Late Model Roundup - Presented By Five Star Racecar Bodies
Our New Format - With All of the Tours From A to W
ACT Late Models - Is it racing season yet? Okay, just kidding. After 39 events (combining all Thunder Road and American-Canadian Tour race dates), a little break is nice to have, but a part of us still wishes there was a race going on somewhere. Actually, come to think of it, the annual Oktoberfest is at Lee USA Speedway (NH) this weekend, with Late Models on the 10-division “open comp” card. Brent Dragon and Ryan Vanasse were said to be “thinking about it” so it looks like we’ll have to check the results next Monday.
Keep in mind that Thunder Road Champion Dave Pembroke, ACT Late Model Tour campaigner Jamie Aube, and ACT Tour/Série ACT Castrol part-timers Mike Lavoie and Ryan Nolin have run successfully at Lee USA this season.
Against the likes of Ricky Wolf, Jeff Labrecque, Keith Larmie, Bryan Kruczek, Jeremy Harclerode, rookie hotshot Miles Chipman, and back-to-back Track Champion J.R. Baril, things could get very interesting this weekend. It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Oxford Plains Speedway’s T.J. Watson, who ran well in a handful of events at Lee late in the year, make the trip.
Speaking of Vanasse, he was headed toward the win in the D. Anthony Venditti Memorial at Seekonk Speedway last weekend before a spin out of the lead sent him to the rear. He finished 12th when all was said and done.
ACT Quebec Series – Five Star RaceCar Bodies of Twin Lakes, WI will award one stock car body (Five Star Package A) to a randomly selected Série ACT Castrol driver at the series’ Banquet of Champions in Drummondville, QC. on Saturday, November 17. The prize, valued at over $1,500, will be given to one of fifteen drivers that participated in all 12 Série ACT Castrol events during the 2007 season. Champion Patrick Laperle of St-Denis, QC. is among the drivers eligible to win the Five Star body. A long-time Five Star product user, a picture of one of Laperle’s race cars is featured on the Five Star website at www.fivestarbodies.com.
ARCA Trucks - Rocklin, California's Justin Marks is a familiar face on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour, but the decision to run Saturday's Champion Credit Union 50 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series race at Toledo Speedway proved to be fruitful endeavor.
Marks passed Nick Gullatta on lap 42 of 50 to earn his career first victory in the regionally touring series.
"I really want to thank Norm and Gene Weaver for giving me the opportunity to drive the truck," said Marks.
"I think we've been in the position to win every time I've raced a truck with these guys and it has finally happened. Hopefully, we learned something that we can use in tomorrow's ARCA RE/MAX Series race. Construct Corps has been great this season and I really want to thank them for allowing me to drive this truck."
Gullatta, who settled for sixth after leading the majority of the race, qualified his No. 31 Thomson Automotive-Enerco-Mr. Heater Chevy Colorado on the pole during a 2BKool qualifying session earlier in the day. He led until lap 41 when he was clipped by the No.11 Dan Cava Toyota World Toyota driven by Rob Jones. The contact left Gullatta's bumper barely attached to his truck but some tricky maneuvering around the .5-mile oval allowed him to loosen the debris, thereby avoiding a trip down pit road and preserving his lead briefly. Marks passed Gullatta for the lead and eventual win on the restart. Steve Christman finished second, followed by Steve Cronenwett, Robbin Slaughter and Paul Hahn.
Additional drivers eligible to win the body are Série ACT Castrol championship runner-up Sylvain Lacombe and his younger brother, Martin, Rookie of the Year Éric St-Gelais, three-time event winner Alexandre Gingras, Daniel Bergeron, Yvon Bédard, Claude Leclerc, Jean-François Déry, Dany Ouellet, Steven Boissonneault, Karl Allard, rookie Jonathan Desbiens, Marc-André Cliche, and Jacques Poulin.
Five Star RaceCar Bodies supported the Série ACT Castrol in 2007, awarding $75 in product certificates to the winner of each of the 12 events, and an additional $25 to the 12th place finisher at each race. Among the recipients were Laperle, both Lacombe brothers, Gingras, Bergeron, Ouellet, Stéphane Legault, Jacob McGrath, and event winners Donald Theetge and Mike Lavoie.
The Série ACT Castrol Banquet of Champions will be held on Saturday, November 17 at the Best Western Hotel Universal in Drummondville, QC. The ticket order deadline is Monday, October 29. To order tickets, call (802) 244-6963.
Ryan Vanasse (#11) and Brent Dragon (#55) are both said to be thinking about going to Lee USA Speedway's Oktoberfest. (Alan Ward Photo)
Bill Withers finished eighth in the No. 57 Mannings USA-Hall Electronics-Wacholz engines Ford and in doing so, clinched his second career ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series championship.
"I can't tell you how relieved I am," said Withers. "At the beginning of the race, we had backed up to 13th, and I knew we had to do better. But when you're trying to be conservative, and not wreck, that can be challenging. But this is the best feeling; I'm just so relieved. I'm going to enjoy this championship more than the first. And next year, we're coming back to do the same, and win some more races too."
The 2007 title marks Withers' second career championship in the regionally touring series. He earned his first championship during the series' inaugural season in 1999 and is the only driver on the tour who has competed in every single ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series event.
ASA Late Model Challenge Series – Travis Dassow is the 2007 ASA Late Model Challenge Series champion.
ASA Late Model North Series - After completing the 2007 points season in the ASA Late Model Series Northern Division Presented by GM Performance Parts, Lorz Motorsports is now looking ahead at the 2008 campaign and hope some late season races will give the team some much needed momentum heading into next season.
Lorz Motorsports will enter the final two ASALMS Southern Division Races of the 2007 season as the team will be making the trek South beginning at the Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway, located Northwest of Charlotte and Hickory in Newton, North Carolina for the Meet the Stars 125 on Saturday October 20, 2007.
The Prairie State based team is looking straight ahead to the 2008 season by bringing two new drivers with them; Algonquin, Illinois driver, Josh Lane, and Auckland, New Zealand stand out, Michael Pickens.
ASA Late Model South Series - Saturday, October 27, 2007, The ASA Late Model South Series will be back at The Historic Birmingham International; Raceway at the Alabama State Fairgrounds. The Alabama 125 will bring to close the 2007 season for the Lexington, Michigan based Late Model Series. B I R is proud to be the only track that will host two of these exciting events.
Justin Marks takes the ARCA Trucks checkers at Toledo. (Robert Costanzo / ARCA Photo)
Patrick Laperle's #91. (ACT Photo)
There will be an open practice on Friday,October 26 from 5 PM til' 9 PM for all divisions.
ASA Northwest Tour - Ron Bennett, series administrator, for the ASA AERO EXHAUST Northwest Tour series, announced there will be a, open late model stockcar only, practice at Pacific Raceways set for Friday October 19th - cost is $50 for car and driver and $5 for crew - Set from 9:00 - 4:00 - contact Tracie at 253-797-7350 - Practice is to help teams prepare for ASA Aero Exhaust Northwest Tour event to be held at Pacific Raceways in 2008.
Blizzard SLM Series – Eddie Mercer won the finale Blizzard Series event of the season, while Steve Carlson locked up the 2007 championship. CLICK HERE FOR RACE STORY
Carquest Maritime Pro Stock Tour - Maritime Pro Stock Tour Limited declared Shawn Tucker of Fredericton, NB the 2007 CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour Champion. Tucker finished ahead of Shawn Turple and Wayne Smith in the standings after the 10-race season.
CRA Super Series – Ryan Lawler put his name in the history books by winning Sunday’s Winchester 400.
ISCARS Dash Series - Johnny Chapman survived challenges from Danny Bagwell, Eric Wilson, Justin Hobgood, and the rest of the ISCARS field to win the Dukes of Hazzard Fans 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) recently. Joey Miller was second and closed in on points leader Danny Bagwell after Bagwell's problems late in the event. Randy Humphrey was third.
McCord's #9 leads the way at Music City.
Georgia Asphalt Series – Bubba Pollard won at Senoia Speedway (GA).
Goodyear Challenge Series - A twenty-car field rolled into DeSoto Super Speedway (FL) for the 100-lap Goodyear Challenge Series race andyoung Drew Brannon took the fast time with a 15.099. Following Brannon in qualifying were Justin Larson coming off his second place run in the AACS. Third fast was Joe Winchell, fourth point’s leader Doug Moff and fifth A.J.Curelli.
A zero pill was drawn in the pits leaving the field the way they qualified for the race. The drop of the green had Brannon and Larson going side by side for the first several laps. Larson would slip up and allow quite a few cars by before spinning in turn four. He came into the pits and returned starting from the rear of the field.
Brannon meanwhile was challenged several times for the lead by veteran racer Joe Winchell but was able to hold him off for the victory, Winchell was second, third was
Curelli, fourth was Moff . Larson put on a show for the fans as he roared back to the front to take fifth.
2007 ARCA Truck champion Bill Withers (Robert Costanzo / ARCA Photo)
20-year-old Loxahatchee, Florida native Jeff Choquette is currently leading the ASALMSS points in both the Regular and Rookie of the Year standings. He goes into the next event at Hickory Motor Speedway with a 93 point lead over Longwood Florida's Brandon Johnson on October 20th. Beau Slocumb, winner of the Crimson 125 on July 14th at B I R, sits third. The Juliet, Georgia driver leads all ASALMSS drivers with two wins in the 2007 season. Lakeland, Florida's Chris Fontaine and Watkinsville, Georgia's John Wes Townley round out the top five.
The Rookie of the Year is also going to be crowned on October 27th. Jeff Choquette is in line to become a double champion, as he currently sits atop the points in both standings. Brandon Johnson is second and Chris Fontaine is third. Margate, Florida driver Brian Blum sits fourth and Michael Seeright from Haines City, Florida round out the top five.
B I R is proud to host the ASA Late Model South Series for two events this year. If the Alabama 125 is as competitive at the Crimson 125 was, then race fans will see 28 of the nations top late model drivers compete on the nation's toughest short track.
Late Models - After twenty-eight years, the traditional season ending race was brought back to life this year at the Music City Motorplex, the Southern 300. In addition to the glory of winning the Late Model portion of the historic race, the winner received the first annual Bobby Hamilton Memorial Cup, a tradition that the Motorplex intends on continuing for many years to come. The winner of the magnificent award, Skip McCord.
After setting the fast time for the Town N Country Ford Late Model 200 in Saturday’s qualifying session, McCord’s time was disallowed for a minor problem with an engine part. On Sunday, McCord fixed the problem and started the two hundred lap race from the twenty-first position.
Leading the field down to the green flag was DW Shacklett and Mark Day. Day jumped out to an early lead, but Shacklett, Clay Greenfield, Josh Weston and Wade Buttrey stayed right on his rear bumper. The three cars to watch in the first portion of the race were Sterling Marlin, Willie Allen and Skip McCord, battling their way up through the field.
By lap forty six, Marlin had made his way into the top ten just before a mechanical problem forced him to retire from the race. On lap sixty a huge wreck on the back straight brought the field to caution pace. Josh Byrns, Lindsay Daniels, Steadman Marlin, Mike Murray and Tony Ussery were all involved in the scary accident. Although several drivers suffered heavy damage, all driver walked away unhurt.
Once the field got back underway, Day remained the leader followed by Shacklett, McCord, John Earheart and Allen. Another scary accident occurred on lap eight-two that brought the field to a red flag. This accident involved Ussery, TW Fisher, Weston, Davey Coble and Day. Day, Fisher, Coble and Ussery were all forced to retire from heavy damage.
Greenfield took command of the field on the restart followed by Shacklett, McCord, Earheart and Mark Montgomery. Greenfield began to pull away from the other leaders just before another caution fell for a spin by Ed McClain on lap one-hundred. Greenfield led the way until lap one-hundred and forty-six when Shacklett took the top position. Shacklett led McCord and Allen through lap traffic until a caution fell on lap one hundred and fifty nine when Tommy Climer’s car slowed to a stop on the back straight. During the caution, nearly all the leaders hit pit road to change tires.
McCord and Shacklett decided to take four tires which put them behind Allen on the restart. Allen led until McCord pulled his car to front on lap one hundred and seventy four. McCord never looked back and crossed the finish line taking the victory in the twenty-third running of the Southern 300.
Allen came home second followed by Shacklett, Daniel Pope II and Montgomery rounded out the top five. McCord celebrated in victory lane after his first career late model win by hoisting the Bobby Hamilton Cup high into the air.
Late Model Stock Cars - South Boston Speedway will close out its 2007 season on Saturday, October 27 with the SoBo 300 NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race. The 300 lap, 120-mile feature race is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start.
MAARA - Mark Bliss added his name to the 2007 list of Mid-Atlantic Asphalt Racing Alliance (MAARA) late model winners, by racing to a convincing victory in the 100-lap series finale Saturday evening, September, 15th at Lake Erie Speedway.
PASS Outlaw Late Models - The PASS Outlaw Late Models were up for 100 green-flag laps of action on Saturday at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH).. The #66X of Mike Fowler and the #57 of Zig Geno brought the 24 car field to the green. Things almost went really badly for #44 of Jim Rosenfield as he and the #01 of Joe Decker got together coming off turn four on lap one, but both kept going without bringing out the yellow.
On lap 36, the leaders were already lapping cars, but the #72 of Brian Whitney, who was only eight points behind Rosenfield for the North Division championship, and Ryan Nolin of Georgia, VT in the Mountain Air Systems #78 in his first PASS Outlaw Series outing were not about to give up their side-by-side battle for the leaders. But, after a ten lap battle, Fowler squeezed by the two coming out of turn four and put them both down a lap.
At the halfway mark, it was Fowler, the #53 of Alan Wilson, and the #23 of D. J. Shaw. On lap 55, the leaders had to scramble into the infield grass as the #20 of Brian Henry and the #87 of Dave Bitondo tangled in turn three. Several lapped cars scrambled by the leaders as they came across the grass on the frontstretch and moved to the back of the field on the restart.
A quick spin by Mike Thomas in the #25 brought out the fourth yellow of the day on lap 58, but Thomas got it going in front of the leaders and saved himself a lap. Fowler jumped out again to the lead on the restart. Wilson took to the outside to challenge Fowler, but D J. Shaw took the open low line and took over second. Wilson doesn’t give up that easily, however, and at lap 75 he took second back from D. J.
On lap 80, Donnie Lashua in the #21 saw an end to a good day as he coasted to a stop in turn two bringing out yellow number five. Young Shaw spun in turn four on lap 82, and several cars dodged around him as the young gun kept it going but lost several spots.
With ten laps to go, it was still Fowler, Wilson, with Matt Lee in the #00 making it a three-way battle. A quick debris yellow at lap 91 saw Fowler take off again to a three car length lead. On lap 93, the great run of Wilson went bad as he and Lee tangled off turn four with several cars behind them including the #57 of Geno, the #55 of Jimmy Renfrew, and the #15 of Chris Wilk all getting caught up in the wreck. Lee drove off quickly to maintain second, but Wilson was done for the day.
Fowler went out to the lead again. Lee couldn’t catch him over the last seven laps, and Fowler claimed his first PASS Outlaw win after running well in many races, but not having the luck to close it out. This time he was the class of the field and made it all work.
Rosenfield avoided trouble after his lap one scare and brought home the PASS Outlaw Series Combo title for the Middleboro, MA veteran after he claimed the Central title last year. And, as a bonus, he also claimed the North Division title, but gave up the Central crown to Walt Hammond.
PASS North SLM – The PASS North season finale took place this past weekend at White Mountain Motorsports Park. Cassius Clark won the race, while Ben Rowe won the championship. CLICK HERE FOR RACE STORY
PASS South SLM – Next up for the PASS South Super Late Model Series is the Howler at Greensville-Pickens Speedway on October 27th.
PASS Sportsmen - After his top five finish in the Wildcat race on Sunday at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH), Lyman McKeage settled in to watch his son Dan try to claim the first PASS Pullen Sportsman Series title. Dan McKeage started on the pole as a result of his win in his heat race in the silver #38 with a 33 point lead over second place runner Jerry Harrison. Unfortunately, Harrison started at the back of the field and had a long way to go to catch McKeage.
McKeage went out to the lead followed by Boe Green, the Lee USA Speedway Sportsman champion. The laps clicked off quickly with a few minor spins that didn’t bring out the yellow as everyone kept going, and at the halfway mark in the 50 lapper, down from the scheduled 75 because of the threat of rain, McKeage was safely out front. But the battle for second to sixth was intense, with the #9 of Mike Davis, the #8 of Clyde Hennessey, Jr, the #40 of Mike Landry ,the #18K of Justin Karkos, and #93 of Green all running nose to tail.
As good as it was in the first half, things went south quickly after halfway. On lap 26, Shane Tatro in the #7 came to a stop in turn four bringing out the yellow, putting a sour note on a strong season-long run for Tatro. On lap 30, everything went bad for eight competitors in a big mid pack tangle on the backstretch. The #68 of Jonathan Ledger got the worst of it as he sat there with his hat exposed to the clouds and his roof dangling off the rear deck. The #60 of Tommy Smithers, one of the original participants in the wreck slid all the way from the backstretch to the frontstretch and kept on going. The #66 of Ernie Wallace, Jr, the #28 of Steve Heinz, the 21X of Jason Welch, the #2 of Robert Emery, Jr, the #10 of Steven Bly, and the #64 of Robbie Bodwell were all involved.
After the red flag was lifted, some of the participants got going on there own and others went off on the hook. On the restart, Hennessey in the #8 got the jump on McKeage, but the #38 was too much to handle and McKeage took the lead back down the backstretch.
With ten to go, it was McKeage, Landry in the #40 up to second, Hennessey, Karkos, Davis, the #47 of Nate Weston trying to hold on to third in the points over Landry, Duane Seekins in the #19S, and the #35X of Kris Watson. Weston needed to get around the #9 of Davis to cement his position and he almost waited too long as he made the successful move with six to go.
At the checkers, it was McKeage, Landry, Hennessey, Karkos, and Weston. After a first class smoke show by McKeage, he and runner up Harrison exchanged high fives out the windows on the frontstretch.
SRL - The SRL points championship came down to the last race of the season and the results of the Mid Valley Iron and Metals 100 at Altamont Raceway Park made it even more interesting right up to the end. Short track legend Dave Byrd held on to take the 2007 SRL points championship, Bryan Herzog held his points lead over Todd Bammer to win the 2007 rookie of the year honors. Rookie Porter Smith had his strongest performance of the year getting his first ever SRL main event win after beating out Troy Ermish at lap 96 after a hard fought battle.
Sunbelt SLM – The Sunbelt Super Late Model Series will return to action on October 27th at New Smyrna Speedway (FL).
Super Late Models – All-Star Speedway (NH) will host the $10,000-to-win All-Star Pro Stock Nationals on Saturday night.
Superpro – To visit the website of the Rivernut Superpro Late Mode Series, PLEASE CLICK HERE
UARA-STARS - The “FAIRBORN EQUIPMENT 150” should have all the excitement a fan could wish for. Mark Setzer, Ross Furr and B.J. Mackey know what pressure is. Each driver has two major thoughts in their minds: 1. Winning the race and 2. Being the point leader when the night is finished. The STARS are coming down to the wire with two races left and the championship is up for grabs.
Setzer will lead the group with a mere 23-point lead over Ross Furr coming into Concord. Mackey is hot on their trail with just 33 points separating him and Setzer and only 10 points between him and Furr.
Furr has high hopes of winning at Concord, which he considers his home track but never fear, Setzer and Mackey will not give in easily. Setzer will come into Concord with an average finish of 7.36. Mackey has an average of 7.5 and Furr has an amazing 5.31 finish. Furr had a difficult time early in the season at Hickory and only completed a heat race thus him being third in points at this time.
Matt DiBenedetto who is now fourth in the Championship Point race appears to have the Melling Select Rookie of the Year award tightly snug in his pocket. DiBenedetto has a 218-point lead over second place contender Daniel Pope II. Pope would have to basically lead the most laps and win the next two events with DiBenedetto having two DNS in order to take the title from him. Hats off to DiBenedetto.
Darrell Wallace, Jr. who is showing great promise was given the Melling Select Rookie of the Race Award at Greenville Pickens at our last event. Wallace however does not qualify for that award in 2007. Wallace is in his pre-rookie run and plans to run for Rookie of the Year in 2008. UARA rules allow a rookie to compete in up to 6 events the prior season and still be eligible for Rookie of the Year the following season. Wallace should be a tough competitor for that position next year. Wallace began his debut season with the STARS at Tri County Speedway in September and has really wowed the fans and his fellow racers. He will definitely be one to keep your eyes on in 2008.
Rounding out the top fifteen in the point battle at this time are: Lee Tissot, Roger Lee Newton, Alex Yontz, Jake Crum, Clay Greenfield, Lucas Ransone, Daniel Pope II, Kevin Leicht, Mikey Kile, Matt Leicht and Zeke Shell.
Alex Yontz has focused his time on other racing avenues and had Austin Dillon in his car at Greenville and will also be bringing Dillon to Concord. With Yontz not running the final two events, the remainder of the top ten will do some major shuffling as well as the championship chase. At this point it is any man’s game all over the board.
To add to the excitement of the day, several local favorites will be on hand to add to the drama.
Shaun Mangum, Shane Brafford and Concord rookie contender Toby Parese. Several early entries have former Champion Matt McCall, Alex Kennedy, Mike Terry, Andrew Thomas, and Chad Mullis signed up to be on hand.
Running along with the STARS will be the Fast and Furious Fours for 20 laps and Redneck Racers for 25 laps. Maybe Evan Cupples and Todd Bradburry can make it two in a row respectively.
Wisconsin Challenge Series – Nathan Hassleau is the 2007 Wisconsin Challenge Series champion.
Mike Fowler in victory lane at WMMP. (Norm Marx Photo)
Newly-crowned Outlaw champion Rosenfield (Norm Marx Photo)
McKeage in victory lane. (Norm Marx Photo)