Race to Read Revved Up for New Season

Race to Read Revved Up for New Season


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                         TR041818-12

<<ATTACHED PHOTO (IMG_0937.JPG): Kids who successfully complete the Race to Read reading requirements get to take part in a number of Thunder Road activities, including driver introductions for last year's Vermont Milk Bowl. (Alan Ward photo)>>

<<ATTACHED PHOTO (IMG_4964.JPG): New Race to Read representative Marcel J. Gravel of Wolcott set a new Thunder Road track record at the Vermont Milk Bowl in 2017. (Alan Ward photo)>>

<<ATTACHED PHOTO [IMG_0847 (Copy).jpg]: Waterbury Center's Kelsea Woodard will be Race to Read's Flying Tiger representative this coming season. (Buzz Fisher photo)>>


Barre, VT – The beginning of the 59th season of racing at Barre's Thunder Road will also mark the return of a kid favorite: the Race to Read program. Now entering its ninth year, the nonprofit educational program uses race cars and drivers to encourage children to read. With thousands of books read during that time, it has become a centerpiece for both the track and the region.


The program will see a number of changes entering the 2018 season to help bring its mission to children throughout Vermont. The program hasn't just been developing partnerships with schools and organizations around the state, they've added some new Thunder Road star power, too.


In 2018, Race to Read will add Wolcott's Marcel J. Gravel and Waterbury Center's Kelsea Woodard as program representatives. Both will be showing up at schools across the region with their race cars to talk about the importance of reading.


Gravel, a Maplewood/Irving Late Model standout, knows a thing or two about getting things done. The 22-year-old is entering his third year in Thunder Road's top division and holds the official track record set at the 2017 Vermont Milk Bowl. Race to Read has been supported by fellow Late Model driver Brooks Clark and 2-time Champion Nick Sweet, but Gravel will be the first driver to carry the Race to Read emblem on a top level car.


"It was really cool that they asked me to be a part of Race to Read," Gravel said. "If you can keep the younger generation involved in racing, it's a good thing for racing. And encouraging them to read is good for their future. Reading is a great thing. I didn't do it enough as a kid, but if I had a program like this, I know I would have read a lot more. I think it's great for everyone on the short track racing side and for kids on the educational side. There's no flaws in the program. Everything about it can only benefit people."


Woodard will be Race to Read's Lenny's Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger representative. The 17-year-old is joining the division and the program for the first time after her breakout year in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks that saw her win the Thunder Road Most Improved Driver Award.


"I'm looking forward to getting involved," Woodard said. "To me, Race to Read means showing kids that hard work does pay off and that your education is very important. It also gets people who wouldn't normally be involved in racing more involved, because it gives them an incentive to come to the track. It's fun for everyone, and the main goal is to have fun."


In the Street Stocks, fans and children will see a familiar face. Race to Read founder Troy Kingsbury of Waitsfield has announced that he will be returning to the division in 2018 for a limited schedule. "The Green Lantern" plans to run at least six events while also helping with the program on a day-to-day basis.


Another veteran, Fairfax's Alan Maynard, will return to Race to Read for his third season. Maynard's racing schedule is uncertain at this time, but the crowd favorite remains on the Race to Read board of directors and will take a more active role in off-track activities.


Race to Read will also welcome some new staff members this season. The most recent addition is East Montpelier's Jordyn Michaud as a race day assistant. Michaud, the daughter of Thunder Road co-owner Cris Michaud, will run the Race to Read booth at the track and help with other track functions.


Race to Read will be at Thunder Road's season-opening Community Bank N.A. 150 on Sunday, April 29 at 1:30pm as well as the Downtown Barre Car Show on Saturday, April 28 at 9:00am. Fans can meet drivers from Race to Read and all of the track's weekly racing divisions on Saturday and then see them in action on Sunday.

For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, 
media@thunderroadvt.com, or www.thunderroadvt.comRace to Read can be reached by visitingwww.racetoreadvt.com.



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Big Weekend In Store For New England Race Fans At Oxford Plains

Big Weekend In Store For New England Race Fans At Oxford Plains


-       For Immediate Release


NAPLES, ME (April 17) – For Maine race fans the wait is finally over as short track racing returns this weekend to Oxford Plains Speedway.  Following a weekend off due to bad weather, the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North Super Late Models will make their first stop of the season in Maine on Sunday for the Honey Badger Bar & Grill 150.  And if that's not enough, a full slate of weekly racing at Oxford Plains Speedway will kick off on Saturday afternoon at 4 PM, featuring the Super Late Models

Memorable PASS North finishes at Oxford Plains are part of the track's legend.  In the 2016 Honey Badger Bar & Grill 150, three of the biggest names in PASS history battled three-wide late in the going to determine the victor.  The all-time winningest driver in PASS, Ben Rowe, prevailed over six-time series champion, Johnny Clark, and the eventual 2016 champion, DJ Shaw, in one of the most exciting finishes Maine race fans have ever seen. 

But, in 2018, it is a relatively new name that is taking not only New England race fans by storm, but short trackers around the country.  Hudson, NH's Derek Griffith started the PASS National Championship off by capturing a hard fought win in South Carolina at Dillon Motor Speedway.  Griffith then followed it up with a dominant win in The Icebreaker at Connecticut's Thompson Speedway.

"We are really happy with how the season has started off so far," says Griffith, driver of the LCM Motorsports #12 Chevrolet.  "We already have as many wins as we did last year in PASS…hopefully we can keep up the momentum."

As Griffith looks to join Cassius Clark and Ben Rowe as the only drivers to ever capture the PASS North title and PASS National Championship, another goal continues to be to win the 45th Annual Oxford 250.  With a top prize of over $25,000 to win, winning the biggest single-day motorsports event in the world begins with a good run at Oxford Plains this weekend to start the season.

"The early races at Oxford are only going to help us as we get closer to the 250," says Griffith.  "We seem to be getting better and better every time we go there.  We would definitely love to get a win at Oxford this year."

That will not be easy though with a stacked field for Sunday afternoon's Honey Badger Bar & Grill 150, including former Oxford 250 winners, Ben Rowe, Travis Benjamin, Curtis Gerry, Glen Luce, and Wayne Helliwell, Jr.  Former PASS champions, Johnny Clark, Cassius Clark, and DJ Shaw are entered as well as top series runners like Dave Farrington, Jr., Tracy Gordon, Kelly Moore, and Garrett Hall.  Among the drivers entered from Canada are New Brunswick's Lonnie Sommerville and Nova Scotia's Jarrett Butcher.  Currently, nearly 30 drivers are entered with more expected this weekend.

All the action gets under way on Saturday at Oxford Plains Speedway with open practice for all competing divisions, followed by local division racing at 4 PM.  On Sunday, racing is slated to begin at 2 PM for the PASS North Super Late Models, PASS Modifieds, and Street Stocks. 

            The Honey Badger Bar & Grill is located on the grounds of Oxford Plains Speedway will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturdayand Sunday.

  PASS Super Late Model entry forms for Oxford Plains Speedway, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Star Speedway, Concord Speedway, Thunder Road International Speedbowl, Petty International Raceway, Speedway 95 and the 45th Annual Oxford 250 can be found at ProAllStarsSeries.com.

The Pro All Stars Series is recognized as North America's premier sanctioning body for asphalt Super Late Models and boasts such marquee events as the legendary Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway and PASS South's Easter Bunny 150 at the historic Hickory Motor Speedway, and in 2018, the Inaugural PASS Commonwealth Classic at Richmond Raceway.  For technical information concerning all PASS divisions please send questions topassracing@roadrunner.com.  For media or marketing questions, please contact Alan Dietz at 704-231-2039 or alandietzpass@live.com.  And, don't forget to "Like" the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @PASSSLM14 to keep up with breaking news as it happens.


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