A while back I heard Brian Hoar and team owner Rick Paya may not be chasing ACT Late Model Tours points. About a month ago I asked Paya if Hoar was stepping back a bit would he run the No. 37 with other drivers chasing owner’s points. At the time he told me he’d know more in a few weeks.
I contacted Paya earlier this week and he told me, “The plan is to do 11 to 12 races and really have some fun. My plan is to concentrate on supporting customers and building more cars. Both Brian and I are excited to spend more time with the family and get in more camping. Main thing is continue to have fun and enjoy our crew. Our goal for the 2013 season is to have a record year of wins.”
Rick did say, “We are starting out with running the first four tour races.” Those events are at Lee (NH) USA Speedway, Thunder Road, Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven and Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY.
It will be interesting to see what they do if, after those four races, they’re on top of or close to the top in points. History will show you they’ll more than likely be in the hunt.
Paya owes and operates RPM Racing Engines in Georgia, VT. For years he’s supplied racing motors to race teams and recently he started building race cars. Last season he built cars for Trampas Demers and Donald Theetge.
To read more on RPM engines check out http://www.rpmenginesvt.com/.
Pop Quiz: Who finished second in Cup points in 2012? Look below.
• Speed channel will have live coverage of testing for Daytona Jan. 10-12 starting at 1 p.m. and going to 5 p.m. each day. SPEED.com will have live coverage of the morning sessions from 9 a.m. to noon. Special editions of NASCAR Race Hub will air on the speed channel Jan. 10-11 at 6 p.m. to recap the day’s events.
• 2013 will be Jeff Gordon’s 21st Cup season. He turned 41-years-old last August. His last championship was in 2001 the year he turned 30.
• TV Cash: NBC is expected to make a bid on bringing NASCAR rights to their network. One of NASCAR’S current deals expires after the 2014 season. Fox is set through 2022 with their latest contract which cost them $2.4 billion for eight years. That’s a billion with a B, or $300 million a year for eight years.
The package up for bids at this time includes 23 races, one of them being the Daytona 500. The entire Nationwide Series schedule goes with the deal. TNT and ABC/ESPN currently own the rights and will surly look to renew.
• Start times for Speedweeks 2013 at Daytona.
55th annual Daytona 500 – 1 p.m., Feb. 24.
51st Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona – 3:30 p.m., Jan. 26.
ARCA Series Lucas Oil 200 – 4:30 p.m., Feb. 16.
The Shootout – 8 p.m., Feb. 16.
Daytona 500 qualifying – 1 p.m., Feb. 17.
The Budweiser Duels – 2 p.m., Feb. 21
NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – 7:30 p.m., Feb. 22.
DRIVE4COPD 300 Nationwide Series – 1 p.m., Feb. 23.
• Pop Quiz Answer: Clint Bowyer finished second not Jimmie Johnson. Bowyer lost to Brad Keselowski by 39 points while beating Johnson by one point.
Terry Blount from ESPN.com has some bad news for Bowyer.
The last runner-up to win the championship the following season was Tony Stewart in 2002. The average position in the standings for a previous-season runner-up in the past 11 seasons is 9.6. I’m going to pause here while you think about that for a few seconds, 9.6.
Who would have thought after the 2011 season Carl Edwards had, he wouldn’t have contended for the title in 2012? Remember, he tied for first in points but lost the tie breakers, wins, he only had one while Stewart had five. Tied in a season where every spot on the track was worth one point. Thirty-six races, 43 cars in each race only needing one spot.
Talk about a runner-up jinx. Not only did Edwards not contend for the championship last season, he failed to make the playoffs. In 2011 he had 19 top 5s – last season he had a mere three and in 2011 he had 23 top 10s, 10 more than in 2012.
They’ve got to be scratching their collective heads in that shop. It’s not like Edwards woke up 10 months ago and forgot how to wheel a race car.
The staff at the North Woodstock, NH track is working on their 20th Anniversary season (2013). They’re putting together special race nights for each of their six weekly divisions. Those who choose to run there every week will share in incentive programs. The championship awards will be announced once they are finalized.
Lyndonville resident Steve Parker II, a former racer and champion, has been added to help promotions at WMMP for 2013. Parker has been involved in motorsports for many years and more recently through his sign-making business.
Thunder Road Photographer Passes
David J. Heath, 66, died Dec. 20, 2012, at the Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin. David was the quiet gentleman who spent most of his time in the infield at Thunder Road. His photos were on sale in the photo booth in turn one down by the hotdog stand.
I’ve missed very few races at The Road in the past few decades and I can’t tell you how long he’s been snapping photos there but I believe I’ve bought photos from him of my brother Bob’s race car and he hasn’t raced since 1987.
At a time like this, I’d like to give a shout out to all the men and women who dedicate so much of their time taking photos of the sport we love. I don’t believe the average fan realizes just how many hours go into photo taking, including the time spent long after they get home cropping and adding captions to their shots.
Victory Lane Radio
For the past three years VLR could be heard on the net at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/vlf1. Host Eric LaFleche and Alan Ward will be back again in 2013.
Eric will also be part of a new show set to debut in January. The show, named “All-Wheel Live”, will be hosted by Patrick Brooks and LaFleche. The inner workings of the show are still being finalized but Eric says, “What I can tell you is that it will encompass the auto industry, power-sports and the like.”
Stay tuned for a whole new Victory Lane Radio Network website, where you will be able to easily stream us live and scroll through our original content articles and archived shows.
Seven Years Ago We Lost Bobby Shores
Hard to believe it’s been seven years since the passing of Bobby Shores. He died Dec 31, 2005. I’ve checked with a local genie and if I do find a genie in a bottle I will be allowed three wishes. One of my wishes will be one last trip home after a night at Thunder Road, ending with Bobby sitting in his car and me in a lawn chair just inside my garage, chatting about nothing until the sun comes up. Dam, I miss that guy!
Until Next Week
Happy New Year race fans, may every trip to a race track in 2013 be an enjoyable one. Every day find someone or something that makes you laugh.