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The Juice

THE JUICE: The Big Beginning

- Justin St. Louis on 27 May 2010

Photos by Leif Tillotson and Justin St. Louis/VMMThe 2010 racing season started quite a while ago in this neck of the woods, but for all intents and purposes, this weekend is the big beginning.

Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the most celebrated weekend in motorsports, whether it's the Indianapolis 500, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, or the grind of weekly short tracks around the country. For the first time this year, all three Vermont speedplants will be open this weekend, and -- along with the well-timed 90-degree weather -- we can all welcome the arrival of the summer racing season. Read Full Story

THE JUICE: Changes To The Plan

- Justin St. Louis on 21 May 2010

Ricky Craven went from the short tracks of New England -- seen here at Catamount Stadium in Milton, Vt., in 1987 -- to the top levels of NASCAR.Ricky Craven grew up like so many kids across the country, wanting to be a NASCAR superstar. But actually Craven saw the plan through. He began racing at Unity Raceway in his native Maine in 1982 at age 15. By 1995, he was the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year.

Craven did an interview with writer Bones Bourcier for Stock Car Racing magazine during his rookie year in what is now the Sprint Cup Series. Craven was intense in the interview, noting himself that he was "aggressive," "hard to get close to," and "committed" while attaining his goal of graduating from the short tracks of Maine and becoming a Cup racer.

Fifteen years later, he sat with us at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and looked back at that plan. Read More

IN THEIR OWN WORDS:

"I don’t care what kind of car it is. If it’s got four tires and steering wheel, I’ll drive it." --Nick Sweet

"I want a championship next year, that’s what I want. I’m gonna get it next year. If I run the full season, I’m gonna get it." --Modified Racing Series driver Steve Masse

"I’ve never had a season where we’ve had this number of podium finishes. Never. And I dare say nobody else has, either." --ACT champion Brian Hoar

"It’s crazy to think that however many years ago I was sitting in the stands up here watching my dad trying to make the race and now we’re in victory lane." --Milk Bowl winner Joey Polewarczyk

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