Lancaster, New Hampshire's "Rocket" Roger Brown has three years of Late Model racing under his belt racing with the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and the 26 year-old racer is looking forward to the Tour's 2006 season opener, the Merchants Bank 150 at Thunder Road, Barre, VT. "We're really excited about and looking forward to the coming season," the 2003 Rookie of the Year commented. "I've got a new car which is identical to the one I had last year, and if it handles as good as that one did at Thunder Road we'll be strong."
Brown posted four top five finishes in ten ACT Late Model Tour starts, including a pair of runner-up outings. His second place finishes, at two vastly different 3/8ths mile tracks, Maine's Oxford Plains Speedway, which is a slightly banked, round venue and New Hampshire's Lee USA Speedway, a semi-banked oval, served notice to the veterans that the youngster had found his footing. Additionally, at Thunder Road's $10,000 to win Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200, Brown proved he was a contender by handily leading the majority of the race.
"I love Thunder Road, everything about the place, the history, the fans, even the fourth turn wall makes me look forward to the season opener. But there's a sizeable group who have the track figured out, who could win the Merchants Bank race," he stated. "What's particularly interesting about having the first race there (Thunder Road) is that some of the weekly Late Model competitors will try to qualify for the Tour race. That gets me up on the bit, I like it, I say `Bring 'em on!'" he finished.
The eighth annual Merchants Bank 150 will open the high banked, quarter-mile oval for its 47th season on Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30. In the event's history, only one driver, Jean-Paul Cyr from Milton, VT, has been victorious twice (2002 and 2004). Other past winners also expected to attempt to qualify for the 26 car starting field include Phil Scott (1999), Ken Dufour (2001) and defending race winner, Dave Pembroke.
For additional information contact the ACT office (802) 244-6963 or visit