Thunder Road SpeedBowl
ACTion News 3/14/05
With the first day of Spring just a few days away, we’re feeling optimistic and believe that the snow gods will take a vacation soon. As we write this week’s column, though, the white stuff has again begun to fall, and is attempting to re-cover all that was plowed in the past couple days.

Think sun, warm weather, and stock car racing, folks, and we’ll get through this! If not, we might require our ACT Late Models to run chains on their tires, and we’ll find a frozen pond in New Hampshire to run the season opener in place of Lee USA Speedway. At the halfway point in the race, we get out and have an ice carving contest with chainsaws (as demonstrated by Dave Pembroke, left) – the winner gets 10 bonus points toward the 2005 title!

Okay, so maybe not. But, like you, we’re starting to get antsy, and are frothing at the mouth for the racing to begin. In just two weeks (on April 2nd and 3rd), we’ll be looking at all of the new paint schemes at the third annual ACT car show at the University Mall in Burlington, VT. The following week (if there’s no snow, of course!) we will in fact be at Lee USA for the opening practice of the season on Saturday, April 9. A week after that, you have some options – if you’re in the traveling mood, feel free to head back to Lee USA for another practice session, if not, join us at the Berlin Mall on April 16th and 17th in Berlin, VT (right off Exit 7 on I-89), for the Berlin Mall’s first ACT car show in several years. (For more information, call ACT at (802) 244-6963, or e-mail justin@acttour.com.) The next weekend, it’s the first race of the ACT Late Model Tour season, and things really take off – the 46th season of racing at Thunder Road, the inaugural ACT Tiger Sportsman Series, and all the wild action from the Allen Lumber Street Stocks and the PowerShift Junkyard Warriors.

Speaking of them, we’d like to welcome back NAPA Auto Parts of Waterbury, Stowe, and Morrisville, VT, Allen Lumber Company, and PowerShift Online Services as Thunder Road divisional entitlement sponsors for 2005. This year marks PowerShift’s second season with the Warrior troops, while Allen Lumber and NAPA continue traditions with Thunder Road and ACT that began in the late 1980s and early 1990s. All three companies are locally owned and operated, and we tend to think it makes our relationships that much more special. Thanks for the support, everyone!

Did you know…?

• This whole ice racing concept actually isn’t as far-fetched as you might think – Multi-time ACT Late Model Champion Phil Scott is a former snowmobile racing champion, and often competed against former ACT racers Fred LaGoy and Karl Allard. In fact, Allard was a medallist at ESPN’s Winter X Games a couple years back. Dave Rabtoy of St. Albans, VT is a former Vermont State Snowmobiling champion, and earned an Airborne Speedway Renegade title under ACT sanction in 2003.

• Before turning his attention to the ACT Late Model Tour in 2000, Jacob McGrath of North Clarendon, VT (left) was ranked among the Top 60 snowboarders in the United States.

• Ice racing is similar in many ways to dirt track racing – broadsliding through the turns, drivers using drastically different lines each lap, etc. Jean-Paul Cyr, Todd Stone, and Chuck Beede were all very successful dirt track racers early in their careers, and Cyr was the 1990 Pro Stock Champion at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Fair Haven, VT. Stone plans to race in selected ACT Late Model Tour events this summer while chasing the Devil’s Bowl Modified title against his father, Gardiner.

A couple of announcements to take notice of – Goodyear tires are now available for ACT Late Model teams to purchase. Call S&W Tire in Morrisville, VT at (802) 888-2263 for more info. Tires are also available for the NAPA Tiger Sportsman and Allen Lumber Street Stock divisions. ALL TEAMS – We are now putting rosters together for the 2005 season. If you have not sent in your team registration form yet, make sure to do so ASAP! Team registration forms include all driver and crew information, hometowns, and all sponsor information. Make sure your team gets the credit it deserves, and send your forms to P.O. Box 296, Waterbury, VT 05676 today!