troadBarre, VT – Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, VT will enter their 55th season of stock car racing with the 16th annual Merchants Bank 150 on Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27. The stars and cars from the American Canadian Tour Championship Series (ACT) will tackle both the high banks of the famous Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl, and one of the largest fields of regular Thunder Road Late Model racers in recent memory. The Merchants Bank event has been the season opener at the ¼-mile speedbowl since 1999.

Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. (Pole) from Hudson, NH is looking for his first win in a Merchants Bank opener. When asked why Thunder Road is so tough, the 2014 ACT title contender said, “I love racing at Thunder Road and I hate racing at Thunder Road. It‘s been good to me and frustrating for me. Man, you earn everything you get every lap at that place. First, you have to race the track, which is high-banked, narrow, two grooves and pretty wild. Then you have to take on what is probably the largest and best group of weekly racers in the country, along with the Tour regulars. I have won some big shows (Governor’s Cup 150 in 2009 and the People’s United Bank Milk Bowl in 2010), but I’ve always wanted to win the Merchants Bank opening race. It would give our team tremendous momentum toward our goal of winning the ACT title this year,” concluded Pole.

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H8

photo by RPM Photography

Story by Chris Roy

After a long winter, the Amsoil NELCAR Series kicked off the 2014 race season at Lee Speedway this past weekend. Matt Chagnot is once again behind of the wheel of the #8 Hooligan Legend Car, as the cars got ready to take to the track, “The 1st week is always an adventure with remembering how to drive and figuring out what needs to be in the trailer, but I think we were as prepared as we ever, have been. The new motor is running great, I have new tires on the car, and the weather held off for the race. We spent the Saturday practice day breaking in the new motor, so I didn’t have any laps on the track at full speed when we got there Sunday. Unfortunately, our practice times showed it, as we were pretty slow. I picked up the track quickly though, and managed to shave off over 6 tenths of a second on my lap times from the practice to the feature by making some minor adjustments and driving a better line. We ended up finishing 5th in our heat race, and ran in the top 10 all day in the feature. We finished 10th at the end of the race, even though we got stuck on the outside for the initial start and every restart which cost me a couple positions. I was pretty happy at the end of the race, since we were very competitive and were getting faster all day. We are making some tweaks to the carb on the new motor that should give us a bit more horsepower for the next race, so hopefully we see even better results at Wiscasset next weekend.”

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Emily trackThe American Canadian Tour kicked off its 23rd season at Lee USA Speedway again this year with the Governor’s Cup 150 on Sunday April 13th.  Hitting the track for her first race of the season, Emily Packard, the 17 year old East Montpelier native, brought home her 9X Northstar Fireworks/Packard Fuels sponsored car in 12th place.

Rain early in the day changed the track and the schedule, shortening day and allowing little to no practice to feel the car out prior to the heat races.  Starting 5th in the heat race, Packard dropped back a position early on fighting a pushing race car, but battled her way up to 4th by Lap 4.  The closing laps found her in a battle of side by side racing for the last three laps holding off the 5VT car to cross the line in 4th place to secure her place in the show.   “I hope it was an exciting race for the fans to watch, because it was definitely exciting from the driver’s seat,” said Packard of her tight racing with the 5vt car, “it was a good (heat) race and a good start to the season.” 

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KTB

photo by RPM Photography

story by Chris Roy

Kaiden Benjamin, of Belfast, ME. will be racing in the box stock series at Richmond Karting Speedway and Thundering Valley this race season. During the off season Kaiden has been working on the karts and his dad’s race car. Though over the winter, Kaiden has also been keeping busy playing basketball, as well as plays soccer and baseball this spring.   

This race season Kaiden is going to be very busy at the track and in the shop, “Our plans for the 2014 season will be to race as much as we can at both Thundering Valley and Richmond maybe a few other tracks if we can.”

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vlf_9945

Credit Eric LaFleche/VLFPhotos.com

Lee, NH – Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, MA claimed the American Canadian Tour win in the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway (Lee, NH) on Sunday, April 13. MacDonald used strategy to claim his first career ACT win at Lee in his ninth start at the 3/8ths mile speedway. It was his fifth career ACT Late Model win.

MacDonald went from sixth to first in his heat race to claim the win and the pole in the feature with his +5 in ACT’s plus/minus handicap system. MacDonald faded back early from the drop of the green. He fell as far as 10th and appeared to ride for the majority of the event.

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WAR96

photo by RPM Photography

Story by Chris Roy

The 2014 Amsoil NELCAR race season gets underway this weekend at Lee Speedway, in Lee NH, and after the winter months Wyatt is all ready to declare WAR (Wyatt Alexander Racing).  “In the off season I have been focusing on school. I play soccer and just started playing tennis. I also spend some time on iracing, using it as a training tool. I have worked on getting both cars ready, attending a few motorsports shows as well. I have a Pro Late Model that I have added to the team. Getting both ready for 2014 has kept us busy.”

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On this weeks show we will have highlights from Sunday’s Icebreaker held at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. The big winner of the day was the #51 of Justin Bonsignore as he bested the #88 of pole sitter Woody Pitkat. Congrats to all the winners and to the track for putting on a great day of racing.

2013LeeOpenerWaterbury, VT – The American Canadian Tour Late Models are set to enter their 23rd season of competition with their season opener at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH this Sunday, April 13. This will be the seventh time the 3/8ths-mile speedway has hosted the season opener. Norm Andrews won the first ever ACT Late Model event at Sanair Super Speedway in 1992 and the first event of the season has seen a variety of tracks and winners ever since.

Over the past 22 seasons, the ACT Late Model season opener has been hosted by seven different tracks and seen 16 different winners. Only four drivers have won more than one season opener, led by ACT Champions Brian Hoar (1997, 2011, 2012) and Jean-Paul Cyr (1996, 2004, 2006). Dennis Demers (1993, 1994) and Cris Michaud (2001, 2005) are the only other drivers with multiple season opener wins.

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By Lou Modestino

What’s going to happen when we finally get a string of NASCAR races that don’t get delayed by rain and the TV ratings are still lousy? Are we going to get another NASCAR/Fox Sports spin? Frankly, I just can’t really get excited about the NASCAR events on TV. Not to mention the fact that the new qualifying for The Chase is “if you win-you’re in”. It’s all meant to make the drivers take chances and quit point chasing. But we’ve seen stories that even if you win that doesn’t assure a driver a spot in The Chase!?!

We think it’s good that Kurt Busch is winning and Brad Keselowski is miffed at him. Is it the rain that’s hurting ticket sales or is it the lack of competition? We’re still waiting for Fox Sports to get up off their duffs and and make a case to the big cable providers to add Fox Sports 2. We don’t mean for extra money either. Cable prices are high but the only redeeming factor is that there’s a lot of competition for Infinity/Comcast who are trying to fight off Verizon Fios and ATT.

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By Lou Modestino

It’s been a long hard winter throughout the Northeast, and the harsh winter has caused Pro All Stars Series President, Tom Mayberry to move the Oxford Plains Speedway’s scheduled season opening, Ripley & Fletcher Ford 150 from Saturday, April 12, 2014 to Saturday, April 26that 2 p.m. This change turns the weekend into a giant doubleheader as PASS North will open their Series on Saturday, and the $7,000 to win, Colossal Carnage 150 Enduro will go green on Sunday.

“We knew it was risky scheduling the opener in early April, but the past few seasons have allowed us to open up earlier as warm weather has graced us in late February and early March. Right now we still have several inches of snow on the grounds, and even with warm weather, we don’t feel the grounds will dry up enough to allow the event to be held on April 12th, stated Mayberry. We want to make sure to give plenty of advanced notice to our race teams, race fans, and employees, and that’s why we decided to make this decision well in advance of the event.”

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leeACT LogoWaterbury, VT – The American Canadian Tour Late Models are set to enter their 23rd season of competition with their season opener at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH this Sunday, April 13. This will be the seventh time the 3/8ths-mile speedway has hosted the season opener. Norm Andrews won the first ever ACT Late Model event at Sanair Super Speedway in 1992 and the first event of the season has seen a variety of tracks and winners ever since.

Over the past 22 seasons, the ACT Late Model season opener has been hosted by seven different tracks and seen 16 different winners. Only four drivers have won more than one season opener, led by ACT Champions Brian Hoar (1997, 2011, 2012) and Jean-Paul Cyr (1996, 2004, 2006). Dennis Demers (1993, 1994) and Cris Michaud (2001, 2005) are the only other drivers with multiple season opener wins.

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Derek GriffithStory by Eric LaFleche
(Thompson, CT) – The learning curve at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for young racer Derek Griffith was a short one as the Hudson, New Hampshire native made his first ever trip to the Northeastern Connecticut race track and came away with an impressive eighth-place finish
Participating in the 40th Annual Ice Breaker Saturday qualifying heat races, Derek get into a little incident during his race, which resulted in some bent up suspension parts and with less than a day to complete the repairs, the No. 12 Motorcycles of Manchester/LCM Racing/Tyngsboro Motors Toyota Camry crew had quite a bit of work to do.
O'Sullivan Thompson Victory LaneStory by Shawn Sicard

Photo by Jim Dupont

Thompson, CT-Mike O’Sullivan fends off Larry Gelinas and Jeff Connors to pick up his third win in the Granite State Pro Stock Series.

Wayne Helliwell, JR pulled away from Keith Caruso and looked strong to begin the race.  Defending race winner George Bessette had picked up a couple of spots before falling off the pace on the back stretch with a terminal issue.  O’Sullivan, Gelinas, and Connors sat single file in pursuit of Helliwell, who was amongst the fastest cars all weekend.  Home track hero Tommy O’Sullivan battled bad luck all weekend long, suffering a failed plug wire a day after his motor let go during practice, taking him out of contention on lap 16.  Helliwell’s day would turn sour as the two-time defending ACT champion blew a right front tire in turn 1 and came to rest on the top of turn 3, bringing out the first caution of the day. 

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GSPS2Thompson, CT-Dillon Moltz and Brad Babb took the checkers in their respective heat races at the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP).

Greg Nanigian and Moltz kicked off the season for the Granite State Pro Stock Series (GSPSS) as they brought the field to green in the first heat, where the RB Performance Chevrolet of Moltz jumped to the lead.  The field checked up when Ron Smith spun coming off turn 4, letting Moltz go uncontested until Mike Parks brought out the caution with a spin off the same corner.  Moltz had a new dancing partner with Larry Gelinas at his door on the restart, but the result was still the same as Moltz lead start to finish to record the youngster’s first checkered flag in the series.  After qualifying, Moltz added “The car is real good.  We’re only going to make a small adjustment for Sunday, but overall the race went well.”  Gelinas would hold off a hard charging Mike O’Sullivan, who started dead last on the field to finish third.  Two-time defending ACT champion Wayne Helliwell, JR, who was fastest in second practice took the fourth spot, while last year’s Icebreaker winner George Bessette settled into fifth. 

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