Headin’ Out… To The Track  Compiled by Mike Twist
Breaking The Ice and Racing Down South
Four former winners of the ICEBREAKER will be on hand as will a host of drivers that want to add this prestigious event to their win list. The driver who has the most ICEBREAKER wins is Rick Fuller. The Auburn, MA driver won the event in 1991, 1994, 1997 and 2001. Seven time Modified Tour division Champion, Mike Stefanik, a two-time ICEBREAKER winner ('98 & '06), will be joined by another two-time victor, Ted Christopher ('04 & '05). Last year's ICEBREKER winner, James Civali, will try to make it two in a row.

The impressive pre-race entries include such veterans as Reggie Ruggiero, Todd Szegedy, Ed Flemke, Jr., Jimmy Blewett, Ronnie Silk, Matt Hirschman and Eric Beers. They will be joined by Carl and Charlie Pasteryak, Ryan Preece, Bobby Grigas III and rookie contender Glen Reen to mention only a few.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour's first event of the new season will start with a field of up to 37 cars. Each team that filed an entry blank will be looking to find a starting
The Modifieds will be in action at Thompson this weekend.  (Jim Dupont Photo)
Editor’s Note: This feature appears weekly during the racing season on Speed51.com.  Its intent is to help promote some of the biggest and/or most unique short track events in the country and to enable fans to know where they can go see some of the best racing on a weekly basis.  The content of this feature is solely at the discretion of the staff at Speed51.com, but if you would like to send us your suggestions, please do so by faxing a copy of your release or flyer to 704-788-2091.

Saturday and Sunday - The Icebreaker / NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Thompson International Speedway (CT)

The stars of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be out in force this weekend for the season opening ICEBREAKER at the Thompson International Speedway.  The list of race teams and drivers pre-entered for the April 5th  & 6th event is made up of champions and challengers.
spot in the season's first race. The 150 lap race is scheduled for a 3:15 PM start on Sunday, April 6th.

Preceding the start of the ICEBREAKER'S main event, NASCAR and Thompson Speedway will pay tribute to three of the “Tour's” past champions. The oldest, the newest and the most famous will be part of the pre-race ceremonies which start 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the race.

The oldest living NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion, Frankie Schneider will be on hand to recall his 1952 championship year. Donny Lia, the reigning Tour Champion, will be honored for his incredible 2007 campaign title and the family of the most famous NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver, the late Richie Evans, will be on hand to pay tribute to the nine division championships won by the “Rapid Roman.”

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour cars will practice and time trial on Saturday, April 5th. Their 150-lap main event will be run on Sunday, April 6th.  Qualifying races will be held on Saturday for the NEMA Midgets and Thompson's own “Super Six” NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions.

Once practice and qualifying have been completed on Saturday, Thompson's Sunoco Modifieds and Late Models will compete in the first of two feature event races that each division will have on ICEBREAKER weekend. Upon completion of these events, all attention turns to the annual ICEBREAKER dinner and dance at the Raceway Restaurant and Lounge. A special ICEBREAKER menu will await hungry race fans who wish to enjoy a great evening of fun and food.

Sunday's schedule begins at the Raceway Restaurant and lounge with breakfast being served between 7 & 11 AM.  The Thompson grandstand will open at 9:30 AM and the first race of the day will go at 12 Noon.

Race fans seeking more information are urged to visit the Thompson International Speedway web page at www.thompsonspeedway.com.

Speed51.com will be on hand to give The Icebreaker our Trackside Now treatment with full updates on practice, qualifying and the race this Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday - RC Cola/Moon Pie ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour, Watermelon Capital Speedway (GA)

As the weekend draws closer so does the Watermelon 100. The RC Cola / MoonPie Southeast Asphalt Tour will host it's first TV event this weekend at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Crodele, Georgia. The cameras will be rolling for the second race of the new tour.

Can Preston Peltier win his consecutive event? Will one of the local Georgia boys step and steal the spotlight? Stay tuned to www.asasoutheast.com for updates through the weekend.

The teams of the Pro Challenge South Region will also be in action at Watermelon Capital.

Saturday - PASS South, Dillon Motor Speedway (SC)

Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South point leader Corey Williams will lead a strong field
of PASS South competitors to Dillon South Carolina Saturday April 5th for the South
Carolina Clash 125 at Dillon Motor Speedway.   

Williams is coming off a thrilling victory at the PASS South season opener at Hickory
Motor Speedway. Williams and 2007 PASS South champion Ryan Lawler waged war
in the closing stages of the Easter Bunny 150, racing side by side and swapping the
lead countless times. Williams prevailed over Lawler and 15 year-old John Stancill for
the win.

He'll face a strong field of challengers at the recently reconstructed 4/10 mile speedway.
Hickory pole winner Heath Hindman is a confirmed entry. From Las Vegas Nevada
comes Alex Haase in the Kyle Bush Foundation Toyota, and four time PASS North
super late model champion Ben Rowe has filed an entry.

Spencer Wauters, South Carolinian Strom Altman and Georgia's Justin Wakefield are on the list; so is John Batten. After their great result at Hickory, John Stancill's team will be back with PASS at Dillon to see if he can put his family team in victory lane. Tim Pinion and Clay Rodgers have both filed entries for “The Clash” as well.

It's the first time PASS has visited Ron Barfield's immaculate oval; although several teams have to be considered favorites after their showings at Hickory, the winner is anybody's guess!

The fastest full-fendered racers in the south will hit the track at noon for practice; pole qualifying is scheduled for 4:00 PM and the racing goes green at 6:30 PM.

Saturday - Georgia Asphalt Series, Peach State Speedway (GA)

The Georgia Asphalt Series for Pro Late Models will kick off its 2008 touring season on Saturday evening, April 5th at Peach State Speedwayin Jefferson, Georgia. The GAS Series drivers will compete in a 100 lapevent on the 1/2 mile high banked oval.  The race was rain delayed from March 29th.

There has been a lot of "sprucing up" around the speedway during the off season. "We want to make the speedway more fan friendly," said Vince Whitmire, GAS Series and Peach State Promoter.

In addition to the GAS Series, the Outlaw Late Model, Sportsman, Super Trucks, Bandits and Mini-Stocks will compete.

Adult grandstand tickets will be only $12. Racing begins at 7PM.Peach State Speedway is located off I-85 at Exit 140.

Saturday - NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC)

The race: This event is the second of 12 races on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule. It is the only race in 2008 at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway.

The procedure: The starting field is 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 24 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining two spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (75 miles).

Greenville-Pickens History: There have been two NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour races at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.

The Tour's first visit to the famed half-mile track came in April 2006 with Junior Miller taking the victory. Qualifying for the first race was canceled due to inclement weather.

In the Tour's second visit to Greenville-Pickens last April, Burt Myers won the pole and it was Miller scoring the repeat victory in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour 150 presented by Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet.

Schedule: Saturday: Practice 1:00-2:30 p.m., Time Trials 6:00 p.m.

Saturday - Birmingham Super Series, Birmingham Int'l Raceway (AL)

After a month of sitting idle, Birmingham International Raceway roars back to life this weekend with the running of The Steel City 100. The Birmingham Super Series headlines the Saturday event with The Steel City 100 for The Birmingham Super Series Late Models.

After winning The Early Bird Super Late Model race in February, Hoover's Ken McFarland will be in the line up to see if he can make it 2 for 2 in '08. After the win, BIR officials guided Ken to the gate at the opening to the artificial turf scheduled to be removed for new renovations at the speedway. The only thing he was instructed from officials was “do lots of doughnuts and have fun.”

Also entered is 2007 Birmingham Super Series Champion Gary Sanford Jr. from Maytown, AL. As Gary pointed out in his speech at the awards banquet in February, he considers himself a lucky person to be able to say he has raced at the nations 2nd oldest racetrack and to have played baseball in the nations oldest ballpark.

Gary played high school baseball at Minor and played in some Jefferson County tournaments at Rickwood Field. He also played with a semi-pro team and considered following his dream of a baseball career. Of course, racing won out and now he has over 60 feature wins and three championships at BIR.

Friday, April 4th there will be an open practice for all divisions from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm. Saturday, April 5th, grandstands open at 5:00 pm with qualifying at 6:30 and the first race starting at 7:00. For more information, call 205-781-BIR1.

Can Corey Williams continue his hot streak in PASS South at Dillon?  (51 Photo)