Pit fees will be $10, general admission will be $5 per person and the pits will open at 10 a.m.
If the Twin 50s draw a decent field of cars and fans, Whitney said he'll probably run a similar event in a few weeks. But he emphasized that he won't run on the same day as a West Cove Ice Racing Association event, once the season gets started. "I'm basically giving the guys something to do while the ice thickens up," said the track owner.
The only other Northern New England track to run an event this winter was Riverside Speedway in Groveton, N.H. where 46 vehicles showed up to race on Dec. 31. The field included compacts, pickup trucks, old taxicabs and even a mini-van.
For more information about the Bullwinkles Twin 50s, call (207) 343-5904.
SPEEDWAY EXPO UPDATE
In its continuing quest to provide excitement for the entire racing community, SpeedwayEXPO has announced the first of what will be a star-studded line-up of celebrities for the March 2-4, 2007, event. Fans of drag racing will be treated to an autograph session featuring NHRA Superstars Melanie Troxel and Tommy Johnson, Jr., while stock-car enthusiasts will enjoy a visit with the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, NY native Todd Bodine.
On Friday evening Bodine will appear in the Stroh Building for a two-hour autograph session beginning at 5:30. Last season, Bodine ended the family’s championship drought in NASCAR’s “Big Three” by winning the 2006 Craftsman Truck Series championship for the Germain Racing Team. The “Onion,” as he is now affectionately known, drove his Toyota Tundra to a record of three wins, 12 top-five and 16 top-ten finishes to earn Toyota its first NASCAR championship.
In 2007 Bodine and company will look to defend their truck series title while competing in select NEXTEL Cup races with the goal of being “the first Toyota team to win a Nextel Cup race.”
From his start as a racer at the Chemung Speedrome,
in New York, to the days of driving NASCAR Modifieds
in Connecticut, the youngest Bodine brother has gone a
long way. He returns to his roots on March 2 at
Also appearing on Friday night is a dynamic and highly
successful NHRA husband and wife team. NHRA Top
Fuel Dragster driver Melanie Troxel and her equally
talented husband, NHRA Funny Car driver Tommy
Johnson, will be on hand to sign autographs on Friday
night from 6:30-8:30 PM in the Stroh Building.
Voted “Sportswoman of the Year” by The Women's Sports
Foundation, Melanie Troxel tackles the highly competitive
world of NHRA POWERade Drag Racing in the Skull
Shine/Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster for
Don Schumacher Racing. In 2006 Troxel finished fourth in
the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel point standings with two wins, seven runner-up and seven quarterfinal finishes, and a win-loss record of 36-21. She made drag-racing history by opening the season with five consecutive final-round appearances.
With her victory in February 2006 at the Winternationals, in Pomona, CA, Troxel became only the sixth woman in NHRA history to win a Top Fuel event. She was the first female in its 40-year history to be honored by the “Driver of the Year” Foundation
Johnson, driver of the Skoal Monte Carlo Funny Car for Don Prudhomme Snake Racing, finished sixth in final NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings. Like his wife, Johnson scored two wins in 2006. After becoming the youngest driver ever to earn an NHRA competition license, at the age of 15, Johnson has gone on to make a name for himself with victories in Funny Car, Top Fuel and Top Alcohol Funny Car.
The excitement is already brewing for both teams for the 2007 season. Troxel will campaign a Vietnam Veterans’ tribute dragster for 2007, while Johnson will debut a ’07 Chevy Impala SS Funny Car. Each will return to their divisions of NHRA competition in 2007 in search of a title. Troxel looks to join the likes of Shirley Muldowney and Angelle Sampey as the only women to have earned NHRA World Championships.
Fans are invited to meet the Craftsman Truck Series champion-the Onion and the likeable “first couple” of NHRA racing as this fine trio of celebrities sign autographs on Friday evening.
So Bullwinkle's owner Doug Whitney has decided to run a pair of 50-lap Enduro races on his snow-covered track on Saturday, Jan. 27 starting at noon.
The races will be divided into front-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive classes and is open to any body style, said Whitney. Tire chains won't be permitted, but vehicles can have snow tires with up to 13 mm studs. DOT-approved helmets must also be worn.
Lineups will be determined by a random drawing.
"We just got our permits on Friday (Jan. 19), so we're working on sponsorship and purse money during the week. I'm sure we'll come up with something," said Whitney.
“We started thinking about this halfway through our 2006 season. The Busch East Series has been in a transition period, but it’s being more and more tailored for the young development drivers, and I’m not sure that I’m part of that picture as a driver. As an owner, maybe, but not as a driver,” Olsen said.
When Olsen told Car-Freshner Corporation that he was contemplating stepping back, they decided that it was time that they walk away from racing altogether. The relationship they built with Fadden Racing and Mike Olsen is one they feel they will never be able to duplicate.
51's NORTHERN EXPOSUREcompiled by Mike Twist
Another Busch East Vet Re-Evaluates, Racing in the Snow (Again) and More
“We’ll definitely be back in 2007 to defend our title. We’re hoping to go out big,” said Olsen. “It was really hard to make this decision to step away as a full-time driver, but it doesn’t mean I want to get out completely. I’m just giving up point chasing. I may pick and choose a couple of races to compete in, and I am interested in helping the next generation of drivers be successful in this series.”
Olsen got his start in the Busch East Series back in 1989 under the watchful eye of Grandfather Stanley “Stub” Fadden – a veteran racer in the Northeast area. Olsen drove for three full seasons before financial restraints forced him to cut back his schedule.
Car-Freshner Corporation, maker of the world famous “Little Trees” air fresheners for the home, car, and office, partnered with Olsen at the conclusion of the 1995 season and enabled Olsen to establish himself as a full-time competitor once again. Since then, Olsen has become one of the most respected and successful drivers in the series. The 38-year-old North Haverhill, New Hampshire resident currently holds the record for most consecutive starts with 185 and has earned two championships with a career total of six wins, 60 top-five’s, and 129 top-10’s.
OLSEN TO CUT BACK IN BUSCH EAST NEXT YEAR
As the Busch East Series, Grand National Division begins a new chapter with the 2007 race season, defending champion Mike Olsen and the “Little Trees” race team have announced that they will be competing in their last full-time season. Car-Freshner Corporation will also exit from auto racing sponsorship and the duo will conclude a storied 12-year relationship that has included two series titles. As a wise person once said, “There is an end to everything, and to good things as well.”
“Working with Mike Olsen and all of the members of the ‘Little Trees’ race team has been a rewarding experience for Car-Freshner and our employees, but we have no intentions of coming back to the Busch East Series, or any racing series,” said Elizabeth Perry, Vice President of Marketing for Car-Freshner Corporation. “We’ve enjoyed being a part of Mike’s successes, and we wish him well with whatever he wants to do. Without Fadden Racing, NASCAR is just not a viable advertising option for us anymore. The series has changed quite a bit from when we started. These changes by NASCAR have made it very difficult for companies to justify the cost of sponsorship. The fact that Mike was stepping down from
full-time racing made our decision to step away from NASCAR an easy one.”
Olsen is optimistic about defending his Championship title in the 2007 season, and is anxious to get the season in gear.
“We’ll be traveling to a lot of new venues this year, and as a driver, that is very exciting,” said Olsen. “My crew chief and I have already been working hard on the cars to prepare them for the ’07 season. You have to come out of the gate strong with a 13-race schedule. There’s no room for error. We’ve been working hard to get these cars ready, and once we’re done with that, we’ll go over them a second time, and a third time if necessary. We’re not going out quietly.”
CANADIAN EYES ACT CROWN
Reigning ACT Quebec Late Model Champion, Donald Theetge from Boischatel, Qc is the latest title holder to reveal that he will chase the 2007 ACT Tour Championship. Theetge joins Robbie Crouch, a six-time ACT Champion, and Brian Hoar, a five-time winner who have also recently declared their intentions for the coming Late Model stock car season.
Donald Theetge (80) looks under leader Sylvain Lacombe (3) as he runs alongside Jacque Laperle's car. (ACT Photo)
Mike Olsen was the 2006 NASCAR Busch East Series champion.
“I have a new car being built by Paul Michaud, one of Quebec’s preeminent stock car builders, and will also have the car I ran last year,” the 40 year-old racer remarked. “Since the ACT Tour’s schedule starts quite a bit earlier than the Quebec Series, I decided to take a shot at the Championship,” he explained.
Theetge, who scored his first ACT Tour win last year at the 5/8ths mile Circuit Ste-Croix near Quebec City, has admitted he likes the tracks scheduled for the Tour’s opening events, which also played into his decision. The Tour’s first race, on Sat, April 28, is at Maine’s Oxford
Plains Speedway, a 3/8ths mile oval. The Pine Tree state speedplant will host July’s TD Banknorth 250, a $25,000 to win race which the Quebec champion has already entered.
The next events on the Tour schedule include stops at Thunder Road (Barre, VT), Airborne Speedway (Plattsburgh, NY) and two at Ste-Croix, Theetge’s home track. Thunder Road’s 48th season opener, the Merchants Bank 150 on Sun, May 6 will be a vastly different experience for the Quebec racer. The high banked, quarter-mile oval is not comparable to the tracks Theetge is familiar with but his 20+ years of experience should help him find a good set-up.
Airborne, a half-mile speedplant, has been compared to Ste-Croix by many of the ACT drivers who’ve competed at both. Theetge has been to the Empire State track many times and has had positive experiences at the semi-banked oval.
As the defending race winner in the ACT Tour’s event at Ste-Croix, Theetge will be among the favorites when the Tour returns on June 2. He’ll have to keep an eye on reigning ACT champion, Jean-Paul Cyr, second generation driver, Brent Dragon, and Brian Hoar as well as others who run strong at the 5/8ths mile speedway. Also, several Quebec Série drivers including Sylvain and Martin Lacombe, Claude Leclerc, and Karl Allard are expected to challenge Theetge for the victory.
The second ACT Tour event at Ste-Croix is an ACTion Super Series race with a purse of nearly $45,000. The June 23-24 event is on both the ACT Tour and Quebec Late Model Série schedules which means that there should be an impressive contingent of cars attempting to qualify.
“I’m looking forward to the start of the season,” Theetge commented. He continued, “The fact that (six-time champion) Robbie Crouch is returning is great news. He always ran great at Sanair and has had a lot of success. I remember watching him when I was younger and had the opportunity to race against him 10-15 years ago. He is very smooth and patient. It will be good to have him back,” Theetge finished.
FRANK FRASER RETURNS TO THE DRIVER’S SEAT
Canadian great Frank Fraser is planning a return to the driver’s seat in 2007 according to a report in the Halifax Chronicle.
Fraser’s late son Scott was also an accomplished driver in the Martimes and Northern United States. After Scott’s death in a snowmobile accident in 2004, the Fraser team has fielded cars for Sean Turple.
For the full story from the Halifax Chronicle, click here.
BULLWINKLE WAKES UP FROM HIBERNATION
The owner of Bullwinkle's Raceway, a quarter-mile dirt track in Greenville Junction (Me.) didn't plan to open until late spring.
But due to the lack of safe ice on Moosehead Lake, the West Cove Ice Racing Association has been unable to hold any events so far this winter.
Racing in the snow is becoming mroe common in New England these days. (Jamie Williams Photo)
Olsen's #61 team have been familar faces on the Busch North/Busch East circuit for years.
Todd Bodine (L) talks to Southwest Series champion Rip Michels (R) at the NASCAR Banquet in New York. Bodine will continue to stay close to his short track roots at the Speedway EXPO. (NASCAR Photo)