Bangor driver Smith looking forward to White Mountain race

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff
Posted May 19, 2011, at 6:16 p.m.

Bangor’s Gary Smith will make his Pro All-Stars Series Super Late Model North debut Saturday night when the tour invades the White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H.

Racing starts at 4 p.m.

Smith finished seventh in points last season, his best finish since he wound up fifth in 2004, but he missed the first two races and intends to run just selected PASS races this season.

He did run the 300-lap PASS South race at North Wilkesboro Speedway (N.C.) in April and finished 24th.

Smith said his son, Jesse, who is also his crew chief, is racing in the Late Model division at Hermon’s Speedway 95 this season so he will return the favor.

“I’m just going to go to the places I like,” said Smith who considers White Mountain Motorsports Park one of his favorites.

“It’s a real nice quarter-mile track,” said the 55-year-old Smith, who began racing in 1984.

“It’s all paved. It has real good banking. It’s really intense when you get 25-26 cars on the track.”

It certainly doesn’t hurt that Smith has a pair of second-place finishes there, either.

“It’s one of our better tracks. That’s also why we go there,” said Smith.

He will also go there with confidence.

“I like my chances,” said Smith. “I’ve had success down there so I know I can do it. You always look forward to going to a track where you’ve had success because you know there’s a (good) chance you could do it again.”

No matter how the season turns out, Smith has already had one of the highlights of his career by going to North Carolina for the race at the legendary track.

“The whole experience was awesome. It was definitely a highlight,” said Smith. “Just to go down to the south where racing started (is a thrill). We were on vacation down there and visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte and the Richard Childress Racing shop.”

He also said they got the opportunity to see and interact with a number of NASCAR celebrities.

“Donnie Allison and Junior Johnson were walking around talking to people and Matt Kenseth was there because his son (Ross) raced with us,” said Smith. “And Sterling Marlin’s (trailer) was two cars down and we shot the breeze with him. It was really relaxed and a lot of fun.”

He had mixed emotions about his 24th-place finish.

“There were 44 cars so we finished in the middle. It wasn’t a good run. We just didn’t have enough motor for what we were trying to do,” said Smith.

Underwood making Unity appearance

Former University of Maine women’s basketball star Ashley Underwood, who finished fourth in the recently-concluded reality series “Survivor:Redemption Island,” will be on hand to sign autographs and meet fans when Unity Raceway opens its season Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

The 111-lap Late Model race will highlight the race card, which will include racing in seven other classes. The winner of the 111-lap race will take home $1,111.

Unity Raceway was supposed to open last Sunday but was postponed due to rain.

Benton native Underwood starred at Augusta’s Cony High School before going on to the University of Maine where she scored more than 1,000 points (1,195).

She graduated with a degree in nursing in 2007 and played a season of professional basketball in Switzerland before returning to Maine and entering the Miss Maine USA contest.

It was her first pageant and she won it to earn a spot in the Miss USA pageant.

Revolution Racing duo leading points

Darrell Wallace Jr. and Sergio Pena, who drive for Cherryfield’s Andy Santerre and the Revolution Racing Team, are first and second in points through three races in the K&N Pro Series East standings and they will hope to extend their lead over the rest of the pack at the Pork “Be Inspired” 175 at Iowa Speedway Saturday night.

The race brings together the K&N Pro Series East and Pro Series West drivers who will try to negotiate the .875-mile oval.

Santerre is the competition director for Revolution Racing, which is part of the Drive for Diversity program.

Wallace, an African-American, and Pena, who is of Hispanic descent, have each won a race already this season.

This will be the series’ fourth race.

Wallace has racked up 495 points, 26 more than Pena.

The other two members of the Revolution Racing Team, Michael Cherry and Ryan Gifford, are 11th and 12th in points, respectively.

This will be the fifth consecutive year they have held a combination race at Iowa Speedway.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/05/19/sports/bangor-driver-smith-looking-forward-to-white-mountain-race/ printed on August 23, 2014