race with those guys. It might take me a little time to get back into their style of racing, but I think what I've learned in the last ten years of racing in the NASCAR Busch East races will help me out a lot as far as setups. The ACT cars are quicker, they're wide and sleek and low. I'm really looking forward to racing those cars again."
Stockwell has a successful record at Thunder Road, with two notable exceptions.
"I've won about every race that you can win there except the Milk Bowl, and I haven't won a championship there either," he said. "I'd like to think that I could someday win a championship there and take my father and his team to a level that we haven't been at. Back in the late '60s and early '70s my father was tearing up the Vermont tracks, winning a lot of races and won a segment of the Milk Bowl. He missed winning the whole thing but I've never even won a segment of one. I just want to put my name in the history of Thunder Road even more than what I have.
"I'm going to miss a lot of the people that we've liked and loved in the Busch East Series, but I think it's time we went back to grassroots racing and have more fun than we've had in the Busch East Series. We've had fun, especially this last year, but I think it's time we went home to a racetrack where all my fans are at. My fans from Vermont and New Hampshire have tried to follow me around the Busch East Series as much as they can but it's really difficult to do. That'll be a lot of fun to see a lot of people that we've missed."
Stockwell concluded, "We might be done with the Busch East Series but we're turning our attention towards putting together a championship-caliber deal in the ACT series."
SPEEDWAY EXPO WILL COME TO LIFE IN 2007
Speedway Illustrated Magazine is proud to announce the launch of a new racing expo. A powerhouse team has joined forces to produce the first-ever Speedway EXPO. The show will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 2-4, at The Big E, the Eastern States Exposition, in West Springfield, MA.
51's NORTHERN EXPOSUREcompiled by Mike Twist
Stockwell Switches, a Show is Born and Racing Goes Indoors For the Winter
"We have made a commitment to ACT as of this morning," Stockwell said. "We're in the process of ordering a car and everything's rolling as far as buying the equipment I need to race in this series."
Stockwell was an ACT regular until moving up to the NASCAR series in late 1997, winning his debut at his home track. Since then, he and his family team have been mainstays on the tour, with the second longest (to Mike Olsen) consecutive race streak. But changes in that series and an increase in travel requirements for 2007 forced him to re-evaluate where they were going to race.
"I'm super excited to move on to ACT," he said. There's a lot of competition there, and I still have what it takes to
STOCKWELL RETURNS TO HIS ACT ROOTS
After nearly ten years away, Kip Stockwell will return to the ACT Late Model tour with the goal of winning the series championship. The Braintree, Vermont driver will return to the series, based at Thunder Road International Speedbowl, after running full-time in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series.
“With no NEXTEL Cup event that weekend,” said Speedway Illustrated Executive Editor Dick Berggren, “we’ve come up with an Expo that’s truly special, much more than a car show for racers and race fans.”
Speedway EXPO promises something for the entire racing community, from casual fans to diehard enthusiasts as well as racers and race teams. The show will feature the best in regional short-track racing from both the dirt and asphalt arenas along with drag racing and other motorsports.
Representatives from all areas of auto racing, including regional touring series, local speedways and various racing associations are expected to participate. The entertainment experience will also feature interactive displays and attractions with professional stock-car racing flair.
A trade portion of the event will be a major attraction for enthusiasts and racers. Vendors of performance parts and accessories will be a big part of Speedway EXPO.
Recent changes in the regional racing media have left a void in the motorsports community. The annual racing show held at The Big E was a mainstay of racing in New England and the Northeast. The management team at Speedway EXPO plans to continue a tradition that was developed and nurtured for many years through a dedication to the racing community.
Speedway EXPO will bring in a new era. By building on the traditional elements and introducing fresh and exciting ideas, the event will heighten the show experience for all involved.
Speedway Illustrated’s publisher, Silvio Calabi, said, “By March, here in the Northeast, we all have ‘cabin fever’—we’re ready to turn a wheel. This region has a very rich racing tradition, with some of the best racers and best fans in the country; they deserve to kick off the season in grand style. We’re going to make EXPO a lot of fun.”
In addition to Berggren, who has a wealth of experience as a driver and a well-known racing writer and TV pit-road reporter, the new EXPO team includes Dave Jackson, Dale Wolbrink, Cal Green and the editors of Speedway Illustrated Magazine.
The show manager is David Jackson, who has nearly 30 years’ experience in trade and consumer shows in markets ranging from fishing and hunting to horticulture, commercial fishing and ship-building.
Also joining the team, as Special Events Manager, is Dale Wolbrink. Ms. Wolbrink has been an active member of the racing community in a number of capacities. Currently she works as a motorsports marketing consultant. She also serves in a public-relations capacity at Thompson International Speedway and is a major contributor to the annual North-South Shootout. Her résumé includes several years as Show Director at the old Racearama show.
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” said Wolbrink. “I have always enjoyed working with the racing community as an event coordinator. It is a labor of love that I have missed over the last few years. I believe that I can put my years of experience to work to help build a great show.”
All exhibitor sales and sponsorships for Speedway EXPO will be handled by Cal Green (978-677-7270), a sales specialist with years of experience with companies like Linkage, WGIR ROCK 101FM and others. Greene worked as an expo sales specialist for Digital Consulting Institute. His background also includes three years as a reporter for local (NH) radio stations interviewing drivers at New Hampshire International Speedway.
“I have followed the New England short-track scene since I was about 7 years old,” said Green. “I have dreamed of the day when I could offer my knowledge to a profession I hold dear to my heart. My goal is to create with continued development—New England’s largest gathering of local and national talent/products.”
RACING GOES INDOORS AT ATLANTIC CITY IN JANUARY
Supermodified racing standout 'Liquid Lou' Cicconi may be returning with the same winning combination he used to emerge victorious in the 2006 running of the "Gamblers Classic." But he's not making two consecutive Three Quarter Midget/600cc Micro-Sprint victories in Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall easy on himself.
The Racearama show has previosuly brought plenty of fans and shiny racecars to the Big E every year. In 2007, the Speedway EXPO will take things one step further.. (51 Photos)
Vermonters Kip Stockwell (#16) and Brian Hoar (#45) will running full-time in ACT Late Models next season after concentrating on Busch North/East over the past few seasons. (Tom Gallo Photo)
Cicconi, of Aston, Pa., will drive the Hentrich Bros. No. 75 on Jan. 12-13 with the fifth edition of the Atlantic City Indoor Race presented by Len Sammons Motorsports Productions. Slingshots and Sr. Champ Karts complete the three-division card.
This season, the excitement of indoor racing will be joined by Motorsports 2007 presented by VP Racing Fuels at the nearby Atlantic City Convention Center (the show will span Jan. 12-14), setting up a motorsports enthusiasts' dream: "show by day, racing by night!"
Cicconi used the very same car he will drive this January
to sweep the weekend in 2006, setting fast time, winning his "Roaring 20" and taking home $5,000 for the TQ/600 A-Main win. His total weekend earnings: $5,893.39.
Cicconi, the third-place finisher in the 2006 ISMA Supermodified point standings with two wins, is pumped to become the first repeat TQ/600cc Micro winner at Boardwalk Hall. Cicconi joins a diverse group who has triumphed in the "Gamblers Classic" since Len Sammons brought indoor racing back to Atlantic City in January 2003 - dirt Modified driver Jeff Heotzler (2005), fellow Supermodified wheelman Joey Payne (2004) and Canadian Andy Mackareth, a Can-Am Three-Quarter Midget racer (2003).
"We basically dominated last year," said Cicconi, 42. "For us to get that lucky (to sweep the program) was really special," he said.
Cicconi, who is used to the wide-open speed of the winged Supermodifieds, is looking forward to once again battling on the tight A.C. indoor layout. “I enjoy short-track racing much better than the big tracks," Cicconi said. "That (short-track racing) defines a better driver in my estimation."
He'll have some stiff competition. Cicconi will field cars for a potent Garden State trio - asphalt Modified racers John III and Jimmy Blewett and Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway dirt big-block Modified talent Mike Iles. There is a possibility of a fourth car being assembled for the mid-winter event.
"I enjoy the business side (of the race) as well," said Cicconi. "It's good business to field cars for three top-name drivers. Basically, I'm going to concentrate on my own stuff - they're each going to have their own crew chief."
Cicconi is looking forward to racing against his own cars, even if it means stiffer competition. “I want to race against the best," Cicconi said. "If I beat those guys running my own cars, I'll definitely feel like I've done something."
In addition to fielding a fleet of cars, Cicconi has teamed up with TQ/Midget racer B.J. MacDonald to build copies of the No. 75 winning cars, called a Classic Competition chassis. These cars are available to be purchased by interested parties and may even be racing in A.C. "It (the Classic Competition car) is a combination of B.J. and my efforts," Cicconi said.
Cicconi will also be selling the tires he uses - American Racer. Cicconi, Lias Tire and American Racer are sponsors of the "Gamblers Classic" event, giving two tires to the highest-finishing car on American Racers in each of Friday night's "Roaring 20s." Cicconi will have the tires available at the race and in advance. He can be reached at (610) 521-2286.
Tickets for both nights of racing are on sale now and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com, the Area Auto Racing News office located at 2829 S. Broad St. Trenton, NJ and Boardwalk Hall Box Office.
Advance tickets are $17 for Friday night's event, which features open seating and general admission on Saturday is $20 with a lower-level, reserved seat going for $25. Tickets are priced $2 higher if purchased the day of the event.