During Rowe’s lengthy career, the 30 year-old second generation racer has yet to come up against a track similar to Thunder Road, or one that he hasn’t been able to adapt to fairly easily. Rowe, who has spent most of his career behind the wheel of a Pro Stock-type car, was able to adapt to Avery’s ACT Late Model machine. But the high-banked, quarter-mile speedplant has not been as easy to figure out. At the Tour’s Merchants Bank 150 season opener, Rowe failed to qualify. While his efforts at last month’s Labor Day event were an improvement, his poor performances at the Barre, VT oval continue to plague him. “The more seat time I get at Thunder Road, the quicker I’ll get it figured out,” he affirmed.
The Milk Bowl consists of three segments with the finishing order from the first 50-lapper inverted to set the starting line-up of the second. An inversion of the second segment finish lines up starting order for the third. The winner of the race is determined by adding the three finishing positions of each driver, with the lowest total earning the victory.
The New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl’s traditional pre-race ceremonies will begin at 1:00 pm on Sunday, October 8. They will be directly followed by the first 50-lap segment of the New England Dodge Dealers 43rd annual Milk Bowl.
In addition to the ACT Tour’s New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl, Thunder Road’s NAPA Tiger Sportsmen and Allen Lumber Street Stocks will finish their 2006 season with season-ending feature races and crown their champions.
PRO STOCKS COME BACK TO STAR THIS WEEKEND
Saturday October 7th at 5pm the PASS Outlaw Late Model/Pro Stock Series Central Division will be doing 100 green-flag laps as Star Speedway, Epping, NH welcomes the pro stock cars back to the Epping oval.
51's NORTHERN EXPOSURECompiled by Mike Twist
Rowe To The Milk Bowl, Pro Stocks Back to Star and a Big Enduro Race at Riverside
“I had back surgery last winter so I haven’t raced since last year although I have practiced the car some. There’s a lot of difference between practicing and running in a race that’s as physical as the Milk Bowl, “ Avery explained, adding, “The 50-lap qualifying race gave me all I could handle and I think it’s the smart thing for me to step aside since Ben is available.”
Rowe, who has driven Avery’s Dodge Charger to four American-Canadian Tour (ACT) wins this season, is pleased he’ll be able to run in Sunday’s 43rd annual Milk Bowl, “I’ve got to get that track figured out,” he stated, “Maybe with the shorter 50-lap segments I’ll have a better shot at doing well than I did in last month’s (Bond Auto Labor Day Classic) 200.” Rowe finished 20th after starting 10th. With the driver change, Rowe will come from the rear of the first segment.
ROWE TO RUN THE MILK BOWL
Second generation stock car driver, Ben Rowe from Turner, ME, has confirmed that he will fill in for car owner and driver David Avery of Lincoln, NH in Sunday’s $10,000 to win New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl Sunday at Barre, Vermont’s Thunder Road. Avery, who finished third in the Milk Bowl two years ago, was among the 30 cars out of 63 who attempted to qualify to secure a starting spot last Saturday through several rounds of qualifying. Avery was to go to post in 16th position.
Among the drivers already entered many have experience at Star -- Jimmy Renfrew of Candia, NH in the David Joyce #55, Carey Heath of Essex, MA in the #12 – who put in a number of appearances at Star in the NASCAR Busch North Series, Jay Sands of Seabrook,NH who was very successful in the Street Stocks and the Pro Stocks at the tough Epping quarter mile, Ken Haley, Jr of Nashua, Rich Eaton of Seabrook, and Bobby “The Showstoppa” MacArthur of Beverly, MA.
All the other drivers in the top ten will be there, including Zig Geno of Canterbury, NH, Mark Patten of Belmont, NH, “Pistol Pete” Fraser of Nottingham, Jimmy Rosenfield if Middleborough, MA, Walt Hammond and Donnie Lashua from Canaan, NH, Mike Fowler of
Scarborough, ME, and young Derek Ramstrom of W. Boylston, MA who is currently leading the overall combined points championship battle and sitting inside the top five in points in both the Central and North Division after a strong second at Beech Ridge last Saturday.
We expect to see a number of the North Division teams to attend as well since it’s the second last race before the Championship Weekend at Unity Raceway, Unity ME on October 21 -22. We should see Mike Harnish, Jr of Skowhegan, ME, Chris Staples of Brunswick, ME, Mike Thomas of Lewiston, ME, plus Dillon Moltz of Waterford, CT and Dave Davis of White River Junction, VT.
In addition, it will be round #2 of the Northeast Super Stock Challenge Series which will bring out all the big name street stock racers from the local tracks plus some invaders from Canaan and ME tracks for 75 laps of side-by-side action for $1000 to win. All this plus a Strictly Stock 25, a 35 lap Gatchell Excavating Roadrunner feature, the Independent Wheel V-6 Modifieds, and the Mini Cups makes Star the place for race fans this Saturday evening.
PASS GETS READY TO HEAD NORTH OF THE BORDER TO RIVERSIDE
With less than two weeks remaining until the reprise of what was once the most prestigious stock race on the East coast of Canada, management at Riverside Speedway are eagerly anticipating a rapid return to the top for the Riverside Fall Foliage 250. The event goes October 13-14 at the pristine facility that in just two races this year since their reopening, has attracted the largest crowds and car counts seen at Maritime race tracks in many years.
The Outlaw Pro Stocks will be at Star this weekend. (Chirs Roy Photo)
The Riverside Fall Foliage 250 weekend should be no exception. With the feature event being round 12 of 13 on the exciting and popular Pro All Stars (PASS) schedule - and with the series championship point standings seeing a 10-point spread between the top two contenders (Johnny Clark and Mike Rowe, 2125 and 2115, respectively) - and similar spreads throughout the standings, action should be fierce when the hard charging racers hit the historical high banks of Riverside.
Preliminary expectations from PASS are that as many as 20 PASS North teams will make the long haul to James River from New England. The lure of the track
itself has created "a buzz" among series full-time and
part-time teams attracting not only series regulars in the chase for their championship, but also PASS Outlaw division teams that are planning to move into the North series full time in 07.
As is always the case when PASS comes to Canada, the local contingent will be out in full force to defend their home turf. Track officials expect as many as 16 Maritime race teams to enter the event including three-time and current CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour champion John Flemming (Halifax) and 2005 CARQUEST Tour champ Rollie MacDonald (Pictou), along with CARQUEST Tour race winners Donald Chisholm (Antigonish), George Koszkulics (New Glasgow) and Gordie Ryan (Wellington). Scott Alexander (Dartmouth), winner of the inaugural Canadian PASS event at Scotia Speedworld in 2000, will field both of his racecars, with the driver of the second car to be announced in the coming days.
Koszkulics will drive an entry fielded by Chisholm bearing number 88, to commemorate the car number raced by Donald's father and Riverside Speedway track owner, John Chisholm. MacDonald has recently returned from North Carolina where the car he crashed September 16 was repaired.
PASS North is getting ready for Riverside.
(Norm Marx Photos)
Ben Rowe will be int he #10 at Sunday's Milk Bowl. (Jamie Williams Photo)
With more than $46,000 U.S. on the line, including $7,000 U.S. to win the pro stock feature, action will be the attraction. A practice session at the 3/8-mile high banked oval last Saturday saw lap times in the 14-second flat range - the track record set at the September 16 CARQUEST Tour event is 14.373-seconds. The PASS entry blank shows provisions for 32 starting spots.
Besides the pro stocks, the weekend schedule sees the Pepsi Twin 50s for sportsman division racers and fans.
Thirty-two of the top sportsman racers in the Maritimes have already entered the event which features a $10,000 purse, to be divided between finishers in two 50-lap features and an overall point fund for the two races combined. Besides top sportsman names like 2006 Scotia Speedworld sportsman division champ Craig Slaunwhite (Shubenacadie), Graham Hann (New Glasgow), Laurie Cormier (Moncton, NB), the sportsman entry list sees familiar pro stock names like Shawn Turple (Enfield) and Lonnie Sommerville (Saint John, NB). Practice times for sportsman cars last Saturday were at the 16-second mark, shaving over a full second off previous sportsman division laps on the old surface.
The event format sees PASS qualifying races, Pepsi Twin 50 sportsman qualifying races and the first of two 50-lap sportsman features on Friday, October 13 starting at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday October 14, racing gets underway at 3:30 p.m. with sportsman heat races, a final 15-minute PASS practice session, the second leg of the sportsman Pepsi Twin 50s, and the Riverside Fall Foliage 250 for the pro stocks. Pre-race festivities for the 250 are planned to start at 6 p.m. with the green flag at 6:15 p.m.
A limited number of reserved seats are now available for October 13-14. Two day passes are being sold by Ticket Atlantic either online at TicketAtlantic.com or at their box office locations (call 902.451.1221 for details). Reserved two day passes are $50 for adults and $20 for youth aged 15 and under. A $3 service charge per ticket applies to Ticket Atlantic purchases and an additional $4 per order fee applies to online purchases.
The center four sections of the grandstand have been numbered for the reserved seating.
TOYS FOR TOTS AT THOMPSON
Thompson International Speedway has joined forces with Hoosier Tire East to kick off their annual drive to collect toys for the U.S. Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots.” campaign. The drive will be held during the running of the three-day XTRAMART World Series of Speedway Racing scheduled for October 13th-15th at Thompson Speedway.
“Toys for Tots is a well established and well respected program that has brought holiday joy to thousands of youngsters over the years. We are very pleased to join Hoosier Tire East in an effort to support this wonderful program operated by the U.S. Marine Corps. We believe that race fans will want to support this campaign and we can provide them with a simple and easy way to do it,” said track owner, Don Hoenig.
Collection areas for toy donations will be set up near the main entrance to the grandstands and at the Hoosier Tire East service truck. That truck will be parked near the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour pit area. The Toys for Tots collection areas will be set up on Saturday and Sunday.
The XTRAMART World Series of Speedway Racing is an incredible, three-day, fourteen-division, dream come true for race fans. The event draws thousands of race fans, upwards of six hundred racecars and has traditionally served as the grand finale for the southern New England racing season. Racing will include the incredible ISMA Super Modifieds, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NEMA Midgets, ARTS Trucks and ten more divisions of racecars representing just about every form of oval track racing in New England.
Race fans are urged to bring a new toy and place it in the collection box. The Toys for Tots campaign is conducted in over 500 communities around the nation and runs from October through December 22nd. Distribution of the donated toys to needy and deserving youngsters is done on December 23rd and 24th.
SHANNON WINS BIG RIVERSIDE ENDURO EVENT
If you asked the weatherman if PASS and Riverside Speedway would run the $5,000 to win Northeast Custom Auto Accessories Frostbite 400 on Sunday, the answer would have probably been NO!! But once again Riverside Speedway beat the odds and only suffered through some periodic light showers. Not only did the racecars come out, one hundred and seventeen to be exact, but a nice large fall crowd enjoyed an awesome race that wasn’t decided until the final few laps.
There were 115 entries that started the race including PASS North competitor Russ Hersey, PASS Modified runner Troy Morse and several Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) weekly competitors like Billy Childs and Tommy Tomkins.
The fans enjoyed some rough and tumble action as no less than three cars flipped over, and multiple crashes caused several red flags to be flown. When the checkers flew, it was Groveton , New Hampshire ’s Luke Shannon taking home the gold. Shannon took over the top spot on lap 210 from Joe Monahan who pitted with a tire problem. At that point Shannon opened up a three lap lead which he needed at the finish as he rode around the track with a flat left rear tire for the final thirty laps. Toby Wells from Keene , New Hampshire and Lyndonville , Vermont ’s Billy Mitchell made up two of the laps but ran out of time, and finished second and third respectively. Completing the top five were Orleans , Vermont ’s Charlie Rockwell, and 2006 Riverside Speedway Cyclone champion Jeff Ainsworth. Steven Allander, Troy Randall, Joe Monahan, Dana Huoppi and Adam Pierson rounded out the top 10.