Tuesday, December 10, 2013
BY BILL STEWART
It's been a tough season at Unity Raceway, which has struggled with rainouts and low car counts for much of the summer.
Jere Humphrey, who leases the track from owner Ralph Nason, hopes that all changes Sunday with the second annual Last Chance Motorsports 150.
The 150-lap feature, the biggest race at Unity in two years, will pay at least $2,000 to the winner.
"I started this last year and we held it at Spud Speedway," Humphrey said. "Leasing the track, it made sense to host it here this year. This is by far our biggest payout race of the season. We had 23 cars enter last year and we hope to surpass it this year."
The pits open at 9 a.m. and racing begins at 1 p.m. There will also be a 44-lap Monsta Mini feature that will pay the winner at least $444.
"That's more than double then what they would get for winning a weekly feature," Humphrey said.
Humphrey added that Monsta Mini drivers can race on their own tires, from Goodyear to American Racers and Hoosiers.
Fourteen Late Models pre-registered for the race, including Ajay Picard, David Folsom and Brian Whitney.
Whitney, 36, of Burnham, will make his season debut in the race. Whitney will drive a car owned by Speedway 95 driver Paul White, of Corinna.
"I'm excited," Whitney said. "I haven't done any racing this year so it will be a nice change of pace. We'll put our Unity setup into the car and see what we can do."
Humphrey added: "This is the biggest race here in a few years," Humphrey said. "We'll have more cars here than we did at the Long John last year. We need a big race, too."
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The Pro All Stars Series will resume this weekend after a three-week hiatus because of rainouts and planned off weekends.
The tour will stop at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H. for a pair of 150-lap features Saturday.
"It's been a little while," said Farmington driver Cassius Clark. "We're looking forward to getting back after it. We've run well at White Mountain and hopefully this will continue."
Clark is engaged in a tight three-way points battle with Joey Doiron and Travis Benjamin. Doiron leads the series with 1,509 points while Clark is second with 1,507. Benjamin is third with 1,504 points.
"We feel we have a good car," Clark said. "We've been working on it and hopefully we can go there and get a fresh head of steam. We want to get some momentum going."
It will be a busy weekend for Clark, who will leave White Mountain and head to Speedway 660 for the annual Auto Value 250 in Geary, New Brunswick. Clark is the defending champ.
"It will be a really busy weekend," he said.
Farmingdale driver Johnny Clark said he, too, is eager for PASS North to resume.
Clark, who will become a father for the second time next month, is seventh in points. The six-time PASS North champ will take two cars to White Mountain.
"It's just crazy, the amount of rainouts we've had," he said. "It's practically September and we haven't had many races. But we're excited. We'll take both cars to White Mountain and run them each. We'll see what we can do."
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Maranacook sophomore Reid Lanpher already had a busy schedule thanks to soccer preseason and racing his NELCAR Legends car last week.
It's about to get even busier.
Lanpher headed back to Motor Mile Speedway in Fairlawn, Va. on Thursday to prepare for a pair of 125-lap Late Model features tonight.
Lanpher, 15, a JR Motorsports development driver, will then turn around and head to Hickory Motor Speedway in Newton, N.C. for a 200-lap feature on Saturday.
Add it up, and Lanpher hopes to drive 500 laps in two days.
"I'm excited," he said. "It's going to be a lot of racing. Hopefully, we can keep the car in one piece so we can run all three races. It's been a busy time. I've been doing double sessions with soccer all week so it feels like forever since I had a few hours off. But this is all a lot of fun."
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Left turns: Select American-Canadian Tour drivers will head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. next week for a practice session in advance of the Bond Auto ACT on Sept. 21. Wayne Helliwell, Jr., leads the tour with 1,092 points while Hudson, N.H. driver Joey Polewarczyk is second with 1,056. ... Spud Speedway in Caribou will host its fifth annual Spud 150 on Sept. 8 at 1 p.m.
Bill Stewart -- 621-5640