All posts by Michael Jaworecki

ACT and PASS Invade Hudson This Sunday

Daniel Holben photo

Waterbury, VT — The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Pro All Stars Series (PASS) are days away from a trip to New Hampshire’s Hudson Speedway. The Sunday, June 20 tripleheader is a long-overdue journey to the Southern New Hampshire bullring for both series as their championship battles heat up.

The ACT Hudson 150, which is on the first official day of the 2021 summer, is only the second ACT event at Hudson Speedway ever — and the first in 20 years. The PASS Super Late Models are making their inaugural trip to Hudson as the track celebrates its 75th anniversary.

That means the vast majority of Sunday’s field, from 10-time PASS champion Ben Rowe to new ACT winner Tom Carey III, is hitting the high banks for the first time. They’ll have to get up to speed fast as their seasons get serious. Add in a PASS Modified feature with a large field expected and you have the recipe for a perfect Sunday evening of motorsports.

For two drivers, though, Sunday is a homecoming. ARCA Menards Series racer Derek Griffin and former ACT champion Joey Polewarczyk are both natives of Hudson, NH who still live in the area. Griffin got his start racing 4-cylinder cars at Hudson before graduating to the Super Late Model and national touring ranks. “Joey Pole” won a Granite State Pro Stock Series at the track in 2019 and finished third in 2020.

Their familiarity with the track mean both Griffith and Polewarczyk have an early edge heading into Sunday’s event. But with plenty of talented racers joining them, nothing is guaranteed.

On the ACT side, Rowe and Carey lead the way. They sit 1-2 in the point standings just four digits apart. Turner, ME’s Rowe has been a model of consistency as the only driver to finish in the top-10 of all four features. New Salem, MA’s Carey has sandwiched his recent White Mountain win around a runner-up finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and now aims to become more consistent. With Sunday’s event being the fifth of 12 point-counting events on the schedule, the halfway bell is already near in the title fight.

Center Conway, NH’s D.J. Shaw and Graniteville, VT’s Stephen Donahue are close behind the front duo. The next pack includes sophomore Derek Gluchacki of Dartmouth, MA and rookies Shawn Swallow and Erick Sands. Defending champion Jimmy Hebert has said he’ll be at Hudson and will go trophy-hunting after a miserable three-race stretch. Part-time standouts such as Ryan Kuhn and Trent Goodrow are expected to join the regulars is a showdown that could go any which way.

In the PASS Super Late Models, six-time champion Johnny Clark of Hallowell, ME is chasing title number seven. The reigning Oxford 250 winner has a 52-point lead over Rowe with Sunday marking the one-third point of the PASS season. Right behind Rowe is Harrison, ME’s Kate Re, the 17-year-old Super Late Model sophomore who has been the season’s breakout star. Re posted two podium finishes at Hudson Speedway in 2019 with the PASS Modifieds, which surely has her young team feeling upbeat about their Super Late Model chances.

Dan Winter and PASS newcomer Rowland Robinson Jr. round out the top-five. They’ll be joined by D.J. Shaw, Jeremy Davis, Scott McDaniel and others who are ready to figure out the cramped Hudson arena.

Even with all of that to watch, the PASS Modifieds could very well steal the show. The resurgent division has been drawing 20-plus cars at every event. Those teams are putting on some amazing racing with three-wide passes for the lead and other breathtaking moves.

Naples, ME’s Spencer Morse, the 2019 PASS Modified Champion, leads the standings going into Hudson Speedway. He’s being shadowed by A.J. Cates, Garrett Lamb, Troy Morse, and other eager for a title. Gray, ME’s Tyler King, the 2020 champion, is trying to rebound from a rare did-not-finish last time out due to overheating issues.

The ACT Late Model Tour and PASS Super Late Models heads to New Hampshire’s Hudson Speedway on Sunday, June 20 at 5:30pm. Both series will go at it for 150 green-flag laps with the PASS Modifieds rounding out the card. Admission is $30 for adults and $10 for kids ages 12 and under.

For more information about ACT, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, media@acttour.com, or visit www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.

Frank L’Etoile, Jr. and Chris Meyer Setting Blazing Pace in Stafford Speedway’s Street Stock Division

(Stafford Springs, CT)—With the 2021 season nearly a third of the way complete at Stafford Motor Speedway, Frank L’Etoile, Jr. and Chris Meyer have stamped their authority on the Street Stock division.  The foundation was laid at the season opening event on Saturday, April 24 as L’Etoile and Meyer were fighting for the victory in the closing laps.  L’Etoile ended up fading back to fifth as Meyer won after a green white checkered finish, but the seed was set.  The duo has gone on to record three 1-2 finishes between them.  L’Etoile and the #8 O’Reilly Auto Parts team is leading Meyer and the #87 D & L Services team, 2 wins to 1 in those 1-2 finishes.  Heading into the Friday, June 18 Street Stock feature, L’Etoile and Meyer both view each other as their main rivals for the 2021 season.

“There were a few drivers at first but I think the two of us have set ourselves apart from everyone else,” said L’Etoile.  “There’s so many races left though I wouldn’t count anyone out.  You have to keep on finishing races.   I know Chris has a lot of experience in these cars and experience is worth more than anything.  For me it’s been frustrating because it seems like I’m always behind him coming down to the last couple of laps but it’s been a lot of fun racing with him.”

“Travis Hydar was right there with us for the first couple races and he hasn’t fallen off any, I just think Frank and I have gotten our cars even better and he’s my main rival right now,” said Meyer.  “We probably could have finished 1-2 in every race so far this season.  I botched a restart one night that cost me a win and we ended up finishing third behind Frank.  It’s been a lot of fun.  Frank and I have always raced good together and the intensity is starting to pick up a little bit but it’s been fun.”

Looking at either L’Etoile’s or Meyer’s finishes during the 2021 season, you might think that one of them might have a comfortable lead in the points standings.  L’Etoile has 3 wins, 2 seconds, and a fifth in 6 races while Meyer has 2 wins, 2 seconds, and third, and a fourth place finish.  With both drivers not only consistent but dominant in their race finishes, they are separated by only 2 points heading into the June 18 feature event.

“It’s not frustrating at all, honestly that is expected,” said L’Etoile.  “If neither of us crash, we should both be up front every week.  That’s what made me the most upset at the first race when we finished 5th, we gave up 8 points to Chris since he won.  If you’re getting top-2 or top-5 finishes every week, that’s pretty much all you can ask for.”

“I wish there were a few more cars that were up front with us every week,” said Meyer.  “That would make it a little easier for one of us to make up ground on the other instead of having only a 2 point difference each night.”

While Meyer is in only his second season of Street Stock competition at Stafford, L’Etoile is in his 5th full time season, including 2 championship seasons in the Street Stock division, and he has made part-time starts in 2 other seasons.  With more experience and the championships to his credit, one might think that L’Etoile has an advantage over Meyer, but both drivers say that isn’t necessarily the case.

“I think having more laps at Stafford might give me a little bit of an advantage when I’m chasing him down,” said L’Etoile.  “We both have very fast cars and I don’t think my experience will be any advantage in the long run.  Chris is a good driver and he has a good team around him and they’ve adapted very well to Stafford.”

“Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m at a disadvantage at all,” said Meyer.  “My next win will be my 30th career victory and I think Frank has around 12 or 13 wins.  He’s been racing at Stafford for a long time and he knows the track probably about as good as you can know it but I’m still learning things every week and getting better and improving.  From the start of this season to now, we’ve improved our car 2 or 3 tenths of a second and we keep on improving.  I’m still a little new to Stafford, but I’m not new to competition.”

Both L’Etoile and Meyer will be looking to continue their dominant ways as the season wears on into the heat of summer and both drivers say it’s a matter of being on top of their cars to maintain their high level of excellence on the track.

“We just have to keep on doing what we’ve been doing so far and I have to keep on getting the job done finishing races,” said L’Etoile.  “If we can do that, I think we’ll be fine.  If it comes down to the last race of the season and we end up losing by 4 points or something small like that, then tip of the cap to Chris and his team.”

“We work on the car pretty relentlessly and we continue to make improvements,” said Meyer.  “You just have to keep on top of your game with maintenance and constantly be searching for the next thing.  I feel like Frank turned the heat up on me a little last week so the competition is growing.  We expect to be on the podium every week and we work hard to do that and I’m sure Frank and his guys do the same thing.”

With 15 more races on the 2021 schedule to determine this year’s champion, both L’Etoile and Meyer are bracing for their on track battles to only intensify as the season keeps on trucking full speed ahead.

“It seems to be on that kind of a track,” said L’Etoile.  “We’re friendly and I hope things stay that way between us.  I don’t want to see either of us end up in the wall.  I’d like to be able to race it out and see what happens at the end.  Any time you’re around the same guy for that many laps week after week, it’s bound to get a little more intense.”

“I think it’s inevitable,” said Meyer.  “When you go 1-2 with someone every week, someone has to be the loser and last week it was our turn to be the loser.  We don’t intend to be the loser this week and I’m sure Frank feels the same way.  It’s been really smooth so far but we both really want to keep on winning races.”

The fight for the 2021 championship continues this Friday, June 18 with a Stafford Weekly Series event that will see the SK Modifieds®, Late Models, SK Lights, and Limited Late Models join the Street Stocks in feature action.  General admission and paddock tickets can be purchased online at staffordmotorspeedway.com/tickets or tickets will be available at the gates the night of the race.  Any fans who can’t make it to the track to watch in person can watch all the action live on FloRacing, click here to subscribe.

For more information, visit www.staffordspeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783

KEVIN IANNARELLI LOOKS FOR STRONG RUN WITH MODIFIED RACING SERIES AT BEECH RIDGE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

By Souza Media/Kyle Souza

Photo Jamie Webber Photography

SHIRLEY, Mass. — Set for his third racing action of the season, Kevin Iannarelli and the entire No. 27 team will roll into Beech Ridge Motor Speedway for Tour-Type Modified racing this Saturday, June 19. Iannarelli will drive the No. 27 iRacing.com, Lucas Oil, Access Realty, PFC, VTANG machine in competition around one of the toughest tracks in the region.

Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, located in Scarborough, Maine, is a third-mile, flat, asphalt track that hosts weekly racing action through the summer. On Saturday, the rumbling of Modifieds will return with the Modified Racing Series for the only visit of the year for the tour. 

“Beech Ridge is similar to Oxford, I’ve run it with the Pro 4 Modified before and also with the Modified, this will be interesting with a 75-lap format,” Iannarelli said. “The surface is similar to Lee USA Speedway, where you have to be sure to conserve your tires for the end of the race. We will be looking for a top-five finish.”

In his first two starts of the year, Iannarelli competed with the Tri Track Open Modified Series at Star Speedway on May 22, qualifying for the race against stout competition and coming home with a 17th place finish. Iannarelli returned to racing in the first race of the year for the Modified Racing Series at Monadnock Speedway on June 5, but didn’t have the run he was looking for after pitting early, and not making it back out before the green flag.

“We struggled a bit at Star — trying out a bit of new stuff in the setup — it just didn’t work out for us,” he said. “I think we would have had a good top-five car at Monadnock. My travel schedule with work is going to start kicking in again, so we will be focusing on the Modified Racing Series. Looking for strong finishes and just taking it race-by-race.”

Without sponsorship from iRacing.com, Lucas Oil, PFC Brakes, JR Motorsports, VTANG, Access Realty, and others, including his friends and family, Kevin would not be able to compete on the track. For his career, Iannarelli is an Associate Producer at iRacing.com.

Saturday’s schedule at Beech Ridge includes practice from 11:45-12:15 p.m., with a second and final round from 3-3:15 p.m. Modified Racing Series heat races will go green at 4 p.m.and the Welcome To The Beech 75-lap feature is slated for 7:45. Tickets will be available at the track for fans who would like to watch Kevin wheel his car to the front of the field.

For more information on Souza Media, visit kylesouza.com and follow on Facebook.