will prevail as the drama unfolds Saturday afternoon. Teenage sensation Derek Ramstrom has been on a roll and could secure the overall points title with a solid run. Going into this final weekend for the Outlaws, Ramstrom is in second place in both divisions, and the driver of the #35 only needs a solid finish to nail down the inaugural PASS Outlaw Late Model Division Overall Title. The 15 year-old from Worcester, Mass., needs to finish five spots ahead of Jimmy Renfrew to earn the crown in the Central Division in this combo Central and Northern Divisions race. Local favorite Matt Lee of Albion, Maine is tough to beat at Unity, and he currently leads Ramstrom by just 14 points in the Northern Division.
Sunday's program will feature a 150-lap season finale for the PASS North Super Late Model Series teams, the PASS Modified Division Championship race, and round #3 of the 2006 PASS Super Street/Sport Series/Limited Challenge Series. For 2004 series champion and current point leader Johnny Clark, a strong run Sunday would not only give him a second title but also serve to build momentum for 2007. Clark, of Farmingdale, Maine, finished fourth in last Sunday's 250 at Riverside. For second-place points man Mike Rowe, it's one last chance to overtake Clark and add a PASS crown to an already-impressive multi-decade racing resume. Rowe trails Clark by a scant eight markers headed into Sunday's finale.
51's NORTHERN EXPOSURECompiled by Mike Twist
PASS Title Fights Are Set to Be Decided, Oktoberfest at Lee and More
Titles will be decided this weekend in three divisions; the ultra-fast PASS North Super Late Model/Pro Stocks, the Outlaw Late Models and the Modifieds, where a third new champion will be crowned in the third year for the exciting open-wheel division.
Racing will get under way at 1 p.m. both days. Saturday's card will be highlighted by a 100-lap feature for the Outlaw Late Models, plus 40 lap features for Minis/Stock 4s, Pure Stocks/Stock 8s, and Mini Trucks, and a 50 lap Wildcat/Strictly feature. Over in the Outlaw Late Model pits, anticipation and nervousness
PASS NORTHERN SEASON TO WRAP UP AT UNITY
After last weekend's long haul to Nova Scotia for the Fall Foliage 250, all that remains on the 2006 Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North schedule is Championship Weekend, Oct. 21-22, at the historic Unity Raceway in Unity, Maine.
Leading the charge into Unity is Ben Rowe, winner of last Sunday's Fall Foliage 250 at the all-new Riverside Speedway in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The Turner native had his Richard Moody and Sons Construction Chevrolet dialed in last weekend, and has enjoyed several strong runs at Unity in past seasons.
Momentum is a huge factor in success in this sport, and the RMR squad definitely has that on their side, with consecutive wins at Beech Ridge and Riverside. Ben will be going for three in a row while his dad Mike and Johnny Clark will settle the championship race.
In the ground-pounding Modified division, Chris Staples could lock up the championship with a solid run. The Brunswick, Maine driver has a 39-point advantage over Troy Morse and Jason Taylor, who are tied for second while Dana Grover and Richie Morse are fourth and fifth. Only 56 points separate the top five drivers, adding drama to their finale come Sunday afternoon.
Sunday afternoon will also see the final round in the three-race 2006 PASS Super Stock/Sport Series/Limited Challenge Series. This exciting program has brought teams who compete weekly in the Super Stocks, Sport Series, and Limited Sportsman divisions around the northeast together for some terrific racing for $1000 to win. Dan McKeage captured Round #1 on Sept. 30 at Beech Ridge, while his cousin, Mike Landry, won Round #2 at Star Speedway on Oct. 7. After the side-by-side battle those two had at Star, fans at Unity are in for a treat when the Challenge Series takes the green flag.
The Pro All Stars Series will conclude its 2006 campaign with the inaugural Mason-Dixon Meltdown at South Boston Speedway in South Boston, VA, on Nov. 24-25. The PASS South championship will be decided in the
race that pays $12,500 to win and will pit the top teams from PASS South against the best from PASS North plus the best Super Late Model racers from throughout the East from Michigan to Florida and Maine to Missouri. Plus the $12,500 to win tour-type modified race, Legends, and the Pro-Challenge series.
OKTOBERFEST WILL BE IN FULL SWING THIS WEEKEND
With the annual “Oktoberfest” weekend fast approaching, Lee USA Speedway officials are hard at work preparing for the 10 division program that traditionally brings an end to the season at the NH speedway. This year’s event is scheduled for Oct 20, 21, 22.
A smorgasbord of racing will be available for the short track fan with everything from the True Value Modified Racing Series 100 lap finale, a 100 lap Late Model race, Street Stocks, Hobby/Strictly Stocks, four cylinder stocks, Outlaw Mini Stocks, Mini-Cup cars and the Allison Legacy Series.
The track has announced that due to interest from around New England, a Friday night practice session has been scheduled. Speedway marketing director Bob Watson advises, “with the calls we are receiving and the indications we are getting from teams that say they are coming, we figured it would be in the best interest of the competitor’s to schedule a Friday night practice because of the full day of events on Saturday.”
Derek Ramstrom (#35) is battling Matt Lee (#00) for and Jimmy Renfrew (#55) for two different PASS Outlaw divisional titles. (Chris Roy Photos)
That schedule Watson refers too is a practice session for all Oktoberfest competitors on Friday Oct 20 from 3PM to 7PM that is open to the public. The speedways Checkered Flag Pub and concession area will also be open. On Saturday, Oct 21, teams will practice from 12 noon to 2PM, with racing scheduled at 2 PM
Watson added, “We asked the town for two additional hours for Saturday and they granted it.” Watson was appreciative to the town. “We are grateful for the cooperation” said the former track manager. “We may not need that extra time but we wanted to be prepared in the event we do,” he said. In addition to all the heat races, the 100 lap “Late Model Nationals” will be run Saturday, postponed Sept 24 by persistent showers.
On Sunday, the True Value Modified Racing Series will wind down their 2006 slate with a 100 lap green flag event and with their championship going down to the wire, All eyes will be on veteran Dwight Jarvis and young gun Jimmy Kuhn.Jr. Both drivers are looking for their first ever TVMRS title.
The Late Model division will be going the distance of 50 laps in their main event on Sunday. Inquiries on that race have been coming in from all over the northeast. In addition, all feature races will be run on Sunday with the first feature race of going green at Noon.
ANZALONE GETS BOOST FROM ACT
Seventeen year-old Mark Anzalone of Malden, MA, was crowned as the second annual Bond Auto/WIX Reserve Champion at the recent New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl. Anzalone, who also won the 2006 ACT Tour Rookie of the Year title, earned a $1,500 bonus for his efforts in the three ACTion Super Series events. All-in-all, $10,000 will be paid to the top drivers earnings points in the special program.
“Even though we went to all of the Super Series races, I was never able to qualify – as a first year driver, the tracks were all new and the competition was very tough, but I had great experiences. To still be able to take home a $1,500 bonus, that’s pretty amazing,” the youngster commented upon receiving his championship trophy in front of a large crowd on Booth Bros/HP Hood Qualifying Day at the high-banked, quarter-mile oval in Barre, VT. “
The True Value Modifieds will close their season this weekend at Lee. (51 Photo)
Mike Rowe (#24) and Johnny Clark (#54) are battling down to the wire this weekend for the 2006 PASS North championship. (Norm Marx Photo)
Marcel Gravel from Wolcott, VT finished second in the standings and will receive $1,200 for his efforts. Gravel was crowned as the top freshman driver at Thunder Road following the Late Model division’s season ending race. Earning $1,000 in the Bond Auto/WIX Reserve Champion program was second generation Braintree, VT driver, Cal Poulin.
Sam Caron of Colchester, VT, finished fourth in the standings after the three Super Series races. His point fund earnings are $900. Rounding out the top five was Claremont, New Hampshire’s Mike Jurkowski who will claim $750.
The Reserve Champion program and its $10,000 point fund was put in place for Late Model drivers not making the field in any or all three main events comprising the
ACTion Super Series. Since a limited number of starting spots was posted for each of the events, and upwards of 50 cars were expected to attempt to qualify for each of the three $10,000 to win races, ACT president Tom Curley developed the innovative program in 2005. True to form, an average of just over 55 Late Models turned out for the events at Quebec’s Sanair Super Speedway on July 9, Thunder Road’s Sept. 3 Bond Auto Labor Day Classic, and the 43rd annual New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl, Oct 8. Instead of sending the non-qualifiers home with nothing but their purse money, the Bond/Auto Wix Reserve Champion program gave those drivers a separate year-end point fund.
“From the initial ACTion Super Series experiment at Lee USA in September, 2004, we knew that a lot of good race drivers wouldn’t make the starting field in subsequent events. And there would be a lot of different reasons. Those drivers go through the same efforts and have the same expenses as the drivers who make the big money features. We wanted everyone to have a positive experience racing in the Super Series events, but when you’re on the sidelines watching the others, it can be hard to take. That’s when the concept came to me,” explained Curley.
Drivers eligible for the Bond Auto/Wix Reserve Champion program were those who did not make the starting field through a heat race, consolation round, or a “Last Chance/B” feature. The Reserve Champion program awards points based on a driver’s finish with 100 going to the first driver not making the main event. The next non-transferee is awarded 99 points with a one point declination awarded to each subsequent competitor who is eligible. In all, 57 competitors earned points in one or more of the ACTion Super Series events in 2006, two more than in 2005.
’06 NEAR HoF INDUCTEES SET
Three stock car pioneers car builder George Barber and drivers Dick Eagan and the late Dick Garrett make up the Veterans Committee selections for induction into the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame.
The trio will join the previously announced inductees drivers John Paul Cabana, Dave Dion, Bob Potter, John Rosati and Bentley Warren, car owner/crew chief Bob Johnson, Midget owner/official John McCarthy and Westboro Speedway owner/promoter the late John Falconi, Sr.
Vermont’s Barber, 95, was king of the flatheads. Garrett is a Maine legend while Connecticut’s Eagan was one the first to score victories outside New England.
The 10th annual NEAR Hall of Fame Induction Banquet will be at the La Renaissance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT on Sunday afternoon, January 28, 2007. Tickets are $40 and an application form will soon be on the New England Antique Racers website (near1.com).
Barber began building racecars immediately after World War II, scoring his first championship at Stafford Springs, CT in 1953. With drivers Pappy Forsyth and Leland Ingerson, Barber’s cars dominated Northern New
England, specifically Vermont’s Thunder Road in the
early 1960s Coming out of retirement, Barber built
Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford, VT. At 95, he continues to work restoring Model A Fords.
Eagan came from the post World War II Midgets and was an immediate success in stock cars. He was second in United Stock Car Club points in 1949 but it was on dirt where he really shined. He was a dominant force at Stafford Springs in the early 1950s and then took to the road scoring victories from the Carolinas to Canada. Injuries sustained in a crash at Vernon, NY ended his career. Now 89, he is a Florida resident.
One of Maine’s true racing pioneers, Garrett, despite hobbled by polio, was a sensation in 1951, winning five track championships in three states. Beech Ridge, however, was his favorite haunt. In a career that stretches from 1948 through 1976, there are six Ridge titles over a career that produced an estimated 250 victories. A charter member of the Maine State Stock Car Association, he remained active as president and board member. Garrett passed away in July of 2005.
HUDSON FINALE SET FOR SUNDAY
Sunday afternoon October 22, at Hudson Speedway it’s the final event of the 2006 season with double point championship races for the Rookie Stocks, Roadrunners and Thunder Lights plus Full Size and Four Cylinder Enduros, N.E Classic Lites, Spectator Race World Championship, Flagpole race, Spectator One on One Drags and the fan favorite “Figure Eight” race. It’s sure to be action packed day of fun for the entire family.
Gates open at 11am with “Hot Laps” at Noon and the First race starts at 1pm.
Mark Anzalone (#1) got a little something extra from ACT for his season's efforts. (Jamie Williams Photo)
Bentley Warren might be headed to the Hall of Fame, but he's not ready to hang it up yet either. He finished second in the ISMA Supermodified portion of Thompson's World Series last weekend. (51 Photo)