champion Johnny Clark, the 2006 PASS South Super Late Model champion Mike Rowe, the 2006 PASS Modified Series champion Chris Staples, Chris Kennison, Ben Rowe, plus many other drivers from all the PASS series who will be stopping by all weekend long. PASS will also announce their 2007 PASS North Super Late Model schedule at the show.
Pro Cup standout and Busch East rookie Joey Logano will appear at the show courtesy of New England Racing Fuel and Joe Gibbs Motor Oil. He will greet fans and sign autographs on Saturday, January 6th, from 2-4:00 p.m. and 6-8:00 pm.
The Joe Gibbs Racing development driver is excited about his trip up North from his current home in North Carolina.
51's NORTHERN EXPOSUREcompiled by Mike Twist
Pardo is Honored, Shows, Snowmobiles and More
Bob Ramstrom died on December 20th. He was a successful car owner from Massachusetts who fielded the McFee & Newton Modifieds for parts of three decades with drivers such as Mike Weeden, Ron Bouchard and Ken Bouchard. His grandson Derek won the 2006 PASS Outlaw Championship.
Also just before Christmas, Bob “Frito” Santos passed away. A member of the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame, Santos made his mark in Modifieds. He began racing in 1952, but took time off and really started to be successful in the late 1960’s. He drove cars owned by legendary team owners such as Art Barry and Joe Brady to victories throughout New England and the Northeast before breaking his neck in a career-ending 1972 crash.
Santos stayed close to racing through the years thanks to the success of his son Bob, Jr. and grandson Bobby, III (who recently signed a driver development deal to race in the NASCAR Busch Series and ARCA RE/MAX Series for Bill Davis Racing).
NE MOTORSPORTS EXPO SET FOR THIS WEEKEND
Fans in Northern New England will get the chance to do a little bit of bench racing this weekend.
Scheduled for Friday through Sunday (January 5-7) at the Augusta (Maine) Civic Center, the 19th Annual Northeast Motorsports Expo & Trade Show showcases a variety of motorsports entertainment found year round in northern New England, such as stock car and drag racing, ice racing, motocross, truck & tractor pulling, mud runs and road racing, go-kart racing and vintage race cars.
There will be an autograph session on Friday night from 7 to 9pm with 2006 PASS North Super Late Model
RAMSTROM AND SANTOS PATRIARCHS PASS ON
A pair of men with strong ties to the history of racing in New England, and grandsons who are both climbing the racing ladder currently, passed away over the holiday season.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Logano. “It will be great to meet some new fans. I’ve been up there once before when I was really little. I hear that the lobster up there is unbelievable, so I’ll have to try some while I’m up. I’m sure it will be a good time.”
Joining Logano and the PASS drivers will be various race drivers from the Busch East Series ACT Late Models and many area tracks.
PASS TO HOLD MEETING FOR SPORTSMAN TEAMS
There will be an informational meeting for Limited Sportsman/Super Sportsman race teams at 1:30 pm on
Saturday January 6, 2007 in the Hancock Room at the Northeast Motorsports EXPO at the Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, ME regarding a PASS sanctioned six-race series in 2007.
Scott Reed and other PASS officials will be on hand to discuss the series in a question and answer format. The 2007 schedule will also be available, so bring your questions.
The Hancock Room is to the right after you enter the lobby and before you go into the main exhibit area.
PARDO NAMED AS TOP LATINO RACER OF 2006
The entire organization at FitzBradshaw and FitzConteras Racing is celebrating the news that team driver Ruben Pardo has been selected as the Outstanding Motor Sport Driver at the Premios Fox Sports presented by DHL, a ceremony honoring Latino athletes and personalities from the world of sports both on and off the field.
Joey Logano will appear at the Northeast Motorsports Expo.
Both Bobby Santos (Top - Jim DuPont Photo) and Derek Ramstrom (Bottom - 51 Photo) lost their grandfathers recently. Bob Santos and Bob Ramstrom both set the foundations for a pair of racing families.
Pardo, the 2006 NASCAR Busch East Series Rookie of the Year, was overjoyed when he learned he had been chosen as the winner. “This is amazing. It was exciting just to be a candidate for the award. To win it is incredible. Anytime you are mentioned in the same sentence with drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya, Luis Diaz, and Mario Dominguez, it is very special,” the 26-year old said. “I am very proud of the FitzBradshaw and FitzContreras Racing teams, and I am thankful to Armando, Carlos Contreras, our sponsors Family Dollar and Supercuts, and everyone who has made this possible.”
The Premios Fox Sports Presented by DHL were held and taped for television on December 14, 2006, at the Jackie Gleason Theater of Performing Arts in Miami Beach, FL. Pardo was one of five nominees for the award, and the only one who competed full time in NASCAR this season. He won the final race of the season at Lime Rock Park and went on to clinch the Rookie of the Year honors to become the first Latino driver in NASCAR history to hold a title in NASCAR.
Team Owner Armando Fitz was also ecstatic with Pardo’s success. “This is unbelievable. I’m really happy for Ruben and our entire organization. Yesterday, he also picked up the Hispanic Athlete of the Year Award, so he’s had a fantastic week. We’re proud of what we’ve done in the Busch East Series this year,” Fitz beamed. “We’re very thankful to Premios Fox Sports and DHL for their generosity and recognition of Ruben’s efforts this year. We look forward to getting back on the track with Ruben in 2007, as we do plan on entering him in a few Busch Series races in addition to running the full Busch East schedule for the Championship in that series.”
BUSCH EAST SCENE SNOWMOBILE RIDE IS SET
The 8th Annual Busch North Scene Snowmobile Poker Run for Charity will take place on Saturday, February 3rd, at the Rangeley Inn in Rangeley Maine. There will be many NASCAR Busch East Series drivers and team members joining the ride again this year. The ride is open to everyone: teams, fans and all, so make your plans to ride with the NASCAR stars of the Busch East Series today!
Leading the NASCAR Busch East Series drivers and teams that are planning to attend is 2006 Busch East Series Champion Mike Olsen and many of the crewmembers from his #61 Little Trees Race Team.
The day will start out with an optional 11 AM drivers meeting at the Rangeley Inn. Ride credentials can be purchased for $20 at the Rangeley Inn all day and you can ride with the 11 AM group or ride with your own group at any time during the day. You can even purchase more than one ride credential, allowing better odds of holding the winning hand! The $20 ride credential also gets you admission into the full night of entertainment at the Rangeley Inn that evening. There will be dinner
specials and drink specials exclusively for those with a ride credential. The proceeds from the ride will all go to several great charities including the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Maine Special Olympics, Travis Roy Foundation and the Busch East Series Women's Auxiliary and their various charities.
More info will be released as we get closer to the date.
For the third season in a row, Speed51.com plans to be at the ride and will tell you all about racers playing in the snow right here in early February.
ACT REGISTRATIONS POUR IN
2007 is promising to be a breakout season for the ACT Late Model tour and the sheer volume of registrations that the sanctioning body is receiving from both sides of the border proves.
The ACT office reports that the following registrations have recently been turned in:
Francois Adam (St-Pie, Qc), Karl Allard (St-Felicien, Qc), Brooks Clark (Fayston, VT), Andre Coursol (St Jerome, Qc), Jonathan Desbienis (Levis, Qc), Stephane Durand (Quebec, Qc), Chip Grenier (Northfield, VT), Normand Lavigueur (Laval, Qc), Stephane Lecours (Lan Ethcemin, Qc), Eric Lehoux (Ste-Marie Beauce, Qc), Randy Potter (Groveton, NH), Oren Remick (Warner, NH), Kevin Roberge (Levis, Qc), Simon Roussin (Quebec, Qc), Ben Rowe (Turner, ME), Donald Theetge (Boischatel, Qc), and Owen Wimble (Waitsfield, VT).
The annual ACT and Thunder Road Car Show at the University Mall, S. Burlington, VT is slated for March 17-18. The on-track season for the tour kicks off on April 28th at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME).
OXFORD WELCOMES BACK ENDURO RACING
Enduro racing was a staple of the Oxford Plains Speedway schedule in the 1980s and ’90s. In the Enduros’ heyday, more than 200 bare-bones cars of all shapes and sizes lined up three-wide around the historic OPS oval for a long-distance test of nerves, occasional spurts of speed and lots of luck.
All that fun, excitement and unpredictability is back at OPS in 2007.
True, old-fashioned Enduro competition returns to the track four times this season as the main event at Motor Mayhem. The Sunday afternoon events will begin at 1 p.m. on June 3, July 8, August 5 and August 26.
“When we introduced the Oxford Acceleration Series (formerly Summer Series) on Wednesday nights in 1999, many of our traditional Enduro racers headed in that direction as way to race more frequently while keeping their costs at a minimum,” said OPS owner Bill Ryan. “Now our Acceleration Series is bigger than ever, but many drivers and fans also are nostalgic for an old Enduro-style event. In addition to announcing four Enduro race dates, we are making some intriguing changes
designed to create action that is crazier than ever while staying true to the spirit of the old Enduros.”
Motor Mayhem will feature separate, 100-lap races for 4-cylinder and 8-cylinder cars. Because entry lists are expected to be extensive, prospective drivers are invited to register their number today by clicking on the link at www.oxfordplains.com.
In a new twist, drivers will face a variety of on-track challenges. These may include but are not limited to obstacles on the track, water, sand and other elements designed to wreak havoc and create true Motor Mayhem.
The traditional Spectator Drags and Smoky Donut Show will return to Motor Mayhem, along with other special events added to ensure that an unforgettable time is had by all.
Among the OPS racing stars already entered in the 2007 Enduro fray are Billy Childs Jr., Butch Keene, Troy Morse, Skip Tripp, Ben Krauter and Marty Emerson.
CHEMING AND SPENCER JOIN NASCAR FAMILY
John White announced that both of his tracks, Chemung Speedrome and Spencer Speedway will participate in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, formally known as the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series, in 2007.
Drivers at both tracks will have to hold valid NASCAR Competition Licenses to compete. No Spencer or Chemung track license program will be in place at either track for 2007.
“We are extremely proud to make our two tracks part of the NASCAR family of short tracks,” stated track owner John White. “This year our drivers will have an excellent opportunity to challenge, not only for the National Whelen All American title, but the newly revised New York State Championship.”
A driver will be able to use all of the points earned in the primary division at each track within a state to count towards that state’s title. Currently the New York State title looks to come down to someone who runs at Riverhead (Tour-type mods), Holland (SST), Chemung (SST) and/or Spencer (Tour-type mods).
The National title will be determined by a driver’s best 18 finishes from any NASCAR track in the country. The NASCAR Whelen All-American National title race will end on September 30.
“We have already heard from a number of drivers who will be at Spencer on Friday with their modifieds and then at Chemung with their SST Modifieds,” continued White. “The addition of the New York State Title run should help increase the weekly fields at both facilities.”
The NASCAR Whelen New York State title is currently setup to pay $8,000 for first place, $4,000 for second place and $2,000 for third place in points.
“These amounts could increase depending on other tracks in New York participating in the Whelen All-American Series program,” continued White.
Currently plans call for a season opening practice session at Spencer on May 4, 2007, with the season getting under way the following Friday, May 11.
“We want to make sure our teams have full opportunity to earn points so we have added a Sunday rain date for each Friday show throughout the Spring at Spencer,” White announced. “We would make up a Friday rainout starting at Noon on that Sunday, with our expectation of being done by 5 p.m.. But I want everyone to understand we will be waiting out calling a rainout to the very last minute possible. Last year we were able to save two shows that would have otherwise been canceled by following this ‘Last-Minute’ policy.”
Enduro racing is seeing a rise in popularity throughout New England. (Jamie Williams Photo)