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Revolution Racing Taking Next Step In K&N Pro Series

RICHMOND, Va. – First, you have to rewind to the 2010 season finale at Dover International Speedway in October.

Darrell Wallace Jr. had seen his championship hopes crumble in a disastrous stretch of races to close out the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season. Sergio Pena had done so little that there were whispers in the Dover garage that day that he might not have a ride for this season. Michael Cherry had been promoted from the Late Model ranks to fill a vastly under-performing seat. Ryan Gifford's results never seemed to match his Richard Childress Racing bloodlines.

Yet 2011 has dawned, and Revolution Racing is positioned as one of the series' powerhouse teams – right there alongside Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing.

With Wallace's emphatic victory in the Blue Ox 100 at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday night, he handed Revolution its second win through the first three races of the year. Wallace took over the points lead, just in front of Pena, who collected his first career win two weeks ago at South Boston.

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RICHMOND, Va. – Thursday night could have been Darrell Wallace Jr.'s coming out party.

Wallace thoroughly dominated the second half of the Blue Ox 100 at Richmond International Raceway, taking his third career NASCAR K&N Pro Series victory and inheriting the series points lead in the process. Wallace led Brett Moffitt and Corey LaJoie under the checkered flag.

"It's a great feeling. We pretty much annihilated the race," said Wallace, a Joe Gibbs Racing development driver. "I just want to thank, first of all, everybody at Revolution Racing. They worked their tails off...

"It's a brand new car. This was the very first race on it, and the first win. So that was pretty (good) for our chances. I'm just so excited."

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Check out the photo gallery from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Blue Ox 100 race day at Richmond International Raceway.

CLICK HERE to view the full gallery.

-- TB

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Rolling our way through the raindrops here at Richmond International Raceway already today, where the first practice session for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Blue Ox 100 went through nearly 40 minutes before rain intervened.

No surprise to anyone, really, is the fact that Brett Moffitt is fastest in practice today – with another hour-long session tentatively scheduled from 1:30-2:30 p.m. What is surprising is just how dominant Moffitt has been.

He's a full two-tenths of a second faster than any other car here at Richmond in practice, and Moffitt would have two race wins in two tries in the No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota if not for a wrecked lapped car ending his day early (while leading) at South Boston.

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It's Thursday again. Time to dust off the old Mini Stock for a spin around the cul-de-sac at the end of the street...

GETTING AN EARLY start to the race "weekend" today with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Blue Ox 100 at Richmond International Raceway. Seems that the series hasn't had the best luck with weather this season – twice already getting postponed through two events, and a third likely.

But while we've got some time to think here at Richmond, it's a good time to ponder a question about the racing community as it relates to development series.

I've always been a big fan of minor league sports. Heck, growing up in Maine, minor league hockey and baseball are about as close as you can get to the biggest stages. I still follow the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League closely, and with the Portland Sea Dogs a Double-A affliate of the Boston Red Sox, I keep up with the development of those players, too.

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According to the race's name, Crown Royal will present the "Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400" this weekend in Richmond, VA.

Now, the first question most people probably ask is: "Who the heck are Matthew and Daniel Hansen?"

The second is: "Am I not enough of a NASCAR buff to recognize those names and am I going to look like a dope if I voice my first question?"

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Before we get into the article, let's just take a minute to enjoy the photo to the right.

In this photo, you see Joey Logano celebrating the Coors Light "21 Means 21" pole in the Nationwide Series last weekend.

Coincidentally, Logano's car is not 21, it's just short at number 20.  And, also, coincidentally, his car number matches his current age: 20.

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It was a slow weekend in the racing world on the regional level, in part because of the Easter holiday and also in part to the rain that washed away the few things that were planned for Saturday in the northeast.

That being said, we've still cobbled together a Podium Finish, with a couple of unexpected headliners and one that was -- well -- quite expected. Let's see who made the Top-3 for the weekend of April 22-24:

1. Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn.

Where have we seen this before? No, seriously, stop me if you're surprised. Ted Christopher continued to wheel the heck out of NASCAR Modifieds, heading to Caraway Speedway and posting his second straight NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour victory on Saturday.

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It's Thursday again. Time to dust off the old Mini Stock for a spin around the cul-de-sac at the end of the street...

For those among us that harken back to the "good ol' Halcyon days" of local stock car racing, you've got to love Ted Christopher.

I mean, you don't actually have to love the guy – in fact, a trip through the grandstands at either of the Connecticut short tracks where he competes weekly would suggest that a fair amount don't.

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Kyle Busch Enters Oxford 250

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kyle Busch is heading back to Oxford Plains Speedway.

The track and Kyle Busch Motorsports announced today that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver will compete in this year's TD Bank Oxford 250 on Sunday, July 24. It will be Busch's third appearance in the northeast's marquee Late Model race after having competed in both the 2005 and 2006 editions.

"It's no secret that I love to race, so I'll be spending my weekend off from the Sprint Cup Series in July running the late model races at Oxford Plains Speedway," Busch said in a track release.

"The track is a lot of fun to drive. It's very flat, the corners are very round and the straightaway's aren't very long. Bill Ryan and his staff treated me excellent during my first two trips to Oxford and the fans there are great."

Busch will also compete in the PASS-sanctioned Brackett Mechanical/RB Performance 150 on Saturday night, July 23. Continue...

"Are you watching auto racing?"

It's a question I've had to deal with since I first became a racing fan in 2009. (The answer is a 'well, of course-toned,' "yeah!")

"Wow! A bunch of cars turning left!"

A typical retort from the uneducated mathlete.  (Perhaps you should try calculating the centripetal force heading into turn 2 maybe that would make you more appreciative.)

"It doesn't even qualify as a sport."

Also, another ignorant comment from someone that hasn't watched a lap in their life.

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Bradley Babb won't be credited with a career-best finish after all.

The ACT Late Model Tour announced Monday that Babb had been penalized after his second-place finish in the season-opening NH Governor's Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Babb was discovered to have used an unregistered practice tire on his car during the main event.

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Each Monday we take a look at the top performers from around the region over the weekend that was. This week, we look both above and below the Mason-Dixon Line at a couple of familiar faces and one new driver on the scene.

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Brad Babb shook his head and stared at the ground, as if somehow the greasy asphalt below his feet held some answers, some sort of insight into the improbability of it all.

Last year's ACT Late Model Tour Rookie of the Year, Babb had just one prior Top-5 finish on the Tour. The second-generation driver out of Windham, Maine, had never before finished on the podium, never so much as contemplated competing for a victory before Sunday's season opener.

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They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but Brian Hoar seems to keep picking up plenty.

If it's been done on the ACT Late Model Tour, it seems as though Brian Hoar has done it. He's won more races in Tour history than any driver. He's finished in the Top-5 more times. He even stepped away from the series for the better part of a decade to run the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East for a while – going out and setting a New Hampshire Motor Speedway track record in the process. Then he returned to full-time ACT competition and promptly won the last two ACT championships to give him seven for his career.

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I'm with you. Three days ago, if you'd told me that we'd be having an ACT Late Model Tour race today at Lee USA Speedway, I'd have told you to enjoy the soggy feet.

But, call me seldom-right and wrong-again, my friend.
We're going through the drivers meeting right now at Lee USA Speedway, and final practice is less than an hour away. Qualifying begins at 1 and then off we go... The NH Governor's Cup 150 hits center stage this afternoon.

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The ACT Late Model Tour season tends to take its followers all over the map.

The chaos of racing at Thunder Road. The excitement of being involved in an invitational at New Hampshire. A surprising first-time winner; a veteran driver on a seemingly unbeatable roll. Toss in a little qualifying drama, some tire controversies and perhaps a stern reminder or two about rules from the head offices and you've got a rather typical ACT year.

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It's back! The often-imitated, never duplicated, one-of-a-kind weekly laundry list of an auto racing writer has once again found its way into the pages of the worldwide webisphere.

And like its predecessor – "On Pit Road" – there will be plenty of dirty laundry aired, too. Consider it the "Festivus" celebration of auto racing, complete with the feats of strength, the Festivus pole and the airing of the grievances. Heck, my wife won't listen to me anymore – so you might as well do it. Am I right?

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The record books will say that Ted Christopher won the NASCAR WhelenModified Tour event last weekend at Thompson International Speedway, but his wallet will say different.

Christopher was one of two drivers penalized by NASCAR on Wednesday after carburetor issues were discovered in technical inspection following the season-opening Icebreaker 150. Fifth-place finisher Justin Bonsignore was the other.

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Of course, right!?

I had to make some stereotypical reference to that stereotype-fulfilling movie!

Although, while some NASCAR purists might have felt it made a mockery of the sport, it did a lot to bring auto racing into the living rooms of Americans.  Plus, it was Carl Edwards that, two years ago in this race, suffered a horrific crash on the last lap and legged it out on foot to the finish line, à la Ricky Bobby and Jean Girard.

However, like in the movie when Bobby and Girard were disqualified for leaving their cars and Cal Naughton Jr. was awarded the race, if you're prepping this weekend's fantasy team, you're probably more concerned with who will cross the finish line first...by vehicle!

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Granite State of Mind

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm sure you've heard the entire laundry list of complaints against New Hampshire:

- Nothing happens here.

- Nobody lives here.

- It's too cold.

- It's too snowy.

...That list goes on...

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Each Monday we'll take a look at the top performers from around the region over the weekend that was. Still a pretty limited sample size considering most tracks north of Connecticut have yet to hold so much as a single practice session, but we'll forge ahead anyhow.

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The more things change, the more they've stayed the same for Ryan Preece.

It was one year ago to the weekend that Preece first jousted with Mike Stefanik on the track and then took to some verbal sparring with the winningest driver in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour history. And it was one year ago that Preece got off to a promising start to the season.

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It's like the old saying from your childhood: "Look, ma! No hands."

Ted Christopher fought off everything on Sunday afternoon at Thompson International Speedway – falling down two laps to the leaders early on, a penalty on pit road, a right hand with ligament damage and stitches, a brush with the inside wall off the backstretch and a freshly-injured left hand – to win the season-opening NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker 150.

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Greetings from a warm and sunny Thompson International Speedway where – get this – we're wearing short-sleeved shirts in anticipation of today's season-opening NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker 150.

A field of 33 cars are set to take the green flag at approximately 3 p.m. this afternoon.

Just to follow up on a couple of storylines from Saturday's qualifying day here at Thompson:

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Bobby Santos is up to his old tricks.

For the second consecutive year, the reigning NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion set a new track record at Thompson International Speedway to win the pole for Sunday's season-opening Icebreaker.

Santos turned a lap of 18.237 seconds (123.376 mph) during Saturday's qualifying session for his third career Thompson pole. He has five career poles overall.

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In the, uh, "immortal" words of UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer, "We Are LIVE!!"

Warm and sunny early spring afternoon here at Thompson International Speedway, where the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is set to kick off the 2011 season at the place where the Tour's seasons traditionally begin and end. Practice and qualifying are on the docket today, with the Icebreaker 150 set for Sunday afternoon at approximately 3 p.m.

Ted Christopher, of course, is here. He's posted 11 career victories at Thompson, including taking the checkered flag in an astonishing seven of the last nine WMT races contested at the .625-mile oval.

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Now that's how you start out with a new team.

Brett Moffitt won the pole and led every lap in his first outing with Michael Waltrip Racing last weekend, dominating en route to winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville Pickens Speedway.

His efforts impressed all the right people, as Moffitt was ranked first in this week's Hunter Index. The index polls a panel of 14 motorsports journalists and NASCAR representatives as a means of ranking NASCAR-sanctioned short-track and developmental series drivers from across the country.

About the only person who could have filed a complaint with Moffitt taking the top spot was NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver George Brunnhoelzl III – who's claimed the first two WSMT races of 2011.

Moffitt, who left Joe Gibbs Racing in the offseason to take the seat vacated by two-time East Series champion Ryan Truex, also won last year's season finale at Dover, Del.

– TB

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First of all, let's just start by thanking you for finding The Granite Stripe.
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