The 14 Team Is Out of the Championship Hunt - The Caledonian-Record - St. Johnsbury, VT
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home : features : strap in October 4, 2015

8/8/2013 10:30:00 PM
The 14 Team Is Out of the Championship Hunt
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Thunder Road Late Model point leader Nick Sweet (88), the 2010 King of Road, leads the field at The Road.


Yes, race fans, a team can change everything, and I do mean everything, many times during the season, but the driver has to be the same guy to earn driver’s points, which will be the guy at the head table at the banquet.

Tony Stewart broke his leg in a sprint car crash Monday night, August 5, at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa. It was a sprint car not a Sprint Cup car.

He’ll miss the Cup race this weekend and his chances for the title are over.

But wait, I checked with both Dave Moody and (it was getting close to my deadline so I emailed them both) and they both replied. I asked, “Is the Chase made up of both driver’s points and owner’s points? It was talked about for a while about the 55 team earlier this year but never really explained.

“I believe if Stewart starts the race (I know he won’t) and the guy who relieves him goes on to win, Stewart would get the points but would he get the three bonus points towards getting the 14 in the Chase?”

Jayski wrote: “There is a Chase for both. So there is a chance the 11, 14 and/or the 55 could make Chase for the owners.”

Dave said: “There are actually two Chases. The one people care about is the driver’s Chase, based (obviously) on driver points. But there is also an owner’s Chase, calculated using Owner Points. There can – and may well be – different, 12-car fields in each Chase.

“If Stewart started this weekend’s race (and he won’t, he’s busted up badly), he would get all the driver’s points for wherever the 14 car finished. If it won, he would get three bonus points for the Chase.”

So there you have it, two Chases. Going into this weekend, the 14 is 11th in owner’s points, the 55 16th and the 11 24th.

Cup Points

With five races to go before the playoffsstart, the top 7 seem to be in. They are Jimmy Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth.

Then it’s 8. Kasey Kahne 612 (1 win), 9. Jeff Gordon 602 (0 wins), 10. Greg Biffle 599 (1 win), 11. Stewart 594 (1 win), 12. Brad Keselowski 592 (0 wins), 13. Kurt Busch 588 (0 wins), 14. Martin Truex Jr. 584 (1 win), 15. Ryan Newman 575 (1 win).

ACT Late Model Tour

Jimmy Hebert claimed his second career Tour victory of the season, and his career, in the Sanair 150 at Sanair Super Speedway on August 3. Hebert started from the pole with a +6 qualifying effort on his way to his heat win. He faded back during the early stages of the event before working his way back to the point just before the halfway mark. He returned to the lead for good on lap 70 and built a large lead before the final rain shower of the day came and cut the race short on lap 145.

Série ACT competitor Alex Labbe and Wayne Helliwell Jr. came from 12th and 24th, respectively, to complete the podium. Joey Polewarczyk Jr. worked his way from 13th to take fourth. Brian Hoar and Glen Luce battled for the lead for the majority of the first half of the event. Hoar began to fade before the lap 77 mandatory caution for fuel and tires. He then worked his way back up to finish fifth.

RESULTS – 1. Hebert, 2. Labbe, 3. Helliwell Jr., 4. Polewarczyk Jr., 5. Hoar, 6. Jonathan Bouvrette, 7. Ben Lynch, 8. Donald Theetge, 9. Jean-Francois Dery, 10. Bobby Therrien, 11. Martin Goulet, 12. Rowland Robinson Jr., 13. Etienne Cliche, 14. Glen Luce, 15. Dany Trepanier, 16. Patrick Cliche, 17. Travis Stearns, 18. Patrick Hamel, 19. Justin Holtom, 20. Claude Leclerc, 21. Gaetan Gaudreault, 22. Christopher Bedard, 23. Patrick Boyer, 24. Jacques Poulin, 25. Patrick Laperle, 26. Steven Boissonneault, 27. Derek Lynch, 28. David Michaud, 29. Emily Packard, 30. William Roberge.

POINTS (after 10 of 14 races) – 1. Helliwell Jr. 931, 2. Hebert 886, 3. Polewarczyk Jr. 870, 4. Therrien 760, 5. B. Lynch 731, 6. Ray Parent 710, 7. Brent Dragon 709, 8. Rowland Robinson Jr. 670, 9. Stearns 638, 10. Luce 630.


Rain halted the August 4 WMMP event with the WMMP Dwarf Cars complete and the PASS Sportsman race shortened to 26 laps. The PASS Super Late Models and PASS Mods will run double features on August 31 with a full card for the WMMP regulars.

RESULTS: La Quebecoise Triple Crown at Autodrome Chaudière in Vallee-Jonction, QC, August 6 – 1. Kyle Busch, 2. DJ Shaw, 3. Ben Rowe, 4. Jean Dery, 5. Johnny Clark, 6. Cassius Clark, 7. Alex Labbe, 8. Steve Cote, 9. Eric St. Gelais, 10. Chad Dow, 11. Dany Poulin, 12. Patrick Laperle, 13. Marc Andre Cliché, 14. Travis Benjamin, 15. Joey Doiron, 16. Lonnie Sommerville, 17. Alexandre Gingras, 18. Brandon Watson, 19. Austin Theriault, 20. Curtis Gerry, 21. Karl Allard, 22. Michael Landry, 23. Kevin Roberge, 24. Kyle DeSouza, 25. Donald Theetge, 26. Tony Ricci.

Short Tracking

It wasn’t that many years ago we Thunder Road regulars used to say – “It never rains at The Road.” Boy, that seems like long time ago.

• I hate not seeing Tom Suitor at the race track. I met Tom a few years ago at White Mountain when I saw him taking photos. He has a knack for taking interesting shots. I can’t remember the last time I saw him at a track and that’s a shame.

• Rule 101 of running a racing web site. If a Cup Star comes to your short track, spell his name correctly.

White Mountain: A shout out to White Mountain Dwarf Car driver Toby Merchant, the driver of the No. 99. After finishing a career-best second on July 27 he won his first-ever main event August 3. He looked like the car to beat when he won his heat. He started near the back in the 25-lap feature and quickly raced inside the top 3. Heading off turn four with about 10 to go, he dove under the second-place car and just past the line he jumped to the outside of the leader and was leading coming out of turn one. He launched out to a large lead and was soon carrying the checkers.

• Richie LaFond picked up his first-ever career win when he was first guy under the flag stand in the Tigers.

• A caution on lap 22 of the Late Model 50-lap main event put past champions Stacy Cahoon and Quinny Welch side-by-side at the front. When the event restarted, Cahoon had nothing for Welch as he motored away to pick up his second win in a row and third of the season. Cahoon held off Orin Remick for second. Point leader Travis Fadden had his worst finish of the season, fourth, while Tyler Cahoon rounded out the top 5.

• Strictly Stock point leader Tom Keith won the feature Jody Sicard was runner-up, Cody LeBlanc, Shane Sicard, and Amanda Wheeler were the next three.

• The top 5 in the Mini’s were Brett Rowell, Ben Belanger, Scott Corey, Jeremy Wyman and Colby Bourgeois. Multi-time champion Nick Pilotte was chasing down Brett Rowell when contact with the lapped car of Desirae Sicard sent him hard into the front stretch wall. He flipped several times and landed on his roof in the infield. He was fine, the car not so much.

Thunder Road: Brett Wheeler met Phil Scott’s challenge on a late race restart and sped off to victory in the Harvest Equipment Night Late Model 50-lap main event on a rare Monday night of racing, August 5.

Trampas Demers and Dave Whitcomb spent the final 11 laps in a spirited battle for third that went to Demers, Jason Corliss finished fifth.

• Eric Badore reeled in Chris Pelkey on the white flag lap to complete a stirring charge from fifth in the closing laps of the Tiger Sportsman feature. Pelkey was just ahead of Joe Steffen. Point leader Shawn Fleury was fourth, Chris Roberts was fifth.

• Bunker Hodgdon inherited his first Street Stock win of the year after the top three were disqualified for suspension infractions in post race technical inspection. Apparent winner Greg Adams, second place Jamie Davis, third place finisher Dean Switser Jr. and tenth place finisher Joe Fecteau all failed tech for rear camber. Jamon Perry took over second and Jennifer Getty was awarded third.

Bear Ridge Speedway: The Bradford dirt track has posted a purse for its Sportsman Coupe division at the John Poor Memorial presented by Walker Motor Sales of Woodsville, N.H., August 10.

Between the pay-out and lap money raised by the race teams more than $8,500 is in the pot. The race, named in honor of late Bear Ridge official John Poor, will be run in the “Madness” segmented format with full-field inversions and cumulative scoring, with bonus money paid to each of the top 5 runners on every lap.

Jason Colbeth became the latest winner in the division, August 3. He joins Teddy Salomaa, Kane Pike, Josh Harrington, Melvin Pierson, Louie Cadwell, Martin Mastic and rookie Danny Doyle as feature winners in 2013.

The USAC Dirt Midget Association powered by Ignite Racing Fuels are back in action August 10. Chaffee leads the points entering the event, with former Champion Joe Krawiec second.

The rest of the weekly divisions will also be in action, as Adam Pierson seeks his ninth career track title in the Sportsman Modifieds. Jason Giguere looks for his 11th win in the Limited Late Models. Tim Martin tops the Fast Fours, and Stan Otterman leads the Hornet points.

Riverside Speedway:The Late Models saw rain halt their 40-lapper with 16 laps to go. Last year’s champion Luke Shannon was leading with Bryan Mason running second and Brandon Lambert in third. Even though the event was more than half over, the race will be completed before the August 10 event.

• Bill Stebbins Jr. led most of the way before being overtaken by Jourdan Davis late in the Limited Late Models main event, August 3. Davis and Doug Laleme would then make contact coming out of turn 2 with Davis making a great save to avoid spinning. Laleme got by to pick up his second victory of the season. Davis held on to second and Mike Paquette finished third.

Jason Kenison and Jamie Heath pulled away from the field in the Street Stocks with Kenison picking up his first win of the season. Heath was second, Nick Gilcris was third. Cole Kilby and Jared Plumley finished fourth and fifth.

Facebook and Racing

First a disclaimer – I’m not a fan of Facebook and I do not have an account, but I do use my wife’s to post a few racing photos. Gold Crown Lanes does have a page and I update that. I will look at a couple of local tracks pages throughout the week. With that said, in my opinion, Facebook and racing is a bad, really bad mix. It’s as bad as most fan forums where the mindless twits hide behind a screen name spewing out about a bunch of garbage about things they know little or nothing about.

I could have written this piece any week for the last two years but chose this week to talk about it. I’m not talking about any racing deal in particular – but if the shoe fits, wear it…

Way, way too many people post a bunch of crap really not knowing what really happened. First off, unless you were driving the car you have ZERO (Reed hates caps!) idea what a driver was thinking when he did something – zero idea.

I want to scream when I read a post that says I know driver X and he wouldn’t do that, I know what he was thinking. No you don’t know what he was thinking.

I know 1,000s of drivers and I can think of at least once, in the heat of the moment, they did something I’d didn’t think I’d ever see them do.

I’m amazed to read some posts on a particular incident only to find out later the person running their mouth wasn’t even at the race. Every race I go to I miss four to 10 things a night because I was looking somewhere else.

We all know that individual who sees everything (or at least has convinced themselves they see it all) and know just what every driver was thinking and who was right and who was wrong. Yeah, right. They’re not at all biased and don’t let who they like or who they don’t like influence their opinion.

Was it a chop or did the guy force his way in there? Were you watching the cars before the contact or when you saw them was one guy was already sideways? Do you like one of them, or do you not like one of them, or one of them is dating your sister, oh, you and your sister aren’t speaking, that doesn’t come into play either, right?

As Dave Despain likes to say, “We watched the same TV but we saw a different race.”

Go to the races, enjoy your time not working or mowing the lawn and enjoy the fans around. But don’t get caught up in the finger pointing and name calling. It really isn’t worth all the time you waste.

Thunder Road Tiger Sportsman

The Tigers over the past 30 years have graduated more upper division drivers than I can count. But this current group of Tigers drivers has a lot to learn if they think they’re going to drive like that in a Late Model or Pro Stock.

I’m not going to point fingers or name names (you’ll have to go see for yourselves), but I can tell you it’s not just a select few, it’s a bunch of them. I’ve seen less contact at a roller derby match.

There are drivers who don’t think twice about sticking their nose in between two cars where there’s not room for a bike with training wheels, and push both cars for half a lap. Last Monday night (a make-up), a guy did just that coming off turn two. I was standing beside my wife and about the time a wreck finally happened coming out of four my wife whacked me on the arm and screamed, “What’s he doing, why doesn’t he let up?” Like I know what the guy is thinking.

I’m sure they all understand what a lift is. That’s what is needed so you don’t make contact with the car right in front of you. I’m telling you there are a few dopes who make contact and don’t back off for sometimes a half a lap before finally spinning the guy. Most of the time some innocent bystander gets caught up in it as the cause of the wreck drives away. Lots of time, race director Tom Curley sends the dope to the rear but it doesn’t seem to sink in.

I’d take a race and tell the lot of them to mount their radiators in front of their bumpers. This class is down to around 20 cars when a few short years ago they were sending more cars home who didn’t qualify than most tracks start in a main event.

Enough is enough, stop the nonsense and drive your cars with a little respect.

Until Next Week

Call some old racing buddies and load up you car and take in a short-track race this weekend. But remember: “If you’re not having fun, stay home and don’t bother those of us who are.”

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