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Jul 23, 2014 - 06:57 AM
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Packard Scores Top-10 In ACT International 300
Posted by: newsla on Jul 23, 2014 - 06:54 AM
Packard Scores Top-10 In ACT International 300

Instead of spending valuable time at Airborne Park Speedway dialing the car in for the American Canadian Tour International 300 race, Emily Packard and her team spent all of Saturday in the race shop repairing the car from the previous night at Devil’s Bowl. The time paid off, as Packard was able to drive her 9x Northstar Fireworks/Packard Fuels car to an overall tenth place finish in a race that saw late model drivers from both ACT and SÉRIE ACT compete for the $25,000 purse.


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In practice, Packard and the team focused on getting the car race ready and ensuring that the damages from Friday night were repaired. Taking to the track for the heat, Packard started in the 6th position, and in the 10 laps drove her way to the 4th spot and securing her starting position in the race. This gave her a +2 and earned her a 9th place start in the first segment.

“We got a little behind the eight ball in the first segment,” said Packard, “We were really too loose throughout the entire 50 lap segment, and it really hurt us.” Packard slipped back a few positions throughout the race as she was fighting an ill handling race car that was loose in and had no drive off the corners, resulting in a 12th place finish in the first segment.

After the first segment was complete, the field was inverted through the top 24 positions, and this gave Packard a 13th place starting spot for the second segment. “In segment two we had a little bit better handling car but it still lacked the drive off,” Packard said, “We were able to gain a couple positions there towards the end.” In the 75 laps of the second segment, Packard continued to provide information to the team so that they could work on the car and get it ready for the final 75 lap segment. Finishing 11th in segment 2, Packard had an overall score of 23 and was 8th overall going into the final segment.

As the field headed into the final segment, the top 21 positions were inverted, and Packard had herself a 9th place starting position. “We took a swing at it and got it as close as we could to handle, and it was better than in the first two segments,” said Packard. “It was still a little free in and would push really bad in the center of the turns, but the car had the drive off that I needed.” Finding that she was better on the outside, Packard spent most of the second segment running the top groove trying to get by cars and move towards the front. When the checkers fell, Packard had moved up to 8th place, giving her combined 31 points which was enough to give her a tenth place finish in the ACT International 300. “We were able to improve the car after each segment and get at 10th place over all finish,” Packard said. “We are really happy with what we were able to do as a team considering the state the car was in on Saturday.”

“A big thank you to my team; Neal, Sammy, Frankie, and my mom and dad, for all the hard work to repair the car and get it ready for this race,” said Packard. “We needed to rebuild the right side of the car, but everyone pulled together and got it done. I also want to thank all my sponsors, Northstar Fireworks, Packard Fuels, Be the Match, R.G. Paving, Rutland Regional Medical Center, Fecteau Homes, Vermont Shifter Carts, Yipes! of Barre, Berlin Optical Expressions, and GossCars.com.”

On Friday night, Packard and the 9x Northstar Fireworks/Packard Fuels team set out to gain valuable points on a double points night at Devil’s Bowl, where Packard sat second place in the championship points, just one point behind the leader.

“We had a really good car all day, the car was fast from the second we unloaded it,” Packard said, “When we first went out, the tire pressure in the left front was not set properly and was virtually flat, but we will still turning fast laps so we knew we had a great car for the race.” Starting the heat race in 4th, Packard drove her way toward the front being beat to the line by Fisher by a couple of inches after 10 laps.

In the 30 lap feature, Packard started 10th and took her time working her way forward to catch the leader. Finding herself in a three wide battle for the lead and on the bottom, with the 51 and 18 to her outside, the 51 made the move towards the bottom in the middle of the corner and tangling with Packard. With damage to the right front, Packard headed to the pits so that the crew could attend to the tire rub and get her back out on the track. When she returned to the track, Packard had to restart from last place. She wasted no time working her way back up to the front, picking her way through the field. With a few laps to go and battling for 4th Packard was mired behind a car, and shifted to the top of the track to make the move by, but was pushed too high and was unable to make the pass. With a 5th place finish, Packard dropped to 3rd in the points, 10 points out of the lead, and 7 points out of second.

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