PHOTO: If you were surprised to see Kyle Busch sweep Oxford last weekend, you obviously haven’t been paying attention. (Eric LaFleche/ photo)

-by Justin St. Louis
VMM Editor

As has become sort of a monthly tradition here at VMM, I’ve got no real direction to point “The Juice” in this week. So rather than try to figure out a smooth, consistent line around this little green race track, I’m just gonna hammer at it one corner at a time and see if there’s anything left at the end. We’ve added some extra laps this week, too.


I’ve been part of two Port-A-Potty Grand Prix at Thunder Road. The first was in 2001, pushing for driver Dan Nolin, the second was in 2004 for Joe Small. We won with Joe, and it really was pretty cool.

Hey, remember this?

I’ll tell you this much: If that wuss Pembroke wins tonight, I’m posting the most embarrassing photo I can possibly take of him in that push-cart crapper. Full-size, too.

I’m gonna do it even if he doesn’t win. In fact, here it is now:

Hey, if you can’t have fun, you shouldn’t show up, right?


Speaking of fun, VMM is building a race car. What we do with it is totally up in the air. It might race a hundred times, and it might never turn a lap. We’ve got some old parts lying around and a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero to throw them at, so it seems like a fine idea.

The car’s got four cylinders, four doors, an automatic transmission, and it’s leaking in every possible way. Now all we need is a truck, a trailer, some tools, and a budget. (Trust me, my past racing operations have been in worse shape than this.)

The best part of the whole thing is this: My mom said she wants to drive it one night.

I hope she wins. Or flips it. Or both.


Thank goodness I’ve only got three races on my schedule this week. But, then again, there’s an American-Canadian Tour test session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Tuesday…


If you ever get the chance to sit and talk with Joey Kourafas, take it.


Upset of the year: Joe Doucette beats former champion and current point leader Chris Pasteryak in the final four laps for his first career Valenti Modified Racing Series win at Oxford.

Doucette’s quotes in the VMM story by T.J. Ingerson were priceless. I love a first-time winner.


A few weeks back, Darrell Wallace, Jr., asked his Twitter followers where he should “plank” next. I suggested victory lane, and he said he’d do it. The kid is a man of his word.

I freakin’ love it.


Hey, no kidding Kyle Busch won both halves of the PASS/TD Bank 250 doubleheader at Oxford. The guy builds and maintains his own short track equipment and races a dozen extra shows a year, winning most of them. Of course he won.

But he didn’t beat the locals by much.


Left over notes and quotes from the TD Bank 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway last weekend…

–Eddie MacDonald was foiled in his bid for three straight wins at the TD Bank 250. He was never in the lead, but ran well and finished fourth after a spin.

“It was just kind of tough coming from 26th. Luckily things seemed to work out,” MacDonald said. “We tried to play a little different strategy and get tires late, but it just killed us. We went to the back fast. [The spin on lap 179] actually seemed to help us. We were hoping for a caution. We didn’t want it to be us, but we were hoping for one just because we needed to get tires. We wore those ones right out. It’s unfortunate we were able to really be there at the end and play with those guys, but still a great finish and we’re definitely very happy.

–Nine-time Oxford track champion Jeff Taylor didn’t win the ‘250’. Again. Taylor was the class of the field at the middle part of the race, and led twice for 59 laps –including with 24 laps remaining — before finishing sixth. It was Taylor’s ninth career top-ten finish in the race, but another year where he came up short.

“[It was] pretty standard. The car was not too bad and we’ve got nothing to show for it,” Taylor laughed. “I didn’t let myself get sucked into [the thrill of leading laps] because I’ve been there before, and we’ve had way faster cars than that and never got nothing for it. I just tried to do the same thing lap after lap and hopefully it would work out. This time it didn’t again.”

Taylor said that while not winning the Oxford 250 is getting a bit old, he wasn’t surprised by his finish.

“[Am I] tired of losing? I think everybody gets tired of losing. When I came here today, and I’ve said it a bunch of times, I just wanted to have a chance, and we got what we asked for. We had a chance. Now we know where we’ve got to get better,” Taylor said. “We don’t race all that much. Up until today I think the longest green flag run I’ve been on [this year] is 20 laps, so we’ve just got to work at it. You ain’t gonna come beat the likes of Kyle Busch and them guys only racing three races before the biggest race of the year here. We had a good run, they knew we were here, and we raced respectably. That’s why they make ‘next year’.”

–The belle of the ball was Riverside Speedway regular Jeff Marshall, who finished 11th. The multi-time Riverside champion from Jefferson, N.H., finished on the lead lap and prompted the question: “Who’s the 32?” on more than a couple of occasions in the press box.

“That was the first time we’ve ever been here and we had a blast, it was really fun,” Marshall said. “We tried to pit early because we have a small fuel cell. The crew, they were good.”

Marshall ran a clean race and moved his No. 32 Caron’s Building Center/ Chevrolet through lapped traffic with ease. “I tried to stay out of trouble, and we didn’t get in any wrecks. I didn’t even scratch the driver’s side,” Marshall said. “I’ve never really been on a flat track. I’d been here back in ’96 in a four-cylinder [but] when you’re going these speeds you’ve got to pay attention.”

Marshall drives for a team owned by Gary Knudson of Lunenburg, Vermont.

–Kyle Busch, despite Tom Curley’s appeal in victory lane, likely won’t be running the American-Canadian Tour Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September: “I don’t know, probably not,” Busch said. “J.D. [Gibbs, Busch’s NASCAR team boss] won’t let me. He typically frowns upon me running these [short track ] races anyway, let alone at a mile race track.”


Seven Modifieds — and just 23 cars total in the pits on Sunday — spells major trouble for Devil’s Bowl Speedway. Something needs to change in a hurry.


If there’s one thing that really bothers me, it’s poorly named sporting events.

College football has the ridiculous “Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl” and the “AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl”.

Golf has the “Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun” and the “Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open”.

Riverhead Raceway, friends, has the “Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek Memorial 77 by Repo Joe”.

Are. You. Serious?

It’s an honorable thing for the folks at Riverhead to memorialize three late, great Modified drivers — Tommy Baldwin, Richie Evans, and Charlie Jarzombek — and I have no doubt that it’s a great event with competitive racing, but the Long Island track absolutely needs to come up with a better name for that race.

How about the “Three Champions Classic” or the “Legends Memorial” or something?

And while they’re at it, try shuffling ol’ Repo Joe’s sponsorship to a different night, too. Yuck.

Congrats to Ronnie Silk on the win, though.


I try to pay attention to the hit counters and analytics and technical jargon that goes on behind the scenes here at VMM, just to keep an eye on what’s working and what’s not.

The past week, folks, was by far the best week this little project has ever had. I’m talking double and triple what our numbers usually are.

I am so proud to be a part of this project, and I’m just as proud of T.J. Ingerson and Ricky St. Clair for the hard work, long hours, and endless miles they’ve put in this year, mostly for not much more than the price of a pit pass, if that.

I’m not naive enough to think that what we write here at VMM is the end-all-be-all for local short track racing, and I’m not dumb enough to claim that we’re “number one” or “the authority” or whatever. I feel like we’ve got our finger on the pulse and we do a better-than-average job. There are things that other sites do better than us, but we kick their butts in other areas. C’est la vie.

It’s been a lot of fun telling all these stories over the last two-and-a-half seasons, and I’m just glad we have an audience to tell them to. I can’t possibly thank you all and our advertising partners enough for the support. If we make you laugh, cry, shout for joy, or swear at your grandmother, then I guess we’re doing our jobs correctly. If you feel nothing at all, tell us that, too. Keep coming back, and keep sending us your emails, Tweets, Facebook comments, and at-track questions and suggestions. We listen to everything you all say and take it into consideration.

After all, without you, there’s no reason to do this. Thanks.