BNS: Thompson race preview

Busch North Series, Nascar Touring Set For Saturday Night Showdown At Thompson International Spedway, July 14; Aube Looks To Continue Momentum From 2000 Race THOMPSON, Conn. (July 5, 2001) - The Pepsi Racing 150 at Thompson International...

Busch North Series, Nascar Touring Set For Saturday Night Showdown At Thompson International Spedway, July 14; Aube Looks To Continue Momentum From 2000 Race

THOMPSON, Conn. (July 5, 2001) - The Pepsi Racing 150 at Thompson International Speedway on Saturday night, July 14, is shaping up to be a truly special event for the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring. It's special because it's the only visit of the year to the biggest and fastest short track in New England. It's special because it's the first time the Busch North Series teams will race on the new asphalt surface installed last winter. Most of all, it' special because it marks the first Saturday night race at Thompson in nearly 20 years.

The Pepsi Racing 150 is a one-day event on July 14, with practice starting at 10:45 a.m. Bud Pole Qualifying is set for 4:15 p.m., with all positions to be established in one round. The Pepsi Racing 150 main event will take the green flag at approximately 7:45 p.m. Thompson's regular NASCAR Weekly Racing Series classes who normally compete on Thursday night during the summer months, will also be part of the Saturday showdown.

Last year's Thompson visit by the Busch North Series, held on a Sunday afternoon in late August, produced one of five come-from-behind victories during the season by Tracy Gordon. In his patented style, Gordon came roaring back from a mid-race pit stop for tires, taking the lead with just 12 laps remaining. While Gordon's late-race charges are always popular, the Thompson fans gave a large measure of their vocal support to the driver who held the lead for 58 laps before Gordon completed his climb to the front.

That driver was Jamie Aube, the only three-time champion the Busch North Series has ever known. Aube came to Thompson riding a six-year winless streak, but after pitting his Verres Racing Chevrolet early, he rode back to the front and showed every indication of staying there until Gordon mounted his attack on newer tires. Aube kept up the pressure after losing the lead, taking second, just 0.3 seconds behind. It was his best result since finishing second to Winston Cup star Jimmy Spencer at Dover Downs International Speedway in 1998.

"We had good run last year," Aube reflected about his near-success at Thompson in 2000. While he says he always runs well at the 5/8 mile oval, it was his best Thompson performance ever and his first top five there since 1991.

Commenting on the new surface at Thompson Aube noted, "It's a wide-open race track, and from what I hear, it's a little wider and a little faster now." Indeed, when the Featherlite Modified Series visited Thompson in April, the track qualifying record took a pounding.

"It's the closest thing we have to a short superspeedway," Aube added. "It has a good banking and you can drive it down real deep into the turns." The high line has traditionally been the fast groove at Thompson, but evidence from the early weeks of the season indicates the new asphalt has opened up the low side as well.

The opening stages of the 2001 season have seen Jamie Aube riding in the top ten of the Busch North Series standings, highlighted by a third place finish on the tight confines of Star Speedway. Commenting on his strong start, Aube said, "We've got better equipment and we're more prepared. We've been very good at most all the races this year. We've had a few close calls go against us and we've been put out by a couple of racing accidents that have put us behind in the points, but I'm not giving up by any means, We're coming back stronger than ever."

Should Jamie Aube make that elusive trip to victory lane at Thompson in the Pepsi Racing 150, he will join Kelly Moore and Dale Shaw as the only Busch North Series drivers to score wins in all three decades of the series' existence- the 1980's, 1990's, and 2000's.

The Busch North Series is one of nine NASCAR Touring Series that blanket the USA, bringing major events to NASCAR Weekly Racing Series tracks like Thompson International Speedway, as well as many superspeedways and road courses. The NASCAR Touring program is recognized as the premier training ground for NASCAR's national series, the Winston Cup Series, Busch Series, Grand National Division, and Craftsman Truck Series, while also providing career opportunities for professional racers at the regional level. Corporations making major contributions to NASCAR Touring point funds include Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Featherlite Trailers, Goody's Headache Powders, Gatorade, RE/MAX International, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Raybestos Brakes, and R.J. Reynolds' Winston brand.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Jimmy Spencer