’ Dad.

“The Farmington Flyer” is now retired from racing, but was a notable Oxford Plains Speedway and NASCAR Busch North Series regular in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.
“These three brothers had their father take them to the racetrack at Malta.  The father said to his son to watch this one guy because he would be good.  It was my father.  They met after the race and followed him around after that.  One of the sons was in art school (Gary), so he painted a helmet for my father.  They presented it to him at the racetrack.  They became the presidents of his fan club.”

Flemke lost contact with them until some time later.

“Year later, they re-introduced themselves to me,” said Flemke.  “Last year, they came up with the idea of giving me a helmet.  The artist that did the original helmet sent my helmet to Europe and had the same people who paint Michael Schumacher’s helmet.  It’s been over there for almost a year getting painted.  They came up with the paint scheme.”
Eddie Flemke has a cool, new helmet.
Running a Mod at Bowman Gray Stadium is no easy task, especially for an outsider.  (51 Photo)