Emily trackThe American Canadian Tour kicked off its 23rd season at Lee USA Speedway again this year with the Governor’s Cup 150 on Sunday April 13th.  Hitting the track for her first race of the season, Emily Packard, the 17 year old East Montpelier native, brought home her 9X Northstar Fireworks/Packard Fuels sponsored car in 12th place.

Rain early in the day changed the track and the schedule, shortening day and allowing little to no practice to feel the car out prior to the heat races.  Starting 5th in the heat race, Packard dropped back a position early on fighting a pushing race car, but battled her way up to 4th by Lap 4.  The closing laps found her in a battle of side by side racing for the last three laps holding off the 5VT car to cross the line in 4th place to secure her place in the show.   “I hope it was an exciting race for the fans to watch, because it was definitely exciting from the driver’s seat,” said Packard of her tight racing with the 5vt car, “it was a good (heat) race and a good start to the season.” 

Starting 9th, Packard had a good handling car, but fell back a few spots where she concentrated on saving her tires for later in the race.  On lap 47, Packard passed the 37VT to move up to the 12th position and gaining on the next car in line, only to have the caution come out on lap 53.  A couple of the leaders chose to pit, allowing Packard to move up to 10th on the restart.  “We were able to drive away from the guy behind us and ride for a while,” said Packard.  The second caution came out on lap 71, and Packard restarted 15th, working her way around the 3/8ths mile track, for the next 75 laps, moving up to 13th place.  “There were a good amount of laps that we were running and taking down lap cars. We were trying to make passes and fill any holes that we could.”   When the final caution came out on lap 146, Packard found herself restarting in 12th position, as the 17RI spun out while battling for the lead.  When the checkers fell, Packard came home with a 12th place finish.  “I think it’s a very respectable finish and I am really happy with it going into the start of the season,” said Packard.  “And a big thank you to my sponsors, Northstar Fireworks, Packard Fuels, Yipes! of Barre, Fecteau Homes, Berlin Optical Expressions, GossCars.com, Be the Match, Rutland Regional Medical Center, and R.G. Paving.”

Next up for Packard is the ACT Race at Thunder Road April 26th and 27th. 


Emily Packard on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EmilyPackardMotorsports
Emily Packard on Twitter: @EmilyPackard9