Nick Sweet: ACT Late Model Tour
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl Race Preview
Nick Sweet of Barre, Vt., hopes to put a home field advantage to good use this weekend when the ACT Late Model Tour competes in the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., on Sunday, September 4. Sweet, the 2010 track champion, will make his third appearance for RPM Motorsports in the No. 57 Saint J Auto/RPM Racing Engines Ford and first in the car at Thunder Road. Though Sweet has never won the longest race on the Thunder Road schedule, he is the most recent ACT winner at the track – having taken the checkered flag in the Merchants Bank 150 in May while driving for his family-owned team.
WHO: Nick Sweet, Barre, Vt.
TEAM: RPM Motorsports No. 57 Saint J Auto/RPM Racing Engines Ford
CREW CHIEF: Andrew Hill, Georgia, Vt.
BEST CAREER THUNDER ROAD FINISH: 1st (May 2011)
LAST RACE AT THUNDER ROAD: 1st (May 2011)
WHAT: ACT Late Model Tour Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200
WHERE: Thunder Road International Speedbowl, Barre, Vt. (.25-mile oval)
WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Sunday, September 4
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
LAST RACE: August 27, Can-Am 200, Riverside Speedway, St. Croix, Que. (PPD-rain)
NEXT RACE: September 10, Budweiser Showdown At Chaudiere, Autodrome Chaudiere, Chaudiere, Que. (.333-mile oval)
DID YOU KNOW?
Nick Sweet won the 2010 “King Of The Road” title at Thunder Road International Speedbowl.
RPM Motorsports has seven ACT Late Model Tour championships, and current RPM driver Brian Hoar has 32 career victories – the most by any driver in Tour history.
Nick Sweet won the Merchants Bank 150 at Thunder Road back in May, the second event of the season for the ACT Late Model Tour, and finished second in the TD Bank Oxford 250 while driving for his own team.
Nick Sweet finished fourth in the 2011 Thunder Road Late Model standings.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
NICK SWEET, Driver of the No. 57 RPM Racing Engines Ford, on teaming up with RPM Motorsports for the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 at Thunder Road this weekend: “I’m very excited. It’s my home track, and I think that will help me out a little on feedback for (team owner Rick Paya and crew chief Andrew Hill). Hopefully, we can get a good run. It looks like it’s supposed to rain, but hopefully the weather will turn for us and we’ll be right there at the end.”
On whether he and the team made strides at Riverside Speedway last weekend: “We definitely made strides. We showed up and picked up a half second by the time we left from when we first got there. To be able to maintain that, that’s good.
“I honestly think we had a good car for that feature (before it rained following qualifying). I think it was a very positive weekend. As much as we could, we had success. We were good in practice and we went out and won the heat race – and though we got rained out, it was still nice to end on a good note. Hopefully, we can go back (on September 11) and have a good night.”
On whether he changes his approach at Thunder Road because he’s not driving his own car: “I’m not really going in with a different mindset at all. I think we have an opportunity to win the race. I know the place, I have a lot of laps there and I know what I need in the car.
“Lady Luck plays a big role at Thunder Road. There’s a lot of lane racing there, and sometimes it comes down to just being in the right lane and being where the cars are going (forward). I’m feeling very confident.
“The only thing that really stinks is there’s no practice on Saturday. Having that time, that would be another chance to work out any kinks with the car. But Rick’s cars are always good there, and as long as we get Lady Luck on our side and we’re right there at the end, we’re should be able to go for it.”
The ACT Late Model Tour has a doubleheader weekend with the Budweiser Showdown At Chaudiere on September 10 and the postponed Can-Am 200 at Riverside Speedway in St. Croix, Quebec, on September 11… Nick Sweet won his heat race for the Can-Am 200 – his first qualifying attempt at the track – and is slated to start 15th in the event.