Month: July 2010

Hayward Takes Upset ACT Win At Twin State

Hayward Takes Upset ACT Win At Twin State

CLAREMONT, N.H. — Open the file marked “Biggest Upsets In American-Canadian Tour History” and drop Mark Hayward’s name in. Hayward, running his first full season with the ACT Late Model Tour, scored his first career victory on Friday night in front of his hometown crowd by winning the Bond Auto 100 at Twin State Speedway. The Newport, N.H., driver started third on the 27-car grid and rode patiently behind polesitter and early leader Aaron Fellows before making his move for the lead after a restart on lap 51. Hayward nosed ahead to lead laps 53 and 54 by inches...

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Becker Too Much For Scott, Sweet At Thunder Road

BARRE — It wasn’t necessarily a matter of being in the right place at the right time for Joey Becker at Thunder Road on Thursday. He knew he was getting to the front. The Jeffersonville veteran won a fifty-lap, survival-of-the-fittest Late Model event, withstanding six restarts as the leader and holding on for his first victory since May 2007. Becker’s No. 16 Richard Green Trucking Ford started sixth on the 23-car grid and made a spectacular three-wide pass for the lead underneath Grant Folsom and Cody Blake on lap 27. Becker then shrugged off repeated outside-lane attempts at the lead by Phil Scott and Nick Sweet, using quick restarts and a clean inside groove to his advantage. “Our car has been spectacular on the bottom. We can run probably lower than anybody else here and still make the corner,” said Becker. “I knew that when [Folsom and Blake] left me enough room that I could drive by them clean. I didn’t have to rough them up on the way by them, and we didn’t so much as trade paint on the way by. “I’ve done it before, just never for the win.” Scott and Sweet traded second and third place on three consecutive restarts, with Scott, a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Vermont, taking second for the final go with eight laps remaining. Scott held on in the outside...

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THE JUICE: NASCAR’s Biggest Problem

-by Justin St. Louis VMM Editor It’s not often that we focus on NASCAR’s upper levels here at VMM, but it’s time for me to say something. NASCAR’s biggest problem is not Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski dumping each other every week. In fact, those two should be celebrated for it. NASCAR’s biggest problem is not saying “Boys, have at it,” and then slapping penalties on the boys for having at it. NASCAR’s biggest problem is not the Car Of Tomorrow, the Chase, or green-white-checker finishes. NASCAR’s biggest problem is its own success. Everyone remembers the key moments when NASCAR went through its big boom years — “The Fight” at the 1979 Daytona 500; Richard Petty’s 200th win in front of President Reagan in 1984; Bill Elliott’s “Winston Million” score in 1985; the rise of Dale Earnhardt’s “Intimidator” moniker in the 1980s and early ‘90s; the arrival of Jeff Gordon in the mid-1990s; and finally a plateau around 2003-05, a few years after Earnhardt’s death. When R.J. Reynolds Tobacco signed on to sponsor NASCAR’s top division through its Winston brand in 1972, the schedule was cut from 48 races down to 31. Over the next 24 seasons (read: through 1996, as NASCAR popularity approached its zenith), the schedule fluctuated between 28 and 31 championship events, plus the annual non-points races now known as the Budweiser Shootout and Sprint All-Star...

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Sunn Chasing Fifty Wins

BRADFORD — Most stock car drivers’ mouths would water at the thought of winning three times in one year. Josh Sunn wins three times a weekend. The White River Junction driver dominates the four-cylinder Mini Stock and Fast Four divisions at the region’s three dirt tracks at Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford and Canaan Dirt Speedway and Big Daddy’s Speedbowl in New Hampshire. Through last weekend, Sunn has won 23 feature races in 33 starts. He swept the features at all three tracks in the same weekend twice this summer, and won four features from May 21-23 including two on the same night at Bear Ridge. Almost obviously, Sunn leads the point standings at each track. He began the season at Bear Ridge with ten consecutive victories, but he is human, going winless last weekend for the first time since early May. What makes Sunn so good? According to him, it starts with simple fundamentals. “Maintenance,” he says. “Keep your car up to par and check it every week. Make sure it’s going good and just drive it. I do a nut-and-bolt check every week. I have a lot of good parts in the motor and it’s just right to the rulebook and everything else.” A well-prepared car still needs someone to drive it, though, and Sunn has proven he is as talented as anyone broadsliding on dirt or...

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Flyin’ Ryan Returns To Devil’s Bowl Winner’s Circle

WEST HAVEN — Jim Ryan is enjoying a sort of asphalt renaissance this summer. The popular Whiting, Vt., entered the 2010 season in the midst of a long drought, but has shown that he hasn’t forgotten how to win. The driver known as “High Flyin’ Jimmy Ryan” snapped a nine-year winless streak at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y., in June, and ended a five year losing skid at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday night. Ryan started on the pole position of Sunday’s 30-lap CRM Specialties Night Modified feature and cruised to the win in a caution-free race. “It’s a big win, definitely,” said Ryan, a multi-time dirt track champion racing his first year of asphalt competition. “It definitely gives us a lot of confidence. We didn’t really know what we were in for this year but we’ve been pretty happy with the results. We’re not quite there every week but we keep working at it. I like [asphalt]. I still love the thrill of putting it sideways on the dirt, but racing is racing and it’s a lot of fun.” Seth Roberts of Averill Park, N.Y., finished a career-best second in a back-up car owned by defending track champion Kenny Tremont. Don Mattison of Wells finished third ahead of Tremont and Mike Bruno. Tim LaDuc, Don Scarborough, Vince Quenneville, Jr., Matt Depew, and Leon Gonyo completed the top ten....

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ACT Late Model Tour: Scott Payea

Sportsman Modified: Kevin Chaffee
Sportsman Coupe: Melvin Pierson
USAC Dirt Midget: Jason Goff
Limited Late Model: Ryan Christian
Four Cylinder: Jason Porter

Sportsman Modified: Kenny Tremont Jr.
Limited Sportsman: Brent Warren
Super Stock: Chris Murray
Mini Stock: Kaleb Shepard
500cc Mini Sprint: Cody O'Brien

500cc Mini Sprint: Tom Chaffee
600cc Mini Sprint: Zach Herbert

360 Sprint Car: Will Hull

Late Model: Scott Dragon
Flying Tiger: Joel Hodgdon
Street Stock: Stephen Martin

360 Wingless Sprint Car: Jamie Glidden

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