Mainely Motorsports TV – January 18, 2017
Expanded “Road To The Oxford 250” Returns For 4th Year in 2017
OXFORD, ME (December 24) – Oxford Plains Speedway owner and Pro All Stars Series (PASS) President Tom Mayberry announced today the continuation of the “Road To The Oxford 250” program in 2017. Celebrating its fourth year in 2017, the groundbreaking “Road To The Oxford 250” concept will expand to give racers across the continent the chance to compete in short track asphalt racing’s biggest event. As mentioned with the announcement of the Speedway 660 event over a month ago, competitors from Canada and the United States will have opportunity to race for guaranteed starting spots, while keeping the focus on the 250 throughout the season.
The 2016 Oxford 250 saw droves of race fans from across North America and over 60 Super Late Models make the annual August trek to Oxford Plains Speedway, making this one of the most successful editions of the venerable race in over a decade. Wayne Helliwell, Jr. of Pelham, NH, a winner of a “Road To The Oxford 250” qualifier in 2016, captured the checkered flag and took home nearly $30,000 for his winning efforts.
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– 44th Annual Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway to pay PASS Super Late Model winner $25,000, plus $25,000 in guaranteed lap leader money
– Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Continues Tradition as Spring’s Premier Super Late Model Event
– Dillon, Orange County, Thompson, And Beech Ridge Fill Out Remainder Of Championship Schedule
NAPLES, ME (November 29) – Pro All Stars Series (PASS) officials have released the six dates and locations that will make up the 10th Annual PASS National Championship Series. The schedule is comprised of six premier Super Late Model events in both PASS North and PASS South that will determine an overall PASS National Champion. The PASS National Championship Series will see the champion crowned for the first time ever at the prestigious 44th Annual Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway in August. And, the PASS National Championship Series will return to North Carolina’s Orange County Speedway next March for the first time since 2014.
Manchester, NH – Race teams, track officials, fans, and sponsors gathered at the Executive Court Inn and Conference Center to celebrate the 2016 Lee USA Speedway “Banquet of Champions” on Saturday night, November 5, closing out the 30th year under the leadership of track owners Red and Judy MacDonald.
Heading up the list of honorees at this year’s banquet was freshman competitor Dave “Hollywood” Helliwell of Pelham, who not only captured Rookie of the Year honors in the EKeys4Cars-sponsored NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Supermodified division, but also rode an impressive 4-win season to the track championship as well.
Helliwell nabbed 14 top five finishes in 17 races on his way to the title, beating out two-time main event winner Moe Lattime of Kingston by 25 points to secure the title. Rochester’s Mike Spurling grabbed three feature wins on his way to a third place finish, just four points further back in the final standings.
WALPOLE, N.H. – Even though the 2016 Granite State Pro Stock Series season finished just a few weeks ago at New London-Waterford Speedbowl, the GSPSS is already looking ahead to the 2017 campaign.
And with that, the series is proud to announce the first scheduled race for next season at Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, Mass. The inaugural Seekonk 100 will take place on Saturday night June 24, 2017.
“We are extremely happy to be able to work with Seekonk Speedway to bring the GSPSS there for the 2017 season,” GSPSS president Mike Parks said. “Seekonk is the home of weekly Super Late Model racing in Southern New England. By adding the GSPSS to the schedule, it has the making of a super event. We have been talking to them for two years and we feel the timing is correct for 2017.”
MIDLAND, NC (November 5) – Dalton Sargeant held off Preston Peltier in a near photo finish to claim his first career Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model win Saturday afternoon in the Mason-Dixon Meltdown as part of the North-South Shootout at Concord Speedway. Maine’s Ben Rowe also celebrated his fourth career PASS National Championship, while Matt Craig edged out Kodie Conner for the PASS South Super Late Model title.
“First off, I really want to thank Preston [Peltier] for driving me as clean as he did, I really respect that,” said Sargeant in victory lane. “I think we had a little bit better drive off the corner than he did, but it’s just amazing to get this win as part of the PASS North-South Shootout. I’ve got to thank my guys for all the hard work they’ve put in all year long.”
By: Dick Casey
Eddie MacDonald’s second place Late Model finish in the DAV Fall Classic at Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, Mass. on Saturday, Oct, 29 wrapped up a highly competitive campaign in the Freddie Peterson owned Chevy. Unfortunately, the veteran driver could not avoid a wreck on lap three of the 150 lap Pro Stock feature causing terminal radiator damage in the Dave Lemieux owned Chevy.
Eddie Mac started the 50 lap Late Model event in tenth place on the grid in the 23 car field to find the early going very difficult as both the inside and outside groove running side by side with the “Outlaw” saying, “There wasn’t any place to go for the first 25-30 laps because the cars on the outside just stalled. When I finally got by them, my car was pretty good on the outside and I was able to get by a lot of cars but unfortunately the leader had a big lead. We needed one more caution and I think we would have had something for him but that didn’t happen.”
Eddie Mac drew the fourth starting position in the heat and met with the same stalled outside groove to finish fourth in the ten lap heat. The EXIT Realty/Hancock Electric Chevy started tenth in the DAV feature, so named to honor the 1946 speedway founder D. Anthony Venditti, then moved into the sixth spot by lap eight but again was forced to restart on the outside after the first of eight cautions. It was not until a caution on lap 41 that Eddie Mac was able to restart on the inside. The Rowley, Mass veteran quickly took over the third position then had to race the #7 hard for multiple laps before moving to second place on lap 46. With only four laps to go, Eddie Mac could only close the sizeable gap to the leader by a few car lengths. When the checkered flag waved Eddie Mac trailed the winner Ray Parent by 5 car lengths.
“It just took so long to be able to race that the winner had a big lead and I didn’t have enough time to catch him,” said Eddie Mac. “The car was real good on the outside when I finally had room to race and I think I could have gotten by him if we had a caution or a few more laps. He was really tight and his car had fallen off quite a bit. But we had a good run and we are happy to finish second to end our season. It has been a lot of fun and I am already looking forward to next season.”
The nightcap feature, the Pro Stock 150, ended nearly as fast as it started with the EXIT Realty/Neal Excavating Chevy involved in a huge crash started by an impatient driver. Eddie Mac started in the fifteenth position after qualifying fifth in the heat. When the green flag waved to start the event the 24 car field rode side by side for the first three laps. A driver up front on the outside decided to cut to the bottom that is the preferred line around the one-third of a mile bullring. Usually drivers wait until it is clear to do so but this driver turned down with a car in the bottom groove causing a huge pile-up. Eddie Mac weaved his way through the initial carnage but ended up in a wreck as a car that made it through the wreckage suddenly lost control and turned down in front of the approaching field of cars. Eddie Mac and another car plowed into him. Eddie Mac went to the pits for repairs but his night ended with a badly damaged radiator.
“I really feel bad for Dave Lemieux and Brian Neal who have put so much into this car and finally got it to where it could run with the leaders,” said Eddie Mac. “We worked on it Friday and Saturday in practice and in the second practice on Saturday, I think, it was the second fastest car on the track. We had hoped for a better starting position but we were stuck again on the outside in the 12 lap heat and just couldn’t go anywhere. But we knew the car was fast and we just needed to stay out of trouble. This track dictates that you get to the bottom as quick as possible but the guy up front did not want to wait for an opening to do that and just caused a huge wreck. I was able to get through but as soon as I did a car lost it in front of me and came right down the track sideways. This track and this race require patience and guys have to wait their turn to make the move to the bottom. Unfortunately for us, this didn’t happen.”
“Rollie (LaChance) and I have had a great season and we are thankful for the support of so many people. Rob Grimm, our K&N team owner, makes all this possible. Sheila and Freddie Peterson own our Late Model and are simply wonderful people to be involved with. Bobby Wood is an important member of the team. Dave Lemieux owns the Pro Stock and we hope to run more with him next season. Brian Neal is a very important cog in the Pro Stock success. We have a small but very dedicated crew both in the shop and at the track starting with Rollie’s family. His wife Laura, his daughter Rachel and son Ryan do so much for our team and have for years. Jolene and Rob Drandson and Tom Rice juggle work schedules so they can be with us every race. John Tiernan and Dick Casey are in the shop countless hours preparing the cars. I have to give thanks to my girlfriend Kelyn Harrell for the patience, understanding, and support. Scott and Kenny Thompson of Hancock Electric have been incredible sponsors for a decade and Derek Beatrice has been a huge supporter with EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates, Of course, my parents, Red and Judy, have supported my racing career since I was a teenager and continue to do so. We all have to thank our fans for all their support and wish everyone well and hope to see everyone again next season,”
CHARLOTTE, NC (October 31) – As the weather cools and the seasons change, another Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Model season will go into the books this weekend at Concord Speedway. This year two great events will come together as the PASS Super Late Models will compete for 125 laps in the Mason-Dixon Meltdown as part of the 14th Annual North-South Shootout. In addition, both the PASS National Championship and PASS South Super Late Model titles will be decided on Saturday afternoon in the Meltdown.
Since 2008, the PASS National Championship has become Super Late Model racing’s only true undisputed national title. Coming into this weekend’s action, Turner, ME’s Ben Rowe will be seeking an unprecedented fourth PASS National Championship crown. In his first start at Concord Speedway in 2007, Rowe edged out Corey Williams to take the win in the second ever running of the Mason-Dixon Meltdown. While Rowe enjoys a fairly healthy 72-point advantage, New Hampshire’s Jeremy Davis will be making his first trip down to Concord Speedway in hopes of upsetting Rowe for the national championship.
The race for the PASS South Super Late Model title, however, is much closer. Kodie Conner and Matt Craig are separated by only four points entering Saturday’s 125-lapper and there are plenty of ironies that surround the two drivers. In addition to both being teenagers, each are from nearby Kannapolis and both started racing across the street from the Concord Speedway half-mile at the facility’s quarter-mile track; Conner in Bandoleros and Craig in Legends cars. When either driver wins the championship this weekend, they will join Alex Haase, Ryan Blaney, and Tate Fogleman as teens that have been able to claim the South’s oldest Super Late Model title.
Lee, NH – Lee USA Speedway closed out the 2016 racing season with the running of 13 feature events which had been postponed at “New Hampshire’s Center of Speed” two weeks earlier, and it was Chelmsford, MA Modified ace Jon McKennedy who was clearly the star of the day.
With twin 50-lap feature events on tap for the Valenti Modified Racing Series, McKennedy was in the proverbial driver’s seat, and he capped off his 2016 championship run with dominating wins in both ends of the twinbill to cement his fourth career series championship title.
McKennedy wasn’t the only driver to double up during Oktoberfest 2016, though it took Hudson, NH Super Late Model standout Derek Griffith a couple of weeks longer to score his two wins. Griffith had won the opening Oktoberfest Super Late Model 50-lapper on Saturday night, October 8, but when rain washed out Sunday action, he had to wait two weeks for the re-schedule to complete his sweep.
By: Dick Casey
Eddie MacDonald posted third place finishes in the Pro Stock/ Super Late Model and Late Model features to complete the rescheduled Oktoberfest at his family owned track on Sunday, Oct.24. Due to heavy rain on the second of two days of racing two weeks ago, the Sunday event was completed to end the Lee USA season on a chilly blustery day.
The “Outlaw” piloted the Dave Lemieux owned PS/SLM Chevy to a solid third place finish in fifty lap feature. Eddie Mac drove the famous Flame #17 GTO to a third place finish in the 40 lap Late Model race.
“We are very pleased to have EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates with us on the Pro Stock as well as the Late Model,” said Eddie Mac. “Derek Beatrice has been a strong supporter of our racing program and even sponsored the Oktoberfest weekend at the track and our team and family appreciate everything he has done. EXIT Realty will again be on both cars next weekend at Seekonk Speedway and we look forward to even better finishes. We were a little off today but know we can improve to finish off our season with solid runs.”
WATERFORD, Conn. – When qualifying was scraped at Bemer’s Big Show because of rain, Dave Farrington was a little bit frustrated.
He had originally drawn the pole position for the second Granite State Pro Stock Series (GSPSS) heat race, but he ended up having to start in 29th position because the field was set by owner points for the 75 lap season finale.
When it was all set and done, Farrington was celebrating in victory lane on Saturday night after capturing his first GSPSS victory of the season.
“Back in 2013, we ran nine races here (at the Speedbowl) in the Late Model division and I think it took me about 20 laps to remember how to get around here today,” Farrington said. “We can’t control the rain. We found out we basically had to start last because of it and we just took our time and had some patience. Going from 27th to first is a hard charger for sure.”
SOPHIA, NC (October 22) – Walnut Cove, NC’s Burt Myers pulled the double Saturday night at Caraway Speedway by claiming the win in the Kenny Minter Memorial 125 and, in so doing, taking the inaugural Southern Modified Racing Series (SMRS) presented by PASS points championship. Myers second career SMRS win caps off a remarkable 2016 season which also saw him take the titles at Bowman Gray Stadium and in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
“This is just a dream come true because I feel like in my lifetime nobody will be able to say they won all three titles in the same season,” said Myers in victory lane, who entered the race tied for the championship lead with John Smith. “It took us a long enough time to figure out the halfway adjustments and tonight we made the right ones and this car was just awesome.”
For the fifth time this year, Brandon Ward was able to capture the Precision Built Spindles Pole Award with a lap of 15.910 seconds (102.954 MPH) around the .455 mile facility. Ward’s good fortune early on continued as he drew pill number one in the redraw to start on the pole alongside veteran racer Gary Putnam.
WALPOLE, N.H. – After an enduring season of racing across the New England region, the Granite State Pro Stock Series (GSPSS) is set to crown the 2016 champion this Saturday, Oct. 22., at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
The 3/8 mile Shoreline oval will play host to the Super Late Model Series in a 75 lap main event that will decide a championship battle that currently has two veterans at the top.
Belchertown, Mass. driver Barry Gray holds a 26 point advantage over Conway, N.H. native D.J. Shaw, who was also recently crowned the PASS champion for 2016. Gray has little experience at the Speedbowl, but is hoping to seal the deal in his No. 29. Though he is not a GSPSS champion, Gray has won championships in racing before.
By: Dick Casey
The American Canadian Tour completed its season with the World Series 75 as part of the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Saturday, October 15. Eddie Mac finished third in the championship points battle in the team’s first full season on the tour. The “Outlaw” needed a perfect day to catch eventual champion Nick Sweet for the title but that day did not materialize.
“We needed to win our heat, win the race, lead the most laps, and have Nick finish no better than sixth but we didn’t come close,” said Eddie Mac. “We struggled with the car right from the first practice and tried a number of adjustments but nothing worked. The car was loose in and off the corners so I couldn’t get any speed down the long straights here. Rollie and the crew worked hard all day but it just was not our day.”
The EXIT Realty/Hancock Electric Chevy started fifth in the third heat after struggling to find speed and handling in the only afternoon practice. Eddie Mac could only finish fifth in the heat and with the even rating started 14th on the grid for the 75 lap feature on the fast, high-banked, 5/8ths of a mile oval. When the green flag waved, Eddie Mac powered into the tenth position after only five laps and into seventh place by the second caution flag on lap 23, then reported to crew chief Rollie LaChance saying, “It is really tough to pass and the car does not have a lot of forward drive.”