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home : features : strap in February 26, 2015

5/22/2014 10:00:00 PM
There's a Lot of Racing Going on This Memorial Day Weekend
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Chip Grenier (22) battles Grant Folsom (81) for the Late Model win at Thunder Road, June 19. Folsom picked up his third career victory and Grenier settled for second.


Biggy can be reached at
R. Bigelow, 294 Hillside Dr., St. Johnsbury, VT 05819


Cup Quickies and Facts

This weekend will be the 55th running of the series longest race, The Coke 600 at Charlotte. Before 1985 it was called the World 600.

• Matt Kenseth is the only driver to win it in his rookie year. I’m guessing there aren’t many lists of record holders out there with just one name on it. That’s pretty cool.

• Jamie McMurray would love to join the list of seven drivers who have won both the All-Star race and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same year. Those on the list are Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010).

• Kurt Busch is running both the Cup race and the Indianapolis 500 on the same day. It’ll be the ninth time that has been tried, by three different drivers, Tony Stewart twice, Robby Gordon five times and John Andretti tried it in 1994.

Stewart has the best result having finished sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte in 2001. He’s the only driver to complete all 1,100 miles.

• Busch qualified 10th for the Indianapolis 500, but crashed in a Monday practice session and will be in a back-up car. I think he gets to keep his starting spot but I really don’t know much about the division. I do know only 33 cars tried for one of 33 spots.

• Kasey Kahne has won the 600 three times, in 2006, ’08 and ’12.

• Six times since its 1960 inception, the 600 has seen a driver pick up his first Cup Series win. They are David Pearson, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Matt Kenseth, Casey Mears and David Reutimann.

Josh Wise

Pop Quiz – What car number does Wise drive? Hint, it’s a Cup car. All kidding aside, he drives the No. 98 for Phil Parsons Racing and goes into the weekend 36th in Cup points.

He had more votes than Danica Patrick from the All-Star Race fan vote that allowed that one last car to sneak in the back door of the All-Star race. Backing into an All-Star is for another column.

Wise is sponsored by Dogecoin which is some sort of “virtual currency community” on … don’t ask me!

A 16-year-old started posting about Wise a while back after the site gave him some sponsorship. When they found out about this fan vote thing they started voting.

From what I read, they did not use fancy computers to rig the vote that doesn’t allow machines to vote, although I have no idea how NASCAR could tell if they did.

Anyways, Wise won and maybe now NASCAR will do away with these daffy fan votes that have been out of control for decades. Way back when, Bill Elliott’s fan club got him the Most Popular Driver Award for a bunch of years in a row.

I looked it up so you don’t have to. Elliott won 16 straight before Bill himself took his name off the ballot.

If Wise beating Patrick doesn’t end this nonsense you can bet if he beats Dale Jr. for the Most Popular Driver Award this season things will change.

Short-track Quickies and Facts

Happy Birthday to Johnny Gammell – my Dad Jerry always called him J.O. He’ll turn 86 on May 27. Birthday wishes go to 351 Depot Hill, St. J, VT 05819.

• I ran into one of my long time readers at WMMP last Saturday night and we chatted about the ever-growing problem of low car counts (at most race tracks) and fans finding other things to do. We talked about cell phones and hand-held computers with instant updates, which we agree are keeping the younger fans away.

I told him when I was kid the pit areas were full of fans and kids after the races. Now-a-days most race teams are headed for the highway long before all the divisions are run. But remember back when I raced at Riverside (1986-87) there were only two divisions. And Thunder Road ran just one class, about 40 Flying Tigers, every week from 1982 to around 1987, when they added a second class.

We finished our talk with him saying his son wanted to go to the movies and not the races that night and his wife, who would rather be watching racing, went with him.

• Thunder Road runs Sunday, May 25 with the Thursday night action starting June 5.

• With the ACT Late Model Tour running only nine point-counting events this season, their season is a third over. The race at The Road, even though it’s a 100-lapper, is NOT a Tour race. Fact is, the only Tour race at Thunder Road for 2014 was held opening day and won by Wayne Helliwell Jr.

• Josh Currier won his first career DIRTcar Sportsman Modified, May 17 at Bear Ridge Speedway.

• Last season Jason Giguere won the first nine features in the Limited Late Models at the Bradford dirt track. This season it took him until week three, last week, May 17.

• Twenty-five – count ’em 25 – Sportsman Modifieds started the 40-lap main event, plus there were two cars in the pits when the race started. After a couple of cautions early, they raced 30 laps, green to the checkers.

Also in the pits last week were 19 Sportsman Coupes, 22 USAC DMA Midgets and 19 Fast Fours/Hornets.

• Ray Parent, who drives the No. 17 RI on the Late Model Tour, won the ACT Invitational win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September of 2012. Going into last weekend’s event at Plattsburgh, he had never won an ACT point-counting event in his 30 starts. Did you know his first two ACT starts came in 2006? He finished in the top 10 in both of them. He was ninth at Lee and sixth at Seekonk.

I wasn’t at Airborne, but it sounded like a fantastic finish if you think rubbing is racing. He and Quebec driver Jonathan Bouvrette (41PQ) ran side-by-side, sometimes running into each other, in the final six laps after the caution flew on lap 94 (twice).

At the line, Parent led lap 95, Bouvrette laps 96 and 97, Parent 98, Bouvrette 99. They swapped paint as they drag-raced to the line and Parent came away with the win by .041 seconds.

After the race, he told Vermont Motorsports Magazine’s TJ Ingerson, “I did run him rough up off of (turn) four, but at that point, it’s been so long. The next one I wouldn’t do that to him, but the first one. I needed this one bad.”

• Parent becomes the 72nd different winner in 250 ACT Late Model Tour point-counting races.

• PASS point leader DJ Shaw won at the Autodrome Chaudiere, May 18. Shaw has now won two in row.

• PASS drivers Patrick Laperle and Donald Theetge, who last I knew didn’t exchange birthday greetings, tangled and brought out the caution on lap 80.

• Ben Rowe’s bad luck continued as he cut down a tire putting him several laps off the pace.

• Jaques Poulin was collected by Johnny Clark, sending him spinning in front of the field. Glen Luce’s fine day ended in the skirmish after he had hung around the top five all afternoon.

• Shaw inherited the lead and survived a couple of late race restarts to capture the win.

• Qualifying checkers flew for Laperle, Theetge, and Travis Benjamin.

• Pete Knights has spent his lifetime around racing. He’s been a driver, crewman and crew chief. He completed his first night as Head of Tech at White Mountain last Saturday night. He told me after a quick check, every car in the pit area everyone seems to be playing by the rules. He reported everyone also passed tech after their main events.

He did smile when I asked if he was going to look a little closer in the upcoming weeks. Knights is one of those guys who for many years has talked to a great deal of chassis guys and builders. He has a great dialog with some of the best tech guys in the region so he knows where to look.

• Knights spent last Sunday helping to erect a pole at the start/finish line at WMMP which will be where the reader for the transponders will be mounted. Unlike most of the systems in use around the area that are imbedded in the track, this system hangs out over the track. They hope to have it working within the next couple of weeks.

• Speaking of WMMP, the 2013 Late Model King of the Mountain, Travis Fadden, picked right up where he left off last season. He won opening night. Word over the winter was this team didn’t plan on chasing points this season. I’ll check on that and get back to you.

• Riverside Speedway announced Late Model driver Mike “Beetle” Bailey will be racing at the Groveton, NH Speedway this season. Bailey has raced at Riverside previously and has been racing at Thunder Road in recent years.

Bailey will be driving his familiar double zero and competing for the 2014 championship against former champions Bryan Mason, Luke Shannon, Mike Paquette and others.

The speedway will be celebrating their 50th season in 2014 with May 31 being opening night.


Results from Autodrome Chaudiere in Vallee Junction, QC, May 8 – 1. DJ Shaw, 2. Johnny Clark, 3. Mike Rowe, 4. Joey Doiron, 5. Kevin Roberge, 6. Martin Latulippe, 7. Patrick Laperle, 8. Michael Lavoie, 9. Eric St. Gelais, 10. Donald Theetge, 11. Dany Poulin, 12. Travis Benjamin, 13. Alex Labbe, 14. Curtis Gerry, 15. Cassius Clark, 16. Jean Duchesneau, 17. Kevin Moore, 18. Jaques Poulin, 19. Ben Rowe, 20. Glen Luce, 21. Alex Gingras, 22. Karl Allard, 23. Marc-Andre Cliché.

• The next stop for the PASS North Series will be May 24 at White Mountain Motorsports Park for the Littleton Chevrolet/Buick 150. Post time is 5 p.m.

ACT Late Model Tour

Results from the Airborne 100 at Airborne Speedway, May 17 (start) – 1. (1) Ray Parent, 2. (5) Jonathan Bouvrette, 3. (12) Joey Polewarczyk Jr., 4. (3) Stephane Descoste, 5. (2) Bobby Therrien, 6. (4) Brandon Atkins, 7. (7) Travis Stearns, 8. (16) Jeff White, 9. (8) Rowland Robinson Jr., 10. (15) Jimmy Hebert, 11. (10) Emily Packard, 12. (20) Sylvain Lacombe, 13. (6) Todd Davis, 14. (11) Brian Hoar, 15. (9) Kyle Welch, 16. (21) Jean-Paul Cyr, 17. (17) Luke Hinkley, 18. (13) Larry Gelinas, 19. (14) Ben Ashline, 20. (26) Nick Lagoy, 21. (24) Claude Leclerc, 22. (18) Brian Tagg, 23. (19) Jason Corliss, 24. (29) John Falconi, 25. (28) Jean-Pierre Ouimet, 26. (31) Jimmy Linardy, 27. (30) Matt Anderson, 28. (27) A.J. Panessiti, 29. (22) Bucko Branham, 30. (23) Aaron Fellows 31. (25) Mike Ziter.

DNS: Lance Allen. Lap Leaders: Parent, 1-7; Therrien, 8-15; Parent, 16-95; Bouvrette, 96-97; Parent, 98; Bouvrette, 99; Parent, 100. Time of Race: 43:23. Margin of Victory: .041 seconds. Cautions: 3 (laps 6, 94, 94). Heat Winners: Atkins, Hebert, White, Parent.

Consi Winners: Stearns, Descoste.

• The American Canadian Tour has several weeks off before heading to Riverside Speedway in Groveton, NH for their fourth event of the season on June 7.

Riverside Speedway

May 24 NAPA from Berlin and Colebrook, NH present the Car Show. Gates open at 10 a.m.

May 25 the Flood Bowl Enduro 250 will take place.

Thunder Road

May 25 it’s the 52nd Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. The double-header program will feature 100 laps for the ACT Thunder Road Late Models, Tigers and Streets plus a special 50-lap main for the Modifieds that compete regularly at both Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Fair Haven and Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY.


Results, May 17, 2014: Late Models – 1. Travis Fadden, 2. Oren Remick, 3. Jeremy Harclerode, 4. Mike Jurkowski, 5. Russ Clark, 6. Stacy Cahoon, 7. Bernie Lantagne, 8. Mike Kenison, 9. Mike Martel, 10. Glen Martel, 11. Brandon Albee, 12. Dave Labrecque, 13. Ryan Olsen, 14. Bobby Baillargeon.

Tiger Sportsman – 1. Scott Coburn, 2. Elwin Sidney, 3. Lucas Wheeler, 4. Jason Fallman, 5. James Capps, 6. Lisa Hodgdon, 7. Matt LeBlanc, 8. David Baron Sr.

Dwarf Cars – 1. Jeff Ainsworth, 2. Bobby Brown, 3. Timmy Churchill, 4. Tim Anderson, 5. Eric Boucher, 6. Dave Gyger, 7. Tommy Smithers, 8. Jason Wyman, 9. Toby Merchant, 10. Paul Marsan, 11. Tyler Jones, 12. Mark Wigget, 13. Kevin Hockman, 14. Jeremy Labrecque, 15. Kevin Wyman, 16. Cody Wyman, 17. Derek Marsan, 18. Jim Wentworth.

Strictly Stocks – 1. Tom Keith, 2. Donnie Drew, 3. Jody Sicard, 4. Amanda Wheeler, 5. Gordon Day, 6. Chandler Potter, 7. Michael Lloyd, 8. Matthew Morrill, 9. Shane Sicard, 10. Richard Paradis, 11. David Baron Jr., 12. Al Hauver, 13. Allison Menard, 14. Jason Goodbut, 15. Michael Denis.

Strictly Minis – 1. Jeremy Wyman, 2. Larry Holmes, 3. Desirae Sicard, 4. Michael Richards Jr., 5. Jason Rogers, 6. Dustin Jackson, 7. Colby Bourgeois, 8. Cody LeBlanc, 9. Debra Holmes, 10. Keri Sicard, 11. Dave Driscoll, 12. Donald Judd Jr., DNS Casey Collins.

Kid’s Trucks – 1. Evan Amour, 2. Anthony Tompkins, 3. Kaleb Rogers, 4. Colin Cornell, 5. Nate Walton, 6. Caitlyn Haggett, 7. Taylor Coburn.

• May 24 – The Pro All Stars Series join the Kids Trucks, Strictly Minis, Strictly Stocks, Tigers, and Late Models. The Dwarf cars have the week off. Post time is 5 p.m.

Bear Ridge

Results, May 17: DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Feature (40 laps) – 1. Josh Currier, 2. TC Forward, 3. Bryan King, 4 Derek Graham, 5. Kevin Chaffee, 6. Adam Gage, 7. Jordan Fornwalt, 8. Jason Gray, 9. Richie Simmons, 10. Chris Donnelly, 11. Ed Patterson, 12. Tim Tucker, 13. DJ Robinson, 14. Adam Pierson 15. Josh Sunn, 16. Gary Siemons, 17. Derek Barker, 18. Mike Dunn, 19. Bob Shepard, 20. Tim Hodge, 21. Danny Eastman, 22. Tyler Austin, 23. Mike Gendron, 24. Justin Comes, 25. Ross Derry. Robert Tucker and Travis Shinn DNS.

Sportsman Coupes – 1. Jeremy Beckley, 2. Louie Cadwell, 3. Jason Horniac, 4. Melvin Pierson, 5. Logan Oliver, 6. Josh Harrington, 7. Thomas Placey, 8. Jeff Robbins, 9. Matt Ellsworth, 10. Teddy Salomaa, 11. Martin Mastic, 12. Brian Chaffee, 13. Michael Danforth, 14. Earl Maxham, 15. Mitchell Frost, 16. Jerry Catterall, 17. Bob Kilburn, 18. Billy Simmons, 19. Jason Colbeth.

USAC DMA Midgets – 1. Scott Holcomb, 2. Adam Pierson, 3. Dean Christensen, 4. Anthony Nocella, 5. Josh Sunn, 6. Tim Hodge, 7. Tim Gallant, 8. Joe Krawiec, 9. Ray Miller, 10. Adam Whitney, 11. Alex Rose, 12. Lauryn Burd, 13. Stan Otterman, 14. Mike Chaffee, 15. Scott Viets, 16. Dylan Rock, 17. Jeff Horn, 18. Vince Lucca, 19. Amanda Habel, 20. Denny Zimmerman, 21. Jamie Spalding. Jeff Champagne (DNS)

Limited Late Models – 1. Jason Giguere, 2. James Fadden, 3. Mike Greene, 4. Derrick Stearns, 5. Kevin Harran, 6. Cary Moulton, 7. Brandon Gray.

Fast Fours/Hornets – 1. Tim Martin, 2. Charlie Lakin, 3. Karl Sheldon, 4. Chris LaForest, 5. Joe Kemp, 6. Don Reynolds, 7. Rob Gioia, 8. Kelly Miller, 9. Taylor Morse, 10. Jacob Roy, 11. Mike Sherburne, 12. Cody Stearns, 13. Deven Stearns, 14. Mike Ryan, 15. Hunter Garduno, 16. Derek Counter, 17. Sean Perron, 18. Bobby Bell. David Stearns (DNS)

• May 24 it’s Remembrance of Lost Friends Memorial Night, sponsored by Dad’s 4 By Tool & Supply. The card will include the weekly Sportsman Modified, Sportsman Coupes, Limited Late Model, Fast Four, Hornets plus the Sprint Cars of New England.

Go Green

Until Next Week

There are lots of choices this weekend. Get out and enjoy some short-track racing. But remember: “If you’re not having fun, stay home and don’t bother those of us who are.”

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