Emily PackardACT Late Model Tour: Emily Packard
Airborne Speedway Race Preview


EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. – Emily Packard of East Montpelier, Vt., returns to the type of track where she’s had the most success in her young career for the ACT Late Model Tour Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y., on Saturday, September 28. Packard has been at her best on the flat, half-mile tracks like Airborne, and she posted her first career ACT Top-10 starting spot at Airborne last season. She has produced similarly strong runs at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, another wide half-mile track, and the driver of the No. 9x Northstar Fireworks/Berlin Optical Expressions Chevrolet thinks that success should translate into this weekend. Packard finished fourth in the final Vermont State Championship Series standings, which included half of its races at Devil’s Bowl, and she’s looking to rebound from an early ending to the ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last weekend.

WHO: Emily Packard, East Montpelier, Vt.
CREW CHIEF: Neal Woodward, Georgia, Vt.
TEAM: No. 9x Northstar Fireworks/Berlin Optical Expressions Chevrolet
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: ACT Late Model Tour Fall Foliage 200
WHERE: Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y. (.500-mile oval)
WHEN: Saturday, September 28 – 10 a.m., practice; 1:30 p.m., qualifying; 4 p.m., race

ACT Late Model Tour
LAST RACE: September 21, ACT Invitational, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, N.H. (42nd)

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 was one of 43 Late Model drivers in the region selected 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 Chevrolet, On the racing at Airborne Speedway this weekend: “I’m definitely looking forward to it. Airborne has a lot of room. You can definitely do a lot of two-lane racing there, and there’s enough room to go three-wide, too. There’s more room, and it’s a lot deeper than a place like Thunder Road. We’ve seen over and over how three-wide can be a little risky on the smaller tracks.

“I can’t wait to go back and redeem ourselves for last time. When we were there in July (for the International 500), we got caught up in that big wreck at the start of the second segment and our day was over. It was as hard a hit as I’ve ever had, and I want to make up for that.”

On what makes Airborne Speedway unique: “Every track has its own little thing about it that makes it great. That track at Airborne is very, very different – very different. It’s like all of a sudden a big sweeping turn becomes a straightaway and you have to be ready to turn the car.

“I’ve always liked the bigger tracks, and this is another one that I’m looking forward to.”

On the second half of the season: “Everybody’s been working really hard. It’s good that we’re finally having some good finishes – aside from getting collected by someone else at Loudon last weekend – and we’ve had some luck on our side, too. That always helps.

“There are still some big races for us coming up, so I’m excited. I’m really excited about how things have gone the last few weeks. We struggled a little bit at the beginning of the season, but now we’re finally clicking and the things we’re doing with the car are working for us.”