By Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications
In high school, the most popular kids were invited to all the parties. While the textbooks have long since been put away, no one can dispute the educational and entertainment value of the annual American-Canadian Tour Invitational – Saturday, September 22nd – at Loudon, New Hampshire’s New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Every year since the event’s inception, Dan McHattie has been selected to represent Kawartha Speedway at the show that shares the stage with the second race in the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Wrapping-up the hometown oval’s current campaign may be his immediate priority, but McHattie is anxious for his 4th start in the Granite State.
“My first order of business is finishing the season at Kawartha Friday, September 14th,” said McHattie. “There are 3 of us in contention for the NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model title, so the battle for the championship is sure to go right down to the final checkered flag. First thing Saturday morning, we’ll start changing the car over for the trip to New Hampshire. It shouldn’t take too long, but I want to make sure everything is ready before we roll it into the hauler.”
McHattie – along with his Kawartha Speedway counterparts Ryan Kimball and Bryan Mercer – participated in the practice session at NHMS on Wednesday, August 29th. Having 3 years experience on the one mile oval sent the Cavan, Ontario veteran to the track with a full set of notes on how to prep his ride. Familiarity with the track – and having built his car from the ground up – saw the driver of the #71 J.J. Stewart Chrysler/Corp Construction/Uniglass Plus Ziebart/ Napa Sidey Auto Supply/Douglas Automotive/Barry McLennan Masonry/Foxon Alternator and Starter/Praxair Peterborough/Webb Transmission/Ontario Truck Training Academy Dodge Charger by Dan McHattie Racecars set the fast practice time on the day.
“We unloaded for the test with essentially the same package we used during the race last year,” said McHattie. “Right off the bat, the car felt great. I was able to run some solid laps and experimented with how the car would handle in the different grooves and race traffic. This will be our 4th trip to the race and while it’s an honour to be invited, it would be the ultimate thrill to roll into victory lane when they wave the checkered flag.”
As he has done in the past, McHattie will make the trek to Loudon with a strong support crew of familiar faces including his parents, his wife Heidi, along with Colin Winslow and Chris Mitchell. With so many events also on the Saturday, September 22nd schedule, television coverage of the ACT Tour Invitational isn’t possible, but Dan McHattie doesn’t think there’ll be a problem for fans looking to follow his progress.
“I know that within minutes of ending the first practice round at the test session, updates were flowing back home via Facebook and Twitter,” said the driver. “Social media is a great thing and I’m sure that no matter how we do, the news will travel as fast as the racecar.”
Photo attachment: Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications
For the 4th time in his career Cavan, Ontario’s Dan McHattie will make the trip to Loudon, New Hampshire to run the American-Canadian Tour Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications
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