BNS: Busch North Series Notes - Lee USA 4/22 and NHIS 4/23-25

LOUDON, N.H. (April 26, 2001) - A total of 31 Busch North Series teams participated in the three-day test session at New Hampshire International Speedway, April 23-25. Brad Leighton, the defending champion of the series and of the CVS/pharmacy...

LOUDON, N.H. (April 26, 2001) - A total of 31 Busch North Series teams participated in the three-day test session at New Hampshire International Speedway, April 23-25. Brad Leighton, the defending champion of the series and of the CVS/pharmacy 125 presented by Bayer, was unofficially clocked near the 30.3 second mark, approximately 125.7 miles per hour. The Busch North Series track record at NHIS was set last July by Martin Truex Jr. at 30.356, 125.471 mph. Also unofficially timed in the vicinity of the record were Paul Wolfe, Dale Shaw, Kelly Moore, Ted Christopher, Mike Olsen, and Bryan Wall.

The only incident in three days of testing saw Tommy Beamer make contact with the inside wall coming out of turn four onto the front straight during Wednesday afternoon's final session. The left front corner of Beamer's car suffered considerable damage, but the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender walked away uninjured.

Record holder Martin Truex Jr. also tested a car running to Busch Series, Grand National Division specifications. Both series are part of the CVS/pharmacy 200/125 presented by Bayer, May 11-12.

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During the weekend of the Autotown 150 at Lee USA Speedway, the list of drivers registered to compete for the Busch North Series Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year Award increased from five to nine. Among the new contenders was Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, Mass., who finished eighth in the Autotown 150 and won the $1,000 Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Race honor, as well as taking the early lead in the season-long standings.

MacDonald, 21, qualified 17th for his first Busch North Series event and ran a fast and trouble-free race to finish on the lead lap. It made a successful day complete for Red and Judy MacDonald, Eddie's parents and the owners and operators of Lee USA Speedway.

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Brian Hoar. Tommy Beamer, Joey McCarthy, Doug Hurst, and Roger Raymond completed the rookie qualifiers for the Autotown 150. Registered rookies Travis Benjamin, Carey Heath and Gord Bennett did not qualify.

Among the newly-registered rookies, Beamer, 19, of Williamstown, N.J., started 30th and last in the Autotown 150 and finished 20th, the second best position improvement in the race. Beamer competed in four Busch North Series races last year after racing in the modified division at the Mahoning Valley Speedway in Lehighton, Pa.

Hurst, 44, of Rockland, Mass., is a former drag racer who made three BNS appearances in 2000. Like many New England racers, he plays ice hockey recreationally in the off-season. He also works with the Dana Farber, Massachusetts General, and UMass Memorial blood donor centers to set up blood drives in conjunction with Busch North Series races.

Roger Raymond of Bernardston, Mass., has been racing on the short tracks of northern New England since 1960, and is currently the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series champion at the Monadnock Raceway in Winchester, N.H. His resume over 41 years of racing shows 55 feature wins, four track championships, and nine most popular driver awards.

Raymond brings another famous name back to the Busch North Series: his sponsor, Stewart & Sons Ford of Cuttingsville, Vt., was prominent on Dave Dion's cars in the 1970's and 1980's. Raymond will drive the short track portion of the Busch North Series schedule with the Wall's Ford team, for which his son, Chris Raymond, is crew chief.

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Ted Christopher's 10-race Busch North Series program will benefit from the experience of veteran modified and ARCA car owner and crew chief Ralph Solhem. While Solhem and his long-time driver Ed Kennedy cut back their modified efforts in 2001, Solhem will turn the wrenches for "TC", who has acquired the equipment he drove last year under the ownership of Randy LaJoie, including a victory at Stafford Motor Speedway. The LesCare Kitchens Chevrolets will again carry Christopher's familiar number 13.

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Dale Quarterley and his Land O Lakes racing team have teamed up with the Cam Neely Foundation to donate ten percent of their races purses in 2001 to the Neely House at New England Medical Center in Boston. The Neely House, established by former Boston Bruins star Cam Neely, provides housing and support for families of patients at the center. As part of the program, Quarterley's distinctive yellow Chevrolet will be displayed at the Center, and Land O Lakes will provide ticket and hospitality packages to families staying at the Neely House for several "host family events" in the Busch North Series.

-Busch North Series

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