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May 11. 2013 2:16AM

Allen Lessels on Motor Sports: Tire testing at NHMS this week

LOUDON -- The Cup guys are coming.

Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth and a few of their rivals in NACAR's Sprint Cup series descend on New Hampshire Motor Speedway this week.

For NHMS, it's a week for testing and ticketing.

Gordon, Kenseth, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton and Dave Blaney are due at the track on Tuesday and Wednesday for a Goodyear tire test.

On Monday, speedway officials will team up with the Manchester Police Department and give out tickets - the good kind of tickets - in the city.

To help kick off Buckle Up NH Week, police will set up a seatbelt check on Elm Street near the Verizon Wireless Arena from noon to 2 p.m. Those who are checked and are wearing seatbelts will receive a pair of tickets to the New Hampshire 300 Sprint Cup race on July 14.

Gordon and the rest are scheduled to hit the track at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

They'll put their cars through the paces on the one-mile oval so Goodyear can come up with statistics and data to determine what it wants and needs for a tire for when the Cup folks return here for real for races in July and September.

Along the way during testing, the drivers will gain all the track knowledge possible and look for any little bit of an edge for the New Hampshire 300.

The grandstands will be open on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and fans can watch the drivers and their teams free of charge. The testing session is closed, though, and no one will be allowed in the infield.

Kenseth and Bowyer were both in the top five in Sprint Cup points going into Saturday night's race at Darlington. Kenseth moved from 11th to fourth in the standings when penalties against Joe Gibbs Racing for using an illegal engine part during the race he won in April at Kansas were reduced.

The penalty went from 50 to 12 points after Gibbs appealed the ruling.

Bowyer was fifth in points. Gordon was 14th, Logano 18th, Jeff Burton 19th and Blaney 30th going to Darlington.




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Tough news out of Claremont with Twin State Speedway closed for auto racing for the season.

Dennis Fleury is trying to sell the racetrack that has been in his family for decades.

Go-kart racing continues at Twin State with Archie Archambault again leasing the facility and running his program on Sundays.

The Kart series started last Sunday and will continue through the first weekend in October and a first-ever combination race with Rte. 106 RacePark in Pembroke.

"We'll do 50 laps in Pembroke on Saturday and 50 laps on Sunday at Twin State and it will be a combination points race," Archambault said.

His series is pretty much holding steady, Archambault said.

"It's about the same as last year," he said. "We gained as many people as moved on and have about 35-40 karts each week. It could be better. But the economy is still pretty tight. We do have a lot of new kids from the Claremont, Lebanon and White River Jct. area."

Racers range from six years old to about 35, Archambault said.

More information about the track and karting is available at twinstatespeedway.net.



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The American Canadian Tour's fourth race of the season was set for Saturday night at Airborne in Plattsburgh, NY.

Going into Saturday night, the three race winners thus far this year - Jimmy Hebert and Brian Hoar of Vermont and Wayne Helliwell of Dover - were ranked one-two-three in the point standings in that order.

Rhode Island' Ray Parent was fourth, Vermont's Brent Dragon fifth and Joey Polewarczyk of Hudson was sixth.

After Airborne, the next four ACT races will be in New Hampshire. The ACT is at Riverside in Groveton on June 2, at Canaan Fair Speedway on June 15, at White Mountain Motorsports Park on June 22 and at Star Speedway in Epping on July 6.


alessels@unionleader.com

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