story by Chris Roy
The North East Mini Stock Tour is now in its third season. With NEMST 1st race of the season now in the books, as Zach Audet, driver of the number 19 car took the checkered flag at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. The next stop for the tour is Star Speedway on May 14th. So we stopped by and made time with tour president and founder Robert Guptill.
RPM. What’s in store for the 2011 NEMST race season?
Bob. 11 races at 10 tracks and more then double the registered cars we had from last year.
RPM. Texas Roadhouse just signed on as primary sponsor.
Bob. The Texas Roadhouse and North East Mini Stock Tour partnership is a real special deal. It is made to work for both series and store and is sure to do so.
RPM. Being a touring series, and with fuel prices so high, will it effect the number of drivers each race is the tour doing anything to help the drivers?
Bob. With us being a low buck tour it is bound to have an effect. Will it keep many guys away? I don’t think it will effect the counts much.
RPM. Are you all set for season opener at Beech Ridge?
Bob. All set and ready to go for the season.
RPM. Going into the 3rd season with NEMST, seems to be a success?
Bob. It is going along a lot better then anyone could ever imagine. The core people knew it was a winning combination and with more tracks and drivers on board then ever before things are only getting bigger!
RPM. How did the tour come to be?
Bob. It was an idea I had after leaving the 4 cylinder nationals at Beech Ridge in 2008. There was a definite demand for a 4 cylinder touring series
RPM Talk a little bit about the 2011 schedule, 11 races at 10 different tracks.
Bob. It is a complete test of team and machine, from the high bank ¼ miles to the flat 3/8 to the super fast Thompson 5/8 mile
RPM. Do you find the tour is a work in progress or is the rules set in stone?
Bob. Nothing is set in stone, every year at the rules meeting we take input from inside and outside teams on what would make the success better. We definitely want to stay ahead of the game.
RPM. With so many different type of cars, how do you set a standard on the rules?
Bob. It is a challenge for sure, We only limit what we can inspect. We are not going to make unattainable or rules that will hurt a single model or manufacturer
RPM. Any special events this season?
Bob. There might be some non sanctioned specials races coming up.
RPM. Do the cars have transponders this season, in regards to the finish at Thompson photo finish last season?
Bob. We are still using hand scoring for the time being, As demand rises electronic scoring may have to be introduced. It would also raise the cost of the series which is something we don’t want to do.