ACT Milk Bowl Pre-Race News and Notes ACT PR Report
Tradition Rich Event is Set For This Weekend at Thunder Road
Ben Rowe will drive the #10 Avery Motorsports Late Model at Thunder Road this weekend.
finish in last month's Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 at Thunder Road. His father, the legendary Mike Rowe, has one ACT victory at the track, in 1994, and has earned a pair of Segment wins in the Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl.
“Dad's got a leg up on me, because he's won at Thunder Road,” said Rowe, “but he's never won the Milk Bowl. It's such a huge race, and it's so hard just to qualify for. Truthfully, I just want to win any race at Thunder Road, I don't care which one… but the Milk Bowl would be quite special.”
Rowe will be one of as many as 50 entries expected for the 45th Annual Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl, the final round in the ACT Late Model Tour Championship.
THIS YEAR'S TROPHY QUEEN IS….
Harvest Hills Miss Kitty, a lovely seven year-old registered Ayrshire dairy cow, has been named “Miss Milk Bowl 2008” and will hold court at the 45th Annual Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl stock car race at Barre, VT's Thunder Road. A beauty pageant was staged at Harvest Hills Farms in Berlin, VT, and according to Annie Burke of Harvest Hills, Miss Kitty won the title - her first - going away.
BEN ROWE ENTERS THE MILK BOWL
Multi-time stock car champion Ben Rowe of Turner, ME will return to one of the few New England race tracks that he has yet to win at, Barre, VT's Thunder Road, for the 45th Annual Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl on Sat./Sun., Sept. 27/28. The four-time Pro All Stars Series (PASS) champion and two-time TD Banknorth Oxford 250 winner will attempt to score his first victory at Thunder Road in the biggest event on the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model schedule, a race he finished as the runner-up in one year ago.
“I really was just getting to know how to race Thunder Road toward the end of last year by learning the line from guys like Brent Dragon and some of the locals,” explained Rowe. “I feel like I'm doing a better job (than I used to), but my philosophy has always been that if I want to be a better driver, I've got to race against drivers that are better than I am. At Thunder Road, there's a lot of 'em.”
The Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl is a three-segment, cumulatively scored event billed as the “toughest short track stock car race in North America.” Each 50-lap segment awards one point the winner, two points to the runner-up, etc., with the finish of each segment inverted to begin the next, meaning the winner of Segment 1 starts last in Segment 2. The driver with the lowest overall score at the end of three segments is declared the Milk Bowl winner, taking a $10,000 top prize and planting a kiss on a genuine Vermont beauty - an Ayrshire dairy cow. Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Time Trials and “Triple 50” qualifying races on Saturday, along with a last-chance “B” Feature on Sunday, determine the Segment 1 starting grid.
Rowe will drive the Avery's Sweeping/Shuttle Connection Chevrolet fielded by Donald and David Avery of Lincoln, NH, the same car Rowe brought to a solid fourth-place
ribbon for Production at Essex, was given Honorable Mention at Rutland, and won her class at the World's Fair in Tunbridge. Now, she'll make her first trip to Thunder Road for the Milk Bowl.”
Miss Kitty led a Harvest Hills rout at Barton, in which 4 of the top 6 cows were from her stable. Her Production award came after supplying 21,000 pounds of milk over a 305-day period. “She's a hard-working lady,” said Burke.
Patrick Laperle of Montréal kissed Harvest Hills Dickens - a three-time Miss Milk Bowl - after victories in 2007 and 2005. Brent Dragon of Milton, VT smooched Harvest Hills Ferry Queen in 2006.
HOAR RETURNS FOR MILK BOWL
American-Canadian Tour Late Model stock car racing champion Brian Hoar will return to the driver's seat at Thunder Road's 45th Annual Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl on Sat./Sun., Sept. 27/28. Hoar, 36, has been idle since the end of the 2007 season, a year in which the Williston, VT racer finished sixth in his first full season back on the ACT Late Model Tour following his fifth series championship in 2000. He previously raced in the series now known as NASCAR Camping World East.
“I'm headed to a track in New Hampshire to test the car and knock the rust off the driver,” said Hoar. “We'll be in great shape on Milk Bowl weekend. It's been a long time since I've kissed a cow, and I'd love to do it again,” he said, referencing to the event's long-standing tradition of the winning driver smooching a Vermont dairy cow in victory lane. Hoar won the Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl in 1998 and 1999, one of only two drivers in history to win in successive years. Burnett Scrap Metals and Goss Dodge will underwrite Hoar's return.
The Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl is the ultimate sprint race: a three-segment, cumulatively
scored event paying a total of more than $60,000, including $10,000 to the winner. Points
are awarded in each segment - 1 point to the winner, 2 points for second, etc. - with the
finish of each 50-lap segment inverted to start the next, leaving, for example, the winner
of Segment 1 to start last (28th) in Segment 2. The driver with the lowest three-segment
total is named the overall winner. Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Time Trials and “Triple 50”
qualifying races determine the starting order of Segment 1 on Saturday, Sept. 27.
Hoar won the Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Pole Award in Milk Bowl qualifying each year from
1997 to 2000, years in which he also won the ACT Late Model Tour championship. His
total low score of four points to win the 1998 edition of the Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl
was the second-lowest in history. Hoar is also a former track champion at Thunder Road,
Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY, and the 1-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway
in Loudon, NH.
Hoar will challenge ACT Late Model Tour championship leaders Scott Payea of Milton, VT
and Patrick Laperle of Montréal for the victory. Payea leads Laperle by just 19 points entering the Milk Bowl finale. Laperle is the defending Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl winner. Other stars expected for the race include Thunder Road track champion Eric Williams, Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 winner Brad Leighton, and former Milk Bowl winners Jean-Paul Cyr, Phil Scott, Cris Michaud, and Dave Pembroke.
One lucky race driver will have the dubious honor of bussing bossy as the winner of the 45th Annual Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl. As has been tradition since the first Milk Bowl in 1962, the winner of the three-segment, cumulatively scored race paying a total of more than $60,000, will plant a kiss on the trophy queen immediately following the victory.
Governor James Douglas (R-Vt.) and Senator Phil Scott (R-Washington County), a two-time Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl winner, were on hand for Miss Kitty's coronation on Thursday as Miss Milk Bowl 2008.
“She seems like a nice gal,” said Scott. “I'd like to see her again in victory lane next week.”
“It's important to point out that, like a gentleman, Senator Scott didn't kiss her on the first date,” added Governor Douglas.
Miss Kitty, says Burke, has “had quite a year. 'Kit' was the Grand Champion at the Orleans County (VT) Fair in Barton this fall in her first show ever, then she won the
Laperle ended last year's Milk Bowl by kissing the cow. (Jamie Williams Photo)
Polewarczyk took ACT Late Model Tour victories at Lee USA (NH) Speedway in April and Oxford Plains (ME) Speedway in June, and made his NASCAR super-speedway debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH last weekend, finishing sixth. He currently sits seventh in ACT championship standings.
The Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Milk Bowl Pole Award is worth $1,000 to the winner, while the second-fastest time trial driver will earn $500. The top three time trial drivers will be locked into the Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl starting lineup, with the balance of the field determined through “Triple 50” qualifying races, a last-chance “B” feature, and starting berths for fast-timers not already qualified.
ALL ABOUT THE MILK BOWL
The Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl is a three-segment, cumulatively scored event with the reputation
as the “toughest short track stock car race in North America.” Each 50-lap segment awards
one point to the winner, two points to the second-place finisher, etc., with the finish of each
segment inverted to start the next. The driver with the lowest three-segment total score is the
overall winner. Top prize is $10,000 and a date with the trophy queen - a Vermont dairy cow!
Patrick Laperle of Montréal kissed the lovely lady last year.
General admission for Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Qualifying Day (Saturday, Sept. 27 only),
including Time Trials, “Triple 50” qualifiers, qualifying events for Thunder Road's weekly NAPA
Tiger Sportsman and Allen Lumber Street Stock divisions, and the championship season finale
for the Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior division, is just $10 for adults and free for children
6-12. Two-day general admission (Sat./Sun., Sept. 27/28), including all events for the
American-Canadian Tour Late Models and Thunder Road's weekly divisions, is $25 for adults
and $5 for kids. Gates open at 10:00am both days, with racing beginning at 1:30pm both days.
For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit www.thunderroadspeedbowl.com or
Speed51.com will be on hand at the Milk Bowl to bring you our Trackside Now coverage of the
event on Sunday.
POLE AIMS FOR ANOTHER POLE
Teenage stock car racing sensation Joey “Pole” Polewarczyk, Jr. is aiming for his third consecutive Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Pole Award at Barre, VT's Thunder Road on Saturday, Sept. 27 to kick off the 45th Annual Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl weekend. The Hudson, NH driver lived up to his nickname in each of the last two seasons during Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Time Trials, posting the fastest single-lap speed to earn the pole position starting spot for Segment 1 of the Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl. His 2006 lap of 12.935 seconds around Thunder Road's high-banked 1/4-mile oval stands as the Track Record for the American-Canadian Tour Late Model division.
“There are only two guys that have won three-straight poles at the Milk Bowl: Dave Dion, who's from my hometown and was always a hero of mine, and Brian Hoar, who actually won four straight. I'd love to join that list with them,” said Polewarczyk. “I'd also love to join them as a Milk Bowl winner, but first things first.”
Joey Pole (#97) went for a wild ride in last year's Milk Bowl, but still finished strong. (Leif Tilotson Photo)
The Milk Bowl takes place during a beautiful time of the year in Vermont. (51 Photo)