Emily PackardACT Late Model Tour: Emily Packard
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Race Preview


EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. – Emily Packard of East Montpelier, Vt., returns to her favorite track on the schedule – New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. – for the 5th annual Bond Auto ACT Invitational on Saturday, September 21. Packard made her debut at the 1.058-mile oval last season as a Late Model rookie, and buoyed by a strong outing in a recent test session at NHMS, she has high hopes for a strong showing this weekend as part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 weekend. She enters the weekend after a Top-3 run at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vt., was thwarted by a broken hub in the closing laps.

WHO: Emily Packard, East Montpelier, Vt.
CREW CHIEF: Neal Woodward, Georgia, Vt.
TEAM: No. 9x Northstar Fireworks/Berlin Optical Expressions Ford
SPONSORS: Northstar Fireworks, Fecteau Homes, Berlin Optical Expressions, Yipes! of Barre, VT Shifter Karts, GossCars.com, Be The Match, Rutland Regional Medical Center, R.G. Paving

WHAT: Bond Auto ACT Invitational 50
WHERE: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, N.H. (1.058-mile)
WHEN: Saturday, September 21 – 8 a.m., practice; 4:45 p.m., race
ACT Late Model Tour
LAST RACE: September 2, Labor Day Classic 200, Thunder Road Int’l Speedway, Barre, Vt. (24th)
NEXT RACE: September 28, Fall Foliage 200, Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y. (.500-mile oval)

Emily Packard became the first woman to win a NASCAR-sanctioned Late Model event at Canaan Fair Speedway in Canaan, N.H., when she won the Twin 25s event at the track on June 1 of this season.

Emily Packard will be one of 43 Late Model drivers in the region to participate in the fifth annual Bond Auto ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 21 – her second consecutive appearance in the event.

Emily Packard became the first woman in a decade to win a feature event at Thunder Road International Speedbowl when she won a Street Stock feature at the track last summer.

Emily Packard was voted the 2012 Vermont Motorsports Magazine Rookie of the Year, and she was also named the Vermont Sportswriters & Sportscasters Association Athlete of the Month for August 2012.

Emily Packard Motorsports crew chief Neal Woodward is a five-time ACT Late Model Tour champion crew chief whose cars set track qualifying records at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.

EMILY PACKARD, Driver of the No. 9x Northstar Fireworks/Berlin Optical Expressions Ford, On heading to the ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for a second time: “I’m excited to go this weekend. It’s an honor with all the Sprint Cup guys there. It’s such a big weekend and there’s a lot of people, and I think it’s really cool we can be a part of that. For us, it’s not exactly what it’s like to be that big, but it gives us a little glimpse of how hectic things can be for Cup drivers on weekends like this.

“Obviously, you go to every race with the expectation that you want to win. But my main goal is to prove that we belonged there last year. I want the chance to prove that. I want to come back in one piece and finish all the laps.”

On the value of the test at New Hampshire two weeks ago: “We spent some time dialing the car back in, because it had been wrecked the last time out. We found a couple little things – we had a hole in a radiator hose, the rear end was moving around on us a little bit – so we had some time to fix that.

“And overall, I think the other big thing from it was that I learned how to drive the track with the Distance car a little bit better. The lifting points and the pick-up points are a little bit different, and you can definitely tell the difference with the horsepower.”

On the disappointing ending to a promising day at Devil’s Bowl Speedway last weekend: “It was disappointing. At least it was something that wasn’t because of something I did – it was something that we couldn’t control. It took a couple of minutes to cool down and find a positive, but I found it. Everybody was really upset about it – even other teams. We were so good all weekend. We had an awesome car. We had just turned it up and started going again when it happened, and that was the hardest part about it.”