Monday, April 23, 2012

Unity Raceway ~ 4/21/12

reprinted from

Right Where He Left Off – Bourgoine Wins at Unity

The Amsoil Nelcar Legends Tour 2012 season kicked off right where it left off at Unity Raceway. After ending last season on a hot streak, Matt Bourgoine picked up right where he left off in 2011 by opening up the season with a big win at “Maine’s Toughest Track.” While the forecast showed rain, the sun came out, and the Legends Cars hit the track for the first time of 2012.

For the first heat race it was former Nelcar Champion Steve Fox on the pole with Bourgoine on the outside. Bourgoine was able to use the outside fast line to his advantage and get the lead early as Fox settled into second. Coming from the rear was the 27 green machine of Kevin Hutchens, as he was making moves and trying to close in on Bourgoine. At the finish though, Bourgoine drove on with the heat win while Hutchens and Fox rounded out the top three.

The second heat race two of the Tour’s new young talents, Dan Winter in the 81 and Reid Lanpher in the 59 on the front row. Once again the outside proved strong, as Lanpher was able to get out with the race lead. Alan Smith in car 33 was able to fight his way into second with Ed Getty in the 10 car following into third. That’s the way it would finish as Lanpher picked up with first ever Legends heat win.

The start of the race saw the two heat winners, Bourgoine and Lanpher leading the 16 car Legends field to the green flag. Going into turn one, Bourgoine was able to clear Lanpher for the race lead while Hutchens and Smith followed. On lap three, the 12 car of Tour veteran Charlie Buxton had a steering column issue and stopped in turn one, bringing out the race’s lone yellow flag.

A new rule over the offseason is the leader of the race is able to choose whether they restart on the inside or outside, and Bourgoine was the first driver to take advantage of that as he jumped to the outside on the start. Hutchens made a charge for second on Lanpher as the two battled hard. Behind the leaders there was a great race going on for fourth between five drivers with Smith leading that battle. As the field kept driving hard, Bourgoine widened his gap, and picked up the win. Lanpher got his career best finish in second, while Hutchens rounded out the podium. Alan Smith was able to barely beat at a hard charging Bob Weymouth at the line for fourth.

Yet another season has begun and you can bet Bourgoine will be a threat throughout the season. Defending champion Evan Beaulieu started off the season with a sixth place finish and you can be assured those two will be having a great battle for the title while Bob Weymouth will be quick to point out, it’s an even year and each of his previous four championships have come in even years. Either way it will be a great 2012 season and it will continue next weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as the Tour will be going left and right on the 1.6 mile road course on Saturday, April 28th. For more news, info and how you can get into Legends Car racing, visit