Completing the top ten Late Model finishers was Scott Payea in sixth, Brent Dragon, pole sitter Whitcomb, Joe Becker and Ryan Nolin.
TAYLOR INCHES TOWARDS ANOTHER PRO STOCK TITLE AT OXFORD
Jeff Taylor took another step toward his unprecedented ninth Oxford Networks Pro Stock championship with his fourth win of the year and 67th in a distinguished OPS career. Taylor took the lead from Joey Porciello on lap 28.
was able to hold off Cambridge’s Craig Bushey when the yellow flew in the final laps of the Kinney Drugs main event. Bushey’s runner-up outing was a career best for the former NAPA Sportsman Series Champion. Jamie Fisher from Shelburne was third after starting deep in the 26-car starting field. Rounding out the top five were championship contenders, Wheeler and Michaud.
Former Thunder Road Late Model Champion, Dave Whitcomb of Essex Jct and Rookie of the Year contender, Marcel Gravel of Wolcott led the field to the green flag. Before the first circuit was complete, Gravel, apparently not comfortable in the outside groove, was happy to settle for second and tucked in behind Whitcomb. Lowery saw the open lane and used it to his advantage to pressure the veteran for the lead. Coming out of the fourth turn on the seventh circuit, Lowery’s Chevrolet lost traction and slid up the track, which caused him to lose several positions. The Charlotte driver regrouped and set after Whitcomb once again. He worked his way into second before the first caution flag of the feature flew which put Lowery on the outside of Whitcomb for the restart.
When action resumed, Lowery was able dash ahead of Whitcomb as the pair entered turn one. He secured the lead as the pair exited turn two. From that point on, Lowery never looked back. The distance Lowery put between himself and the field was a bit like deja vu for the driver and his crew. “I thought we had the win wrapped up last week,” stated Lowery in the Winner’s Circle of his loss to Phil Scott in the final inches of last Thursday’s ACE Hardware 50, “We had a great car tonight so even if the yellow had come out like last week, I think I still would have had enough car to win.”
51's NORTHERN EXPOSURECompiled by Mike Twist
Wheeler Wins A Title While Taylor Gets Closer to One and More
“We had more car than we showed, I was more worried about the battle,” the veteran competitor stated. He used his trademark patience to work his way toward the front. He resisted putting himself in a risky position to go for the win and opted, instead to protect his chances at the championship. Wheeler is not the first Late Model driver to claim a title without benefit of a feature win. Phil Scott previously attained the same feat en route to one of his three crowns.
While Wheeler and Michaud kept an eye on each other’s positions in the main event, Rich Lowery of Charlotte went on to celebrate his first Late Model victory of the season at the Kinney Drugs Trophy Dash. Lowery’s performance at the Barre oval paralleled that of last week’s ACE Hardware Dash. Lowrey used the outside groove to advance his position and once in front, he was able to distance himself from the field. Unlike last week’s race, where the victory was torn from his hands by a late race caution, Lowrey
LOWERY WINS RACE, WHEELER THE TITLE AT T-ROAD
Thursday night at Barre’s Thunder Road, Chad Wheeler’s fourth place finish in the Kinney Drugs 50 secured the 2006 King of the Road title for the Waterbury Center Late Model driver. His margin of victory over two-time and defending champion, Cris Michaud of Williamstown was 41 points in the final tally (1020-979). Entering the final point counting event of the season the pair was separated by 37. The difference between the two came down to qualifying – Wheeler earned points while Michaud had to resort to the Last Chance “B” feature to make the main event.
“Our car was way better tonight,” said Taylor, comparing his run to last week’s race in which he finished a lap behind TD Banknorth 250 champion Jeremie Whorff. “It was a lot of fun getting to the front, and then we were able to get around Joey on a restart.”
Porciello logged his best OPS finish in second ahead of defending champion Tim Brackett. Jeremie Whorff made a late surge to fourth, finishing (in what has become his custom) one spot ahead of his father, Bill Whorff Jr.
PRO STOCKS AT WISCASSET?
Whoever wins the Pro Stock championship at Oxford will be the final champion in that division. The track has dropped the Pro Stocks for the 2007 season, leaving two dozens teams looking for a new place to race. Some
will convert their cars to run in the track’s Late Model class. Some might go to other tracks or touring divisions.
Coastal Maine’s Wiscasset Raceway is entertaining the idea of bring back Pro Stock racing to their weekly lineup. The track is considering 35-lap, $1,000 feature races if enough teams would commit to the class. Interested drivers are being asked to call the track at (207) 589-4780.
TURPLE WINS, AS ANTIGONISH TRACK REOPENS TO A LARGE CROWD
Over 8000 race fans witnessed Shaun Turple of Enfield, NS win the ANTIGONISH MALL 200 at the newly revamped Riverside Speedway near Antigonish, NS on Saturday night. The sophomore driver took the lead on lap 179 to post his first career win on the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour. George Koszculics of New Glasgow, NS could not hold the lead he held throughout the late stages of the race and settled for second. Wayne Smith of Halifax, NS was third, ahead of Kent Vincent of Crapaud, PE. Points leader John Flemming of Halifax, NS rounded out the top five. Turple becomes the seventh different winner in eight races this season.
Jeff Taylor in victory lane at Oxford. (OPS Photo)
Lining up alongside Bailey for the restart was Lowrey, another of the experienced weekly racers. Experience prevailed on this start and before the 15th circuit was half complete, Lowery had passed the rookie driver. A long stretch of green flag racing allowed Lowery to distance himself from the field as he carefully maneuvering his Chevrolet through heavy traffic.
The second yellow came out on lap 24 which brought Lowrey back to the field. Despite the disruption, the leader again pulled away from the field when action resumed. Lowery and crew anxiously awaited the laps to tick down as they aimed for his first victory of the season. A yellow for David Chagnon’s spin in the first
the pit road under a competition yellow for a fuel only pit stop.
Smith also won the Atlantic Tiltload Most Laps Led Award. Ten cautions slowed the event, which took one hour and fifty-three minutes to complete.
None of the five drivers who had the option to take the Northumberland Pontiac Pole Dash for an opportunity to earn extra points and money accepted.
Chris Hughes of Winsloe, PE, Bob White of Kennetcook, NS and Donald Chisholm of Antigonish, NS took home heat wins. Smith won the Motor Mart Dash for the Pole, featuring the top ten finishers in Time Trials. Thirty-two of the Maritime’s top drivers attempted to qualify for the CARQUEST 100 on the 3/8 mile track. Rollie MacDonald of Pictou, NS was the fastest qualifier, with and average speed of 93.926 miles per hour.
Fans turned out from all over the Maritimes to see the new facility. Track owner John Chisholm revamped the oval after re-purchasing the track he built almost fourty years ago.
The next stop on the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour is on August 26th at the Centre For Speed near Shediac, NB.
ACT SPORTSMAN SERIES CUTS BACK
The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) office in Waterbury, VT has announced that the Sportsman Series events at New Hampshire’s White Mountain Motorsports Park (Aug 26) and the Circuit Ste-Croix (Quebec) have been cancelled due to increasing travel costs as many teams have been forced to adjust their 2006 budgets.
The Sportsman Series will conclude its 2006 season on Saturday and Sunday, September 23-24 at Plattsburgh, New York’s Airborne Speedway with the 35th Fall Foliage 100. The winner of the event will join the likes of Jean-Paul Cyr, Junior Hanley, Robbie Crouch and the legendary Jean-Paul Cabana as a competitor who has carried the checkers in the annual fall classic.
Chad Wheeler is the latest in alogn string of champions at the historic track. (Leif Tillotson Photo)
There was a packed house at Antigonish last weekend.
Rich Lowery won Thursday nigth at Thunder Road. (Leif Tillotson Photo)