ACTion News 12/21/04
Happy Holidays from all of us at ACT! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, or Powerball, we wish you and your family the very best for a happy and safe holiday season. For some, the holidays mean spending time at home, stuffing their faces. Others travel far and wide to meet up with family, and some even take family on vacation, to someplace most likely warmer than New England.

We asked a few folks what their plans for the upcoming holidays are:

Eric Pembroke, former NAPA Tiger Sportsman driver and crew member/cousin to Late Model driver Dave Pembroke: “We’ll be enjoying some down time with the family over the holidays. Dave’s family and mine always get together on Christmas Eve for some holiday cheer, then I’ll be spending my daughter’s first Christmas Day with our family. As of now, we don’t have any New Year’s plans, but we’ll probably end up having a sliding party on the hill. Other than that, we will be waiting for our new chassis to come in so the Pembroke team can get to work for the upcoming ’05 season.”

Nick Sweet, Allen Lumber Street Stock runner-up and 2005 Sportsman rookie: “I haven’t even started my Christmas shopping yet, so I guess I better get to that soon. We’ll probably open presents on Christmas morning like usual, then have a nice lunch and head over to the shop to work on the race car. Nothing special, but it’s nice to spend time with the family.”

Marjorie Fay, ACT Advertising/Marketing Director: “We’re headed to California to visit family, and we’re bringing our son Douglas to Lego Land. I’m looking forward to the weather. The way I see it, it was only 43 degrees in San Jose on Monday morning, but that’s 53 degrees warmer than it was at my house at the time!”

Mike Thompson, owner of John Donahue’s #26 Late Model: “We’ll go across the street and have dinner with (wife) Lisa’s mother, exchange gifts, and just spend time together. Christmas isn’t a huge holiday for us, but it is nice to have an extra day off from work, since we usually work six days a week in the winter. John and his wife Dawn have a big New Year’s Eve party at their house every year; we’re looking forward to that.”

The only real piece of news - right now, anyway - is that the annual ACT Banquet of Champions will award trophies to the Top 10 points finishers for 2004 in every ACT division. This includes the NAPA Tiger Sportsman and PowerShift Junkyard Warrior divisions at both Thunder Road and Airborne Raceway, as well as Airborne’s Renegades, Thunder Road’s Late Models and Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and the ACT Late Model Tour. Rookie of the Year awards for the Late Models, Sportsmen, and Streets will also be handed out. If you are a driver that will be receiving an award (or two or three), we encourage you to attend the banquet on January 15 at the Sheraton-Burlington Hotel & Conference Center in Burlington, VT to pick up your trophy, or notify ACT ahead of time that someone will pick it up for you. If you or someone on your behalf can’t make it to the banquet and you would like to have your trophy, you’ll need to come to the ACT office by February 1 to pick it up. After that, the unclaimed trophies will be recycled, pieced out, or otherwise stored in the dungeon that is the ACT basement for future use. To order banquet tickets or arrange a designated trophy picker-upper, call us at (802) 244-6963.

Did you know…?

• In a sort of “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” role, Brent Dragon has finished in the Top 5 in ACT Late Model Tour points an astounding seven times, including runner-up finishes in 2004, 1993, and a tie for second with Brian Hoar in 1992, but has yet to “catch the bouquet”. Dragon was, however, the 1991 Flying Tiger International Series Champion, which ran as a precursor to what is now the ACT Late Model Tour.

• If you plan on winning a Tour event, you might want to spend a little time behind the wheel of a Sportsman car. More than half of the 46 drivers with at least one win on the Tour have a Sportsman trophy on the shelf. We’re betting that Joe Becker, Roger Brown, and Steve Fisher would agree. Each driver took their first career Tour win in 2004, and had earlier combined for 23 career wins in the Sportsman division (Becker and Fisher – 9 each, Brown – 5).

• Drivers that have won NAPA Sportsman races probably feel the same way about starting off with a win or two in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks. Since 1987, a total of 48 drivers have in both divisions. 47 of them started out by winning in the Street Stocks, while “The Polish Cannon” Wayne Wojtyna did it backwards, much like his infamous victory laps – Wojtyna was a Thunder Road feature winner in the Sportsman class in 1992, then won the first Street Stock event run under the 4-cylinder rules in 1993. The Cannon went on to become the 1993 Street Stock Champion, and celebrated by sitting in the back window of his racecar and holding the checkered flag while a crew member drove the car in reverse gear for a lap around the Barre high banks.

Again, we at ACT wish you and your family all the best during the holidays, and thank you for a great 2004 season. Stay warm!