LITTLE TREES 150, Adirondack International Speedway, August 17, 2002 Magnificent Effort, Part I. Track owner Paul Lyndaker and his staff literally worked around the clock to make their track ready for the inaugural Little Trees 150. Installing...
LITTLE TREES 150, Adirondack International Speedway, August 17, 2002
Magnificent Effort, Part I. Track owner Paul Lyndaker and his staff literally worked around the clock to make their track ready for the inaugural Little Trees 150. Installing and testing the lighting system, completing grandstands and spectator amenities, putting up signs... the list goes on and must have seemed endless as race day drew closer. Their efforts were rewarded in the best way possible: with an enthusiastic capacity crowd, great media coverage, and an exciting race that clearly put Adirondack on the map as a major racing facility.
Magnificent Effort, Part II. While the midnight oil was burning at the speedway, the same was taking place at race shops from Vermont to New Jersey as Busch North Series teams assessed the damage from Watkins Glen and set about preparing for Adirondack. Despite the heavy damage sustained one week earlier, the Truex, Demers, Moore, Stockwell, MacDonald, and Benjamin teams all reported ready to race at Adirondack. That's right- not a single entry was scratched because of damage from the accidents at the Glen.
Consider Kip Stockwell's family team. The Chevrolet totaled in the first lap crash at Watkins Glen was their new short track car. The Pontiac that backed into the wall during qualifying at Thompson was sitting in the shop, not expected to race again. With a week of what Kip described as "23-hour days", and help with parts from the Brad Leighton and Mike Olsen teams, each located within an hour of Stockwell's Randolph, Vermont shop, the old faithful Grand Prix was ready to roll out of the trailer at Adirondack.
Kicking off the long day of the Little Trees 150, the Busch North Series transporters gathered for a parade through downtown Lowville, about five miles from the track. Lawn chairs were set up in front of the courthouse and the aroma of barbecued chicken filled the air at 8 a.m., just like the Fourth of July in small-town America.
Once at the track and unloaded, the haulers were parked on the perimeter access road, with Mike Olsen's Little Trees rig front and center, providing a colorful backdrop to the proceedings.
For the first time this season, the top three drivers in the Busch North Series point standings finished in the top three positions. They did so in 3-1-2 order, so the gap from first (Matt Kobyluck) to second (Brad Leighton) opened a little, while the gap to third (Andy Santerre) closed a little more. Despite the closeness of the point race, not a single position in the top ten changed at Adirondack.
Jimmy Renfrew captured his first Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Race Award. All six registered rookies have now earned the $1,000 bonus at least once. Neither rookie leader Robbie Harrison nor Rick Bell, who trails by 30 points, were entered at Adirondack.
With no Busch North Series drivers having experience at the track, local late model ace Chris Ross was called in to assist in the Busch North rookie meeting. Chris, who went on to win the late model feature that preceded the Little Trees 150, is the son of former Busch North race winner and Featherlite Modified Series star Brian Ross.