51's Late Model Roundup
Presented by Five Star Race Car Bodies
Compiled from Series, Team and Track PR Reports
ACT Late Models – Brent Dragon, Cris Michaud and Joey Pole and their 2009 ACT Late Models will appear at the Speedway EXPO show in Springfield MA this weekend.  The show takes place on Friday, Feb. 27th - Sunday, March 1st   For more information on this show click on the Speedway Expo logo on the right hand column.

ACT Quebec Series – The ACT Tour and Serie ACT Castrol full season entry deadline is Marach 1st.  Please contact the ACT office if you haven't received your copy and would like one.

ARCA Trucks – The 2009 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series schedule is coming together as the series prepares for its 11th consecutive season of competition.

ASA Late Model Challenge Series – For ASA Late Model Series standout Jack Smith, he has a lot on his shoulders in 2009. There is the always the lure of winning against some of the toughest late model competition on America’s short tracks, something Smith has done with regularity over the past five years. But NASCAR also beckons, and Smith knows the time is now to make the jump.

If only someone would give him the chance.

“I’ve done everything I can in a late model to try to open doors in NASCAR,” Smith said. “I’ve raced in the Truck Series, tested Nationwide cars, and even had some tests in the COT Sprint Cup car. I’ve talked to many owners and they all say the same thing: we’d love to talk to you but you need to bring some money.”

That’s the frustrating part for Smith. He obviously has a wealth of talent, but without a fat wallet or personal benefactor the opportunity to make the move to the next level becomes increasingly more difficult.

“I see some of these guys that run up front on Sunday come to ASA races and struggle,” Smith said. “I am not taking anything away from those guys. The cars are so much more different from what they are used to. But I will put my skills against theirs in equal equipment any time. I know I can get it done. At Winchester last fall the 400 came down to Kyle Busch, David Stremme, and me. Kyle had a $50,000 motor in his car, and I had a $16,000 crate motor in mine. I had the car handling so good that I pulled him off the corner. We had a great shot at winning the race until we broke an axle late in the race. But running with those guys just lets me know even more than before that I can compete with them.”

Smith had a deal in place to race in the Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona, but sponsorship issues put his plans in limbo.

“I worked all winter to get Mike Mittler’s truck ready for Daytona. We were ready to go but then we heard that the sponsor was going to have to back out. The economy is tough for everyone right now and I understand that but it’s tough to handle. It’s not the end of the world for me but I am really hungry for this.”

With his NASCAR plans temporarily on hold, Smith will return to his stomping grounds and hope someone catches notice and takes a chance on him.

“We might go back and chase the ASA Late Model Series points again,” Smith said. “They are going to go to Rockingham and the superspeedway in Nashville this year. When they announced those dates at the banquet Butch Miller told everyone they might as well give the trophies to me right now because I am the only guy that can drive the car loose enough to get around those kinds of racetracks. It feels good to have that kind of respect and recognition from a guy like Butch Miller. If we don’t go after a championship somewhere we’ll go out and hit the big money races. Hopefully we’ll win enough races to get on the radar somewhere and turn it into a full-time ride somewhere.”

ASA Late Model North Series – 2008 Champion Eddie Hoffman Jr. and the rest of the ASA Late Model North series will kick off their season on April 25th Toledo Speedway (OH).

ASA Late Model South Series – The ASA Late Model South Series will start their 2009 season on March 14th at Charlotte County Speedway (FL).  Jimmy Lang was the 2008 ASA LM South Champion.

ASA Midwest Tour – Jamie Iverson is a quiet and humble person. He does his talking behind the wheel of his Super Late Model stock car. At the recent American Speed Association Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment Championship Banquet, his peers made sure that he was heard as this 2009 Touring Star was recognized for his efforts on and off the track.

Iverson, from Escanaba, MI, ended the 2008 season with one win, two top-five's and eight top-ten finishes in 14 starts. He finished fifth in points, the second year in a row that he finished in the top-five in the final ASAMT point standings.

At the Championship Banquet, Iverson along with his family and friends, were watching a video saluting the 2008 Larry Detjens Sportsmanship Award winner. The video featured old footage of Detjens racing against the late Joe Shear. The video then transitioned over to showing Iverson and his crew pushing his car. The rest of the footage was isolated to Iverson.

"It's pretty amazing, I was like it can't be and then they show me again and again, and I was like oh no I think I won that," Iverson recalled, as the video announced he was the 2008 Sportsmanship Award winner. "It's quite an honor to win the Larry Detjens Sportsmanship Award. I remember watching him quite a bit when I was younger racing with my dad (Bob Iverson). He was well respected on and off the track. To be mentioned with his name is quite an honor."

And that wasn't all, a few minutes later; his team was announced as the Kwik Trip Kwikade Team of the Year. Iverson was thankful to his crew and reminded others why his team is competing in the ASAMT, "It shows the dedication that my crew has and what we are out there for and that is to have fun. Have fun with all of the other competitors, race as clean as you can, and have a good time."

Iverson's only win of the 2008 season came at his home track of Norway Speedway in Norway, MI. A full grandstand watched the local hero battle with 2008 ASAMT Champion Dan Fredrickson throughout the 100-lap event. Iverson used the outside line to get past Fredrickson to win the event for the second year in a row.

"The competition level is so high and it means a lot to go out there and make shows with some of the best racers in the country week in and week out," Iverson stated.

The ASAMT Touring Star program was developed to help the series promote each special event prior to, during, and after each event. Each year a group of Touring Stars will be selected to the travel bonus program.

In 2009, the top-14 from the 2008 points standing will be eligible for the Touring Star program. Those drivers who are eligible will be required to sign an agreement with a promise to attend all ASAMT events and to participate in all promotional programs or opportunities. Failure to do so will result in removal from the bonus program. Touring Stars will be allowed one (1) excused absence due to unforeseen reasons that is approved by the ASAMT office.

Those eligible drivers must have their agreement signed by February 28, 2009 to be in the program. If an eligible driver declines, then the Touring Star offer will go to the next eligible driver in the 2008 points standing prior to the start of the 2009 season. If a star drops out during the season, it will go to the next eligible driver in the current 2009 points standing.

The 15th spot in the ASAMT Touring Star program is reserved for the highest finishing rookie at an ASAMT event. If they are the highest finishing eligible rookie at any 2009 ASAMT events, they will receive a Touring Star bonus at the next event.

"The Touring Star program accomplishes a major goal that Tim (Olson, ASAMT President) and I set when we started this series. That is we want to have our fans local heroes to compete against the best Midwest drivers," Steve Einhaus, ASAMT Vice-President stated. "When we come to compete at a track with our Touring Stars, we encourage the local competitors to race with us. This is a win-win for everyone. The fans get to see some great racing and the local heroes get to show their talent against some of the toughest competition in the United States."

The season opening event will take place on Saturday, April 25 at Dells Raceway Park in Wisconsin Dells, WI with the Race for the Gold - Bronze Race.

ASA Northwest Tour – The season will start on March 28th at Evergreen Speedway (WA).

ASA RC Cola/Moon Pie Southeast Asphalt Tour – The birth of a new season for the RC Cola / MoonPie American Speed Association Southeast Asphalt Tour will commence in just a matter of days.  On February 28th the tour will be at the Desoto Super Speedway in Bradenton, Florida, for 100 laps of action.

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Big 8 –  The BRP Big 8 Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet Late Models will once again be in competition during the Swiss Colony All-Star Challenge at Madison International Speedway, Tuesday night June 30. Last year’s event came down to the wire as Ryan Carlson topped young Michael Bilderback by less than an inch at the finish line, thrilling the stellar short track crowd.

The All-Star Challenge has become a marquee event in Wisconsin each summer as top NASCAR Stars go head to head with the best the Midwest has to offer. Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart will be competing in this year’s event which will feature Super Late Models as well as Big 8 Late Models. Spectator Gates will open at noon with qualifying at 4pm, the first race begins at 7pm. Advance discount ticket order forms are now available at www.mattkenseth.com/html/appearances.html

Young Ross Kenseth collected two Big 8 Series wins in his Rookie of the Year campaign, including the most recent Series event during Oktoberfest Race Weekend at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway last October. Other fan favorites expected to compete include Madison Champion Bobby Wilberg, two-time defending Big 8 Series Champion Jeremy Miller, Jefferson top gun Steve Dobbratz, Mid-American Stock Car Champion James Swan and second generation standouts Skylar Holzhausen, Kyle Shear and Mike Carlson.

The BRP Big 8 Series season begins Sunday afternoon April 19 during the 32nd annual Spring Classic at Rockford Speedway, with a 108 lap feature event. For a complete schedule, statistics and photos, visit www.big8series.com.

Blizzard SLM Series – The 2009 Blizzard Series will kick off on April 10th at Five Flags Speedway (FL).  2008 Blizzard champion Josh Hamner will be back to defend his title and hopes to repeat as champion in the five-race series that leads up to December's Snowball Derby.

Carquest Maritime Pro Stock Tour – It has been a busy couple of weeks for the Maritime Pro Stock Tour as everyone readies for the 2009 season. The drivers and crew members had their first opportunity to take a sneak peek at the upcoming season at three drivers meetings through the region at the beginning of the month, and one common thread ran through all the sessions – there is no shortage of optimism and
excitement for ’09!
 
The meetings were held in the three provinces that the Maritime Pro Stock Tour contests races in. Drivers and crews had the opportunity to meet with and ask questions to tour officials regarding rules, procedures and races for ‘09. The meetings are just the first step towards a successful upcoming season and with
all the excitement shown, it is bound to be the best season yet!
 
Another piece of the ’09 puzzle being released in the past few weeks has been the schedule of races for the upcoming Tour. Once again, five tracks will see action on the CARQUEST Maritime Pro Stock Tour including; Nova Scotia’s Riverside International Speedway and Scotia Speedworld, the Centre for Speed
and Speedway 660 in New Brunswick and Raceway Park in Prince Edward Island.
 
Key events this season include the “Triple Crown,” which is comprised of three 250-lap events at Riverside International on July 18th, Scotia Speedworld on August 8th and Speedway 660 on September 6th. Extra prize money will be up for grabs for Tour regulars in these three race events along with points towards the
season standings.  The regular season will kick off at Scotia Speedworld on May 23rd and conclude at the 3/10th mile oval on September 12th with the annual Parts for Trucks 200 season finale!
 
Once again, the Tour would like to thank Razzy’s Roadhouse in Sherwood, PEI along with the Future Inns at Moncton, NB and the Holiday Inn Express in Enfield, NS for their cooperation in hosting our 2009 Rules Meetings and should you find yourself in any of these communities in the coming months do stop by
and say hi!
 
In the coming weeks, we will be talking to drivers about the upcoming season as well as previewing the events and races for the 2009 CARQUEST Maritime Pro Stock Tour. If you have any news, questions or comments, email tim@timterryonline.com.

CRA Super Series – CRA Super Series officials have announced that Port City Racecars has agreed to extend their sponsorship of the CRA Super Series for the upcoming 2009 racing season. The 2009 season will be the ninth straight season that Port City Racecars has sponsored the CRA Super Series. Port City Racecars will award a $100 Product Certificate to the highest finishing driver and a $50 Product Certificate to the second highest finishing driver using a Port City Chassis at every CRA Super Series event in 2009. Port City Racecars will also award the highest finishing driver in a Port City Chassis in the final 2009 CRA Super Series season points with a $500 Product Certificate and the second highest finishing driver in series points with a $250 Product Certificate.

In all Port City Chassis's won seven series events in 2008 led by series veterans Jeff Lane and series points runner-up Rick Turner with two wins a piece. 2008 CRA Super Series Rookie Of the Year Aaron Pierce used a Port City Chassis to finish fourth in series championship points while Zach Taylor finished second in Rookie points and fifth in series points also using a Port City Chassis. John VanDoorn used a Port City Chassis to get a series win at Toledo Speedway. Brian Campbell won the Boyne At Berlin 125 with a Port City Chassis. Chris Gabehart won the prestigious All American 400 CRA event in Nashville with a Port City Chassis. Turner's Port City Chassis led the series with four Fast Times in 2008. .

Port City Racecars has been a leader in the Chassis Manufacturing business for over 40 years. Located in Muskegon, Michigan, with Port City South in Buford, Georgia, Port City Racecars has supplied racers all over the United States with winning chassis's and chassis components. Port City Racecars has a complete state of the art facility and employees that are the best in the business. They employee the finest fabricators and machinists to ensure quality from top to bottom. They are constantly testing new ideas and acquiring the equipment to make Port City Racecars the leader in chassis construction for the short track racer.

Port City Racecars also stocks a full line of race parts from all the leading suppliers so they can be your one stop shop for all your racing needs. For more information on Port City Racecars call 1-800-215-8074 or visit their award winning web site at www.portcityracecars.com.

ISCARS Dash Series – 2008 series Champion Danny Bagwell and the rest of the stars of the ISCARS Dash Series will start their season May 9th at Lonesome Pine Raceway in Virginia.

Georgia Asphalt Series – The Georgia Asphalt Series will race next on April 4th at Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL)

Late Models – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl has announced that beginning in 2009 there will be no smoking in the family grandstand of the 50-year old stock car racing facility.

Promoter Tom Curley said, “ We have had an increasing number of requests from our fans over the past few years to implement this no smoking policy. With the recent news regarding second hand smoke, we have decided to make the family grandstand a non-smoking area for the comfort of the fans who want to enjoy the races in a smoke-free environment. We recognize the rights of our smoking customers and will allow smoking in the upper grandstand and throughout the remainder of the facility, but request that the concession areas be respected as smoke-free as well.”

Thunder Road recently announced a level-funded family value ticket for the 2009 race season. The no smoking policy was a natural follow up based on the large number of children who accompany their parents and grandparents to the races throughout the summer season.

A regular Thunder Road race fan, Harriet Combs, said, “ It is about time that Thunder Road came up with this no smoking policy, especially in the family seating section. I couldn’t be happier and appreciate the Thunder Road management taking this long over due position for those of us that don’t want to be around the second hand smoke. I think this is a fair solution to both the smokers and the non-smokers.”

Curley went on to say that any Gold season pass holders who are affected by the no smoking policy in the family grandstand and wish to change seating for the 2009 season should contact the Thunder Road office. Management will be happy to accommodate seating change requests.

Thunder Road opens its 50th season of racing with the 11th annual Merchants Bank 150 for the American Canadian Tour on Sunday May 03, 2009. Scott Payea of Milton is a two-time winner and defending champion of the Merchants Bank 150.

Late Model Stock Cars –  March is fast approaching and several tracks will kick off their Late Model Stock Cars seasons on that weekend.  Caraway Speedway (NC) will host the first of there dozen extra distance races for Late Model Stocks on March 15th. 

Mid-American Stock Car Series – For the second time in three seasons, 141 Speedway will play host to the Mid-American Stock Car Series’ Vercauteren Memorial.  The event will take place on Saturday, June 27.

Two seasons ago Mid-American held the event at 141 after a rainout in the Blue Race at Wisconsin International Raceway.  The venue was selected due to Mid-American founder Gary Vercauteren’s assistance in Matt Rowe’s reopening of 141 Speedway in 1998.

With a date at WIR in 2009 still up in the air due to the uncertainty surrounding the Red, White and Blue State Championships, Mid-American officials decided to set a date for the cornerstone event of each MASCS season. 

“141 Speedway was an incredible host of the Vercauteren Memorial two seasons ago,” stated MASCS co-owner Doug Strasburg.  “We are very grateful that we were able to secure a 2009 date with them and are able to bring the Vercauteren Memorial trophy along with us.”

Mike Panure, who will serve as race director for both 141 Speedway and Mid-American in 2009, was a long time friend of Vercauteren.  He aided Vercauteren in the early days of Mid-American and was witness to his assistance in the reopening of 141.

Panure was quick to recognize 141 as a good choice to play host to the 2009 event.

“Gary was very passionate about local racing,” Panure stated.  “It was no surprise that he was ready to get his hands dirty when Matt Rowe decided to reopen 141.”

“You could justify almost any track in Northeast Wisconsin as a great host for the race, but 141 has to be at the top of the list,” commented Panure.

The Vercauteren Memorial was first run in 1990 at the Calumet Country Raceway in Chilton, WI.  The event was founded to honor Harold and Regina Vercauteren, the parents of Gary Vercauteren.

Vercauteren was the public relations director of the venue at the time.

Vercauteren presented a five-foot tall trophy to the winner of the event and named the trophy after his late parents.  The trophy has since become a traveling trophy and is presented to the winner of each year’s Vercauteren Memorial.

In 1993, when Vercauteren founded Mid-American, he brought the trophy to the asphalt.  The event has traditionally been run as one of the three legs of the Red, White and Blue State Championship at Wisconsin International Raceway.

After the passing of Vercauteren in 2005, the memorial race is now run to honor him as well as his parents.  Gary’s wife Kay, sons Keith and John, brother Pete and sister Dianne have been presenters of the trophy since his passing.

The Mid-American Stock Car Series’ 17th season begins on Sunday, April 19 as part of the 32nd Annual Spring Classic at Rockford Speedway in Love’s Park, IL.  Stay tuned to www.midamericanracing.com for more announcements and news regarding Mid-American’s 2009 season.

Northwest Pro 4 Alliance – The Northwest Pro4 Alliance  will visit the best race tracks in the Northwest, as the Summer of Excitement Series II will kick off their season on May 2nd at the fast Wenatchee Valley Super Oval.

PASS North SLM - The PASS North Super Late Models, Mods and Sportsman will kick off their season on Sunday, April 19th at Speedway 95 in Hermon, ME.

PASS South SLM – The Pro All Stars Series (PASS) announced today that it will add a second race to the 2009 schedule for both the PASS South Super Late Models and PASS Late Model Trucks at the Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC.  The 4th Annual Orange Blossom Special at Orange County Speedway will be on Saturday, April 25th and will replace a previously announced race at the Caraway Speedway slated for the same date.  Caraway Speedway officials asked Monday to relinquish the date and PASS officials agreed.  In addition to the PASS South Super Late Models and PASS Late Model Trucks, the Allison Legacy Cars will also be a part of this stellar card of racing.

“We are very excited to be racing at Orange County for a second time in April,” said PASS President Tom Mayberry.  “Orange County provides some of the most exciting racing we see all year in PASS and it will be great to have the Super Late Models and Late Model Trucks on the high banks once again.  Kim (Foushee) and the staff at Orange County have been great to work with over the years and we’re glad to bring the Orange Blossom Special back in April.”

The PASS South Super Late Models and PASS Late Model Trucks will hit the track in less than a month as part of the season opening South Carolina Clash on Saturday, March 14th at the Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, SC.

SRL – After missing all but the opening round of the 2008 SRL Southwest Tour Series due to injury, M.K. Kanke is ready to bring his familiar red #33 RPM Motorsports Chevy back to the competition in 2009.

"It was tough last year, sitting out due to my accident,” stated Kanke from his Frazier Park home.

“We conducted a tire test for the SRL at Irwindale, had a good run at Roseville at the opener, then I broke my hip in a work incident.” Kanke further explained.

Kanke is a true veteran of Southwest Tour competition with 212 career starts and 22 wins in the NASCAR Southwest Series.  He also has five starts in the SRL.  The 46 year old driver has more top fives finishes than any driver in the history of the NASCAR Southwest Series.

“The SRL is a great series…its fun racing with guys like Pettit and Raudman and its more affordable than running a weekly series at one track all year.  We have a great tire from Hoosier that is a blast to race on and one set is all we need on race weekend.” Kanke continued.

Kanke and car owner Dan Nikolial have committed to running the entire SRL Southwest Tour Series in 2009.  The SRL will compete at the following tracks in 2009; All-American Speedway, The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Madera Speedway, Toyota Speedway at Irwindale and Stockton 99 Speedway.

“There are great tracks and some tough guys in the SRL and we are looking forward to the challenge.  The top guys in the series are tough competitors and when you beat them you have really done something.”  Kanke added.

Kanke and the RPM Motorsports team will be ready as the SRL makes its season debut at All-American Speedway in Roseville on April 4th, where the SRL will be joined by the NASCAR Camping World Series West. 

Southern Pro Late Model Series – The Southern Pro Late Model Series will kick off their inaugural season on March 15th at New Senoia Speedway in Senoia, Georgia.  

Super Late Models – The Thompson International Speedway today released the rules of competition for all six of its NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions for the 2009 racing season. The speedway also announced a name change for its long-time Pro Stock division.

The race rules are available on the Thompson Speedway web site with changes noted in red print. All competitors should review and download copies of the General Rules along with the rules for their specific NASCAR Whelen All American Series division. Anyone unable to access or print copies is encouraged to contact the track office to receive a printed copy by mail.

“Changes in rules are minimal this year,” said track owner, Don Hoenig. “We made every effort to change only those racing rules that were troublesome for competitors and/or track officials last season. Other changes were designed to save the competitors money. One such change is a new two-tire rule that will apply to four of the weekly racing divisions. We felt it necessary to try to limit the costs or racing in each of our divisions,” Hoenig concluded.

The name change for the Pro Stocks is something that Thompson officials have been considering for some time. This exciting division has grown and changed greatly since first being introduced in New England in 1982. Management at Thompson Speedway selected the name of Super Late Models to make it easier for fans to identify with. The Super Late Models name is being adopted throughout the region and is a better description of theses types of race cars as they are today.

The Super Late Models at Thompson will be joined by the Sunoco Modifieds, Late Models, Limited Sportsman, Thompson Modifieds and Mini Stocks. These exciting divisions be featured weekly during the Thursday Night Thompson Thunder schedule and they will also play a key role in other major racing events at the historic oval in 2009.

Work on the 2009 racing schedule continues. Race fans can expect that the new schedule of events will be available in a few weeks. Track officials confirm that there are still negotiations in progress on what promises to be an exciting racing season. Once the racing schedule is completed, it will be posted on the track web page. www.thompsonspeedway.com

The next event at Thompson will be the awards banquets for the 2008 racing season. The Pro Stocks (now called Super Late Models), Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock divisions will be honored on Friday night January 23rd. The track’s Sunoco Modifieds, Late Models and Thompson Modifieds will have their special night on Saturday night, January 24th. Tickets are available for teams finishing in the top ten in the final points standings for 2008. There are limited numbers of tickets available, so anyone wishing to attend should contact the Thompson International Speedway track office as soon as possible at 860-923-2280.

UARA-STARS – The UARA-Stars will be gearing up for the start of their 2009 season in March. On March 2nd, the teams will be at Rockingham Speedway (NC) for an open test.  The first race will be on March 14th at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC).

USPRO – Dave Gentile Jr. won the 2008 USPRO series championship.

Wisconsin Challenge Series – Will kick off their 2009 season on May 25th with the Memorial 100 at Golden Sands Speedway (WI).





Fans will get the chance to meet Joey Pole at the Speedway EXPO.  (Jim Dupont Photo)
Jack Smith (Left) talks with Speed51.com's Matt Kentfield
There will be no smoking allowed in the stands at Thunder Road.   (Jim Dupont Photo)
Smith's #28 ASA Late Model.
Jamie Iverson
The ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour
The Carquest Maritime Pro Stock Tour
Aaron Pierce's Port City CRA Super Late Model.