51's Northern Exposure Compiled by Mike Twist
The Wait is Over for the Speedway EXPO, Moving up to ACT, Sponsors and More
SHORT TRACK STARS SHINE BRIGHT FOR SPEEDWAY EXPO
The Northeast is fortunate to be home to two of NASCAR’s strongest regional touring series—Busch East and the Whelen Modified Tour. SpeedwayEXPO, presented by Town Fair Tire, is proud to host the stars of these two top series with an autograph session at 1:00 to 2:30 PM on Saturday, March 3.
best in apparel and memorabilia. In addition there will be a full schedule of special events, racing seminars and activities at SpeedwayEXPO, including autograph sessions with racing celebrities, the Pit Crew Challenge presented by racingjunk.com, pedal-car races and a host of specialty vehicle displays.
On Saturday, 2006 Series champion Mike Olsen and 2006 Toyota All-Star Showdown winner Matt Kobyluck will be joined by Sean Caisse and former champion Dave Dion. Also scheduled to appear are John Freeman, Jeff Anton, Patrick Dupree, Charles Lewandoski and Scott Bouley.
SpeedwayEXPO is set for this weekend at the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield, MA, with more than three acres of indoor space dedicated to motorsports. Fans will find displays from local and regional race tracks and associations, vendors of performance parts, safety equipment, accessories and the
Fearn feels that having Laquerre's services will also benefit the team greatly. "After winning consecutive championships at Thunder Road, and very nearly a third-straight last year, I couldn’t believe that Jeff had no plans for next year. This is a guy that has won championships with every driver he’s ever been with, who leaves that deal?"
Fleury echoed Fearn's praise for Laquerre. "Being involved with Jeff Laquerre is a big advantage for any driver, he's going to teach me a lot."
"It should be a nice change of pace for Jeff and his guys to go to the track each week and have the support that Shawn and his family provide," Fearn continued. "He's the most talented mechanic in New England, and I feel lucky to have him on board." In addition to his work with Fleury, Laquerre will also maintain a Fearn-owned car to be driven by former Thunder Road champion Tracie Bellerose of Gorham, NH in selected events.
Fleury's 2007 campaign will be supported by the Vermont Army National Guard, Ultramar HomEnergy, and the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, Central Vermont's leading daily newspaper. Additional support will be provided by Classic Auto in Montpelier, David Heath Photography, and ESPN Radio.
"I think with the support we have, and the combination of my family team and Jeff's crew, we should have a very good year," Fleury predicted. "I've never driven equpiment as nice as what Scott is providing me, and I think that after I re-adjust to the more powerful Late Model car, we will be a front-running team. I would like to win a couple of races, I don't think that that's out of reach."
“The best advertising dollars this business spends each year are with the Street Stocks at Thunder Road,” Allen continued. “We get more bang for our buck from the track than in any other area of our advertising and we have the race fans and competitors to thank for that. We are very much looking forward to another great year up on Quarry Hill”
Allen Lumber operates five locations throughout the state, including Barre, Montpelier, St. Johnsbury, Waitsfield, and Allen’s Kitchen and Bath Showcase, the newest location, also in St Johnsbury. Since 1888, Allen Lumber has consistently been on the cutting edge of the industry’s technology, most recently in areas such as inventory software and computer-aided design. A full product line of doors, windows, kitchens, baths, and tools is also available. More information can be found at www.allenlumbercompany.com.
Thunder Road, a high-banked quarter-mile oval, will get its 48th racing season under way with the ACT Late Model Tour’s Merchants Bank 150 on Sunday, May 6. In
The Allen Lumber Company, one of Vermont’s oldest family-owned businesses has renewed its support of the Allen Lumber Street Stock division at Barre’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl. The agreement extends a partnership between Allen Lumber and Thunder Road that began in the 1980s, and a relationship that started many years previous.
“My family has been going to Thunder Road since it opened in 1960, and we love it,” said Allen Lumber Treasurer Burnie Allen. “We’re all very excited about the upcoming season; we always have such a wonderful time watching the Street Stocks and the other divisions at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement.”
Allen Lumber’s motorsports background dates back to the 1980s when the company sponsored of ACT drivers Robbie Crouch and Kevin Lepage. A new chapter unfolded in 1989, when they began presenting Thunder Road’s Street Stock division, a tradition that continues in 2007.
MR. DIRT STREET STOCKS GET READY
The start of the first-ever overall Mr. DIRTcar Street Stock Championship is now just over a month away with hopes running high and interest growing deep on both sides of the fence. The addition of Black Rock Speedway, with its season-opener scheduled for Sat., April 7 and the tour finale slated for the same Dundee, N.Y. oval on Sat., October 20, bolsters the initial Mr. DIRTcar Street Stock Super Series to 11 races at six tracks situated throughout Central New York and the Finger Lakes Region.
The overall 2007 Mr. DIRT champion will pocket a $1,000 top-prize while $500 is the winner’s minimum share in each DIRTcar Street Stock Super Series event held. Track owner Dean Hoag has posted $1,000 for the winner of Black Rock’s lid-lifter in April and doubled the first-place payout to $2,000 for the October curtain-closer.
The recent name change to DIRTcar Street Stock puts this DIRTcar Racing entry-level division in line with DIRT MotorSports track affiliates across the country as it creates a common foundation to build from and market the popular weekly racing series more aggressively. In 2007 the national DIRTcar Street Stock point fund will pay a minimum of $3,000 and reward the top-20 places while the New York State point fund boasts at least $500 to the champion.
PETERBILT SIGNS ON FOR NBIS 250
New Brunswick International Speedway is pleased to announce that Peterbilt New Brunswick has signed a multi year deal to sponsor the
Annual NBIS Pro Stock 250. This will be the seventh year for this major event at Canada’s Fastest Short Track.
“This is really a great partnership for us and our customers at Peterbilt” says Peterbilt New Brunswick General Manager Tim Hawkins. “We have had great success marketing our company through NBIS in the past and we are excited about becoming the title sponsor of such a marquee event in this region”.
The 2007 event holds great promise as the event is now the largest Pro Stock event in the Maritimes and the North Eastern US. With both the Pro All Stars Series and CARQUEST Pro Stock Series scheduling Labor Day weekend as an off weekend teams from both sides of the border are making plans to attend the 7th Annual Peterbilt 250.
“We are very excited about the developments over the off season with the two regional touring series scheduling Labor Day weekend off and the addition of the Peterbilt New Brunswick partnership. The Peterbilt 250 is shaping up to be another record setting event”, NBIS Co-owner Steve Burns.
The purse for 2007 will be OVER $60,000 with a possible winner’s cheque of $27,500. This includes a guaranteed $15,000 to the event winner. Four years ago, race winner Scott Fraser took home a record $25,400 including lap money, two years ago Scott Chubbuck claimed $25,150, and not far behind was last year’s winner Lonnie Sommerville claiming $19,550.
The Peterbilt 250 will showcase the NBIS CARQUEST Pro Stocks against the best of the Eastern Canada and the New England. It will include a full day of qualifying capped off by the 7th Annual Peterbilt 250 event Sunday evening. Last season’s event attracted a record 44 cars attempting to qualify for 28 spots on the starting grid. This year should attract an ever bigger field of cars to the Geary woods.
The Peterbilt 250 will remain a one-day event to be held on Sunday, September 2, 2007 as part of SPEEDWEEKEND.
Past Winners of the Peterbilt 250
2006 - Lonnie Sommerville
2005 – Scott Chubbuck
2004 – Shawn Tucker
2003 – Scott Fraser
2002 – Dave O’Blenis
2001 – Kirk Thibeau
After five solid seasons as an upstart Tiger Sportsman racer, Fleury tried his hand in the headline ACT Late Model division in a family-owned car in 1998. He showed signs of brilliance while behind the wheel of a different Late Model car the following season, and nearly captured an upset victory at mid-summer. For his efforts, Fleury was nominated to the "Most Improved Driver" ballot at the season's end. Following 1999, however, a lack of funding kept him sidelined until 2002. Upon his return to the Sportsman class that season, Fleury earned a pair of wins and continued to set the pace through his back-to-back championship seasons.
"Shawn has shown both talent and tremendous discipline the last two seasons, having to start deep in the field each week and finishing races up front," said Fearn of his new driver. "He's patient when he knows he needs to be, and is aggressive when the time is right. Even though 2007 will be our first year together, I’m sure that Shawn can get the job done."
The star-studded session will include a host of drivers from the companion NASCAR Series, the Whelen Modified Tour. Notable participants include nine-time NASCAR Champion and reigning Modified title-holder Mike Stefanik and 2006 Rookie of the Year James Civali. The potent family combinations of multi-time champion Tony Hirschman and son Matt, along with the Blewett brothers, John and Jimmy. Also joining the line-up are former Series Champion Todd Szegedy, Ted Christopher, Donny Lia, Jake Morosz and newly crowned New Smyrna Speedway Champ Eric Beers.
Other drivers from both series may appear during the 90-minute session planned for the Stroh Building.
SpeedwayEXPO is proud to host some of racing’s finest touring series with exhibits from ACT, the International Supermodified Association (ISMA), the Pro All Star Series (PASS), the Modified Racing Series, the Northeastern Midget Association and others. Drivers from each of these organizations will be appearing throughout the weekend.
SpeedwayEXPO tickets are $15 for adults, no charge for children ages 10 and under. Coupons worth $5 off EXPO admission are available at all Town Fair Tire stores. A store locator can be found on townfairtire.com.
For complete information, including the event and seminar schedules, an exhibitor list and driving directions, log on to www.speedwayexpo.com or call 978-465-9099.
FLEURY MOVES UP TO ACT LATE MODELS
Shawn Fleury has little to prove in Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl's NAPA Tiger Sportsman division. After winning the intermediate Sportsman division's track championship in 2005 and 2006, Fleury will wheel an American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model in the weekly Thursday night battles in 2007. Driving for veteran Wilbraham, MA car owner Scott Fearn, Fleury will have multi-time championship winning crew chief Jeff Laquerre of East Montpelier, VT turning the wrenches on his Vermont Army National Guard Chevrolet.
"I'm excited for this year," said Fleury. The 32 year-old Middlesex, VT driver was preparing to challenge for his third-consecutive Sportsman championship when the telephone rang with Fearn's call. "I was very surprised when Scott asked me to drive for him, I had never met him before. I felt very good that I'd made that big of an impression on him."
MAARA MAKES SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENTS
The Mid-Atlantic Asphalt Racing Alliance (MAARA), which consists of six-member asphalt oval tracks in the New York and Western Pennsylvania region, has revised its touring late model schedule for the 2007 season.
The MAARA series will make two stops at the Holland Speedway, Jennerstown Speedway, Lake Erie Speedway and Motordrome Speedway this season, while also visiting Adirondack Int. Speedway, and Lancaster Raceway Park for single events.
The previously announced July date at Adirondack has been moved to May 19. A tentative Sept. 21 Race of Champions event at Oswego Speedway has been cancelled.
T-ROAD RESIGNS STREET STOCK TITLE SPONSOR
Racing shows, like last weekend's Racin' Preview (shown here) are big draws in New England during the long winter. With the number of guests scheduled for the Speedway EXPO, it should be a major event. (51 Photo)
The Street Stocks always put on quite a show at Thunder Road. (Leif Tillotson Photo)