A Dirt Revival
In recent decades, dirt track racing has never really been a big draw in New England. There have been a few tracks out there, primarily in Northern New Hampshire and Vermont, but none of them have enjoyed the kind of nationally known status as asphalt facilities like Thunder Road, Oxford, Stafford or Thompson.
With the resurgence of dirt racing nationally though, the time might be right for dirt racing in the region though and one track in New Hampshire is ready to capitalize on that trend.
Big Daddy's' Speedrome has its roots in a facility that has been around since the 1960's and has been formerly known as Pines Speedway, Nor-way Pines Speedway, Legion Speedway and Rattlesnake Motordrome. Mike Rivers has taken over the track and been very busy putting new life into it over the off-season
Rivers reports that the track has new bleachers, a new tower, new equipment, a new wall, a new fence and a new website to start out the season.
“We just dropped the blade on the dozer and just about buried it all except for the kitchen and bathroom,” said Rivers. “They'll be bulldozed for next season. There is huge interest in the track and we think it will have a good year.”
Rivers is a long-time racer who is entering his first year as a promoter. His own former Dirt Late Model, which was sold to Jamie Bezanson, was renumbered as #13 _ and served as the centerpiece for the BDS display at the Racin' Preview.
BDS plans to run Outlaw Late Models, Super Stocks, Budget Modifieds, Mini Stocks and four-cylinder Bandits as their regular divisions.
PASS Champion Johnny Clark Makes His Easter Plans
Four-time PASS North champion Johnny Clark was at the Racin' Preview to meet fans and appear in the PASS booth. He confirmed to Speed51.com that he will head south later this spring to compete in the Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Hickory has been an interesting place for Clark in the past. He's run well there, but has never had the kind of finish that he's been looking for.
“We've always been fast there,” said Clark. “We've thought we'd be good in the races, but halfway through everything changed and I thought we were at White Mountain (a track where Clark hasn't had as much success at as other venues). I just can't have anything good there past the 50-lap mark.”
The Easter Bunny 150 is scheduled for April 2nd-3rd and is a PASS South and PASS National Super Late Model points event.
Doiron Decides on PASS
In 2009, Maine youngster Joey Doiron spend most of his time running on the ACT Late Model Tour in addition to running a limited schedule of PASS North Super Late Model races. He had planned to split his time between the two tours again in 2010, but has now decide to simplify his racing plans. Doiron will now focus his attention solely on PASS.
Doiron has a brand new Dale Shaw-built chassis that he is converting over to PASS specs to go with his car from 2009. He plans to run the entire PASS North schedule.
“This should be fun,” said Doiron. “I can't wait to get to Thompson (the fastest track on the PASS North schedule).”
A Five Pack of 40s
There aren't very many racing families out there who are more dedicated that the McKeages. Father Lyman and son Dan have been longtime supporters of Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) and various PASS tours with their “Naughty 40” team. At the Racin' Preview, they both had their Beech Ridge cars on display in addition to a car for a newbie racer in the family. Those three machines also have the company of another two racecars in the family's shop - and all of those racecars will get a good workout in 2010.
Lyman will run the #40 entry in the Sports Series at Beech Ridge and the #58 PASS Sportsman. Dan will run the #40 Pro Series (Super Late Model) car at Beech Ridge and the #38 on the PASS Sportsman tour. Laura McKeage will now take over the family's Wildcat car at Beech Ridge - with #40 on the side.
Chad Dow's New Adventure
Chad Dow was one of the first standouts of the PASS Modified series. He's also run a few PASS Outlaw events and recently he's kept busy helping DJ Shaw's PASS North team.
But like many other Americans lately, Dow recently found himself downsized. He had been building interiors and cabinets for trailer maker SnoPro, but got laid off. Now, he's put his fabrication skills to work by starting up his own company - Innovative Specialties Custom Fabrication. Dow's company was at the Racin' Preview showing off pit carts and pit equipment.
Dow has also been busy putting together a Late Model for Maine racing Legend Ralph Nason to run at Unity Raceway (ME) this year. It's a car that Dow hopes to wheel on occasion as well.
“When he's not racing, the plan is for me to drive it,” said Dow. “It ought to keep me busy.”
No Deal For Cushman
Jay Cushman was a spectator at the Racin' Preview. The Super Late Model car owner, who has fielded cars for Ted Christopher, Trevor Sanborn, Scott Chubbuck, Travis Kittleson and Louie Mechalides among others, hasn't raced much lately. He doesn't have plans to in the near future either - unless funding becomes available for his team.
“Not really,” said Cushman when asked if he had any plans for this year. “We have a brand new racecar, but that don't mean nothing.”