Double Features Up The Ante Tonight At T-Road
By DAVE MOODY
The Fourth of July week is always a busy one for local racers, but a string of nasty thunderstorms last Thursday night served to pack this week’s schedule even tighter than usual.
After waiting out three
different rain delays, officials at Barre’s
Three features in a 48-hour span should be enough to burn out even the most rabid racer.
“It’s going to be busy,
that’s for sure,” said Flying Tiger veteran Doug Murphy, one of a handful of
drivers who competes weekly at both
Getting torn up this evening “would make for an awfully long weekend,” admitted Murphy. “Especially if you have trouble in the first feature. One small mistake could cost you three good finishes, and championships are won and lost on a lot less than that.
“You can’t go out there worrying about it, though,” he said. “It may be three features in three nights, but you’ve got to take it one race at a time. The best way to get in trouble is to start tip-toeing around out there, trying to be careful. My strategy is to treat tonight like any other race.”
For many ACT Dodge Tour teams, it’s already been a week filled with oil. A 17-caution marathon at Quebec’s Circuit Ste. Croix last Saturday night left many of them with lots of work to do before the green flag flies tonight at Thunder Road, and Saturday’s 150-lap event on the half-mile Airborne oval will provide one of their longest tests of the season.
There is apparently no limit to
the amount of money Bob Bahre will spend on New Hampshire International
After years of having his Loudon oval criticized as a one-groove, no passing racetrack, Bahre broke out the checkbook this spring and completely rebuilt the corners, adding a new, 12-foot wide bottom groove to the Granite State oval, and sealing the entire racing surface. The result? Two of the best races ever seen on the track they call “The Magic Mile.”
Drivers in NASCAR’s Busch and Busch North Series unanimously praised Bahre’s efforts, saying the changes have made the track a good deal more competitive, allowing them to pass in places that had previously been unthinkable. Unfortunately, their euphoria was short-lived.
Last month, hairline cracks were
found in portions of the new blacktop; cracks that would inevitably allow water
to seep through the surface, causing damage to the track. Discovery of the
cracks forced Bahre to reach for his billfold yet again, postponing a scheduled
NASCAR Winston Cup test session while the new asphalt was meticulously ground
away and replaced by
“Turns one and two were fine, but the oil mixture in three and four
didn't come out right,” explained Bahre last week in his familiar,
matter-of-fact fashion. And while NASCAR rules do not allow testing within seven
days of a race event, and the new asphalt will have less than three weeks to
cure before the Winston Cup troops come to town, the NHIS owner said he is
confident everything will go well.
“When the Cup cars come up here, you'll
see a lot more passing,” he said.
If not, don’t be surprised to see
“Papa Bahre” reaching for his hip pocket yet again.
After an 11th place finish last weekend at
the Milwaukee Mile, Kevin Lepage is reportedly set to announce a deal that will
keep him steadily employed through the 2002 season, and beyond.
The Shelburne driver continues to substitute for the
injured Jeff Purvis in the Brewco Motorsports/ Timber Wolf Busch Series
Chevrolet, and with Purvis sidelined at least through the end of the 2002
campaign, team owner Clarence Brewer is reportedly set to make Lepage his
permanent driver through the end of the season.
“We hope to have something to announce at
Daytona,” said Lepage last weekend. “I can’t really say anything yet, but
it’s a good deal for everyone involved.”
While the former Vermont Milk Bowl champion declined
to provide any details prior to the formal announcement, sources say Brewer and
Lepage have inked a deal to keep him in the Timber Wolf car for the rest of this
season. In addition, Lepage is reportedly set to steer the car in 2003, unless
he is able to find a full-time Winston Cup ride. He has four top-15 finishes in
his limited stint with the Brewco team this year.
Lepage recently completed work on a new, self-owned
Winston Cup entry, to go with four NASCAR Busch Series cars that need little
more than paint to go racing. If sponsorship can be found, don’t be surprised
to see the
Short (Track) Subjects…
…Sylvain Lacombe’s win in last weekend’s ACT Dodge Tour “Fleur
de Lys 100” at
Brown’s season started roughly, with a hard crash at
…From the “How to Alienate People You’ve Never Met” department
this week, we offer CART driver Paul Tracy. Asked about his team’s possible
defection to the rival Indy Racing League next season, Tracy said that if he is
going to be forced to run ovals, he’d rather race NASCAR. Unfortunately, he
didn’t stop there.
"It's not a real race car, but they're out there
banging doors,” said the outspoken
Now there’s a guy NASCAR fans are sure to
…There were no disqualifications among the top three
finishers in the Renegade feature at Airborne Raceway Saturday night, the first
time that’s happened in nearly two months. Perhaps coincidentally, many of the
drivers who usually dominate the division had simultaneous “off nights”
Saturday, finishing out of the top five.
…Planning a quiet Saturday evening in front of the
tube, watching the Pepsi 400 on FOX? Keep an eye open for "Flycam."
The new camera – one of 33 cameras and 13 in-car cameras on-line at Daytona
– will zip above pit road at nearly 65-miles per hour, courtesy of a 500-foot
“zip line” running past the start/finish line. Next week, Spiderman-cam!
…The holiday weekend begins tonight at Barre’s
Tomorrow night, the Canaan (NH) dirt track returns to
action with its annual “Butch Clogston Memorial,” featuring a regular
four-division card of dirt track racing. Post time is 7 p.m. Devil’s Bowl
Speedway in West Haven has a rare Friday night program this week, with the
annual, 50-lap “Summer Blast” for the 358 Modifieds, plus support
divisions and fireworks, beginning at 7:00.
Saturday, the ACT Dodge Tour Late Models return to
Airborne Raceway in
Saturday night is “Perry Oil Service Night”
at Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford, as the track celebrates 35 years of racing,
with many of the stars and cars of the past on hand, along both the Twin State
Modified Series and the Sunoco Coupe Series in twin, 40-lap events. The Pro
Streets and Fast Fours will also be on Saturday's card, with qualifying
beginning at 6:30 p.m. White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, NH,
celebrates Independence Day Saturday night, with all six divisions seeing
action, plus Monster Truck racing and car crushing at intermission. The
green flag waves there at
It’s “McDonald's Kid's Night” at
Groveton’ New Hampshire’s Riverside Speedway Saturday, featuring the
Cyclones, Strictly Stocks, Sportsman, Late Models and Dwarf Cars. Stock-car
rides for the kids begin at
while the racing action gets the green flag at