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story by Chris Roy

Strong59

photo by RPM Photography

This past weekend the MOAT Mountain Legends returned to NHMS to race on the 1.6 mile road course. Alex Vorrilas was last season’s rookie of the year qualified 3rd for the feature with a lap time of 1:24.034. “I’m not sure how the racing was because we didn’t do any wheel to wheel racing. Last weekend at NHMS was a pretty typical weekend for us. It seems like we either break or get on the podium, and we started off the season right back on that path for 2014. It’s discouraging to say the least. Our goal for the first race weekend was just to finish, because with no drops this season is all about consistency. Unfortunately the axle broke on the formation lap, and we were unable to even start the race. Things break, and unfortunately in motorsports it happens a lot. The car is already fixed and back together, but this is an opportunity to take a break from the roller coaster ride we have had the past season into this season and see where we want to go from here.”

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lee    LEE, NH- A new event that promises to bring New Hampshire’s Center of Speed, the Lee USA Speedway, its highest car count and biggest payday of the season, currently estimated at $44,000 is only three plus weeks away.

 

A field of close to 40 Tour-Type Modified teams will tow in from roughly ten different states for the 1st annual 100-lap, “Bullring Bash Powered by Sunoco” on Sunday, May 11. One of very few drivers competing in this event that has called Lee home is Mike Douglas Jr., from Auburn, N.H.

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NEMST_Lap

photo by RPM Photography

Story by Chris Roy

This weekend the North East Mini Stock Tour (NEMST), will start the 2014 race season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS). In the off season NEMST founder and promoter Bob Guptill has been working hard getting ready for the upcoming race season, “We have been busy signing on even more new tracks for the 2014 schedule as well as numerous new sponsors big and small for all events.”

 

This will be the 6th year of racing for the NEMST, “The previous 5 seasons have flown by. I can’t wait to kick off 2014, by far our most exciting year yet. Every race this season is a special event either by the facility it is held, the increased purse, or “Triple Crown” involvement. It is for sure going to be an epic year.”

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H8

photo by RPM Photography

Story by Chris Roy

After a long winter, the Amsoil NELCAR Series kicked off the 2014 race season at Lee Speedway this past weekend. Matt Chagnot is once again behind of the wheel of the #8 Hooligan Legend Car, as the cars got ready to take to the track, “The 1st week is always an adventure with remembering how to drive and figuring out what needs to be in the trailer, but I think we were as prepared as we ever, have been. The new motor is running great, I have new tires on the car, and the weather held off for the race. We spent the Saturday practice day breaking in the new motor, so I didn’t have any laps on the track at full speed when we got there Sunday. Unfortunately, our practice times showed it, as we were pretty slow. I picked up the track quickly though, and managed to shave off over 6 tenths of a second on my lap times from the practice to the feature by making some minor adjustments and driving a better line. We ended up finishing 5th in our heat race, and ran in the top 10 all day in the feature. We finished 10th at the end of the race, even though we got stuck on the outside for the initial start and every restart which cost me a couple positions. I was pretty happy at the end of the race, since we were very competitive and were getting faster all day. We are making some tweaks to the carb on the new motor that should give us a bit more horsepower for the next race, so hopefully we see even better results at Wiscasset next weekend.”

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Emily trackThe American Canadian Tour kicked off its 23rd season at Lee USA Speedway again this year with the Governor’s Cup 150 on Sunday April 13th.  Hitting the track for her first race of the season, Emily Packard, the 17 year old East Montpelier native, brought home her 9X Northstar Fireworks/Packard Fuels sponsored car in 12th place.

Rain early in the day changed the track and the schedule, shortening day and allowing little to no practice to feel the car out prior to the heat races.  Starting 5th in the heat race, Packard dropped back a position early on fighting a pushing race car, but battled her way up to 4th by Lap 4.  The closing laps found her in a battle of side by side racing for the last three laps holding off the 5VT car to cross the line in 4th place to secure her place in the show.   “I hope it was an exciting race for the fans to watch, because it was definitely exciting from the driver’s seat,” said Packard of her tight racing with the 5vt car, “it was a good (heat) race and a good start to the season.” 

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vlf_9945

Credit Eric LaFleche/VLFPhotos.com

Lee, NH – Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, MA claimed the American Canadian Tour win in the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway (Lee, NH) on Sunday, April 13. MacDonald used strategy to claim his first career ACT win at Lee in his ninth start at the 3/8ths mile speedway. It was his fifth career ACT Late Model win.

MacDonald went from sixth to first in his heat race to claim the win and the pole in the feature with his +5 in ACT’s plus/minus handicap system. MacDonald faded back early from the drop of the green. He fell as far as 10th and appeared to ride for the majority of the event.

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WAR96

photo by RPM Photography

Story by Chris Roy

The 2014 Amsoil NELCAR race season gets underway this weekend at Lee Speedway, in Lee NH, and after the winter months Wyatt is all ready to declare WAR (Wyatt Alexander Racing).  “In the off season I have been focusing on school. I play soccer and just started playing tennis. I also spend some time on iracing, using it as a training tool. I have worked on getting both cars ready, attending a few motorsports shows as well. I have a Pro Late Model that I have added to the team. Getting both ready for 2014 has kept us busy.”

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leeACT LogoWaterbury, VT – The American Canadian Tour Late Models are set to enter their 23rd season of competition with their season opener at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH this Sunday, April 13. This will be the seventh time the 3/8ths-mile speedway has hosted the season opener. Norm Andrews won the first ever ACT Late Model event at Sanair Super Speedway in 1992 and the first event of the season has seen a variety of tracks and winners ever since.

Over the past 22 seasons, the ACT Late Model season opener has been hosted by seven different tracks and seen 16 different winners. Only four drivers have won more than one season opener, led by ACT Champions Brian Hoar (1997, 2011, 2012) and Jean-Paul Cyr (1996, 2004, 2006). Dennis Demers (1993, 1994) and Cris Michaud (2001, 2005) are the only other drivers with multiple season opener wins.

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Derek GriffithStory by Eric LaFleche
(Thompson, CT) – The learning curve at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for young racer Derek Griffith was a short one as the Hudson, New Hampshire native made his first ever trip to the Northeastern Connecticut race track and came away with an impressive eighth-place finish
Participating in the 40th Annual Ice Breaker Saturday qualifying heat races, Derek get into a little incident during his race, which resulted in some bent up suspension parts and with less than a day to complete the repairs, the No. 12 Motorcycles of Manchester/LCM Racing/Tyngsboro Motors Toyota Camry crew had quite a bit of work to do.
O'Sullivan Thompson Victory LaneStory by Shawn Sicard

Photo by Jim Dupont

Thompson, CT-Mike O’Sullivan fends off Larry Gelinas and Jeff Connors to pick up his third win in the Granite State Pro Stock Series.

Wayne Helliwell, JR pulled away from Keith Caruso and looked strong to begin the race.  Defending race winner George Bessette had picked up a couple of spots before falling off the pace on the back stretch with a terminal issue.  O’Sullivan, Gelinas, and Connors sat single file in pursuit of Helliwell, who was amongst the fastest cars all weekend.  Home track hero Tommy O’Sullivan battled bad luck all weekend long, suffering a failed plug wire a day after his motor let go during practice, taking him out of contention on lap 16.  Helliwell’s day would turn sour as the two-time defending ACT champion blew a right front tire in turn 1 and came to rest on the top of turn 3, bringing out the first caution of the day. 

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GSPS2Thompson, CT-Dillon Moltz and Brad Babb took the checkers in their respective heat races at the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP).

Greg Nanigian and Moltz kicked off the season for the Granite State Pro Stock Series (GSPSS) as they brought the field to green in the first heat, where the RB Performance Chevrolet of Moltz jumped to the lead.  The field checked up when Ron Smith spun coming off turn 4, letting Moltz go uncontested until Mike Parks brought out the caution with a spin off the same corner.  Moltz had a new dancing partner with Larry Gelinas at his door on the restart, but the result was still the same as Moltz lead start to finish to record the youngster’s first checkered flag in the series.  After qualifying, Moltz added “The car is real good.  We’re only going to make a small adjustment for Sunday, but overall the race went well.”  Gelinas would hold off a hard charging Mike O’Sullivan, who started dead last on the field to finish third.  Two-time defending ACT champion Wayne Helliwell, JR, who was fastest in second practice took the fourth spot, while last year’s Icebreaker winner George Bessette settled into fifth. 

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leeNew Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150

 

Lee, NH – The Lee USA Speedway track crew is making final preparations at “New Hampshire’s Center of Speed” in anticipation of the traditional season-opening New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 for the American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models, slated to take the green flag on Sunday, April 13.

 

Defending race winner Jimmy Hebert has no small task facing him in trying to defend his title, considering that the last 11 ACT races at Lee USA have produced 10 different winners, with only eight-time ACT champion Brian Hoar able to repeat the trip to victory lane, claiming the win in the Lee season-opening event back to back in 2011 and 2012.

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ACT LogoLee, NH – Several Quebec teams are set to help kick off the 2014 American Canadian Tour season at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday, April 13. Série ACT Quebec runner-up in 2013, Alex Labbé of St. Albert, Quebec, two-time Série ACT Champion Donald Theetge of Boischatel, and Jonathan Bouvrette of Blainville, a NASCAR All-American Series Champion and first-time ACT event winner on the final weekend at Autodrome St-Eustache in 2013, are all gearing up for the 150-lap Governor’s Cup on the fast 1/3 mile asphalt track.

Labbé, who missed the 2013 Série ACT Quebec title by just eight points, the difference of four positions in a race, undoubtedly will be the driver to give his Larue Equipment team a second championship, following the one by Karl Allard of St. Félicien in 2010.

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8591

photo by RPM Photography

story by Chris Roy

Dan Winter of Windham, NH will be doing double duty this race season. Dan is going to be doing a limited schedule with the NELCAR Legends Tour and testing the breaking new ice with his new super late model. “This year we are planning on running the 10 race Thursday Thunder series, as well as select NELCAR tour and NHMS road course races.  In addition, we are going to be testing a Super Late Model at the beginning of the season and running some races mid to end of the 2014 year.” 

 

While waiting for the snow to melt, Dan has kept busy will classes and find getting ready for the 2014 season. “This off season has been especially busy for us.  Back in January we went down to Charlotte, North Carolina for the INEX banquet.  While down there I also raced one of Bob Weymouth’s legend cars in the Winter Heat Series. Also, this winter we’ve been busy building a new legend car for the 2014 season as well as working on preparing a super late model for this year.”      

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sp33d

photo by RPM Photography

story by Chris Roy

On April 19th, New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) is ready to kick off the 2014 Gifford’s Ice Cream Bandolero Series. Though AJ Eastman driver of the number 33 Bando has kept busy in the over the winter months, “In the off season I’ve been focused on keeping my grades up and playing basketball for my school.”

With opening day just a few weeks away the drivers and race teams have been working hard in the shops on the race cars, so is AJ and the SP33D race team all set for the green flag at NHMS? “Uh, define “all set”, we have a little bit to do to ready the car, but we should be fine.”

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