Contributed by: ACT Staff
ACTion News – Wednesday, July 11, 2007
-by Justin St. Louis
Rain washed away the Time Warner Cable 100 at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway after the opening practice last weekend, but fear not – the make-up date will be Saturday, August 11. Incidentally, race fans will have plenty to choose from that day, as the Série ACT Castrol is also in action at Circuit Ste-Croix near Quebec City.
Nearly 50 cars were on hand for the Time Warner Cable 100, including Maine hotshoes Mike and Ben Rowe, Shawn Martin, Scott Robbins, Travis Adams, and Ricky Rolfe. ACT Champ Jean-Paul Cyr was there with an entirely new body (and other parts) on his car following the White Mountain Motorsports Park disaster.
Cars ranking high on the unofficial lap time sheet in practice included both Rowes, Adams, Cyr, Joey Pole, “Rocket” Roger Brown, Patrick Laperle, and Brian Hoar.
Laperle was in the United States for the first time since the Lakeland, FL “Speedfest” in February, and was looking forward to racing at Oxford. It’s no secret that Laperle has been one of the strongest drivers in each of the last two TD Banknorth 250s, and wants to win the race badly.
The Time Warner Cable 100 was to be the final long-distance tune-up for the TD Banknorth 250 at Oxford on Sunday, July 22, but now things at the “250” will be that much more interesting – who’s got what on the table? Looks like we’ll have to wait and see on judgment day!
CARQUEST presents the 25th Vermont Governor’s Cup at Thunder Road on Thursday, July 12. Late Model drivers will race 100 laps in search of one Vermont’s oldest – and quirkiest – stock car racing prizes.
The first Governor’s Cup race was held at Thunder Road from 1961-64, then not at all in 1965. It ran the next two years at the former Catamount Stadium in 1966-67, but took the next three years off. It returned for to Thunder Road in 1971, and then again in 1974-76. Catamount held the race in 1973, and there was no race in 1972, and 1977-78. Catamount again hosted in 1979-83 and 1985-87, while Thunder Road had it for 1984 and 1988-89. The Governor’s Cup sat dormant from 1990 through 2004, but returned to Thunder Road in 2005. Cooper MacRitchie rode the outside rail for the win that year, while Eric Williams took the Cup home last year.
The CARQUEST Vermont Governor’s Cup 100 program begins at an early post time of 6:00pm on Thursday, so make sure you don’t miss out on the action!
Veteran Kip Stockwell of Braintree, VT and rookie Chip Grenier of Northfield, VT headlined an action-packed holiday week at Thunder Road. Stockwell returned to Late Model victory lane for the first time in a decade at Tuesday’s Pepsi Fireworks event, while Grenier scored a rare Triple Crown effort in taking his first career Late Model win in Thursday’s Charter Communications race.
Both winners were extremely popular with the Thunder Road faithful, but the guy that stole the show was Stockwell’s son, Howard (known by most as “Cam”).
“Dad, you won!” shouted Cam as his father unbuckled from his car in the winner’s circle. Later, while being interviewed by Ken Squier, Cam exclaimed “This is better than Daytona.”
It looks like the folks in Randolph/Braintree/Bethel are grooming the next generation already!
Late Model driver Dave Wilcox, Allen Lumber Street Stock driver Eddy Companion, and Power Shift Junkyard Warrior driver Jamie Muir each went through some hard crashes during last week’s Thunder Road action. We are happy to report that all three drivers are doing well.
Muir took an uncharacteristically hard hit into the wall in Turn 4 on Tuesday night, rolling his car onto its side. Muir was able to wave to the concerned crowd as he was loaded into the Golden Cross ambulance and taken to Central Vermont Medical Center for precautionary observations.
“I’m fine and the car will race again,” Muir said to this writer at Thunder Road just two days after his crash. “I’m not sure if I want to be the guy driving it just yet, but time will tell.”
Wilcox, who hit the frontstretch wall nearly head-on at full speed on Thursday, suffered a mild concussion and strained neck muscles, but was otherwise okay. The car is most likely unable to be repaired, according to reports.
Companion took a spectacular ride on top of the “Widowmaker” wall with Gary Mullen on Thursday night. After visiting CVMC, a CAT scan discovered stress fractures in Companion’s T6 and T7 vertebrae. He reports that while the injury is not as severe as it sounds, he is very sore and will likely sit out the rest of the season. Mullen, who flipped his car, was uninjured and actually finished the race on the lead lap in 22nd place.
The best part of the crash, Companion joked, is that he made the “Top 3 on 3” feature on WCAX, the CBS television affiliate in Burlington, VT. To see the highlight, click WCAX.com.
A tip of our hat goes to the Thunder Road safety crew, including Speedway Safety Services and Golden Cross, for their skills and calculated efforts in caring for our competitors.
Did you know…?
-After eight Late Model events at Thunder Road this season, two-time winner Marcel Gravel is the only driver with multiple finishes in first or second place. Scott Payea and Ron Henry went 1-2 at the Merchants Bank 150 to open the year, and with the exception of Gravel, every event has seen a pair of new faces in the top two.
-Leonard Sanborn drove a convertible Junkyard Warrior to the win on Charter Communications Night on Thursday. The last time a topless Warrior won at Thunder Road was on opening day in May 2005.
-Only 10 times in the 24 previous editions of the CARQUEST Vermont Governor’s Cup has a native Vermonter won the race. New Hampshire natives own six wins (Dave Dion, Harold Hanaford, Freddie Mills, and Stub Fadden), Massachusetts has two (Rene Charland and Joey Kourafas), Florida’s Robbie Crouch has four wins, and even Quebec has a pair on victories, with Andre Manny and Jean-Paul Cabana taking the prize north of the border. Vermont winners are Mike Osborne, Tony Colicchio, Bobby Dragon (three times), Steve Poulin, Jamie Aube, Jim Cilley, Cooper MacRitchie, and Eric Williams.
Keep playing our TD Banknorth 250 Trivia Contest! It’s on the main page of the ACT website (www.acttour.com) and the player with the most correct answers for the week wins a TD Banknorth 250 t-shirt! Congratulations to our recent winners, Albert Trepanier, Matt Trepanier, Damien Roy, and Justin Town!