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Chad Heath scores top-10 finish in debut at Boyd Raceway, Earns more valuable IMCA points in Southern Oklahoma LAMESA, Texas (April 5, 2021) — Maine native and sophomore dirt track driver Chad Heath scored a solid top-10 finish in his debut at Boyd Raceway (Boyd, TX) on Friday, then capped the weekend with a respectable 13th-place run Saturday in his third race of the season at Southern Oklahoma Speedway. Heath drove the Wicked Race Cars-built No. 09k entry to a fourth-place finish in his Heat at Boyd. After making a few changes to his setup, he started the A Main 10th in a 14-car field. With some heads-up driving and a better-handling car, he powered on to cross the stripe in seventh place. “I really loved racing at Boyd Raceway,” Heath said. “It did get dry-slick early in the night, I think the wind had an affect on track conditions. I learned as the night went on and came away with another top-10 finish. It's what I need to do this year as the competition in Sport Mod becomes more intense.” On Saturday, it was back north to Ardmore, Oklahoma, for a return visit to the beautiful Southern Oklahoma Speedway. The DFW Local Late Models were in town, which meant a dry, slick track right off the bat. Saturday also saw Heath changing out a bad axle and seal, with a fellow racer helping out. “Dan Day and I raced door-to-door Friday night at Boyd, but when he saw me having problems on Saturday he walked over to offer me a new axle,” Heath said. “I really appreciated that, and hope I am earning respect from these guys. The axle and new seal got me back on track for Saturday night.” Day, of Farmersville, Texas, finished eighth in the A Main, while his son Matthew finished third. There was one rather scary moment in qualifying, when a car spun directly in front of Heath. “I saw him snap around and really had to yank the car quickly to get out around the outside of him,” Heath explained. “I somehow managed to steer clear of him and avoid the outside retaining wall. It got my attention, I'll tell you that. It always pays to be alert, because things happen pretty fast out there.” In the A Main, Heath's read end problems had vanished, yet he had another small problem to battle. “I was losing air in my right front tire towards the end, but there was enough left in it to limp on home,” a dejected Heath explained after his disappointing 13th-place finish. “I'm always striving to land inside the top 10, but last night it just got away from us. Overall, it was still a solid weekend.” Heath is chasing IMCA Southern Sport Mod Rookie-of-the-Year points, and continues to lead the national standings. As of the previous weekend's races (through March 27), Heath led by 61 points over Ricky Johnston. It's still relatively early with tons of racing, yet it's a strong start towards achieving that goal. “It is a grind with all of this travel, running at two tracks every weekend,” Heath added. “But I'm going to keep going to different tracks as often as I can. I am learning how to adapt to different layouts, and I'm earning maximum points towards my ROTY goal. I'm having fun and learning a ton every week.” Up next for Chad Heath Racing and the No. 09k IMCA Southern Sport Mod entry is another two-race weekend on April 9-10, more than likely featuring a return visit to Boyd on Friday and to Ardmore on Saturday. To follow the team's progress all season long, go to www.facebook.com/chadheath09k.
PhilWhipple posted a topic in Announcements, Press Releases, and ResultsLAMESA, Texas (March 28, 2021) — With temperatures going up and race season in full swing throughout the deep south, it's starting to feel a lot like summer for one Maine native now racing in Texas and Oklahoma. Chad Heath continued his busy string of short track races, posting respectable finishes at the Heart O' Texas Speedway (Elm Mott) and Cotton Bowl Speedway (Paige) over the weekend. Friday he started 19th and drove to a 16th-place finish at HoT and capped the weekend with an 8th-place run (after starting eighth) at CBS. “I found Heart O' Texas to be a fast, slick and challenging track,” Heath said. “With the Late Models there, it got slick earlier than normal. I struggled in my heat and tried to get ready for the B Main. As we rolled out onto the track for that, they called us back in and told us we all had made the A Main.” That decision by officials prevented Heath from risking damage to his car before the feature. It offered a chance to adjust and prepare for the A Main, a race Heath knew would be intense. “The competition in Southern Sport Mods at Heart O' Texas is some of the most intense in the entire state,” Heath said. “I figured it was a good chance to see how I measure up against those guys, to see if I could run with them. I had a few scary moments, but we earned some points and didn't wreck the car.” On Saturday, it was off to the friendly confines of Cotton Bowl, where promoter Mary Ann Naumann and her staff were hosting Round 2 of their 2021 scheduled points races. The No. 09k Wicked Race Cars-built entry of Heath was fast in qualifying, with a third-place finish in his Heat. “Conditions were a lot more like the day I tested there a month or so ago,” Heath explained. “The car handled more like I expected it to this time. I got hung up in traffic a while early in the feature, but once I got free I could begin to make some headway. I just love Cotton Bowl, there's room to race.” Heath's goal of going after IMCA Southern Sport Mod Rookie-of-the-Year honors this year will take a huge effort. Lots of travel, lots of busy Friday and Saturday nights, but also a ton of learning. As a man who keeps critical generators running for a living, this type of challenge is an ideal pastime. “I love to learn, I love racing and this year I'm getting to compete at some great tracks here in Texas,” he added. “Heart O' Texas is a fast little bullring, a lot like Thunder Road Speedbowl up in Vermont. It may be dirt instead of asphalt, but you need to be up on the wheel every lap. It's an absolute blast. “And Cotton Bowl is a driver's track, with long straightaways that let you stretch your legs. It takes big power and a good chassis setup to be successful there. If I can learn to run near the front there, I will be doing a big stroke of business. These Sport Mod guys down here are good, and they don't budge at all.” To follow Chad's progress throughout the season, go to www.facebook.com/chadheath09k. (Photo credit: Rachel Plant)
PhilWhipple posted a topic in Announcements, Press Releases, and ResultsFor immediate release: MFM Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Tel: 207.689.6630 Larry Baggett set to make Sport Mod debut at Cotton Bowl Speedway Former Street Stock racer returns to home track on Saturday BURNET, Texas (Aug. 7, 2020) — One of the most popular and well respected short track drivers in central Texas is about to enjoy a little homecoming party. Once a regular in the Street Stock division, he's climbing into a car owner's IMCA Sport Modified this weekend and couldn't possibly be any happier. Veteran racer Larry Baggett will make his debut for Mike Fortier Motorsports (MFM) in the No. 51VT entry this Saturday, Aug. 8, at Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas. It'll be Baggett's maiden voyage in the ultra-competitive Sport Mod class, yet he's no stranger to the high-banked oval. “I'm so excited to get back to Cotton Bowl on Saturday,” Baggett said. “I like the bullrings, but Cotton Bowl has the room to see what a car can do down the straightaway. I took a short blast in this car last night, and the power made my blood boil. I can't wait to roll out for Hot Laps tomorrow night.” Baggett was racing a full-size truck around south Texas this season, but has now shifted his focus to the MFM Sport Mod program. It's a chance to expand his racing resume working with a friend. “It's hard to describe how thrilled I am to have this opportunity,” Baggett added. “Mike has busted his butt to make this happen, and I appreciate all of his efforts. This whole deal will be big fun, no-stress racing for me, and I think we're bringing a strong car to the race track. I'm pretty stoked.” Fortier has been busy in this hectic, pandemic-shortened season working for Cotton Bowl promoter Mary Ann Naumann. Once he delivered his car to Baggett's shop, Fortier relied on Baggett and friends to prepare the car for competition. Improvements we made, and the car owner is thrilled. “It feels like a long time since we announced this deal with Larry, but thanks to his hard work we're just about ready to hit the track,” Fortier said. “The car has come a long way since I brought it up from San Antonio. David Lawrence built a strong engine for us, and Larry has the car all ready to go.” As the owner of a busy company, Fortier's driver has had to balance his time carefully in 2020. “Larry has been very busy with his business, By the Bay Lawn Care & Landscaping. I know he has a full plate without racing for me, but I sure am thrilled he's willing to do this. I have nothing but respect for he and Shawna, they are great folks and I know the 51VT entry is always in good hands.” Baggett bought his first race car in 2016, a Chevy Camaro for the Street Stock class. He finished a respectable eighth in points for his first year behind the wheel. In 2017, he purchased a Chevy Nova to run in the same class car and finished fourth in final points. Baggett's career highlight came in 2019 when he claimed the inaugural Texas Dirt Truck Series points championship. Fortier grew up in Vermont and started attending races at the age of 8, eventually joining a race team when he was just 19. He became a car owner in 1998 fielding a Late Model in the highly-respected American-Canadian Tour and at the famed Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre. To keep up with news on results, future race dates and other plans, please visit the Mike Fortier Motorsports Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mfm51/.
PhilWhipple posted a topic in Announcements, Press Releases, and ResultsFor immediate release: MFM Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Tel: 207.689.6630 Larry Baggett joins Mike Fortier Motorsports for part-time Sport Mod effort in 2020 Reigning Texas Dirt Truck Truck Series champ to run six races BURNET, Texas (March 4, 2020) — Two veteran race personalities in the Lone Star State are joining forces for a part-time yet surely competitive Sport Mod effort in 2020. A longtime car owner from New England who now calls Texas his home and a North Carolina native are a natural pair. Defending Texas Dirt Truck Series champion Larry Baggett has announced his intentions to wheel the No. 51VT IMCA Sport Mod entry fielded by Mike Fortier Motorsports. The pair will run approximately six races at Cotton Bowl Speedway, I-37 Speedway and at Texana Raceway. “I was beyond excited when Mike reached out to me with this opportunity,” Baggett said. “I am honored to strap into his Sport Mod and will do my best to put it into Victory Lane this season. Mike is one of those guys with years of experience and knowledge. I'll enjoy working with him on the setups. “We'll do whatever we have to do to get his car dialed in. This is going to be a chance for me to grow as a racer and hone my skills further. The guys who drive multiple cars stay sharp, so this won't hurt my truck program at all. I'm gunning to defend my TDTS title, but racing for Mike will be fun.” Fortier is part of the staff at Cotton Bowl this year, working with Mary Ann and H. Naumann on IT-related matters and as a Pit Steward coordinating lineups. Now approaching the age of 69, Fortier has an extensive background in racing in both his native New England and in south Texas. “I'm absolutely thrilled with where I'm at at Cotton Bowl right now, working with Mary Ann at what I feel is the best-run track in Texas,” Fortier said. “Yet my desire to field a car is still there, and now, I have a driver with a stellar reputation and down-home personality. I couldn't be any happier. “Larry is a great fit for this team. He takes care of equipment and really uses his head out on the track. He'll get the most out of the car each time he competes, yet he won't destroy it when things aren't going so well. I'm very fortunate to have his skills behind the wheel, and can't wait to go racing.” Baggett, aka 'Cowboy', 50, of Burnet, Texas, has been involved in racing nearly all of his life. Growing up in his native state of North Carolina, he spent his weekends going to drag races with his sister, Audrey Pope. Larry enjoyed hanging out in the pits and learning the ropes. He bought his own race car in 2016, a Chevy Camaro for the Street Stock class on dirt. He finished a respectable eighth in points for his first year behind the wheel. In 2017, he purchased a Chevy Nova to run in the same class car and finished fourth in final points. Baggett's career highlight was winning the inaugural Texas Dirt Truck Series championship last year in a steady, consistent effort. Fortier grew up in Vermont and started attending races at the age of 8, eventually joining a race team when he was just 19. He became a car owner in 1998 fielding a Late Model in the highly-respected American-Canadian Tour and at the famed Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre. He established a racing business partnership with the Australia-based Just Hafta brand of apparel, with sales proceeds across North America funding the race team. In the late 1990s, Fortier designed and developed a software program known as Race Team Notebook, used by many teams. To keep up with news on race dates and plans, please visit the Mike Fortier Motorsports Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mfm51/.