Northeast Motorsports Expo to feature Pit Crew Challenge

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Northeast Motorsports Expo to feature Pit Crew Challenge

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 07, 2015, at 7:48 a.m.

The auto racing season warms up this weekend with the 27th annual Northeast Motorsports Expo at the Augusta Civic Center and the highlight will be the third Heluva Pit Crew Challenge.

The Benjamin Motorsports crew for Pro All-Stars Series Super Late Model North driver Travis Benjamin from Morrill has won the first two challenges.

"We hit on something with the Pit Crew Challenge. It has grown. I think we'll have 40 teams attempting to qualify," said Steve Perry, who owns and runs the Northeast Motorsports Expo.

There were 30 crews last year.

Each team consists of a jack person, two tire carriers and two tire changers and the teams will begin trying to qualify based on time on at 5:30 p.m. Friday night and at noon and 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

The field will be whittled down to 16 finalists and the final competition will begin at noon Sunday.

The winning crew will earn $750 and a 55-gallon drum of Sunoco Racing Fuel and the second- place team will earn $300. All 16 finalists will receive a variety of prizes, according to Perry, who also hosts the Mainely Motorsports television show.

There will also be three other fun-oriented pit crew challenges on Saturday: one for track and tour officials at noon, another which will include a team comprised of one media member, two women, a driver and a crew member at 5 p.m. and an all-female competition at 7:30 p.m.

There will be over 50 exhibits and vendors and there will be seminars, featuring Shawn Waddell from Waddell Communications and marketing expert Debby Pastrana, mother of Travis Pastrana, who is a 10-time X Games gold medalist, four-time Rally America driver champion and former Xfinity (Nationwide) Series driver.

The Maine Vintage Race Car Association will hold its second annual auction throughout the weekend and a raffle will be held to win a race-ready Super Late Model race car, which has raced only a few times. A Pass Modified car was raffled off last year.

The drawing for the Super Late Model car will he held at the Racin' Preview Show at the Portland Exposition building on Feb. 21.

New Super Late Model cars cost in the vicinity of $50,000, according to Perry.

Show hours will be from 4:30-9:30 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and 10-3 on Sunday.

It will cost $9 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, $5 for children from 6-12 and it will be free for children 5 and under. Three-day passes for adults will be available for $20.

Perry said the biggest news in the auto racing industry in the northeast for the upcoming season is the cooperative arrangement between the American Canadian Tour for Late Models and the PASS Super Late Models to hold three doubleheader weekends.

That marks a warming in the relationship between ACT President Tom Curley and PASS founder and president Tom Mayberry.

"This will benefit both of them and the real winner is the fans," Perry said.

The first PASS/ACT combination event will be held at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday, April 18. The ACT International for both tours will be held on July 18-19 at Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, New York, and the final combo will be held at Autodrome Chaudiere in Vallee Jonction, Quebec, on Sept. 12.

PASS adds another championship

The PASS SLM North drivers will have the option to run for one of two championships this coming season: the PASS North overall title in which they will race all 16 races, including the four Canadian races, or the PASS Northeast championship, which will include the 12 races in the U.S. and exclude the four Canadian races.

"Allowing our racers the option to compete for the overall PASS North championship or the new PASS Northeast Super Late Model championship is a big step forward for the series," Mayberry said in a news release. "This will allow racers who don't have the funds or time to compete in the Canadian events a chance to still race for a championship. Likewise, the 2015 PASS North titlist will truly be able to call himself short track racing's international champion."

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En route pour une 4e saison pour le #4 Stéphane Fournier

Chronique #8 : En 3e vitesse avec  Sportsman Québec


En route pour une 4e saison pour le #4 Stéphane Fournier

Pour l'équipe #4 Fournier Côté Racing Team, la saison 2014 a été une de ces meilleures au point de vue des résultats. Tout au long de la saison on a pu constater l'assurance prise en piste par Stéphane Fournier et l'expérience acquise par l'équipe de mécaniciens pour mettre en piste une voiture compétitive. De façon paradoxale, la 3e saison de l'équipe en Sportsman Québec en aura été aussi une de remise en question.

Certes, l'équipe est très fière de ces résultats et plus particulièrement de son podium lors de la 2e course au GP3R. Un podium remporté sur une piste que Stéphane Fournier affectionne particulièrement et qui de plus, s'est fait devant quelques commanditaires précieux de l'équipe. Un moment magique et euphorique que l'équipe a eu le bonheur de partager avec le Team 33!

Malgré ces belles réussites, l'équipe a terminé l'année avec le sentiment du devoir non accompli. Les buts fixés en ce qui concerne les résultats étaient pleinement atteints avec sa 8e position au championnat général mais l'équipe avait perdu de vu son objectif premier; vivre sa passion dans le plaisir avant tout.

Un travail d'équipe

Dany Côté et Stéphane Fournier forme un duo depuis plusieurs années alors qu'ils débutaient en Sport Compact Élite. Lorsque la décision est venue de vendre les 3 voitures qui leur appartenaient pour faire leur début en Sportsman Québec en 2012, pour eux le choix était clair; il mettait à profit les forces de chacun et c'est ainsi que Dany Côté a laissé la conduite de côté pour devenir chef d'équipe, signaleur et responsable des commanditaires. Quant à Stéphane Fournier, passionné par la conduite, il est devenu le seul pilote de l'équipe. Pour 2015, quelques changements sont à prévoir entre autre suite au départ de Daniel Gagné. De nouveaux mécaniciens se joindront à l'équipe entre autre Raynald Simard qui cumule plusieurs années d'expérience en Stock Car.

Objectifs 2015

Pour Fournier Côté,  la représentation de leurs commanditaires tant sur la piste qu'à l'extérieur est une priorité. Pouvant compter sur plusieurs commanditaires fidèles depuis leur début,  Stéphane Fournier et Dany Côté comptent bien leur faire honneur. Pour la saison 2015, Stéphane Fournier veut continuer à progresser de course en course et qui sait, permettre à son équipe de monter à nouveau sur les marches du podium!

Bonne saison à toute l'équipe de Fournier Côté Racing Team!

Marie-Claude Levasseur, Relationniste

Photo : Courtoisie de Guy Laroche

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ACT Young Stars Look Forward to New Smyrna

ACT Young Stars Look Forward to New Smyrna
Atkins, Packard, Welch, Stearns, Robinson All Enter American Racer Challenge Cup

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                       ACT-010715-2

Waterbury, VT – The first trip to New Smyrna Speedway (NSS) in 2011 ended up with 28 very diverse teams. Half the teams were "regular ACT touring teams", the rest were from various elements of the overall ACT Late Model racing program that covers a wide area of the Northeastern US, and Provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

The 2015 visit to the Daytona Beach area will have a much more experienced and different look when the 2015 American Canadian Tour (ACT) teams visit the New Smyrna Speedway to compete in a two-day double-header event--the American Racer Challenge Cup this February.

"We had some terrific reviews following our first-ever effort at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at NSS a few years ago. We have been fortunate to have sustainable growth within the middle of our ACT system over the past few years. We are all very excited about having so many of our talented new young teams heading to Florida on February 16-17," said Tom Curley, President of the American Canadian Tour.

Two eighteen year-old racers, 2014 Rookie of the Year Brandon Atkins of Au Sable Forks, NY, and Emily Packard from East Montpelier, VT proved to any doubters that there is a competitive youth movement which competes at a very high level, and they are ready to challenge the veterans of ACT. Kyle Welch, Newport, NH shocked the veterans with an outstanding 2014 season. Welch was not only competitive, but grabbed a win at Groveton, New Hampshire last July. Two Maine teams will also make the long trip to Florida, Rowland Robinson, Jr., Steuben, and Travis Stearns, Auburn will join a very strong mixed group of veterans and first timers at New Smyrna in February.

The 2014 ACT Champion and defending winner of the first Challenge Cup event at New Smyrna, Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. (Pole) said, "I think it is just great that we have so many "regulars" going to NSS. This is a perfect way to shake out the lay-off and get ready for the upcoming season, let alone being in the Daytona area during February speed-weeks. This format of two actual races to win, and then a combined point system for the title with most of the money for the win is really intense and fun. The goal for us is to try and win it all, but ACT is bringing a very strong group of teams, so it will be tough. I can't wait", concluded Pole.

The full field of over 26 entrants will be announced shortly for the American Racer Challenge Cup at New Smyrna Speedway onMonday, Feb. 16, and Tues. Feb. 17, 2015.

For additional information contact the ACT office at 802.244.6963media@acttour.com,or visit acttour.com.


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