Keeping an eye on Milwaukee

I'm watching the Busch Series race at Milwaukee tonight, and not only because I'm a fan of whenever any of NASCAR's "Big 3" visits one of its traditional spots.

Given that the Camping World 200 at New Hampshire is only a week away, watching this race on a flat, mile racetrack could tell us a lot about who will be strong heading to Loudon. And, the way Carl Edwards has dominated both the Busch Series and the first half of the AT&T 250, we just may see our first repeat Busch winner at NHIS next week.

How good are these guys? Well, Edwards won at Nashville a few weeks back without having seen the track for so much as a single lap of practice or qualifying. On Saturday, Edwards flew in from Sonoma, Calif., (site of Sunday's Toyota SaveMart 350 for the Cup Series), got a brief word of advice from Roush Racing teammate Travis Kvapil and then went out and ripped off a qualifying lap.

Amazing stuff, and sometimes these guys just don't get the credit they deserve. They can flat-out drive.

Edwards is showing that againt tonight.


Rich get richer at Infineon

The disparity between the teams at the top of the Nextel Cup circuit and those at the bottom widened a little more on Friday at Infineon Raceway.

On the surface, NASCAR's penalties keeping Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson parked in the garage during Friday's on-track activities seemed severe. Not allowing the teams to qualify after finding something wrong with the front ends of each car tried to send the message that Car of Tomorrow violations will not be tolerated.

But the message that teams are going to hear is that it's OK for the big guys to get caught "working in the gray area."

Both Gordon and Johnson will make the Chase for the Nextel Cup this season. Gordon could skip out on the Toyota SaveMart 350 altogether and retain the points lead while sitting in an easy chair next to his new baby girl's crib. Johnson, too, is solidly in the top-12, and both drivers have already earned bonus points for wins this season, ones that will be applied when the Chase gets underway at New Hampshire in September.

Not being allowed to qualify only means that crew chiefs Steve Letarte (No. 24) and Chad Knaus (No. 48) will have to be a little creative early in Sunday's race with pit strategy to try and earn some track position. By the halfway mark of the event, we'll hardly remember all this hullabaloo.
And sure, NASCAR will likely fine, suspend and dock points from a variety of people on both teams sometime next week.

But as we all know, qualifying these days only truly matters to the teams outside the top-35 in points. And if any of those teams were caught with the same things the Hendrick guys were before practice on a Friday morning, they'd be out of a whole lot more than a few practice laps.

They'd be going home before they ever hit the track.

I'm of the mind-set that if it happens before practice, before qualifying, then teams should have the chance to right the wrong. Sure, the bigger teams will still have an advantage, but at least the little guys would have their chances to push the envelope and recover from wrongdoing.

Because by simply pretending to play big, bad, tough guy, NASCAR has sent the wrong message.

The unspoken truth in all this Infineon mess is that the Hendrick, Childress and Roush teams of the Cup world can tinker and survive. But the bottom feeders better not try too hard to pick up speed by working in the "gray area" of the rulebook.

If NASCAR doesn't like what it sees when one of those teams hits the tech shack, there will be no chance to fix it and make amends. They'll park you for the day and end your weekend before you ever hit the track for a single lap of practice.

Hendrick teams in hot water

That's Racin'.com is reporting that the Chevrolets of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are sitting in their garage stalls at Infineon Raceway, awaiting word about possible penalties from NASCAR via an afternoon press conference.

According to David Poole's story, the cars are without their rear wings. Poole also reported that one unverified rumor said the the two Hendrick Motorsports cars could be parked for the rest of the day -- and not allowed to either practice or qualify for the Toyota SaveMart 350.

The issues were apparently discovered during pre-qualifying technical inspection. Word from NASCAR was expected to come down before Friday's scheduled practice session at 3:30 p.m. eastern time. Qualifying is slated for 7:05 p.m. eastern on the 1.99-mile road course.

Timing is everything

Having the Nextel Cup race at Loudon next weekend doesn't feel right. Maybe that has something to do with lagging ticket sales there this year.

Typically, in the life of an auto racing journalist, there's a symmetry to the season.

April and May whet the racing appetite, and you bounce around from track-to-track for a few weeks reacquainting yourself with tire barriers and pit areas. June then rolls in with a few big shows and warmer weather that gets you through to the Fourth of July. After pigging out on hot dogs and cold beer, you begin to turn your attention to the mid-July race at New Hampshire International Speedway. You work on some preview stuff, cover the week's worth of activity there -- and then there's the Oxford 250, a week's vacation fishing on a lake somewhere, and you're ready to document the championship hopefuls at all the local tracks throughout August.

Then there's September, and you chart the point battles as they shake out lap-by-lap in a 35-lap Late Model feature at Unity or Wiscasset or Oxford. You hit Loudon one last time before fall sets in, finish it off with a couple of weeks of extra-distance open races back at home and the year is over.

But, I've got to tell you, Loudon snuck up on me this year. School just got out. Championship battles haven't even begun to shake out a the short tracks. Vacation is still six weeks away.

Heck, the Cup cars haven't even raced at Daytona yet.

I wonder if my union still allows me to cover Cup racing before I have a heaping helping of watermelon.

Bellefleur finds his voice

Gary Bellefleur wanted to stay in racing anyway he could. Now, the Stetson racer just tries hard to balance his schedule every weekend.

Bellefleur is the track announcer at Unity Raceway, but he also competes regularly on the PASS North Series and part-time at Speedway 95 in Hermon. In last Sunday’s DNK Select 150, Bellefleur finished 16th in the 24-car field.

The Pro Stock driver typically calls races Friday nights at Unity before running either at Speedway 95 on Saturdays or running the PASS race somewhere else.

“When I was racing (at Unity) they always said I wouldn’t say (crap) if I had a mouthful of it,” Bellefleur said with a laugh. “But I tried out on the microphone and they hired me on the spot.”

Bellefleur applied for the position at Unity after they abandoned the Pro Stock division in the fall of 2005.

“At the time, money was getting tight and the Pro Stocks looked like they were going away,” Bellefleur said. “I just wanted to find something so I could stay involved in racing.

“Sometimes I miss the racing part of it, but the extra income helps out. If nothing else, it buys me one more tire a week.”

Read the whole story in today's Kennebec Journal.


Petty ride to start in Maine

Kyle Petty's annual charity ride will begin in the Pine Tree State. Or, perhaps more fitting a ride across country during an off week for the Nextel Cup Series, we should say it will start in Vacationland.

The Kyle Petty Charity ride, now in its 13th year, to benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp for seriously ill children will start in Bar Harbor on July 14. For the first time, it will travel a North-South route covering 2,800 miles and end up in Hollywood, Fla., near Miami on July 20.

The ride features 250 NASCAR personalities and motorcyle enthusiasts.

All-Star at All-Star

Count Kyle Busch in for the PASS North Series event on June 30.

The Nextel Cup Series driver will enter the No. 51 owned by Maine's Steve Perry in the All-Star 200 at All-Star Speedway. The Cup Series is in New Hampshire International Speedway that weekend, and All-Star Speedway is in nearby Epping, N.H.

Busch twice entered the Oxford 250 in cars owned and prepared by Perry's now defunct SP2 Motorsports team and this will be the 4th time they'll team up.

"He's a great kid and he really enjoys coming back to his roots whenever he can," Perry said. "Each time we've been involved with each other, Kyle has been capable of winning the race, but we've always gotten bit by some type of gremlin. Hopefully, we'll be around at the end of the race this time and he can show what he can do."


Feels like 1st this time

Last July, it was a last-lap pass that brought a first superspeedway victory for a veteran NASCAR Busch East Series driver at New Hampshire International Speedway. Mike Olsen drove his No. 61 Chevrolet to a slim victory over Sean at the finish-line.

Caisse had led the previous 84 laps, but Olsen set up his last-turn-of-the-last-lap surge perfectly.

"I was pretty happy," Olsen said. "It’s no secret that I’ve been trying to do that for quite a while. Then to do it on the last lap of the last corner was pretty awesome. Gosh, I felt really happy. I felt like I had fulfilled a goal of mine. As anybody who fulfills a goal in their life knows, that’s a pretty cool feeling."

The win played a major part in his team’s already rolling momentum toward its second series championship. Olsen and the Little Trees team, based in nearby North Haverhill, N.H., arrived at NHIS hot off their victory a week earlier at a half-mile track in Northeast, Pa., where he and Caisse had also battled to a one-two finish.

"Momentum was on our side," Olsen said. "It was still a tight (points) battle all the way, but we kept the lead in the points from there on out."

As he climbed from his car in Victory Lane, he could hear the vocal cheers his "home turf" fans.

"You can definitely hear the crowd there. The track’s not far from my shop, so we have a lot of fans there, and a lot of fans of my grandfather (New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame member Stub Fadden) … they knew what it was all about and how long we had been trying to win there. It was definitely a pretty cool feeling. We’d like to be able to do that again, for sure. It was exciting for the fans, too, which is what it’s all about. If the series puts on good races for them, they’ll want to come back and be part of it."

Preparation in the race shops will be a big part of race day success in the New England 125. June 28 qualifying is preceded by one 90-minute practice session. Teams will have more than two hours to make final adjustments between practice and qualifying.

Veteran NASCAR Busch East Series drivers have always appreciated the opportunity to race at NHIS. The Bahre family, led by Bob Bahre and his son, Gary, built the Loudon track without guarantee of any NASCAR-sanctioned races, but hosted the original NASCAR Busch North Series as many as six times in a single season when they operated a .333-mile paved oval in Oxford, Maine, helping establish the series. Later, in 1990 when NHIS opened, they hosted as many as four events in a single season to help grow the series into a division that has become a destination series for some, and a driver development series for others.

"The Bahre family and Bob and Gary supported us very heavily with their track in Maine," Olsen said. "They did whatever they could do to make the series work. When they built Loudon, they made sure we were included in all the big weekend events there. That’s huge for us to race in front of a crowd that size when the Cup cars are there."

Drivers also appreciate the race purses that their events at NHIS offer. The New England 125 has posted awards of $221,048. The prize money is important, but the Bahres’ relationship with the series drivers goes beyond the business of racing.

"Bob and Gary are very thoughtful and have always taken care of the competitors very well. They are very good to the people in our series," Olsen said.

Olsen is the reigning NASCAR Busch East Series "Milestone Man." Among active full-time drivers, he leads the series in many categories: longevity, now in his 19th consecutive season; starts, 274 entering Loudon; consecutive starts, 190 entering Loudon; money won, $1,146,114 entering Loudon. He’s won plenty of awards in the series in addition to his 2001 and 2006 championships: 1993 Most Improved Driver; 2001 Busch Pole Award champion and Most Popular Driver Award winner, and was a 2006 AARWBA All-American Racing Team nominee in the Touring Series category.

-- courtesy NASCAR PR

Sub drivers, sub-par finishes

Count me among those who just don't care that some teams will use road course ringers this weekend at Infineon Raceway.

A decade ago, sure, it was a big deal. Then, those part-time drivers, even with teams that weren't frontrunners on ovals, had a shot at top-5 finishes or even visits to victory lane.

But welcome to Nextel Cup Series racing, circa 2007. It costs upwards of $20 million annually to run a team, and these teams take races -- even two road course races each season -- very seriously. Cars are built specifically for these tracks, and cars and drivers test at places like Road Atlanta and Virginia International Raceway to fully prepare.

For those drivers who still aren't comfortable turning right, too, there are driving schools and 1-on-1 instruction.

Chase-eligible teams aren't taking their drivers out of the seat for a weekend, and those teams that are willing to do so at Infineon or Watkins Glen are so far removed from contention that a race or two will hardly have an impact on their seasons.

Take Hall of Fame Racing, for instance. They're replacing Tony Raines with Ron Fellows in the No. 96 on Sunday, and there's two problems with that. First, they're 27th in the standings, almost 200 points ahead of 35th and the last automatic qualifying spot -- enough that they could skip Infineon altogether and still be in the top-35 come Monday. Second, they're cheating Raines out of valuable seat time. In two or three years, what if this becomes a Chase-eligible team that needs a good finish at Watkins Glen to solidify its position? Raines lack of experience could one day bite the team in the hindquarters.

Ringers? Not these days. The Gordons, Stewarts, and even the Earnhardts and Montoyas, are far better suited -- and equipped for success at Infineon.

It's a girl, now go race

Funny thing that parenthood.

It's also been a hot topic with two athletes with magnificant star power embarking on fatherhood for the first time in Jeff Gordon and Tiger Woods. One popular theory among the media-types and talk-show mongrels is whether or not either of these two will "lose focus" or become "less motivated" now that they're dads to a couple of little girls.


I'm a competitive person by nature. I don't like losing a story anymore or less than I like losing at NASCAR 07 on the old PlayStation. Most people who know me would tell you I'm one of the most competitive people they've ever met, and yet that doesn't even put me on the same planet as world-class athletes like Gordon and Woods.
These guys are who they are because they are some of the most driven (pun intended), intense and focused competitors in the world. They win races and tournaments and championships because they're not willing to let anything stand in the way of their craft. Right or wrong, that includes wives, children and extended family.
Being a father of two now, I can tell you that my motivation to succeed professionally went even higher once I was "Dad." Part of it is being a role model, certainly. Someday, I want my kids to see me and be proud of my abilities and work ethic.
And I'm not even Jeff Gordon. Or Tiger Woods. Heck, I'm not even Justin Labonte or Casey Martin.
Seems Jeff and Tiger aren't going to let up at all now. In fact, if I were the rest of the field -- once a couple of sleep-deprived weeks pass -- I'd prepare for new and improved versions of both.

You've been outlawed

Mike Harnish Jr. wrecked on the first lap of his heat race and actually gained ground in the PASS Outlaw Late Model standings on Sunday, because then-point leader Jay Sands was credited with a last-place finish after a blown motor.

Brian Whitney went into the race without his crew chief and car owner and came out of it by taking over the series lead.

Matt Lee picked up a 3rd-place finish after driving off the track at Unity Raceway not once, but twice -- leaping two spots in the points to 4th.

Does that about sum up Sunday's wreckfest of a PASS Outlaw Late Model 100?

Whitney finished second to Charlie Colby and, thanks to Sands' misfortune, the self-described "30-year-old kid" is now 6 points ahead of Harnish at the top of the standings, despite never having driven anything more than go-karts as late as last autumn. Whitney also worked for the most part without the services of owner/crew chief Ron Nason, as Nason was busy helping his father Ralph Nason run both the Outlaw and North Series races the same day.

Meanwhile, Harnish, who couldn't even begin to list all the damage done to his car after a chain-reaction crash on lap 1 of Sunday's second heat, rode around without power steering to finish 6th and inch closer to the top.

OK, everybody take a collective breath now...


So, Stephen Leicht won a Busch Series race at Kentucky over the weekend, and suddenly we're supposed to be jumping up and down about how he's on the fast track to Nextel Cup stardom.

How about we touch the brake pedal just a tad...

Over the last 2 seasons, only 3 non-Nextel Cup drivers have won Busch Series races, and that includes Leicht last Saturday night. Those 3 victories, as you can probably deduce if you've been following this sport for any length of time (say, 3 or 4 weeks) came when the Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series were racing in different places on the same weekend.

David Gilliland and Leicht each won at Kentucky, while Paul Menard won at Milwaukee.

Despite winning the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500, Gilliland hasn't exactly set the Cup world on fire -- posting only 2 top-10 finishes this season and just 4 top-20 runs. A run-in at Michigan during practice last weekend prompted Tony Stewart to suggest that Gilliland had been rushed to the Cup level after his "upset" Busch win at Kentucky in '06. Menard, for his part, has been struggling in a part-time DEI ride for years under the sponsorship of his surname.

To suggest that Leicht is now the next big thing suggests that NASCAR has very few rising stars in its stead these days. Of course, that's also because the Busch Series is one giant Cup test session each weekend, leaving promising young drivers parked in the garage before they ever get to a track.

Fresh-faced and all of 20 years old makes Leicht like too many other young NASCAR personalities, and thus far, he's done very little to differentiate himself from the pack. No, strike that, he's done nothing to separate himself. Saturday's win was the 1st and only of his Busch career; the 1st and only for Robert Yates Racing in the Busch Series.

But, truly, you could throw the likes of Leicht, Gilliland, Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray and Reed Sorenson in a hat and pull them out 1 at a time. Without the shiny paint job and sponsor suit, could you really tell which driver was which?


Sooner rather than later

Rumors of the Pro Stocks' return to Wiscasset Raceway in 2008 aren't exactly accurate. If new track owner Doug White has his way, they'll race there on a weekly basis beginning this August.

White announced Tuesday that he will hold an informational Pro Stock meeting at the track at 7 p.m. on July 11 for all interested drivers, team owners and potential advertisers. If all goes well, White will begin featuring the division at Wiscasset beginning on Saturday night, August 4th -- one week after he officially assumes ownership of the facility.

White is hoping to have more than 20 teams express interest, but said that he would consider bringing the division on board with as few as 15 established teams. His original plan was to bring the Pro Stocks to Wiscasset beginning next year, and only on a bi-weekly basis.

After several meetings with PASS president Tom Mayberry, White decided on a full-time, weekly return.

"I think that way would be better for everybody," White said. "Some might still choose to only race every other week, but we still want to have that continuity. To keep a better fan base, it's better to have them on a weekly basis."

Another ACT date

For those of you who just can't get enough Late Model racing at Oxford Plains Speedway, you're July just got a little busier.

OPS and the American-Canadian Tour have agreed to run the ACT Time Warner Cable 100 on July 7 at the track. It will help replace 2 ACT dates that had been canceled -- one at St. Sanair and one at Circuit Ste. Croix.

It adds one final "test" date for the same Late Model cars prepping for the TD Banknorth 250 at Oxford Plains on July 22.

The St. Sanair date was originally listed for the same night the Time Warner Cable 100 is being run.

I've heard one scenario suggesting that a PASS North Series event could be added for St. Sanair this year, and it just so happens that PASS is off on July 7. However, it's a big, fast track (7/8-mile) and there's not a history between PASS and St. Sanair to speak of.

Rock on, dude

Well, considering that the Lenox 300 isn't going to start until about the time they decided to give the Pocono 500 the green flag a couple of weeks back, we'll all have something to do other than drink beer and stare at the cars lined up on pit road.

The rock group Hinder will play a pre-race concert at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 1. Who needs fireworks?

The group is best known for its hit "Lips of an Angel," and I'm all for something other than the traditional "post-race" concerts at the track. You know, the ones where only like 42 people are still sitting in the stands to watch -- and most of those people are already hung over.


Spud's off the market

Racing will return to Spud Speedway on July 14, tentatively speaking.

The track in Caribou, Maine, which had long been on the market, was purchased by Greg Veinote of Newburgh. Ralph Nason Sr., who owns Unity and Autodrome Montmagny in Quebec, was the previous owner of the .333-mile facility.

According to the track's Web site, Veinote has 3 divisions he plans to run there -- street stocks, teens and 4-cylinders.

Senior tour

The old-timers will be out in full force for the TD Banknorth 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway next month, as word comes down that former Nextel Cup Series driver Kevin Lepage will join 2-time Cup champ Terry Labonte in the July 22nd race.

Who's next? Dick Trickle? James Hylton?

This will be the 5th 250 for the Shelburne, Vt., driver who has more than 200 career Cup starts on his resume. Lepage, 45, has never finished higher than 11th in the 250.

Of course, his addition does nothing to dispel notions that -- with the race running under American-Canadian Tour Late Model rules -- that it's now a "Vermont" race. Critics of the race as a Super Late Model event in recent years suggested it was a "Maine" race, favoring Maine race teams.

“It’s going to be fun to go back to where it all began, to see some old faces and see how I stack up against some of the young guns,” Lepage said. “When I heard about the TD Banknorth 250 going to the late model rules package and bringing all those Vermont drivers into the mix, I thought it would be fun to give it a shot.”

Lepage will drive for Archie St. Hilaire of Old Orchard Beach. Todd Graffam of Lyman will serve as the crew chief.

Lepage's entry is the 171st for the race.

That's a wrap

Click here for a roundup of the weekend's racing across the state of Maine.


Johnny and Jimmie?

After Johnny Clark won the DNK Select 150, he radioed to his team and suggested that he was to Unity Raceway what Jimmie Johnson is to Lowe's Motor Speedway.


Almost immediately after Clark told the story, he realized how silly it sounded. "No, don't write that," he said. But before he'd put two more sentences together, he was back to drawing the same conclusion again.

"I mean, he wins everything there," Clark said of the Nextel Cup Series driver, who has made Lowe's his personal stomping ground in recent years. "They even repaved the thing, and he still wins."

Clark, of course, feels that his team enjoys the same success at Unity Raceway, particularly on the PASS North Series. Clark's first win in a race of more than 150 laps came at Unity in 2004, and he clinched his 2nd series championship by finishing 3rd at Unity last September.

Goofy and bold comparison or not, Clark does have a point. According to him, he's posted an average finish of 1.8 at Unity in his PASS career. Jimmie Johnson's resume at Lowe's isn't much different.

"I told (the team) that they should name Unity after us, like they call that place the 'House that Jimmie Built.' "

It's Father's Day

John Clark got just what he wanted on Father's Day.

"He just gave me the best Father's day present," Clark said after his son and defending PASS North Series champion Johnny Clark won the DNK Select 150 at Unity Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

Johnny Clark led the final 96 laps and held off Richie Dearborn and Cassius Clark on a restart that came with 6 laps remaining. Mike Rowe and Ben Rowe, the series points leader, rounded out the top five.

"I told him yesterday I wanted him to win for me, and he went out and got her done," John Clark said.

"We come to Unity Raceway expecting to win," Johnny Clark said. "We've just been so good here."

Clark's average finish at the track over the last 5 years is 1.8. He finished third here in a race last September to claim his second PASS title.

Gary Norris Jr. won the 40-lap Modified event for his 2nd win of the season. The 75-lap Sportsman feature went to Dan McKeage, a Beech Ridge Motor Speedway regular.

The entire show is over, and with a rain delay included, took just under 6 hours to complete.

Bump... and you'd better run

Charlie Colby just won Sunday's 100-lap PASS Outlaw Late Model event, one shortened to 94 laps in a mercy killing, but boy did the race change on lap 58.

Unity Raceway track owner Ralph Nason was leading and in cruise control when he was chased down by the lapped machine driven by 3-time Unity champ Matt Lee. Lee nudged Nason in turn 4 on lap 57, and one lap later had pulled underneath Nason to try and get back on the lead lap down the backstretch. Nason slowed momentarily, and Lee dove under Nason as they headed for turn 3. The two made contact, and Nason was sent headlong into the dirt embankment as Lee continued on.

Lee was placed back on the lead lap, at the tail end, while Nason was on a wrecker and done for the day.

"I got into him a little bit, and he didn't like it," said Lee, who rallied to finish 3rd. "He gave it back to me down the straightaway. I think he cut a tire down."

"The guy got into me, so I locked the brakes up to try and get away and I went straight into the ditch," Nason said.

Not to worry, Nason fans. He made some repairs to the car and is planning to be back to start 8th for the DNK Select 150 in the same car.

Other than that, it was just your average 75-minute, 11-caution, attrition-filled PASS Outlaw race. And there's only 265 green-flag laps across 3 features left to run today.

Unofficially, the top five was Colby, Brian Whitney, Lee, Jim Rosenfield and Michael Thomas.

Rain delay

The rain has come and gone at Unity Raceway.

Heavy rain pelted the track, beginning at 1:56 p.m. and lasting only a few minutes. Shortly after 2 p.m., a steadier rain begain falling, holding off the start of the second PASS Modified heat race.
After 41 minutes of waiting and track drying, the Mods were back on track and underway at 2:39 p.m., and so was the program.

Weston, rain clouds and Wiscasset

Until Sunday, Nate Weston hadn't raced at Unity Raceway since the track's opening day in May. After a last-minute rules change at Unity, the 2006 Super Street champion at the track decided not to call one place home.

Weston will run 14-15 races this season, running all 8 PASS Sportsman division events and hitting open shows with larger purses to round out the slate.

"The competition is good (with PASS)," Weston said following practice for the 75-lap main later in the day. "The cars, generally speaking, have more money into them and guys are less apt to want to wreck."


Uh-oh. I just noticed rain clouds moving in over the Unity backstretch. We're not even 8 minutes into the show (with Ben Erskine taking the first heat race over Matt Lee) and it's looking ominous all of a sudden.


John Crawford, who will help new Wiscasset Raceway owner Doug White with the promotional side of the show, said the Pro Stocks will return to the track in 2008. He said racers should keep an eye out for future announcements regarding a meeting in the next few weeks about the change to the lineup.

They're thinking about going with the division, very tentatively speaking, on a bi-weekly basis.

We're plugged in and ready to roll

There are 24 Super Late Models in the pits for the DNK Select 150 at Unity Raceway, the highlight of a PASS racing quadruple-header at the track today.

Reigning PASS North Series champion Johnny Clark was fastest in final practice Sunday morning, turning the .333-mile oval in 14.849 seconds (90.915 mph). It's notable because Clark is here with a car that was new at the start of the season and has yet to see the Unity asphalt. He's also using a completely new setup in that car.

Cassius Clark was second-fastest in the No. 8 Ford at 14.872 seconds (90.775 mph). Sam Sessions, who's here in the No. 1 car, and Mike Rowe were the only other cars to turn laps under the 15-second barrier.

Matt Lee was fastest in Outlaw Late Model practice at 15.193 seconds (88.857 mph).

Here's the schedule for today:

Heats: Outlaw Late Models, Modifieds, Super Late Models and Sportsman; all are 10 laps, except for the Supers which will run 3 12-lap heats. Features will follow at approximately 4:30 p.m. in the same order, with a Sportsman consi likely to come after the Modified main.