It may be one pumpkin that soars through the air in the hopes of breaking a world record at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. But it's a team of more than 20 that will need to work together to ensure that the immense 100-foot long pneumatic American Chunker air cannon operates like clockwork for this weekend's Extreme Chunkin pumpkin launch (Oct. 24-25), as seen on the Discovery Channel.

"Finally, New Hampshire will have the opportunity to host the fastest growing autumn event as the world famous Punkin' Chunkin' has come to the Granite State and with it, there comes a fan-following equivalent to that of NASCAR," said Brian Labrie of Merrimack, N.H., the current World Championship Pumpkin Chunkin Association title holder and world record holder for longest launch at 4,694.68 feet. "Our entire team is looking forward this event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. We work tirelessly to perfect the art of launching pumpkins for distance."

Led by Captain Labrie, the American Chunker team is comprised of 21 members, all of whom bring unique areas of expertise to the squad, from science to agriculture to engineering to weather forecasting to ballistics.

The roster includes:

  • Brian Labrie - Captain
  • Dave Bingham Sr. - Co-Captain
  • Jim "Jimbo" Moreau - Co-Captain, Logistics, PR
  • Steve Pierce - PhD Chair, Logistics, Spotter
  • Doug Sommer - Statistics, Photography, Video, Merchandise, Website Admin
  • Charlie Levine - Civil Engineer, PhD Co-Chair, Team Safety Inspector
  • Peter Vollheim - Master Gunner, Aerodynamics
  • Mike Kalin - Simulation Expert
  • Peter Colantonio - Mechanical Engineer, Ballistics Expert
  • Peter Bouchard - Senior Metorologist, W.A.
  • Adrien Labrie - Transport logistics, Security Chairman, PhD
  • Don Gross - Transport logistics, Security Co-Chair, PhD
  • Matt Gross - Transport logistics, Security , PhD
  • Mike Hughes - Mechanical Engineer, W.A. Co-Chair, Hydraulics
  • John Wood - W.A. Chairman
  • Rick "Uncle Rick" Hansen - Merchandise, PR, Entertainment, Lead Vocals and Guitar
  • Kyle Gisetto - Spotter, Mechanical Dept.
  • George Hamilton - Pumpkin Specialist, Horticulturalist UNH
  • Leo Monea - Radar, IT Specialist
  • Ron Lucier - Thermal Infrared Specialist

"Hopefully we can defend our title and remain world champs for another year. Time will tell. What I do know is that we have the very best team in all the land," said Labrie. "Team American Chunker is loaded with an incredible group of talented guys that have been around this for a while now. The whole team works together like a Swiss watch on every shot at every competition and our formula is very simple: strike hard, strike first, show no mercy."

Team American Chunker will be amongst a field of nearly two dozen teams that will compete in various classes using air cannons, trebuchets, catapults, torsions and human power to launch pumpkins. 

Also on Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 1 p.m. on both days, the Yankee Siege, a 56-foot high trebuchet from Greenfield, N.H., will perform an exhibition by launching extreme items such as a boat, grand piano, Volkswagen Beetle, 500 gallon water barrels and a 1,000-pound pumpkin. 

A metal castle will also be set up in the S9 lot. Its sole purpose: Destruction. 

To add to the fun, there will be lots of harvest festival activities for the whole family, including carnival rides, pumpkin carving, face painting, balloon and caricature artists, go-karts and vendors galore.

Extreme Chunkin Schedule:

Saturday, Oct. 24

9:00 a.m. - Competitive Shooting (Round 1)
12:00 p.m. - Extreme Chunkin (Yankee Siege)
1:00 p.m. - Free Throw (all teams)
1:00 p.m. - Competitive Shooting (Round 2)
4:10 p.m. - Meet and Greet with Fans

Sunday, Oct. 25

9:00 a.m. - Competitive Shooting (Round 3)
12:00 p.m. - Extreme Chunkin (Yankee Siege)
1:00 p.m. - Free Throw (all teams)
3:00 p.m. - Meet and Greet with Fans
4:00 p.m. - Awards Ceremony 

All of this will take place during the 24 Hours of Lemons weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The 24 Hours of Lemons is a door-to-door, bumper-to-bumper endurance-race series that features cars that cost $500 or less. With more than 10,000 participants spread across tracks coast to coast, no other event creates bigger, weirder, more hilariously crazy challenges than these weekend-long blowouts of intense and immensely fun competition between cars that are due for the scrapheap. 

Combined with Extreme Chunkin, this is set to be one of the wildest weekends in New Hampshire Motor Speedway history.

Tickets can be purchased at j.mp/ExtremeChunkin and range in price from $15 for adults and $5 for youth. Weekend tickets are also available for $25 (adults) and $10 (youth).

For more details and ticket information on events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including this weekend's Extreme Chunkin and 24 Hours of Lemons events, or to purchase tickets to the 2016 July and September NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends, please stop by our Ticket Office, visit the speedway website at www.nhms.com, or call our Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931.