Mark “Bones” Bourcier was my favorite auto racing writer when I was growing up. Thirty-six years into it, not much about that has changed. He wrote a monthly column for the former Stock Car Racing Magazine and would occasionally go with the theme “Nobody Asked Me But…”
I’ve, ahem, borrowed that theme several times during my writing career. Here’s the latest edition, dedicated to Bones, who has since become a trusted friend:
…watching Kyle Pembroke manhandle his car sideways across the finish line on Friday night at Thunder Road sure was something. It reminded me that those moments run in the family: Dave Pembroke was an honest-to-goodness animal when he had to be. Think back to 2003 when he and Barney McRae went at it.
…Jimmy Ryan is one of the most looked-over talents in the Northeast. The Shoreham runner — who is no spring chicken at 57 years old — brought the kids to school on Sunday night at Devil’s Bowl. It’s small wonder that he won, considering his dozens of wins and championships in New England and New York, yet his name is rarely in the conversation for pre-race favorites. Why is that?
…it could stop raining for like a whole month, and I wouldn’t feel bad about it even a little bit.
…I’m nervous about the Sprint Cars of New England series. I have always enjoyed that organization, but their car counts have me very nervous. It’s an affordable tour with an easy schedule, but double-digit fields have been a rarity so far this year. Will Hull and his group are doing plenty right, but the cars just aren’t showing up. That’s frustrating.
…the NASCAR K&N Pro Series is just, well, sad. NASCAR pulled the plug on its race at Thompson Speedway this Saturday, and while officials remain tight-lipped about why, it’s obvious to see that there’s very little car count support for that tour, too. I blame skyrocketing costs to field a competitive car, the wave of rich, unproven teenagers with no fan following buying their way into the sport, cleaning house, and then leaving after a year or two, and, of course, the abandonment of the old Busch North Series business model.
…the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, however, is doing well and has a great following. Why? Because NASCAR has largely stuck to its roots with those cars.
…the hottest driver in the region right now isn’t Rich Dubeau or Bobby Hackel. It isn’t Rocky Warner or Jason Corliss. It isn’t Andy Bachetti or Garrett Hall. Nope, it’s Street Stock driver Dean Switser.
…racing needs more people like Eric Chase. I’m not talking about the Late Model driver/helicopter pilot — although he’s pretty rad, too. I’m talking about the guy known universally as “Pork.” It’ll be hard to top his win at Thunder Road last week.
…I only wish I had thought of bringing my cat into the press box with me first. Writer Matt Weaver, as I type this sentence, is accompanied by his feline friend in the media center at Martinsville Speedway. Why, I have no idea. All I know is that I’m jealous.
Bear Ridge Speedway — Bradford
LAST WEEK: Hometown driver Jordan Fornwalt won Saturday’s DIRTcar Sportsman Modified feature, and Floyd Billington and Chris Donnelly split twin features for the Sprint Cars of New England tour. Bradford’s Jason Horniak won the Sportsman Coupe race, Corinth’s George Osgood won the Limited Late Model race, and South Ryegate’s Owen Carbee won the Four Cylinder feature. Mark Wiggett and Riley Chaffee were Granite State Mini Sprint winners. THIS WEEK: Racing is Saturday at 6 p.m. with the USAC Dirt Midget Association joining the four weekly divisions.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway — West Haven
LAST WEEK: Shoreham’s Jimmy Ryan won Sunday’s Sportsman Modified feature, with Brandon’s Matt Bilodeau scoring his career-first Limited Sportsman win. Fair Haven’s Chris Murray won the Super Stock race, P.J. Bleau took the Mini Stock win, and Springfield’s Cody O’Brien won in the 500cc Mini Sprint division. THIS WEEK: Racing is Sunday at 7 p.m., with the annual “topless” event and free admission for all Heritage Family Credit Union members.
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl — Barre
LAST WEEK: Montpelier’s Kyle Pembroke won Friday’s Late Model feature with Waterbury Center’s Jason Woodard capturing the 75-lap Flying Tiger Triple Crown Series race. Lyndonville’s Dean Switser Jr. won the Street Stock feature and Berlin’s Eric “Pork” Chase was a popular winner in the Road Warrior division. THIS WEEK: Racing is Thursday at 7 p.m. with Late Models, Flying Tigers, Street Stocks and the New England Antique Racers.
Albany-Saratoga Speedway — Malta, N.Y.
LAST WEEK: Racing was rained out on Wednesday. Australian Peter Britten won Friday’s DIRTcar Modified feature and Robert Bublak Jr. won the Sportsman Modified race. THIS WEEK: Racing is Friday at 7 p.m. as the Empire Super Sprints Tour joins the weekly divisions.
LAST WEEK: No racing. THIS WEEK: The ACT Late Model Tour is at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut with a 75-lap race on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Claremont Speedway — Claremont, N.H.
LAST WEEK: Brian Robie got his second straight win in Friday’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Sportsman Modified race, while both Aaron Fellows (Late Model Sportsman) and Jeremy Blood (Six Shooter) each pushed their unbeaten streaks to five races. THIS WEEK: Racing is Friday at 7 p.m. with the Valenti Modified Racing Series joining the weekly divisions.
Fonda Speedway — Fonda, N.Y.
LAST WEEK: Danny Varin and Stewart Friesen split Saturday’s double Modified features, and Brian Calabrese and Cody Clark topped the Sportsman Modified twin features. THIS WEEK: Racing is Saturday at 7 p.m. with weekly divisions and the Bill Ag Memorial Modified Match Races.
Glen Ridge Motorsports Park — Fultonville, N.Y.
LAST WEEK: Rocky Warner swept Sunday’s Modified and Crate Modified features. THIS WEEK: Racing is Sunday at 5 p.m. with Wingless Sprint Cars joining weekly divisions.
Lebanon Valley Speedway — West Lebanon, N.Y.
LAST WEEK: Andy Bachetti won in both the Big Block and Small Block Modified makeup features from a rainout on June 1, while Steve Hough and Guy Sheldon, respectively, won the regularly scheduled events. THIS WEEK: Racing is Saturday at 5 p.m. with the Bubba Tanner Memorial Pro Stock event.
Monadnock Speedway — Winchester, N.H.
LAST WEEK: Ronnie Williams was a first-time Valenti Modified Racing Series winner on Saturday, and Ben Byrne won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Sportsman Modified feature. Vernon’s Solomon Brow took his third Late Model Sportsman win in as many weeks. THIS WEEK: Racing is Saturday at 6 p.m. with the Exit Realty Pro Truck Series joining five weekly classes.
Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway — Plattsburgh, N.Y.
LAST WEEK: Josh Pieniazek won Saturday’s Empire Super Sprint feature and Connor Cleveland won the Sportsman Modified race. THIS WEEK: Racing is Saturday at 6 p.m. with five weekly divisions.
RumTown Speedway — Rumney, N.H.
LAST WEEK: Mark Cole won Saturday’s Wingless Sprint Car feature, T.C. Forward won in the Sportsman Modifieds and Belmont’s Josh Bussino won the Twin State Dirt Stock race. THIS WEEK: Racing is Saturday at 4 p.m. with weekly divisions and the Granite State Mini Sprints.
Speedway 51 — Groveton, N.H.
LAST WEEK: Corey Mason won Saturday’s Late Model special and Essex Junction’s M.C. Ingram took his first-ever Tiger Sportsman win. Lyndonville’s Dean Switser Jr. stayed hot with a Street Stock win, and Shelburne’s Kaiden Fisher won his first Daredevil youth race. THIS WEEK: Racing is Saturday at 6 p.m. with the Granite State Pro Stock Series and weekly divisions.
White Mountain Motorsports Park – North Woodstock, N.H.
LAST WEEK: Lunenburg’s Jeff Marshall won Saturday’s Late Model feature and Barton’s Shane Sicard made it four-straight in the Flying Tigers. Brett Jackson won the 50-lap Strictly Stock Mini special, Waterford’s Andy Hill won the Dwarf Car race and Groton’s Luke Peters won in the Kids Truck division. THIS WEEK: Racing is Sunday at 1 p.m. with the all-new Bullring Bash Quarter Mile Challenge Series Modifieds and Legends, along with the track’s weekly Late Model, Flying Tiger and Strictly Stock Mini classes.
Justin St. Louis is a motorsports journalist, publicist, broadcaster, historian and former driver. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Twitter: @Justin_StLouis