Vermont Motorsports Magazine

Goss Dodge

AT THE TRACK: A Warm, Sunny Monday at New Smyrna

Posted By Tj Ingerson On February 16, 2015

Categories: American-Canadian Tour

ACT World Series Racing coverage at New Smyrna Speedway on Vermont Motorsports Magazine provided by RPM Racing Engines in Georgia, Vermont.Reigning ACT Late Model Tour Champion Joey Polewarczyk Jr. and his Joe Polewarczyk Sr.-led team push the No. 97nh car to technical inspection prior to Monday nightPHOTO: Reigning ACT Late Model Tour Champion Joey Polewarczyk Jr. and his Joe Polewarczyk Sr.-led team push the No. 97nh car to technical inspection prior to Monday night's American Racer Challenge at New Smyrna Speedway. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)

--by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
VMM Editor

One night after Eddie MacDonald claimed the winner’s purse money in the opening night for American-Canadian Tour competition at New Smyrna, the event that everyone came down for has arrived.

The $37,000-plus American Racer Challenge.

Each night’s winner will take home $1,000 in purse money, while the driver who posts the best overall score in the two-night “Milk Bowl-style” event will earn himself $3,000 to go back to the northeast with.

At this rate, however, that $3,000 may be spent clearing out snow.

Seventy degree temperatures have found their way to New Smyrna Beach, and while partly cloudy, the temperature is expected to stay near there, unlike last night when temperatures dropped into the 40 degree range and was combined with a cool ocean breeze.

Now, the northeast people who are buried in snow are shouting at the screen saying “cry me a river” as they sit in the winter cold…but it’s gosh darn nice to be in warm weather with race cars going around the track.

* * *

Keith Rocco had a tough day on Sunday. The Scott Fearn-led team lost a motor in the first practice session of the day, borrowed a motor from a fellow team, and swapped motors to join the second practice session that was already in progress. The whole engine swap took less than two hours – and they had the new motor installed in less than an hour.

The team, however, had their spare motor brought in from Connecticut and swapped the borrowed motor for their spare this morning.

The 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion finished 19th on Sunday night, but will have two practice sessions to tune the No. 1ct Fearn Electric car at New Smyrna.

* * *

Another driver who battled mechanical issues on Sunday was Nick Sweet.

Sweet, driving the No. 40vt Mansfield Heliflight Chevrolet, was a late replacement for primary driver Eric Chase, who was tending to business. The team battled multiple mechanical issues, which forced their practice times to be cut short and dismissed them from the heat race.

The team had their issues solved prior to the feature and Sweet drove his way from a 26th place starting spot to finish 11th in the caution-free race.

With extra practice on Monday, Sweet may be one to jump into the group of contenders for the American Racer Challenge following his impressive performance on Sunday night.

* * *

Emily Packard’s hauler pulled into New Smyrna Speedway shortly before 7:00pm last night and the team is here to join the previous 26 cars which competed last evening.

* * *

In case you were wondering, over $20,000 is up for grabs for the overall American Racer Challenge with each race paying over $8,000 in purse money. McDonald, who is clearly being defined as the pre-race favorite following his dominating performance yesterday, has a chance to earn some big money should he sweep the contest.

And at the rate his Rollie LaChance-led team is going, it is not out of the question. They’ve been THAT good.

* * *

Practice begins for the American-Canadian Tour at 3:20pm with a 20 minute session, which will be followed by another 20 minute session one hour later. Heat race qualifying will begin at 7:30pm where the plus/minus handicap will be in effect and will determine the starting lineup for the first American Racer Challenge 100-lap feature event.

Fans back at home can follow along with our Twitter updates on our page, @VMMUpdates).