ON PIT ROAD: It's another Friday notes column

I feel like I've been a broken record...

Friday's have kind of become like the "News 'n Notes" portion of the program here. During the off-season, the end of the week seems to be a good time to compile a little list of news, press release-type stuff and different observations on racing from here to Daytona Beach. It just seems to work — if not for you hardy readers, than for me. It's also presented an opportunity to update you on the weather each week, which, as you know, has been a lot of snow.

And I hate to be a broken record here and all, but, well, it is snowing (again, again) as I write this...

* I've been critical of some of Steve Perry's dealings in the past, something he's happy to not let me forget whenever he sees me. But one thing can't be mistaken — this guy just wants short-track racing to succeed.

Now, in addition to his "Mainely Motorsports" gig — which allows him to trumpet local racing (albeit, a bit biased toward the PASS side of things) — he's teaming up with Pluffybilt Racing Tractors to sponsor the PASS Sportsman division in 2008.

Wait a minute. Racing tractors? Racing tractors as title sponsor? Surely, I never thought I'd live to see the day.

* We've got a logo.

Repeat: We've got a logo.

* A couple of thoughts on this ACT-RT Raceparts fiasco.

It's important to remember that Torco Race Fuels deserves none of the blame in this deal. Look, teams can still get the stuff from other places if they so choose — and they've been encouraged to do so by ACT management.

The real issue here comes in the policing of altered fuels in ACT. ACT wanted a way to test and monitor gasoline for illegal additives, etc., in its races — something Rob Tower of RT promised to do. ACT thought they had their gasoline issues wrapped up, but instead, the can has just been opened wide with the failure of Tower to deliver.

And, worst of all for ACT, in making the announcement in January to sign with RT, they were essentially telling the world, "We have a problem, and we know it. This is how we're going to fix it." Of course, now they still have the problem — and the whole world knows it, too.

That can't be good.

* For what it's worth: Wiscasset Raceway's new owner Doug White is offering a total championship purse of more than $80,000 this season — including $10,000 to the Super Late Model champion. He's also putting up more than $16,000 in purses during each regular Saturday night show, with the SLM winner getting $1,200.

Finishing 2nd in the Super Late Model standings nets a team $6,000 — just $1,500 off what the PASS North Series champ claims.

* It's the stuff of legend, folks.

Alexa Rodriguez gets snatched by a hawk during a tour at Fenway Park. Who says there are no curses?

* Talked to Cassius Clark, who was driving through North Carolina on Friday en route to the PASS South Series event at Dillon (S.C.) Motor Speedway.

Problem was, the race was rained out.

As if it weren't bad enough for Clark, who made the expensive drive to N.C. for nothing, how about the Richard Moody Racing team of Ben Rowe? They all flew down on Thursday in preparation for the event.

It's bad timing, for certain, but it's supposed to be equally bad weather all weekend there.


But wait, there's more!

Stop the presses. The name's been changed again. This is getting more ridiculous than a Dale Earnhardt Jr. number change.

Well, maybe not.

On the heels of some fantastic investigating reporting by yours truly (ahem!) comes more news about Wiscasset Raceway's 250-lap event for the Super Late Model crowd this summer. The race, formerly loosely sponsored by DNK Select Used Cars and Trucks, has traded in the ol' jalopy once and for all.

The Aug. 17 race will now be known as the New England Toyota Tundra 250. Wiscasset PR man extraordinaire Ken Minott confirmed that just a few minutes ago. All other details of the race are the same — it still promises $30,000 to the winnner, and it's still a PASS North Series points race.

"All indications is that the Toyota people want this to turn into a long-term thing, something that they can develop," Minott said. "They're not looking to sponsor just this one race and have that be the end of it."

The deal with the New England Toyota folks is for the race only, not for any other division or track sponsorship at this time.

A race with no name -- for now

Sometime in the last 10 days or so, Wiscasset Raceway dropped DNK as the sponsor of its marquee event later this summer.

Instead of the DNK 250, the Super Late Model race promising to pay $30,000 to the winner on Aug. 17, the race is being called the Center of Speed 250. But, it's not expected to stay that way long.

Wiscasset's sales and promotions director John Crawford said the lack of a sponsor doesn't reflect any trouble with financing the event. In fact, he believes it's a sign that the race is bound to be a slam-dunk in the racing community.

Read the complete story in today's Kennebec Journal.


Quickie divorce for ACT, RT Raceparts

Wow. Maybe they can just use LegalZoom.com to settle this. In fact, given the short term of the relationship, the American-Canadian Tour probably doesn't even need a divorce proceeding.

They can probably just get an anullment for the disaster that tied them to RT Raceparts.

It took just over 2 months for ACT to do an about-face and realize what I realized the first time I talked to Rob Tower of RT Raceparts -- something just isn't right there. On Tuesday, ACT announced that it has severed its ties with RT Raceparts, and that the regional Late Model tour will no longer use Torco Race Fuel as its offical event fuel. RT Raceparts is a distributor of Torco Race Fuels in the New England area.

ACT spokesperson Justin St. Louis wanted to make clear that teams are still allowed to use Torco's 104-octane gasoline in ACT races this season, in fact, they are encouraged to do so.

"It's just a black mark for Torco that they don't deserve," St. Louis said. "It's a black mark for ACT, too, that ACT doesn't deserve."

More than just the Torco mess, however, comes word that Tower's asssociation with Shark Energy Drink was also a train wreck waiting to happen. ACT championship contender Joey Polewarczyk went to New Smyrna with Shark decals for his Late Model, but he reportedly never received a cent for his involvement. PASS owner Richard Moody also had Shark lined up to put Polewarczyk in a Super Late Model for a few events this season, and that deal has fallen through.

There are other ACT teams, too, that relied on Tower to help them put together marketing campaigns with sponsors — and those are now gone, gone, gone. Even All-Star Speedway owner Bobby "Showstoppa" MacArthur has reportedly pulled RT Raceparts out of his facility.

You know when The Showstoppa is bailing, it's bad.

After inking the deal with RT Raceparts in late-January, the only positive for ACT president Tom Curley is that he saw the writing on the wall long before any further damage was done to his tour.

ACT opens with the Governor's Cup 100 at Lee USA Speedway on April 20.