Laperle Shifts Gears on His Racing Career  by Mike Twist
Canadian Splits with SLM Car Owners, Sticks with Late Model Plans
Over the past few years, you’d never know exactly when and where Patrick Laperle and his #91 team would show up to race.  With Patrick, his brothers and his father fielding an ACT-style Late Model while Julio & Rita Miglioli owned a potent Super Late Model for him to drive, everyone worked together as one team with endless scheduling possibilities.  You might find the quick Canadians at Thunder Road, Lakeland, Oxford, South Boston or Unity. 
Laperle's wide-open style (shown here in the #91 car) has made him a fan favorite to watch in ACT Late Model racing.  They'll get to see even more of him this season.  (Alan Ward Photos)
been a contender in the famed event every year recently with the SLM.  Now that the event has adopted LMS specs, he’ll be back and is ranked as a favorite already for the July race.
“Not having Pro Stocks in the Oxford 250 any more [was a factor in making the switch to LMS cars].  I want to win that race, so now we’re going to try and win it now with the LMS car.”

Although Leperle isn’t geared up for any Super Late Model racing at this time, he’s still planning on running some events in the future. 

As part of their split, Laperle bought the SLM that he wrecked during Speedfest 2007 at Lakeland from his former team.

“We bought the Pro Stock.  That car is so special to me and I don’t want anyone else to race it.  They have another car, but I never liked that as much.  So we’ll get it back here and rebuild it over the summer.  We’ll try to find a big engine to race it down South or something.”

Meanwhile, Laperle has a Late Model ready to go, and a new one on the way.
It looks like it might be awhile before Laperle is back in a Super Late Model though.
“We’ll see how things go at the beginning of the year,” said Laperle.  “If we don’t qualify for Oxford, that will tell us not to race for points.  We didn’t qualify for the opening race at Thunder Road last year.  We’ll do the first three races and see where we’re at.  Maybe we’ll do all of the ACT races in the U.S., maybe we’ll do all of the Quebec races.”

A full schedule might even include a run at a championship, but it’s far too early for Laperle to start thinking seriously about going after one of those.

“I started racing in 1998 and I’ve never won a championship,” said Laperle.  “We’ve been second, but haven’t won.  I’d like one.  But I don’t want to talk about it.  Every time that I talk about it, s—t happens.  So we’ll just see how things go.

“Lately, we’ve just been racing to win…and we’re still going to do that.  But we might also be thinking about points this year.”

In the past few seasons, Laperle has been able to pick a dream schedule of races in the Northeastern United States and parts of Canada.  Sure, there have been a few conflicts, but usually he’s been able to hit the big shows in both ACT and PASS.  In 2007, that didn’t look too likely though.  During the weekend of the Oxford 250, PASS North will be racing in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.  When ACT has a big show at Sanair Superspeedway in July, PASS is putting on a two-day show at All-Star Speedway…and so on and so forth.

“The schedule this year was no good for that {what Laperle and his team have done in recent years].  Last year, we could go to Canaan, South Boston, three races at Oxford and Beech Ridge [in PASS].  This year it seems that all of the races are on the same weekends.  That’s not good.”

And there is the matter of trying to win a little race called the Oxford 250.  Laperle has
“We have a brand new car coming from Junior Hanley.  It should be here in a week or two…and we still have the ACT car from last year.”

And being the racer that he is, Laperle is anxious to play with both cars.
“I can’t wait.  We’ll be on the racetrack kicking some ass.  I’m excited.”

At the same time, Laperle is also a little bit sad too.  There were some great times that he and his family had while racing with the Miglioli team, which will stay involved in SLM racing without Laperle in the driver’s seat.

“We’re still friends,” said Laperle.  “They don’t want to race a LMS car all of the time and we can’t do all of the PASS shows.  It’s sad, but that’s the way that it is.

“We had a lot of good times together.  I really need to thank Julio and Rita for giving me my first chance to race a Pro Stock.  I’ll always remember our wins at Unity and Oxford.  If I never met Julio, I would have never gotten the chance to race at places like New Smyrna, Lakeland or South Boston.  I really appreciate everything that they have done for me."

Patrick Laperle
The team towed out of Quebec and down to the United States and would hit the biggest races that they could find.  Driving through the night to get there wasn’t a problem, even without a big rig to get them there.  With a pick-up truck and single car trailer, they won PASS events like the Unity 250 and ACT races that included the prestigious Milk Bowl.

But by now, you might have caught on to the use of the past tense in describing their accomplishments.  That is because after four seasons together, Laperle and the Migliolis decided this week to split up and go racing in different directions this coming season.

“Julio wants to do more Super Late Model racing,” said Laperle.  “That’s too much for us.  There’s just too much traveling for us.  We have a family business to run and we can’t do that kind of traveling without a big sponsor.  When we leave and close our doors, we don’t make any money.  And that would mean that we wouldn’t have enough time to spend with family.”
Instead of splitting up his schedule in 2007, Laperle will now stick to racing Late Models.  He’s looking towards a combination races in ACT’s Late Model and Quebec tours, possibly even running a full schedule in either or both place.
Laperle has made quite a name for himself in short track racing.