MacRitchie, Bellerose Turn The Corner at
By DAVE MOODY
something to be said for stick-to-itiveness. Just ask Cooper MacRitchie and
in the throes of miserable 2002 seasons, both MacRitchie and Bellerose took
major steps toward turning things around last Thursday night, finishing first
and third in the “
both drivers, Thursday’s results were a much-needed breath of fresh air.
to Thursday night, Bellerose had recorded just one top-10 finish in seven
outings – a ninth two weeks ago in her
been a tough season,” said MacRitchie recently. “We just haven’t had any
luck at all. Anything bad that happens seems to happen right in front of us.”
had a good car every week, but we just haven’t had any luck to go with it,”
echoed Bellerose. “I’ve been getting myself in trouble early in races, and
with the competition on the Tour, you can’t afford to be coming from the back
of the pack two or three times a night.”
drivers admitted that their disappointing starts had affected their confidence
on the racetrack.
driver is definitely the problem right now,” said the ever-candid Bellerose
prior to Thursday’s race. “I just don’t have a lot of confidence in what
I’m doing right now. That’s why we’ve decided to back off on the Tour
races and get back to weekly racing at
Victory Lane, the 2000 Thunder Road “Queen of the Road” told a packed T-Road
grandstand how she felt about her first top-three finish of the year, saying,
“Hopefully, this will give us a little kick in the ass.”
sang a similar tune. After the race, he marveled at the difference 40 short laps
can make in a driver’s attitude, and that of his team. “What a difference a
week makes,” he laughed. “This makes up for a lot of aggravation this
season. There are quite a few more smiles around here than there were an hour
ago. Now, we have to find a way to keep it going.”
Renegade division at Airborne Raceway continues to do a methodist job of cutting
its own throat. Three weeks ago in this space, we commented on the division’s
inability to get three drivers through a post-race tech inspection. At least one
podium finisher has forfeited his trophy in each of the last five weeks, with
all three frontrunners getting the old heave-ho on one occasion.
Saturday night, the trend continued, as track champion Greg Wolcott’s third
win of 2002 came a cropper in the tech line, when he was cited for illegal
suspension parts. Third-place finisher Shawn Fountain also bit the dust, after
inspectors found an illegal, high-dollar racing shock on the right-front corner
of his car.
been weeks since the fans left Airborne knowing who the real Renegade winner
was, and one has to wonder just how much longer track management will waste
everyone’s time with a division that is clearly out of control. Obviously,
forfeiting trophies and prize money is not getting anyone’s attention. In this
writer’s opinion, it’s time to break out the whuppin’ stick. Saturday
night, Airborne owner/promoter Tom Curley should announce that, effective
immediately, any Renegade driver found illegal in the tech line will receive an
immediate one-race suspension, in addition to the usual DSQ. Repeat offenders
will receive a four-race suspension and loss of all championship points.
Three-time losers will be banned from ACT competition for life.
right, all divisions, all tracks, for life. Then watch the
parts start flying.
Speedway Motorsports sold another little piece of its soul last week, renaming
Sears Point Raceway in
Reports that Smith
is close to selling the naming rights to his future grandchildren have not yet
Haverhill, NH, native Frank Stoddard is a new daddy this week. Stoddard and wife
Heidi welcomed six-pound, seven ounce Alexis Heather Stoddard Wednesday morning.
Mother and baby are doing fine, Dad’s a little frazzled. Stoddard, crewchief
for Jeff Burton’s CITGO Winston Cup Ford, began his racing career turning
wrenches on C.V. Elms’ Bear Ridge modified, before beginning a longtime
wishes for a speedy recovery go out to Riverside (NH) Speedway Chief Starter
Stanley Skinner, who was struck last Saturday night while venturing trackside
after waving off a late-race restart. Skinner was transported to a local
hospital for X-rays, but his injuries were reported to be minor.
MacDonald kids – former ACT star Randy and sister Teri – made a bit of
NASCAR history last weekend, when they raced against each other in the Craftsman
Truck Series “O’Reilly Auto Parts 200” at Memphis Motorsports Park.
Randy MacDonald qualified 12th and finished 20th, the final truck on
the lead lap. Little sister Teri finished 29th – nine laps down –
in her maiden voyage on the Craftsman Truck Series, after using an owner’s
provisional to start 34th. They were the first brother/sister tandem
to compete against each other in a major NASCAR Series since Tim Flock and his
sister, Ethel Flock Mobley, ran the beach road course at Daytona in 1949.
…Hot off a near
victory in last weekend’s race at Sears Point Raceway, Jerry Nadeau has signed
to drive a Michael Waltrip-owned #00 Chevrolet at Chicagoland Speedway on July
14th. The deal is a one-race-only arrangement, as Nadeau continues to seek a
the “Good News/Bad News” Department, Bill Davis Racing will fold its #23
Busch Series team following Friday night’s race at Daytona International
Petree Racing will field two cars in next weekend’s “Pepsi 400” at
Daytona. Mike Wallace will steer a Petree-owned #33 Chevrolet, while Bobby
Hamilton will be in his familiar #55.
…Look for Joe
Gibbs Racing to switch from
Motorsports owner Cal Wells – who currently fields Fords for Maine native Ricky Craven – is reportedly the leading candidate to jump to the Pontiac camp. That deal, if it happens, will reportedly not occur for at least another month.
Bruton Smith’s Speedway Motorsports, Inc., continue their lawsuit against
NASCAR International in an effort to secure a second Winston Cup date at Texas
Motor Speedway. The owners of Pikes Peak International Raceway are taking a
different tact, negotiating to sell at least a share of the track to
International Speedway Corporation, parent company of NASCAR. PPIR President Rob
Johnson declined to discuss specifics of the deal this week, but did confirm
that negotiations are ongoing. Sources say that without such a deal,
the July 4th holiday nearly upon us, there’s a full slate of racing
on the calendar in the coming days. At
Canaan (NH) dirt track will be back in action tomorrow night at
, when Chase's Auto Parts presents a 40-lap Twin
State Modified main event, the third
Bear Ridge Speedway in
And finally, Devil’s Bowl Speedway in