because of scheduling reason. There are some other people who I talked to Friday night [at the Northeast Motorsports Expo] too, so I think that it has been a really good reaction.”
The tour has its roots in the PASS 400 weekend at Beech Ridge. Starting in 2005, PASS ran an open Sportsman show as a support event for the Super Late Models. Response was very positive, so it has grown from there.
“The Beech Ridge event gave us something to build off of,” said Reed. “It is the marquee event of the series. These cars typically race at the tracks that PASS goes to, so there has been a lot of interest among teams who couldn’t afford to race at the [SLM or Outlaw} level, but they wanted to move up and try some touring.
“It’s like what we did with our Modified Series a few years ago. This gives teams a chance to move up the ladder. You can see things like what Derek Ramstrom did. He ran with us in the Outlaw Series and is now moving up. This is good for the teams who can’t afford to start out at the top. It gives teams a chance to go to different race tracks and adjust. Then they can decide whether they want to move up the ladder or stay where they are at. There are a lot of veterans who are actually looking at doing this.”
ACT SPEEDSTERS REACT TO CROUCH’S COMEBACK
Five American-Canadian Tour (ACT) champions, three of whom still compete with the Late Model stock car series, have expressed their support of Robbie Crouch‘s recent announcement that the six-time ACT Champion will come out of retirement for a run at the 2007 title. The 54 year-old will pilot a car owned by Dave Storey of Plaistow, NH.
51's NORTHERN EXPOSUREcompiled by Mike Twist
Show Season, a New Tour, Reaction to Crouch's Return and More
The series is designed to be an entry-level tour featuring Super Sportsman/Limited-type cars that run at several area tracks. If attendance at a rules meeting held in Maine last weekend is any indication, there should be shortage of entries for the new venture.
“It gives diversity and a lot of different people the opportunity to do some touring,” said Scott Reed, PASS technical director ”There is a lot of interest already. We had 22 different drivers and car owners there [at the meeting] separately. I know of some other teams who couldn’t make it here this weekend
PASS LAUNCHES SPORTSMAN SERIES
PASS has announced a new tour for 2007. The PASS Sportsman Series will hold six races this year – visiting Speedway 95 (ME) twice and making one stop each at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME), Unity Raceway (ME) Riverside Speedway (NH) and Canaan Fair Speedway (NH).
Born and raised in Tampa, FL, the S. Burlington, VT resident earned the nickname of “Tampa Tornado” after garnering considerable on-track success. During his career with the ACT organization, and its predecessors, he amassed a considerable statistical record which includes some 80 victories at tracks across the Northeast and eastern Canada. His won his first Tour race on July 7, 1979 at the former Catamount Int’l Speedway in Milton, VT.
“I wish him luck and would love to be in a position that I could do it,” stated Harmon “Beaver” Dragon, the Series’ 1979-1980 Champion. “I don’t think it’s going to be quite as easy (for him) as it was before. The guys have come a long way – the competition is very equal. But don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he can still drive. And he was the best, the smoothest driver by far. And smooth goes fast.”
Dragon, who frequently attends ACT Tour events to cheer on his son Brent, a perennial title contender, continued, “I learned a lot from watching Robbie over the years. He taught me a lot of things that he doesn’t know he did.”
Jean-Paul Cyr, who tied Crouch’s record of most championships won following the 2006 campaign, is excited about the prospect, “I think it’s awesome! I’m looking forward to racing against him since I haven’t had the opportunity in the past. Having a driver of his caliber on the track will certainly add a new dimension.”
The Milton, VT resident continued, “Brian, Robbie and I have all had the same battles for championships but none of us raced during the same years, never against each other. It’s quite possible that none of us will win (the championship). Ironically, we all seen to have similar attitudes and on-track mentality. We want to win but inherently know when to act upon the limitations of a given night.” The 41 year-old racer paused then added, “This could create a lot of questions.”
Three-time ACT title holder, Ontario’s Junior Hanley concurred, “I’m glad he’s doing it (getting back in a race car).” Hanley, the 1991-92-93 champion, has been out of the driver’s seat since a back injury suffered in a severe wreck. He stated that he too, still has the desire to get behind the wheel.
Robbie Crouch (ACT Photo)
The PASS Sportsman Series is designed to be an entry-level point for tour racing. (Norm Marx Photo)
Turner, Maine’s Mike Rowe, reportedly has a new ACT late model under construction. The 1994 Champion, who is most likely to encounter Crouch at his home track, Oxford Plains Speedway, remarked, “That’s awesome news. It’ll be great to have him back, that (Storey) ride is a good car.” Rowe, with some 150 victories at the 3/8ths mile speedplant to his credit, including three in the historic TD Banknorth 250, added, “He runs pretty good at Oxford.” The 56 year-old racer thought for a moment then recalled, “The last time I ran against him there he was so far out front I couldn’t even see him.”
Brian Hoar, a five-time champion who announced his own return to the ACT Series last November
commented, “I was a big Robbie Crouch fan growing up although I couldn’t mention it since my uncle was Bobby Dragon’s crew chief. To put it bluntly, I’m excited as hell about this news! Imagine there will be 17 years worth of champions competing in each Tour race, more if Mike (Rowe) brings his car.”
Hoar continued, “I’m certainly not going to let my guard down due to his age and the fact that he’s taken time off. I’ve been racing against Dave Dion and he’s still competitive. Technically, since I was born on a leap year, I’m just 8½ years old, maybe youth and inexperience can overcome old age and treachery,” he finished with a laugh.
Crouch and his fellow ACT competitors will open the 2007 season at Oxford on Saturday, April 28. He will return to Barre, Vermont’s Thunder Road a track where he has a multitude of wins on Sunday, May 6 for the track’s 48th season opener, the Merchants Bank 150.
“My biggest concern is to get qualified. I’ve been working out five days a week for three months to try and prepare myself mentally and physically,” Crouch explained. “I’m hopeful I can get rid of the rust quickly.”
COASTAL 200 COMES BACK
The Coastal 200 had long been a staple of the Wiscasset Speedway (ME) season, but had fallen over the schedule in recent years. The race will be back in 2007 though, with a scheduled date of May 27th. The Coastal 200 will feature Late Models competing for a winner’s purse of $10,000.
NE MOTORSPORTS EXPO BREAKS UP WINTER OFF-SEASON
Jean-Paul Cyr has made the ACT Late Models his playground recently, tying Crouch's record for championships.
New England’s race show season kicked off last weekend with the Northeast Motorsports Expo in Augusta, Maine. Traditionally (before the Internet), fans have been able to collect track and tour schedules for the first time at show. They are also been able to mete and mingle with drivers from the PASS ranks, ACT Late Models, Busch East Series and local tracks. Racers also get the chance to see each other during a long off-season
This year, there were plenty of faces at the show. Busch East rookie Joey Logano was on hand, Katie Hagar appeared in the Busch East Scene booth and ACT’s Dave Wilcox made the trip to the show from Vermont. The PASS booth was also a big draw – with 2006
Northern, Southern, Outlaw and Modified champions Johnny Clark, Mike Rowe, Derek Ramstrom and Chris Staples leading a long list of attendees that also included Ben Rowe, Cassius Clark, Trevor Sanborn, Jeremie Whorff, Bill Whorff and Chris Kennison.
A good time was had by both those who know the show well and those who visited it for the first time.
“This show has always been a big deal,” said Cassius Clark. “I remember coming here as a kid. Actually, I was talking to a guy earlier who had some video of me as a kid here. Dale Earnhardt was here and at the time, my father [Billy Clark] was racing [in the Busch North Series] for Skoal, so he was here along with Harry Gant. They were all up in a room signing autographs and I was standing there too. I got the guy’s business card, so I can see the tape. I think that would be pretty neat.”
“This is only my second time in Maine,” said show rookie Logano. “I went to Kennebunkport once and I was probably about seven years old. I can barely remember it. All that I remember is walking along the beach and collecting sand dollars. I’m bummed out that there was no snow [temperatures were a very un-winter-like 60 degrees], but it was good to meet new people and see some new faces. It reminds me a lot of [Logano’s home state of] Connecticut being up North again, so that is pretty cool.”
Logano enjoyed his first taste of New England this year, previewing a season where he will race four times in the region with the Busch East tour.
“It will be cool to race near Connecticut and race in front of the family around there. It will be good to see some faces that I haven’t seen in a long time. Some people came up here who I raced against in quarter midgets. It’s probably been at least seven or eight years since I’ve seen them, so it was cool to see them again.”
MAYBERRY NAMED PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
Tom Mayberry of Naples, ME, President of PASS Racing, Inc was named 2006 promoter of the year after balloting by the members of the New England motorsports press corps at the Northeast Motorsports EXPO at the Augusta Civic Center on Friday night January 5, 2007.
Ben Rowe's Richard Moody Racing #4 was on display at the show. (Norm Marx Photo)
At the presentation, Tom was told that he was the overwhelming winner of the balloting because he has done an exceptional job of promoting PASS racing – including the PASS North Super Late Model Series, the PASS Outlaw Late Model Series, the PASS South Super Late Model Series, and the PASS Modified Series.
It was noted that from a meeting in the winter of 2001, Tom has built PASS into a premier touring series for super late model cars in both the north and the south with races from Nova Scotia to South Carolina with over 100 cars participating in the North Series and over 70 in the first year of the South Series. The PASS Outlaw Late Model series was started in 2006 and brought many pro stock cars out of the garage and back to New England tracks as over 70 cars participated in the Outlaw Late Model Series in 2006. The PASS Modified Series has a special place in Tom’s heart and will continue to be part of PASS racing as more cars join the series.
SPEEDWAY EXPO DETAILS RELEASED
The management of SpeedwayEXPO has begun releasing details for the upcoming motorsports expo scheduled for March 2-4, 2007, at the Eastern States Exposition, “Home of the Big E,” in West Springfield, MA. SpeedwayEXPO will occupy the Better Living Center with more than three acres of displays dedicated to the sport of auto racing while the Stroh Building will host the show’s special events for fans, exhibitors and racers. The inaugural EXPO promises something for the entire racing community.
Show hours for the three-day event will allow ample time to enjoy everything that EXPO has to offer. The doors will open to the public on Friday, March 2, at 5:00 PM. The historic first day will conclude at 9:00 PM. Saturday hours will be 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM and Sunday 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Adult general admission is $15.00 per day. Children age 10 and under will be admitted free. Advance discount tickets are available for $10 on-line at www.speedwayexpo.com. SpeedwayEXPO is currently seeking additional retail outlets for advance ticket sales.
The show floor will provide an ideal blend of fan attractions and trade amenities. A broad mixture of cars from tracks around the Northeast will combine asphalt
and dirt stock-car racing with drag racing and other unique forms of motorsports.
The trade portion of the event will be the main attraction for enthusiasts and racers. Vendors of performance parts and accessories will be a major part of SpeedwayEXPO. Confirmed exhibitors currently include Capital Motorsports, Pit Products, Racing Electronics, Reliable Welding and Speed, Seymour Enterprises, VP Racing Fuel, and many more. Show specials will benefit local racers as they prepare for the 2007 season.
The entertainment experience will also feature interactive displays and attractions with professional racing flair. A number of collectibles and memorabilia vendors will be selling their wares.
Events throughout the weekend will satisfy the most ardent fan and diehard racer. EXPO vendors will provide fans the opportunity to engage in both R/C and SIM racing while real-life action will be part of the Pit Crew Challenge scheduled for Saturday night. There will be pedal car races for children and a host of other activities that will be announced in the coming weeks.
Also on tap for EXPO is a comprehensive seminar program aimed at educating, informing and entertaining racers. Topics will include sponsorship, safety, publicity, team management and more. A complete schedule of seminars will be released as soon as possible.
This inaugural EXPO will see a number of noted drivers take center stage as well. A large autograph session is planned for the Busch East and Modified Tour drivers on Saturday, March 3. Huge announcements are expected with other celebrity talent currently being lined up.
A detailed (and daily updated) list of exhibitors, events, attractions and event news can be found on the official show website, www.speedwayexpo.com. The site is the comprehensive source for all show-related information as well as the place to order discount advance tickets.
The Holiday Inn of Downtown Springfield has been named the official EXPO hotel. A discounted rate of $72.00 per night plus any applicable taxes is for EXPO exhibitors and visitors only. Reservations must be made by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, January 30, to qualify for these special room prices. Holiday Inn Springfield offers 242 tastefully designed, comfortably appointed sleeping rooms with all the standard amenities. For reservations call 413-781-
0900 or log on to www.hispringfield.com. To get the discount rate, reference SpeedwayEXPO. For reservations made on-line, use the group code “EXP.”
SpeedwayEXPO will continue a tradition that was developed and nurtured for many years through dedication to the racing community. For more information on SpeedwayEXPO log on to www.speedwayexpo.com or call 978-465-9099. For exhibitor information contact Cal Green at 978-677-7270 or email@example.com. For information on events contact Dale Wolbrink at 508-847-0565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
JENNERSTOWN DROPS NASCAR
Jennerstown Speedway officials announced that the half-mile asphalt oval will withdraw from the NASCAR sanctioned weekly series program for the 2007 racing season.
The Somerset County speed plant had been affiliated with NASCAR since 1987, one year following the paving of the track by the late Stanley (Piney) Lasky Sr.
“We want to clearly point out that there is no animosity between Jennerstown and NASCAR,” said track General Manager Larry Mattingly. “NASCAR has been a great partner for 19-years, and has helped increase Jennerstown’s growth, both regionally and nationally.
“NASCAR has instituted a new business model regarding its grass roots weekly series program, however, that plan doesn’t fit the goals Jennerstown is attempting to accomplish this year,” he said. “That’s not to say the NASCAR plan is ’bad ‘per say; it just isn’t a good fit for Jennerstown at this point in time.”.
Along with the decision to withdraw from NASCAR, Mattingly also added that the 2007 weekly schedule
would be released within the next two weeks.
“With the NASCAR decision behind us, we can now concentrate on preparing for the upcoming racing season.”
HARRY GORDON PASSES AWAY
Harry Gordon, father of former ASA and current NASCAR Busch East Series driver Tracy Gordon, has passed away at the age of 70. Gordon was a lumberman in Strong, Maine – located in the Western Mountains of the state. He was proudly serving on the board of selectmen for the town of Strong and was scheduled to receive a surprise honor from the Strong Business Alliance and the town of Strong on Jan. 17, at their annual meeting for his dedication to his business and the Strong community.
ALLISON LEGACY SERIES PUTS OUT ’07 SCHEDULE
The Allison Legacy North Race Series (ALNRS) has released its 2007 schedule. Series Director, Michael A. Vasquez, Sr., prefaced the schedule by saying, “We will be returning to some of the best short tracks in New England.” The second year touring series will travel to six racetracks across three states.
Three-quarters of the stops will take place in the Granite State. The 17-race docket brings the Series back to several of the tracks it visited during its inaugural season including Monadnock Speedway (NH), Lee USA Speedway (NH), Londonderry Raceway (NH), and the Waterford Speedbowl (CT).
New for 2007 is All-Star Speedway (NH) ¬ formerly known as Star Speedway ¬and Bethel Motorsports Park (NY) ¬ formerly known as Catskill Mountain Speedway.
Vasquez, Sr. continued, “As the schedule is it will give competitors plenty of time off and will give those who want to run south the time to do so.”
Of the 17 events, 13 will be run in the customary ALNRS format: two 8-lap heats and one 30-lap feature, two will set the field via time trials, and the qualifying method for the other two is to be announced.
The first green flag of 2007 will wave on March 31 at the historic Waterford Speedbowl. For the second consecutive season, the stars and cars of ALNRS will begin their season on Connecticut¹s shoreline with the Modified Nationals. Following a four-week layoff, the high banks of Monadnock Speedway will play host to ALNRS for 30-laps of action.
The month of May has three races on its card. The first is May 5, a date in which ALNRS competitors will invade All-Star Speedway. Two weeks later, teams will make the short trek down Route 125 to Lee USA Speedway. The last event scheduled in the month of May is at the 1/4-mile bullring ¬ Bethel Motorsports Park (BMP). The May 27 event is a Memorial Day celebration and will showcase ALNRS¹ stars for 75 circuits in the Honoring Our Heroes 75.
June will be a quiet month for ALNRS teams with only two races on the slate. June 2 will be the second of four visits to Monadnock Speedway. Twenty-one days will be the space between the June 2 event and the race program scheduled on June 23 at the former Star Speedway. The June visit will be the second of four occasions in which All-Star Speedway and track owner Bobby MacArthur will open its doors to ALNRS.
The Midseason Championship is set for July 15 at Londonderry Raceway. The Series will be returning to the facility in 2007 for a special 100-lap points race. Friday night July 20 ALNRS will be on hand along with Lee¹s six NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions. Saturday, July 28, the other New Hampshire seacoast speedway, All-Star Speedway, will be the object of ALNRS race teams¹ attention.
ALNRS will accompany Monadnock¹s six NASCAR weekly divisions on August 4. Festivities will include an on-track party, two 8-lap heats, and one feature which will take ALNRS drivers around the banks of the 1Ž4-mile 30 times. The summer schedule will conclude with the final Friday night trip to the Route 125 speedplant, Lee USA Speedway, an affair scheduled for Friday night August 24.
September 9 at Monadnock Speedway, September 22 at the Waterford Speedbowl, and September 29 at All-Star Speedway will begin the last leg of the season with final visits to each of the aforementioned tracks.
Two high caliber shows will wrap up the 2007 season. A 100-lap event at Bethel Motorsports Park begins the month on October 13. ALNRS will conclude its second season on New Hampshire¹s 3/8-mile high-banked oval. Time trials will set the field for Sunday¹s 30-lap event at Oktoberfest ¬ the 17th and final race of the 2007 season.
To view the full schedule, log onto the official website of the Allison Legacy North Race Series, www.allisonlegacynorth.com, and click on 2007 schedule.
The PASS racers were all lined up at Augusta. (Norm Marx Photo)
Tom Mayberry (L) stands with his award and PASS North standout Ben Rowe. (R). (Norm Marx Photo)
There will be plenty of cars to check out at the Speedway EXPO.
When it comes to show season, some teams really step up to showing off their goods.
Jennerstown Speedway from the air. (Jennerstown Speedway Photo)