Contributed by: ACT Staff
“I had back surgery last winter so I haven’t raced since last year although I have practiced the car some. There’s a lot of difference between practicing and running in a race that’s as physical as the Milk Bowl, “ Avery explained, adding, “The 50-lap qualifying race gave me all I could handle and I think it’s the smart thing for me to step aside since Ben is available.”
Rowe, who has driven Avery’s Dodge Charger car to four American-Canadian Tour (ACT) wins this season, is pleased he’ll be able to run in Sunday’s 43rd annual Milk Bowl, “I’ve got to get that track figured out,” he stated, “Maybe with the shorter 50-lap segments I’ll have a better shot at doing well than I did in last month’s (Bond Auto Labor Day Classic) 200.” Rowe finished 20th after starting 10th. With the driver change, Rowe will come from the rear of the first segment.
(PHOTOS: Upper right - Ben Rowe
Lower left - David Avery (10) runs ahead of Shawn Martin down Thunder Road's back stretch. Avery, who has many ACT Tour races under his belt at the high banked, 1/4 mile oval qualified for the Milk Bowl. Martin, a weekly competitor at Maine's Oxford Plains Speedway, a round, slightly banked 3/8ths mile speedplant, who was at the "Nation's Site of Excitement" for first time, just missed making the 30-car field.)
During Rowe’s lengthy career, the 30 year-old second generation racer has yet to come up against a track similar to Thunder Road, or one that he hasn’t been able to adapt to fairly easily. Rowe, who has spent most of his career behind the wheel of a Pro Stock-type car, was able to adapt to Avery’s ACT Late Model machine. But the high-banked, quarter-mile speedplant has not been as easy to figure out. At the Tour’s Merchants Bank 150 season opener, Rowe failed to qualify. While his efforts at last month’s Labor Day event were an improvement, his poor performances at the Barre, VT oval continue to plague him. “The more seat time I get at Thunder Road, the quicker I’ll get it figured out,” he affirmed.
The Milk Bowl consists of three segments with the finishing order from the first 50-lapper inverted to set the starting line-up of the second. An inversion of the second segment finish lines up starting order for the third. The winner of the race is determined by adding the three finishing positions of each driver, with the lowest total earning the victory.
The New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl’s traditional pre-race ceremonies will begin at 1:00 pm on Sunday, October 8. They will be directly followed by the first 50-lap segment of the New England Dodge Dealers 43rd annual Milk Bowl.
In addition to the ACT Tour’s New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl, Thunder Road’s NAPA Tiger Sportsmen and Allen Lumber Street Stocks will finish their 2006 season with season-ending feature races and crown their champions.