Strap In Racing by Big Bigelow: Help Me! What’s The Difference Between “Rubbing Is Racing” and Flat Out Wrecking Someone?

Add Another Trophy to the Trophy Case - Wayne Helliwell Jr. (27NH) won the American-Canadian Tour Midsummer 250 and the $10,000 top prize at White Mountain Motorsports Park, August 3. That’s Jesse Swister in the 25 and Reilly Lanphear outside them in the 21VT. Helliwell Jr. also won a 150-lapper the Saturday before this at WMMP. (Photo by Big Bigelow)

Bubba Wallace used his Twitter account to send a message to Kyle Busch after Watkins Glen. And he wants the rest of the Cup drivers to hear him.

Wallace wrote: “I’m going to get my respect on the track, and I don’t care who it is, that’s for when guys fail to think about the young guys, I guess, or with me. I won’t put up with no s***. So I flat out wrecked his ass back.”

Wallace said he spun into the wall on lap 39 because Busch, “Just run me the (beep) over. I don’t care if I’m two years in, rookie stripes or what.”

• William Byron didn’t join Kyle’s fan club Sunday, either. On lap two, they made contact and Busch spun out. It didn’t seem like a big deal. But later in the race, while battling for second, they were approaching the “Inner Loop” and Busch bumped Byron, knocking him off the track. His crew chief Chad Knaus keyed his radio and said, “If I see the 18 come back here without you knocking the **** out of him, we’re going to have a problem.” Byron didn’t wreck him.

• Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Blaney also got together, with the 48 going around. They chatted after the race. When asked about the conversation, Johnson said, “I was trying to hear what he had to say but his lips were quivering so bad he can’t even speak. I guess he’s nervous or scared, maybe both, I don’t know what the hell the problem is … He claims it was racing, I can’t wait to go racing. Everybody stay tuned.”

Blaney said, “He’s angry, I can’t blame him for being angry. He’s trying to get in the Playoffs right now and have good runs. Trust me, the last guy I want to spin out is Jimmie. We always race great together. I’ve looked up to him for a long time and still do, and he’s the last guy I want to spin out. It didn’t end well.”

• It’s one thing for the TV racers to bump and run or just flat out wreck someone. They have lots of cars back at the shop and if one car gets trashed the crew will just go get a different one. Heck, some teams have used three cars in one weekend.

NASCAR could use some excitement and a few ongoing feuds. But this crap has trickled down to short-track racing, which is causing some low car counts because teams are out of money. When I used to go to the races as a youngster, I wanted to see wrecks, big wrecks, the more cars involved the more I liked it. And the fans near me all seemed to like the accidents, too. My dad stopped driving when I was nine so I don’t recall him working on race cars.

Little did I know it took money and a lot of time from guys who were working full-time jobs.

• Jimmie Johnson, like I said earlier, questioned Blaney when he said, ”He claims it was racing, I can’t wait to go racing. Everybody stay tuned.”

And, let me say, Blaney is one of the good guys, he doesn’t run over guys.

I’ve never liked the bump and run. And if it’s my guy getting booted up the track I like it even less. What now seems to be the norm at short tracks, and it ticks me off, is when a driver uses his front bumper to gently nudge a guy out of the groove. I still say if you have to make contact before you pass on the inside, there wasn’t a hole and you’re not much of a race car driver.

Every time there’s contact on the track, everyone wants the race director to penalize someone. Your guy never does anything wrong so the other guy was at fault. Park him you say. When the race director sees someone spin someone out, the guy causing the spin usually goes to the rear

ACT Late Model Tour

• RESULTS – WMMP, August 3: 1. Wayne Helliwell Jr., 2. Stephen Donahue, 3. Jason Corliss, 4. Scott Dragon, 5. Rich Dubeau, 6. Quinten Welch, 7. Ryan Kuhn, 8. Scott Payea, 9. Joel Hodgdon, 10. Jimmy Hebert, 11. Dylan Payea, 12. Christopher Pelkey, 13. Trent Goodrow, 14. Adam Gray, 15. Mathieu Kingsbury, 16. Matt Anderson, 17. Scott Coburn, 18. Cody Leblanc, 19. Jesse Switser, 20. Jonathan Bouvrette, 21. Mark Jenison, 22. Bryan Kruczek, 23. Shawn Swallow, 24. Cody Blake, 25. John Donahue. Corey Mason DQ (rough riding).

• Lap Leaders: Dragon, 1-3; Donahue, 4-78; Welch, 79-82; Donahue, 83; Welch, 84-170; Hebert, 171-179; Payea, 180-219; Donahue, 220-227; Hebert, 228-246; Helliwell Jr., 247-250. (Nine lead changes among six drivers.)

• Time of Race: 1:59:06

• Margin of Victory: 0.151 seconds

• Cautions: 12 (37, 75 [competition], 78, 82, 83, 170, 179, 219, 228, 236, 246, 246).

• The Tour has the up-coming weekend off.

• POINTS – After WM (8/03) 7 of 10 races: 1. Rich Dubeau 743, 2. Jimmy Hebert 722, 3. Scott Payea 683, 4. Ryan Kuhn 641, 5. Dylan Payea 594, 6. Jonathan Bouvrette 577, 7. Christopher Pelkey 571, 8. Mathieu Kingsbury 550, 9. Stephen Donahue 493, 10. Claude Leclerc 467.


• AUGUST 10 – The Bullring Bash Quarter Mile Challenge presented by is in town. The 100-lap shootout pays $3,500 to win and $800 to start, making it one of the larger purses of the season for many asphalt Modified drivers. It is also an automatic qualifier for the $12,500-to-win Race of Champions 250 at Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie Speedway on September 29.

The WM Tigers and Late Models are racing, while the Strictly Stock Minis, Dwarf Cars and Kids Trucks have the day off. Post time is 6 p.m. *Note the early start time.

Speedway 51

• AUGUST 10 – The 350 Super Modified Atlantic Charter Tour hits the high banks for their first-ever visit to the Groveton, NH quarter-mile. Also on the card are the Tiger Sportsman, Street Stocks, Daredevils, and Bone Stocks, plus Spectator Drags, Power Wheels Racing and a Kids Penny Scramble.

Gates open at 3 p.m., racing starts at 6 p.m.

Bear Ridge

• AUGUST 10 – Swenson Insurance Co. sponsors the night. Fans will see the Dirtcar Sportsman Modifieds, Dirtcar Sportsman Coupes, USAC DMA Midgets, Limited Late Models, Four Cylinders and the Granite State Mini Sprints.

Gates open at 3 p.m. racing starts at 6 p.m.


• AUGUST 11 – Honey Badger Bar & Grill Pass 150, at Oxford Plains, ME. Joining the Super Late Models are the PASS Mods and Street Stocks. Gates open at 1 p.m., racing begins at 5 p.m.

Thunder Road

• POINTS – going into August 8: 1. Jason Corliss 713, 2. Trampas Demers 702, 3. Scott Dragon and Kyle Pembroke 698, 5. Cody Blake 678, 6. Marcel J. Gravel 666, 7. Matt White 660, 8. Phil Scott 638, 9. Tyler Cahoon and Chris Pelkey 627.

• AUGUST 15 – It’s Vermont Tire & Service Night. On tap are Late Models, Flying Tigers, Street Stocks and Road Warriors. Post time is 7 p.m.

Until Next Week

Get out to a short track this weekend, but remember: “If you’re not having fun, stay home and don’t bother those of us who are.”

Biggy can be reached at R. Bigelow, 294 Hillside Dr., St. Johnsbury, VT 05819 or


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.