One week ago, short track racing fans from throughout the Northeast region made their way to August, Maine for the 30th Annual Northeast Motorsports Expo at the Augusta Civic Center. The show featured over 80 racing machines, vendor displays and unique activities such as the Helluva Good Pit Crew Challenge.
Many that attended the show, which is put together and promoted by Mainely Motorsports TV’s Steve Perry, claimed the show to be “the best one yet,” and they say that for good reason. The show featured spectacular displays, well put together and well-designed race cars, and a fun atmosphere for all involved.
Another thing that helped make the show a success was the cooperation from Mother Nature. She can be very mean to short track racing fans at times, but for the most part she stayed away from Augusta, Maine this past weekend with only a small snow shower on Saturday morning.
Throughout the weekend at the Northeast Motorsports Expo, we at Speed51.com had the chance to meet new people and catch up with a lot of old friends to talk about what’s in store for 2016. Below you will find some of the bigger stories coming out of the show and heading into the upcoming racing season.
PASS/ACT RELEASE SCHEDULES
Officials at both the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North and American Canadian Tour (ACT) booths were unable to distribute schedules during the first day of the show on Friday. That is because promoters Tom Mayberry (PASS) and Tom Curley (ACT) were busy working together to solidify a date for the final combination race for the two series.
On Saturday night that additional combination event at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) on July 23 was confirmed.
Following that announcement, Speed51.com reported exclusively that an American Canadian Tour event would be held at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) on Saturday night, August 27. It was later announced that the winner of that race will receive a provisional starting spot for the Oxford 250 on Sunday, August 28.
Both series have now released their full schedules and all events can be found on the PFC Brakes racing calendar on Speed51.com.
BRACKETT GOING RETRO FOR 2016
2015 Oxford Plains Speedway Super Late Model champion Tim Brackett will have a throwback design on his famous No. 60 for the upcoming racing season.
Brackett revealed the new “old” design at the Northeast Motorsports Expo and it features the same paint scheme that was on the Chevy Impala he won his first race with back in 1979. The car is mostly yellow with a white stripe that runs on the bottom of each side of the car and black numbers.
The design commemorates his 50th win, which he recorded in 2015 at the historic Maine short track.
LEE TO HOST MULTIPLE TOURING SERIES IN 2016
Lee USA Speedway general manager Bill Callen wants to give the track’s race fans a little taste of everything during the 2016 racing season. That’s why a multitude of touring series featuring both full-bodied and open-wheeled race cars will make appearances at the Lee, New Hampshire race track next season.
The track will host two Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North events on June 24 and August 12, the opener for the American Canadian Tour on April 10 and the Granite State Pro Stock Series on June 3.
On the Modified side of the equation, the Modified Racing Series will make two visits on July 22 and October 9, and the ISMA Supermodifieds will compete in the Ollie Silva Memorial on August 5.
The Northeast Mini Stock Tour (April 10) and Northeast Street Stock Tour (June 17) will also make appearances at Lee during the 2016 season.
STREET STOCK CHAMP MOVING UP TO SUPER LATE MODELS
By taking one step at a time, local Maine racer Josh Childs has made his way to the premier division at his home track. Childs, the 2015 Street Stock champion at Oxford Plains Speedway, debuted his No. 3c Super Late Model at the Northeast Motorsports Expo and announced his intentions to compete for Rookie of the Year honors at the track in 2016.
Childs has made his way to the Super Late Model ranks after beginning his racing career in the four-cylinder Rebel division. He won a championship in the Outlaw division in 2010 before making his way to the popular Street Stock division where he would win the 2015 championship.
LANPHER TAKING IT RACE-BY-RACE
2015 Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) track champion and Oxford 250 runner-up Reid Lanpher isn’t 100-percent sure what he has in store for the upcoming season. The team, which is headed by crew chief Jason Ricker, has three cars in their shop and plans to race a magnitude of different events in 2016.
Lanpher told 51 that he is planning on starting the season back at Beech Ridge and taking it from there. He also plans to compete in multiple Pro All Stars Series (PASS) events including those at Beech Ridge, and of course the Oxford 250 in August.
ALEXANDER HOPING FOR EVEN MORE SUCCESS IN 2016
15-year-old Wyatt Alexander put his name on the map last summer by winning the most prestigious Super Late Model race of the year at Wiscasset Speedway (ME), the Boss Hog 100. He’s hoping to build on that momentum in 2016 as he prepares for another season at Wiscasset, as well as a handful of Pro All Stars Series and Granite State Pro Stock Series events.
Alexander told Speed51.com that he has teamed up with car owner Dan Colby to pilot a car out of the Colby Motorsports stable in select events. The car is the same car that Jeremy Davis scored a PASS North win in last season at Autodrome Montmagny (QC).
“FIVE OF A KIND” WINS PIT CREW CHALLENGE
A group of local Maine racers including Kyle Treadwell, Kyle Hewins, Dustin Salley and Jimmy Childs teamed up to win the 2016 Helluva Good Pit Crew Challenge at the Northeast Motorsports Expo. The team named “Five of a Kind” topped Super Late Model teams such as Benjamin Motorsports and Johnny Clark Motorsports on their way to winning the $750 prize.
The team didn’t run to the bank with that check, however. They announced that they were donating their winnings to the family of Rachael Dubois. Dubois, who raced at Oxford Plains Speedway, recently passed away after a courageous fight with Cystic Fibrosis.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor - Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com