Cris Michaud and Pat Malone are going to be busy for the foreseeable future. Michaud confirmed with Speed51.com that an agreement is in place for the two business partners to acquire White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) from the Avery family.
Michaud and Malone first made headlines in April 2017 when they purchased Thunder Road International Speedbowl (VT) from long-time owners Ken Squier and Tom Curley. They followed that up at the end of the 2017 season by announcing that they had purchased the American-Canadian Tour (ACT).
Now, at the end of the 2018 season, they have announced that they will take over ownership of the high-banked, 1/4-mile oval located in North Woodstock, New Hampshire.
"We just really came to an agreement that worked for both of us. It was just something that came up," Michaud told Speed51.com. "Donnie and David (Avery) are good friends. It's a beautiful little track. It's fairly close. It's about an hour and ten minutes from Thunder Road. They run our rules and they've been a big supporter of ACT. It's something that we'd like to see continue as a race track, and as an ACT-type track with our rules."
By acquiring White Mountain Motorsports Park, Michaud hopes to strengthen the rich racing tradition at both tracks, as well as the American-Canadian Tour.
"Our plan is to keep the tradition of Thunder Road and ACT going, and now keep the tradition going that White Mountain has always had. I think it just makes it stronger," Michaud stated. "Hopefully we can do some bigger races like we've been doing with ACT with the Summer Showdown Series, some bigger money races to support the racers that support us."
With ACT-type Late Models already established at White Mountain Motorsports Park, the racing for the track's top division will remain mostly status-quo. However, Michaud hopes to take advantage of the close proximity to Thunder Road to boost the racing for fans and competitors at both tracks.
"The good thing with White Mountain is that it's not all about the Late Models," he said. "If their Tigers and other divisions get on the same rules with what we run over at Thunder Road, I think we can do a lot of little series. I think it's good. It's 50 minutes from Concord, New Hampshire so it's a whole different fanbase that I think we can show our product to."
Since acquiring Thunder Road, the ownership group has made a number of improvements to the track's infrastructure including new pavement, new concessions buildings and new lighting. Michaud stated that the White Mountain facility is much more up to date than Thunder Road at the time of purchase, and as a result there are no projects currently planned.
"The facility is pretty much up to date," he began. "They have a good lighting system. Donnie and those guys, their maintenance was very good. The buildings and stuff like that aren't like what Thunder Road was. They stay right on top of their stuff. Donnie paved the corners there a few years ago and the racing there, the side-by-side stuff, is very good. Right now, nothing is in the plans."
Although plans are still being finalized for the 2019 schedule at White Mountain, Michaud did indicate that a big-money Late Model race will be held at the track next year. In 2018, the inaugural $10,000-to-win NAPA 250 was held at the track. Michaud indicated that some form of that event will likely return in 2019.
"We're definitely going to continue some form of that. I don't know if it will be 250 laps or 200 laps," he said. "I want to look at that a little bit more and see what works for the fans and the racers, but we're definitely going to do another big money race there this year."
Michaud also indicated that there will likely be a pair of American-Canadian Tour championship events held at White Mountain in 2019. Thirty-six cars attempted to qualify for the lone ACT event at the track in 2018, making the decision to add a second tour event a no-brainer.
"I think we'll end up with two races there this year. I think last year we were in the mid-30s there. We're actually just finishing up the schedules now and should have them out in the next week or two, but I do see a couple races there."
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor - Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com