The Milk Bowl at Thunder Road was finally contested on Oct. 28, four weeks and two rain-outs after it was originally scheduled. Dave Pembroke, who won it in 2002, outlasted 29 others to kiss the cow in victory lane. His segment finishes were 2, 7 and 7 for a score of 16, three better than runner up Brian Hoar. Glen Luce, the winner of segment three, finished third overall with a score of 29. The high scores tell you a whole bunch of drivers ran into troubles.
Wayne Helliwell Jr., the 2012 ACT Late Model champion, finished 20th in the first segment after being involved in wreck and tearing up the nose on the No. 27NH. Helliwell Jr. ended up fourth overall. Jean-Paul Cyr finished 23rd in the first segment before winning the second segment and then raced back to eighth in the final segment to finish fifth in the final rundown. Cyr used the last provisional to start dead last in the first segment.
Milk Bowl Random Thoughts and Facts
If I was asked to describe the day in one word, I’d say – rough! It would have been interesting to survey the 30 cars after the 200 laps (50, 75, 75) to see if anyone loaded a race car without some damage. I’m thinking there wasn’t one car without at least one dinged up fender.
I’m not sure what it was, but it appeared to me there wasn’t a lot of respect being shown by many drivers throughout the day. It could have been because the track was a little green. By that I mean it had been 29 days since there were any cars on the track, so there was very little rubber built up.
It could have been payback time. It’s impossible to know what a driver is thinking, but from where I was standing it appeared some guys were purposely running into other drivers, some more than others. I know not everything is as it appears, but more than once it looked to me as though a guy was simply trying to wreck another car.
It could have been the guys knew they weren’t going to see each other for a few months so it was easier to lean on a guy than it was during the middle of the season, knowing you’d see that guy next week.
• The race saw 15 cautions, 14 of them in the final two segments. The yellow flew in segment 2 on laps 2, 3, 14, 23 (twice), 25, 34 and 49. In the final segment the race was slowed on laps 9, 13, 25, 51 and 68 twice.
• I’m sure if you’re reading, this you know that was the 50th running of the Milk Bowl.
• Anytime you get more laps it’s a good thing for the fans. I’m always up for more laps. But, like I said, the last two years by increasing the laps from 50 to 75 for the last two segments it seems we’ve lost some of the urgency. Around lap 40 of the last segment Hoar was up to third, while Pembroke was struggling in traffic around 12th to 13th. With 35 laps to go, Pembroke appeared to be calmly picking up spots. I’m thinking if the segment was only 50 laps he’d have been panicking a little.
• The know-it-alls will tell you they told you so – no one would win all three segments and the 50 grand that went to the guy who did. I’ll ask these loudmouths if next year they’d like to put up some of their own money if they’re so sure it’ll never happen. Would they be willing to give me 500-to-1 odds on a buck? If no one wins all three segments I’ll give them buck, BUT if it does happen they owe me $500. Anyone interested in doing this look me up in the next 11 months and we’ll shake on it. And not that I don’t trust everyone, but I’ll insist we will have a neutral party hold the $501 in cash.
• I’m not sure what surprised me more, Laperle being a non-factor from the drop of the green flag in segment one or Luce finishing third. I’m not throwing stones at Luce, but I don’t know too many fans who picked him to finish in the top 10, think nothing of third. A quick look back at his finishes at The Road in the past three seasons show him with finishes of 13, 20, 18, last, 12, 12, 28 and failing to qualify for the Merchant Bank 150 in May of 2010.
• The 10 guys Pembroke joined, winning more than one Milk Bowl, are Robby Crouch (4), Brian Hoar, Russ Ingerson, Patrick Laperle and Kevin Lepage all with three. Those with two wins are Jean-Paul Cabana, Stub Fadden, Harold Hanaford, Phil Scott and Dave Whitlock.
• It was the 18th time the Milk Bowl was won by a driver who didn’t win a segment. Pembroke didn’t win a segment when he won in 2002 either.
• Not surprisingly all 30 guys who qualified back on Sept. 28 showed up last Sunday.
• Eighteen of the 21 starters in the Mini Milk Bowl (a 100-lap race for the drivers who didn’t make the Milk Bowl) showed up.
Travis Stearns, a regular at Oxford, won the Mini Bowl. Not only did they present him with a mini milk bowl, he had to kiss a calf in victory lane. It was pretty funny, I don’t think he saw the horse trailer (is it a horse trailer if it’s not carry a horse?) pulling into the infield behind him as he was talking into the microphone.
That race was run in two 50-lap segments, Stearns finished second in both of them. Dave Farrington Jr. finished second with a score of 7. Fifteen-year-old Joey M. Laquerre was third with finishes of 6 and 3.
• I see Roger Dion attended the event. I’m sure he’s been to Thunder Road many times in the past few seasons but I can’t help think of his and some of his team members being banned from the place for many years after an altercation with Keith Cavanagh in the early ’80s.
• As an old guy who enjoys the history of the place, it does my heart good to see a white car with the No. 16 on it, Patten Gas as the sponsor and a Fadden driving the thing. Travis Fadden, Stubby’s grandson, is a regular at White Mountain Motorsports Park and has raced at The Road a few times in his young career.
• Times of the segments were: 1: 15:22, Segment 2: 49:08, Segment 3: 49:05, Total: 1:53:35
• Milk Bowl Finish – 1. Dave Pembroke 2, 7, 7, (16), 2. Brian Hoar, 1, 16, 2, (19), 3. Glen Luce 14, 14, 1, (29), 4. Wayne Helliwell Jr. 20, 6, 5, (31), 6. Brent Dragon 16, 3, 13, (32), 7. Jimmy Hebert 22, 2, 9, (33) 8. Cris Michaud 4, 18, 11, (33), 9. Nick Sweet 3, 27, 4, (34), 10. Phil Scott 13, 4, 19, (36), 11. Chip Grenier 17, 5, 15, (37), 12. John Donahue 19, 9, 10, (38), 13. Scott Payea 9, 8, 21, (38), 14. Brooks Clark 8, 15, 16, (39), 15. Austin Theriault 11, 23, 6, (40), 16. Patrick Laperle 29, 10, 3, (42), 17. Stacy Cahoon 10, 17, 17, (44), 18. Jeff Taylor 12, 12, 20, (44), 19. Cody Blake 6, 21, 18, (45), 20. Ricky Rolfe 15, 24, 12, (51), 21. Jamie Aube 24, 19, 14, (57), 22. Travis Fadden 18, 20, 23, (61), 23. Mike Bailey 27, 11, 25, (63), 24. Joey Polewarczyk Jr. 7, 25, 31, (63), 25. Luke Hinkley 25, 13, 26, (64), 26. Trampas Demers 5, 28, 31, (64), 27. Quinny Welch 21, 26, 24, (71), 28. Eric Chase 28, 22, 22, (72), 29. Ray Parent 26, 29, 31, (86), 30. Grant Folsom 30, 31, 31, (92).
Ties were broken by best finish in the third segment. A score of 31 indicates that driver didn’t start that segment.
• Mini Milk Bowl Results – 1. Travis Stearns 2, 2, (4), 2. Dave Farrington Jr. 3, 4, (7), 3. Joey M. Laquerre 6, 3, (9), 4. Dave Whitcomb 4, 5, (9), 5. Joey Laquerre 1, 8, (9), 6. Joey Becker 12, 1, (13), 7. Ricky Roberts 7, 6, (13), 8. Bryan Mason 5, 10, (15), 9. Norm Andrews 13, 7, (20), 10. Spencer MacPherson 8, 12, (20), 11. Emily Packard 10, 11, (21), 12. Chad White 9, 15, (24), 13. Sam Caron 11, 16, (27), 14. Todd Davis 19, 9, (28), 15. James Linardy 14, 14, (28), 16. Pat Floyd 17, 13, (30), 17. Matt White 15, 19, (34), 18. Jamie Fisher 16, 19, (35).
Ties were broken by best finish in second segment. A score of 19 indicates that driver didn’t start that segment.
Last week I told you Tom Curley was finishing his 34th year in racing. He started working at Catamount Stadium in 1978, the year before he started touring in 1979.
He told me, “The NASCAR North thing came into existence because, after watching things for a season, it was clear that with just 15 cars tops and often less at the weekly shows, the writing was on the wall. That was why I developed the NASCAR North Tour. The only races that were working were for what were then ‘southern style Late Models’ who ran some 100-lap races. Many of the drivers were from Quebec, some from Maine and a dozen from Vermont.” The year that started was 1978.
ACT to Go Head-to-Head With the 2013 Oxford 250
ACT President Tom Curley in moving forward with his Late Model cars and his two series, the U.S.-based ACT LM Tour and the Castrol Series (ACT took over this series in 2007) in Quebec. Oxford (ME) was sold to Pro All Stars Series President Tom Mayberry recently and his first announcement was the 250 will be contested in Super Late Model cars.
Curley announced to a few of us media guys last Sunday morning at Thunder Road the “International 500” will be run on July 20-21, 2013 at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY, the same weekend as the Oxford 250.
He told us, “We’ve been up in Quebec for six years and have brought a series, at the request of some race teams, from 14 to 16 cars to a pretty solid 22 to 26 cars. Chaudiere (sold to Mayberry and a couple of partners last month) was a big part of that. It was a very successful race track. The problem we had, a couple of years ago, Tom Mayberry from PASS decided he wanted to go in and race at Chaudiere, which I didn’t have any problem with, at all. In fact, I thought that was a good move for him. But, what I didn’t buy was the fact, that in that process, they also wanted to come after our race teams.
“When people come up and want to disrupt, it is then, as a business person, you either have to compete with that or simply close your tent up and go back to whatever you were doing. We’ve chosen to compete with it. The reason we’ve chosen to compete with it is the next step was, one race was not enough they wanted to go in the same market.
“Within an hour of Quebec City you have three major tracks competing for the same fan base and for the same race cars.”
There’s a whole lot more to this story and I’ll tell you the rest next week.
Until Next Week
If you do go to Riverside remember: “If you’re not having fun, stay home and don’t bother those of us who are.”