Contributed by: ACT Staff
TOP 10 REASONS TO BE EXCITED ABOUT THE ACT INTERNATIONAL‘’500”
(---the next 500 Fever top 10 articles [# 2] will highlight the entry list by picking some potential winners!!)
# 3. AIRBORNE MODIFIED TWIN 50’s
Well, we are entering the final week of getting ready for the ACT International 500. This long-awaited inaugural running of ACT’s biggest race in its 28-year history begins a new era this Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21. When you think of Airborne, you have to think of Modifieds!!The 60+ year history of Airborne Raceway, for the most part, has involved Modified race cars. From the early days in the 50’s and 60’s some of the greatest Modified asphalt drivers from the Northeast, including Quebec took the old half mile by storm.
As Ken Squier used to say ‘the men who live by 600 horsepower and the grace of God’ is a very long list of great racers from yesteryear. Local stars like Dick Nephew, Charlie Trombley, Bobby Bruno in the Vic Wolfe machine were just some of the stars. There was also Ernie Ried, Harold Ormsby, and who can forget Tupper Lakes Gaston Desmarais with the green light on his roof (when he thought he had the race won, he would flick the switch and his cadre of race fans would go wild!!!) Those were the days, and the Plattsburgh area troops welcomed the best of the Canadians – Andre Manny, JP Cabana, Marcel Goddard, Gilles Brochu and Paul Hamel. NASCAR National Champions and the ALL-Stars frequented Airborne Raceway back in the 60’s and 70’s. NASCAR National Champions Don MacTavish, Rene Charland, Pete Hamilton, Jerry Cook and Richie Evans were just a few names of some of the great racers who made history racing Modifieds at Airborne.
CJ Richards turned Airborne into a 1/3 mile dirt track in the 1980’s. The headline division was the CVRA dirt mods…just another in a long history of Modified racing at Airborne.
In 2001 Mike Perrotte, a Dirt racer from Plattsburgh, and now promoter and part owner at Airborne, asked me to try a race with Dirt Modifieds on asphalt in an exhibition event. One Sunday afternoon we did the deal. When the first heat came out I thought we burned the entire field up with the smoke that billowed up in turn 1 & 2!!! It was spectacular, they ‘dirt tracked’ around the corners, smoked the tires with massive horsepower down the long straight-aways and put on a hell of a show. A year later Mike and his car sponsor George Huttig leased the track. They eventually introduced the Dirt type Modifieds as the headline division. When Steve Fuller purchased and made massive improvements to the track, it was the headline division to stay.
Fans from the Plattsburgh region, Quebec, and Vermont have been on the edge of their seats ever since. Great racers like Todd Stone from Middlebury, VT, Patrick Dupree, Vince Quinnville, Leon Gonyo, Todd Ormsby, Pierre Berthiaume and Andy Heywood are just a few of the stars of Airborne’s new generation of drivers who have taken over the helm of ‘the men who live by the grace of God and 600 horse power’!
Twenty-one thousand dollars ($21,000.00) has been posted for the Twin 50-lap Monza-style event. Qualifying and first round 50-lap feature will highlight the Saturday night show of ‘500’ weekend. And then on Sunday, July 21st, the inverted field of Modifieds will decide who has the best combined score (low point wins) and will be the inaugural winner of the International 500 Modified portion of the weekend.
It is indeed the ‘final countdown’ for the anticipated mega race that has captured the imagination of race fans and teams from Ontario to Rhode Island. The Airborne Modifieds generally will create more fireworks ON the track than what will come Saturday night in the skies over the Speedway.
Come catch 500 Fever for real this weekend----
NEXT UP— # 2 “BORITUS” (the self appointed balding, rotund, know-it-all) oh yes, driving those big rigs cross country can make one’s mind wander--- the Boritus brain thrust, nasty as it is, gets to show off his limited knowledge of the sport with PICKS of the top 30 from an entry list that includes the best Late Model racers in the country---don’t miss it, and don’t believe a word of it!!!!
MISS #4??? CLICK HERE
MISS #5??? CLICK HERE
MISS #6??? CLICK HERE
MISS #7??? CLICK HERE
MISS #8??? CLICK HERE
MISS #9??? CLICK HERE
MISS #10??? CLICK HERE