Big John 59 race to roll at Unity Raceway Saturday night

Posted Aug. 26, 2011, at 5:07 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 26, 2011, at 7:30 p.m.

UNITY — The Big John 59 late model race will be held in memory of driver John Phippen at 6 p.m. Saturday at Unity Raceway.

Phippen, a popular Town Hill race car driver, collapsed and died of a heart attack in his trailer following a 100-lap race at Hermon’s Speedway 95 in September. Phippen drove car No. 59.

Saturday night’s race will showcase many of the area’s late model drivers such as Unity points leader David Folsom. Spud Speedway regular Jeff Willette is traveling down from Aroostook County for the race.

Other top competitors include Tim Turner, Cassius Clark, Dylan Turner, Will Collins, Josh St Clair, and Ben Clark

Lap money will be awarded throughout the 59 laps. There will also be racing in the regular racing divisions, as well as Ride With Your Favorite Driver for the kids.

Stewart seeks three teams

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Tony Stewart wants to run three full Sprint Cup teams next season regardless of how many races Danica Patrick enters.

Patrick is set to drive eight to 10 races for Stewart-Haas Racing next season when she moves from IndyCar to NASCAR. It’s expected to be preparation for a full Cup schedule in 2013.

But Stewart said he’d like to get that team up and running immediately and is looking for another driver and sponsor to fill the 36-race schedule.

“If we can put together a package to run somebody in the rest of the races, we would love to do that,” Stewart said at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“It’s in everybody’s best interest to do that and I know it would be good for us as a team to run that car full time next year if that opportunity presents itself.”

Stewart would not say which races Patrick will run next year, although it would make sense for her debut to be in the season-opening Daytona 500.

“We’re working on her schedule,” Stewart said. “We’ve got a lot of stuff to do. There’s a lot of stuff not done yet.”

Patrick will race the full Nationwide Series schedule next season for JR Motorsports. It’s undecided if she’ll drive in the Indianapolis 500, but JRM co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he would not stand in her way.

“She can do whatever she wants to do, it doesn’t matter to me,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “If I had any experience in those cars, I might know a little bit more about the answer. But, whatever she feels like she wants to do, she ought to do it.”

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