Late Model Roundup - Presented By Five Star Racecar Bodies
All of the Tours From A to W
ACT Late Models – Early reaction to the 2008 American-Canadian Tour schedule has been very positive, giving an indication that there may be even more full-time title chasers next year. A dozen teams gave it the old college try this year, with another nine attempting to qualify for more than half of the 13 races.
Jonathan Desbiens has purchased one of the potent rides from Alexandre Gingras’ shop. Gingras posted three Série ACT Castrol victories in 2007 on his way to finishing third overall. Desbiens finished 15th overall on the series, garnering his first Top 10 finish at Autodrome Chaudière’s PRO-FAB 100 in August.
ARCA Trucks – Bill Withers is the 2007 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series champion.
ASA Late Model Challenge Series – Kansas City, Missouri native, Brad Barlow, who's best known as the Operations Manager of the I-70 (MO) Speedway has joined the ASA Late Model Series staff for the 2008 season.
The 46-year-old will assume the duties of Vice-President of Operations for all three divisions within the ASALMS as well as the USPRO Cup Series beginning with the 2008 season. Barlow brings a wealth of experience to the ASALMS and along with his fiancee', Linda Twyford, who will also join the ASALMS as the new Marketing Assistant, will begin their duties on Monday December 3, 2007.
"I am honored and humbled to be able to work with Ron and Sandy Varney and all those involved in the ASALMS. My goal is to help them continue to grow the series therefore continuing to solidify the ASALMS as the Premier Short Track Racing Series in the country." Stated Barlow when asked about his new position within the Lexington, Michigan based series.
Barlow's responsibilities will include working with ASALMS Co-Founders/Presidents, Ron and Sandy Varney on day to day operations as well as working as the Advance Team with the participating Race Tracks and their Marketing Partners in preparing the facilities for upcoming ASALMS events.
Teams may run duplicate numbers that finished in the top 20 (only) of the 2007 final points but will be required to add the first letter of their last name or a number issued by the ASAMT directly behind or in front of the door displayed number and in the form of a 5” inch block letter. Teams outside the top 20 will be issued a car number on a first come first serve basis for their request. All numbers will be available after December 31, 2007 if not previously taken.
Drivers and owners are required to be official American Speed Association (ASA) Members, the nationally known sanctioning body of the Midwest Tour. The cost for an annual membership is $200 each for owner and driver. If the owner happens to be the driver, they will only need to pay for one membership at $200.
Team members are not required, but strongly encouraged to also get a membership at the annual cost of $100 per team member.
Last year’s event saw Mike Ehde score his first career series victory over eventual Big 8 Series Champion Jeremy Miller by just inches. Much of the same is expected in the 2008 version. “The racing is just so competitive with these cars at Rockford, a 100 lap feature should be an excellent show to kick off the season for the drivers, teams and fans.” Stated Big 8 Series Coordinator Gregg McKarns. “Last year we had ten winners in ten feature events, that shows the level of competition this series has, just about anyone in the starting field has a chance to win and that makes for an exciting product on the track.” With local tracks not yet hosting their weekly programs, top drivers from across the region are invited to venture to Rockford for the Spring Classic.
A complete Big 8 Series schedule will be released in early January that is expected to include 8 to 10 events including the Big 8 Series Championship Event during the Oktoberfest Race Weekend at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway.
"and we’re happy to have worked out a great schedule with USAC that will let us feature
the awesome racing of the USAC Sprints three times in 2008."
With the much anticipated return of three USAC National Sprint Car events, the successful Labor Day Weekend World Stock Car Festival, and the resurgence of the famed Winchester 400 Presented By Ed Martin Auto Group and Renegade, fans can count on another great season of racing on the famed High Banks of Winchester Speedway in 2008. The complete details of the 2008 schedule are planned for release in the coming weeks. Season ticket and reserved seat information will follow soon after.
Georgia Asphalt Series – Vince Whitmire, the new director of the Georgia Asphalt Series has released a tentative 2008 GAS Schedule:
March 29 - Peachstate Speedway
April 12 - Watermelon Capital Speedway
May 3 - TBA
May 24 - Peachstate Speedway
June 14 - Senoia Speedway
July 3 - Peachstate Speedway
July 18 - Anderson Motor Speedway
August 2 - Watermelon Capital Speedway
August 16 - Senoia Speedway
August 30 - Peachstate Speedway
Sept 20 - TBA
October 4 - Peachstate Speedway (last points race)
Nov. 7-9 - World Crown Weekend
TBA dates will be at one of the following tracks: Lanier National Speedway, or South Georgia Motorsports Park
Goodyear Challenge Series - The recent running of the FASCAR Goodyear Challenge Late Model 100 was all about a man on a mission. After a series of disappointments this season erased his chances for the championship, Daniel Keene, Jr. suited up at Orlando SpeedWorld with one goal: to show everyone a preview of coming attractions for next year.
Keene, Jr. powered past polesitter Justin Larson on lap 35 and cruised his way to his third victory in the Goodyear Challenge Series in 2007.
Late Models – The Best Western Executive Court Inn and Conference Center, Manchester, NH., provided the setting recently, as the Lee USA Speedway, Lee, NH., concluded it’s 2007 season with the annual “Banquet of Champions” honoring the tracks competitors that compete weekly in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Five drivers were crowned champions for the NASCAR sanctioned race track and over twenty five presentations were made for special achievements.
Following a social hour and dinner, award ceremonies were hosted by announcers Deryl Morley and John Spence Sr. Track owner Red MacDonald and NASCAR official Ron Bennett handled award presentations.
J.R.Baril Haverhill, MA, captured his eighth career championship, his sixth Lee title, and his second consecutive championship in the Ciotti Race Products Late Model division. Three wins and consistency paved the way to the title for the second
The 2007 Big 8 Series Banquet will be held January 19, 2008 at Forest Hills Lodge in Loves Park, IL.
Blizzard SLM Series – The 40th Annual Snowball Derby is coming up on December 2nd and the history to this race runs very deep.
Carquest Maritime Pro Stock Tour - Shawn Tucker is the 2007 CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour Champion.
CRA Super Series - Officials from the Champion Racing Association (CRA) and Winchester Speedway announced today that CRA would once again manage and promote the legendary ½ mile oval in 2008. Winchester Speedway owner Charlie Shaw noted it was an easy decision to continue with the guidance that CRA leaders R. J. Scott, Glenn Luckett and Greg Wood have provided since taking over in 2005.
"Every year our signature events have continued to grow," Shaw noted. "Everyone at CRA has done a great job in helping bring back Winchester Speedway to its glory days. I look for CRA to continue to manage this track in a very professional manner and I look forward to even better things to come in the future."
The Big 8 Series schedule will be released in January. (Big 8 Photo)
One of Alexandre Gingras’ cars has found a new home. (51 Photo)
Barlow and Twyford will also be utilizing the ASALMS' existing marketing venues as well as exploring new marketing ideas in their respective areas.
"This strategy will increase market exposure for the ASALMS which will in turn increase attendance and fan loyalty to the series." Explained Barlow.
ASA Late Model North Series – The tentative 2008 schedules are now available for all of the three ASA Late Model tours. CLICK HERE FOR 2008 SCHEDULES
ASA Late Model South Series – Beau Slocumb closed out the 2007 ASA Late Model South season with a victory at Birmingham International Raceway.
ASA Midwest Tour – The ASA Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by Echo Outdoor Power Equipment is continuing to prepare for its 2008 season. The 2008 membership form is now available for all competitors at its website, www.asamidwesttour.com.
Drivers that finished in the top 20 of the 2007 final point standings will have first choice in car number reservations based on their year end finishing position. Those drivers must submit their online request at www.asamidwesttour.com and submit full payment by the December 31, 2007 deadline. All number registrations outside the top 20 that are submitted via online registration will be granted in the order they are received unless notified of a duplicate number situation. Full payment of ASA Membership/Car Number registration must be received within 14 days of receiving your application or that number will be released to the next person requesting that number.
The ASAMT will hold an Owners/Drivers meeting for the top 20 in 2007 points on Sunday, December 16th from noon to 3 p.m. at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
The ASAMT Championship Banquet will take place on Saturday, January 26, 2008 at the Kalahari Resort. Race teams are encouraged to visit the ASAMT website for more information on making their hotel reservations.
ASA Northwest Tour - Evergreen Speedway and the ASA Aero Exhaust Northwest Tour jointly announced today that a 23-year tradition returns to the Northwest's premier racing oval. Opening night on March 29, 2008 will feature the return of the ASA Northwest Tour to the Northwest's biggest oval the .646-mile (5/8's) track at Evergreen. Also on hand will be the ASA/NSRA Winged Sprint Cars for the Doug James Memorial.
Evergreen Speedway was where the Northwest Tour got its start 23-years ago. Evergreen hosted opening night for 22 straight years including the most races of the series' history. After taking a year off of hosting traveling stock car series', Evergreen Officials are excited to return to the long tradition. "The fact that our own drivers are able to compete in the ASA event was the key factor in considering this race," said Evergreen's longtime promoter Mickey Beadle.
ASANWT director Ron Bennett said, "This is a great step forward in bringing the popular stock car series back to its former prominence. We want to thank everyone at Evergreen Speedway."
The Northwest Tour has been a springboard for some of the countries best stock car aces. NASCAR champions Chad Little, Mike Bliss, Greg Biffle are graduates of the Tour. Others that moved up the ladder included: Tobey Butler, Derrick Cope, Dirk Stevens and Kevin Hamlin.
The remainder of the twelve-race ASA Northwest Tour 2008 schedule is in the process of being firmed up. The full schedule will be released the first week of December 2007. The new car construction rules were designed to allow local cars to be competitive. The local driver will have the opportunity to show their stuff against the best of the Northwest.
Big 8 – The Big 8 Series will be the headline division during the 31st annual Spring Classic at Rockford Speedway on Sunday afternoon April 13, 2008. Annually marking the start of racing in the Midwest, the Spring Classic is returning to its roots, with a one day event that will include the longest race in Big 8 Series history, a 100 lap feature as well as the Mid-American Stock Car Series in a 50 lap feature.
-Each ASA Member is covered by a $500,000 Participant Accident medical insurance policy while at each ASA Racing Sanctioned racing event.
-ASA Members receive pit gate discounts ranging from $5-$15 per event.
-ASA Members receive a free subscription to your choice of Stock Car Racing or Circle Track Magazine, an ASA Hat, patches, decals and an ASA Hard Card for Identification.
Drivers, Owners, and /or Team Members may purchase up to three (3) temporary event licenses per person for the season at $20 per event.
The American Speed Association’s Midwest Tour is one of three regional Tours that the nationally recognized sanctioning body will support in 2008. The other two series include the ASA Aero Exhaust Northwest Tour and the ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour.
There will be five GAS points events at Peachstate this coming season.
Numbers are up for grabs on the ASA Midwest Tour.
A totally revamped schedule and championship points format will allow more of those teams that “just missed” full- time competition to enter the title hunt – a driver’s or owner’s best 10 results during the 12-race campaign in 2008 will be counted toward the ACT championship standings, thereby allowing teams to “drop” their two worst outings. That includes races that drivers fail to qualify for or even fail to attempt qualifying for.
One of the 2007 full-timers, 18 year-old Joey “Pole” Polewarczyk of Hudson, NH, thinks it’s a good system.
“I like it a lot, I think it will work out well for just about everyone,” he said. “Every driver has that one track that they don’t like that much, or at least don’t have very good luck at. For me this past year, it was Thunder Road. I love racing there, but everything seemed to wrong for us there all year, even in the Thursday night races we ran that weren’t Tour races. Being able to get rid of two bad races is going to help a lot of teams.”
One of Joey Pole’s full-time competitors, fellow Granite State driver Randy Potter, agrees. Potter cited the unknown factors of racing at tracks he’s not very familiar with as an advantage for the “drop” system to be in place.
“I’ve only been to Lee (USA Speedway, NH) once, and I’ve never been to Waterford (Speedbowl, CT), so the drop could come in handy for me at those tracks,” he explained. “To be honest, it would have been nice for me to have that option this year. That green-to-checkers race at Oxford, I was toast. There weren’t any cautions, and we never got a chance to pit and change the setup. It was our worst finish of the year, and it hurt us in the standings.”
The potential for a regular “weekly racer” to turn some strong home-track runs into a Top 10 title bid is very good. Cris Michaud, a three-time Thunder Road Champion, has been selective in his Tour racing over the last few years, but says that the new format could eventually change his mind.
“I’m not committing to the Tour right now, but it’s certainly looking like more and more of a possibility than it had been for my team in the past few years,” said Michaud. “We only have one car and a pretty tight budget, but four of the Tour shows are at Thunder Road, so those races are no-brainers for the Thursday night drivers.”
While explaining why he liked the changes to the Tour schedule, Michaud almost sounded as if he was trying to convince himself that running the full season would be pretty easy while juggling a fourth try at the “King of the Road” crown.
“I like Oxford (his best 2007 Tour finish, by the way, was at the Maine oval in April, 6th
place), and I’ve won at Lee before, so we would probably go to most of those shows,” he
said. “That’s eight total. I’ve been kicking myself about not going to Kawartha, so I
think we’ll head out there, that’s nine, and White Mountain is close by, so that’s our
ten races if we wanted to do it. Airborne and Waterford are the only ones left, and
Airborne isn’t far from home at all. It’s a pretty good deal, I think.”
Michaud went even further into it.
“Looking at it, half of the Tour schedule will be done by the time Thursday night races
start at Thunder Road, and July and August are pretty much wide open to relax. Really,
if you’re a Thursday night racer and you want to run the Tour, you only need to double-up
a race weekend two or three times during the year to have a real shot at the full schedule.
It’s a very interesting position to be in.”
Michaud, you’ll recall, was an ACT Late Model Tour championship threat big-time in 2001, winning a pair of races and finishing a very close third in the standings. Potter and Polewarczyk aren’t exactly slouches, either; each driver was a first-time ACT winner in 2007, and finished the year fourth and seventh, respectively, in points.
ACT Quebec Series – Claude Leclerc has purchased one of Patrick Laperle’s championship-winning cars, a Dale Shaw Race Cars chassis with a Junior Hanley-built front clip. Laperle drove the car in a pair of events in 2007, finishing third at Capital City Speedway in Ottawa and fifth at Circuit Ste-Croix. About a month after his 66th birthday, Leclerc has given notice that he is coming back in 2008 with both barrels locked and loaded. He finished seventh overall this season.
CRA was brought in to manage and promote the Speedway after having been closed for the 2004 season. Since then the speedway has averaged about eight events each season. The majority of the tracks events to date have been successful; changes have been made each season to better benefit the track and its racing future. CRA is also the sanctioning body for the CRA Super Series late models, Howe CRA Sportsman Series, CRA Street Stocks and the Vore’s Welding & Steel CRA FWD Compacts.
"We couldn’t have a better situation than the one Charlie has provided for us," Scott commented. "Charlie gives us a great facility and some great people to work with, to go with the people we have brought in and it has worked out well. We have all worked really well together, which has been the major reason we continue to have success each season."
The 2008 season should look similar to 2007 with the addition of two more USAC National Sprint Car events including the return of Thursday Night Thunder. "The USAC events have always been one of the most popular shows at Winchester," noted Luckett,
Baril closed out the season with a victory in the Dave Reynolds # 2 Late Model, a car he will drive weekly in 2008.
Veteran Bo Green, Berwick ME., was a three-time winner in 2007 and with his consistent effort he found himself atop the point standings at seasons end capturing his second consecutive championship in the Prime Storage Late Model Sportsman division. Green thanked his crew for their effort and also dedicated the season and championship to his late father, step father, and Uncle Gary Gaudette, a long time area racer. Green plans to return to Lee in 2008 with his own ride and will also focus on his son Ryan who will be competing in the LMS division on a limited schedule.
Late Model Sportsman......
2007 Rookie of the year....Kevin Abele
2007 Sportsmanship award...Bob Melvin Jr
2007 Hard luck award...Jason Marr
2007 Most improved driver....Michele Fushpanski
2007 Best Team Performance....Wayne Whitten
2007 Rookie of the year....Miles Chipman
2007 Sportsmanship award...Ricky Wolf
2007 Hard luck award...Jeremy Harclerode
2007 Most improved driver.....Katrina Canney
2007 Best Team Performance....Phil Baril Jr
Late Model Stock Cars – The main event of the Southern National Raceway Park Thanksgiving Classic, the 300 lap Kinston Automotive Late Model race, as postponed Sunday due to rain. Despite the best efforts of track officials, the rains kept coming and the track was lost. After a driver vote, the decision was made to postpone the race until Sunday, December 2.
In Saturday’s qualifying, Stephen Berry (Huddleston, VA) outclassed the 65 car field by two tenths of a second, besting 2007 track champion, Benson, NC’s Drew Herring, for the top spot and the $1,500 pole award. SNRP regulars Jamey Caudill and Corey Strickland will start in row two. 2006 track champion Deac McCaskill will start sixth and 2003 track champion and Nextel Cup star Denny Hamlin will start eighth.
Denny Hamlin will be signing autographs at the track from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Heat races to round out the field on Sunday will begin at 12:30 PM, followed by driver introductions and then the 300 lap Kinston Automotive Late Model main event. Tickets are $20 at the gate, with all tickets and arm bands valid for Day 3 Thanksgiving weekend also being honored at the gates.
PASS Outlaw Late Models - Jimmy Rosenfield is the 2007 PASS Outlaw Late Model combination champion.
PASS South SLM – Ben Rowe won the season-ending PASS South Mason-Dixon Meltdown at Concord Motorsport Park (NC). It was a wild race, so be sure to check out the full story:
PASS Sportsmen – Dan McKeage is the 2007 Pullen Heavy Industries PASS Sportsmen champion.
Sunbelt SLM – Jeff Choquette won the season-ending Governor’s Cup at New Smyrna Speedway recently, while Tim Russell secured the 2007 Sunbelt Series championship.
Super Late Models – Some of the best and the brightest Super Late Model competitors in the country have assembled for this week’s Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Be sure to check out Speed51.com for our continuous coverage of the Snowball Derby.
Superpro – Veteran driver Tommy Cook used consistency during the 2007 season to claim the Bollhoff Rivnut SUPERPRO Series championship for crate motored template bodied late model stock cars.
Cook scored one win in 2007 at his home track Baer Field Speedway. He also scored a pair of runner-up finishes along with three thirds and two fourths. A pair of seventh place finishes were his worst of the campaign. Cook won the point battle by 152 points over 19 year old Michael Gaier. Al Cook Jr. (Tommy’s brother), 2005 SUPERPRO Champion Rob Buckley, and Kevin Todd rounded out the top five. Cook and the rest of the drivers, owners, and crews will be honored at the 2007 SUPERPRO Awards Banquet on January 26th in Jackson, Michigan.
Young 19 year old Colin Toland used three top ten finishes to help win the “Five Star Racing Bodies Rookie of the Year “ award. His best finish was a second at Plymouth, Indiana in July, a race that he led for the first 68 laps.
UARA-STARS – The United Auto Racing Association will be hosting a booth at the PRI show in Orlando, Florida next week. We are excited to go with this adventure to finish out the 2007 season. We invite all of our fans and sponsors to stop by and visit us at booth 3653.
The UARA is pleased to announce that many of our 2007 sponsors have already signed on to renew their relationship with the UARA-STARS for 2008. New contingency sponsors are signing on and Wallace Industrial Technologies has signed on as a sponsor for the May 31, 2008 event to be held at Dillon Speedway.
The STARS will visit 12 different tracks in 2008 for their 16-race schedule. There will be two Friday night events, both in August. The first will be at Ace Speedway and the second at Tri-County Speedway.
2008 Tentative UARA-STARS Schedule
March 29 Concord Motorsport Park
April 12 Motor Mile
April 26 Orange County
May 17 Bristol
May 31 Dillon – Wallace Industrial Technologies 150
June 14 Hickory
June 21 Coastal Plains
July 5 Bristol
July 19 Motor Mile
August 1 Ace
August 16 Franklin County
August 29 Tri-County Speedway
September 13 Orange County
October 4 Greenville Pickens
October 18 Caraway
October 25 Concord
The 2007 season ended with much excitement and drama as expected in racing. There were some incidents at the final event at Caraway that warranted fines and penalties to be issued. It has been the hot topic on the message boards lately, keeping the UARA a constant in the media spotlight for weeks by several disgruntled racers following the final event. Ross Furr and Ryan Salomon were both penalized for engaging in a pre-race altercation and fined $500 each. Roger Newton was placed on suspension for unprofessional actions.
Wisconsin Challenge Series – Nathan Hassleau is the 2007 Wisconsin Challenge Series champion.
The UARA-STARS Late Models will return to Bristol next July.
Jeremy Harclerode won the 2007 Sportsmanship Award at Lee USA Speedway. (51 Photo)
Miles Champman was the Rookei of the Year in the Late Models this season at Lee. (51 Photo)
CRA Super Series SLM cars on the high banks of Winchester.
Brad Barlow (ASA LM Photo)
Randy Potter also likes the new schedule. (Jamie Williams Photo)
Joey Pole is a fan of the new ACT schedule for 2008.. (51 Photo)