IPSC: Short track "Top Guns" expected at Bangor, Maine

(May 16) - It will be a battle of the best at Speedway 95, located just west of Bangor, Maine, this Sunday afternoon when the cars and stars of the International Pro Stock Challenge (IPSC) take to the 1/3-mile course. With legendary names...

(May 16) - It will be a battle of the best at Speedway 95, located just west of Bangor, Maine, this Sunday afternoon when the cars and stars of the International Pro Stock Challenge (IPSC) take to the 1/3-mile course. With legendary names like Nason, Rowe and Fraser among the entries, such a conglomerate of racing talent has not been gathered at the facility for many years. With posted awards exceeding $30,000, the racing action will be door-handle to door-handle as teams battle for the $5,000 winners share of the purse in the 150-lap feature. This is the first stop in New England of the 2000 season for the series, event number two on a 11-race schedule. Scott Fraser, defending IPSC champion and victor of the season-opening race at Scotia Speedworld in Halifax, Nova Scotia on May 6th, expects the competition to be tough at Speedway 95. "This series has really developed into an American vs. Canadian rivalry," said Fraser, from Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. "When we go to Bangor, we'll be on their turf. Plus, most of our guys (Canadians) have never run at Speedway 95 before. The American teams may have the advantage..." Advantage indeed, as legendary racer Ralph Nason holds the track record (14.848 seconds set in June 1998). Nason, from nearby Unity, Maine, had overheating problems in Halifax on May 6th and will most certainly be mounting a charge for the checkers. Nason won a NEPSA-sanctioned race at Speedway 95 in 1999. And who can count out Turner, Maine's Ben Rowe? Rowe was on hand at Speedway 95 April 29th for open IPSC practice was timed as unofficially breaking the track record. Rowe, runner-up in the '99 IPSC point standings, is focused on winning the series championship this year and the $30,000 prize that goes with it. After breaking the track record at Halifax a couple of weeks ago, a couple of competitive incidents in the feature relegated him to a 10th-place finish and looking to move up in the standings this week. "It was just a bad day," said Rowe about Halifax. "We'll get back on track, starting at Bangor." More than 30 pro stocks are expected for the Sunday afternoon race, including Bangor native Gary Smith. Other Maine entries include Travis Benjamin, Morril; Rob Cowett, Presque Isle; Adam Friend, Pittsfield; Larry Gelinas, Scarborough; Tom Mayberry, Naples; Sam Sessions, South Paris; Dale St. Peter, Caribou; Kirk Thibeau, Fort Fairfield; and Kenny Wright, Woolwich. New Hampshire native Andy Shaw has also entered. Making the 800-mile round trip trek from Nova Scotia will be Leo Cochrane, Halifax; Dan Eddy, Dartmouth; John Flemming, Halifax; Steve Henderson, Truro; Mike MacKenzie, Dartmouth; Marty Prevost, Fall River; and Mike Riley, Halifax. Also on tap to entertain spectators at Speedway 95 this Sunday will be a 100-lap open competition race for Super Street racers. With a $1,000 first-place prize at stake, the event should draw the top racers in this division from all over the state of Maine. All of the action kicks off Sunday at 1 p.m. with the Snap-on Tools Time Trials. Racing action starts at 2 with the Motor Mart Heat Races for the pro stocks, followed by qualifying heats for the Super Streets, the Super Street feature and the pro stock feature. Grandstand gates open at 11 a.m. Pit gates open at 8 a.m. Several pro stock race cars will be on hand for a short exhibition during the regular weekly race card at Speedway 95 on Saturday night.

Speedway 95 is located just off I-95, Exit 44 - Cold Brook Road. Turn right on Odlin Road - speedway approx. 1 mile.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Gary Smith