PLATTSBURGH — Mark Lamberton, the 2001 Airborne Speedway Late Model Champion, will compete in the Ernie's Tools Modified division in 2007. Lamberton has been an American Canadian Late Model Tour (ACT) regular in recent years. He enjoyed his best ACT season ever in 2006 when he finished fifth in the point standings."I have nothing but respect and admiration for ACT, it's an outstanding organization," Lamberton said, "but in a way, it's outgrown me. The travel involved became a burden, especially for my crew."I bought a 2006 Bicknell chassis modified from former Utica-Rome champion Jessica Zemken, who's gone on to sprint car racing."Lamberton, of Mooers Forks, has six career Late Model wins and 12 Sportsman victories at Airborne. He is beginning the transformation from Late Models to DIRT-style open-wheel modifieds with help from Roger Trombley, a former crew chief for New York State Stock Car Association Hall-of-Famer Dick Nephew.Team members include Randy Bosley, Phil Perry and Dale Brassard. Sample Lumber of Mooers, R. Hogan Excavating, Jeffords Steel and Sound Obsession are sponsoring the car."The Modifieds have a totally different set-up than a Late Model, so being familiar with the track is only going to help so much," Lamberton said."The Modifieds have much bigger tires, a higher center of gravity, straight front-axle suspension and twice the horsepower. I'm going to be on a learning curve from week-to week. I'm going to have to learn how to race each individual out there while trying not to tear the car up and letting the top runners do what they've got to do."Lamberton's machine will be powered by a newly developed Airborne Speedway spec motor prepared by engine builder Pat Morrison."We're introducing this optional 400 c.i. motor, which has aluminum heads and spec parts and costs about $10,000, as a way of decreasing costs for our modified competitors while maintaining competitive fields," said Airborne promoter Mike Perrotte.Airborne Speedway will begin its 53rd stock car racing season Saturday, May 12, with the 33rd Furniture World Spring Green ACT Late Model Tour event. All weekly Airborne divisions — the Ernie's Tools Modifieds, J&S Steel Sportsmen, Versatile Trailer Sales Renegades, US Army Warriors and Monster Energy Drink Bombers are also on the opening day card.For additional information, contact promoter Mike Perrotte, at 561-3208, or visit www.airbornespeedway.net.
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