McAleer and Butler Look to Rebound at NES in a Big Way

Date: 3/8/2011 9:24:59 PM

McAleer and Butler Look to Rebound at NES in a Big Way
New Egypt, NJ - Opening Day can’t come quick enough for two drivers who are just itching to get the 2011 season started.  Tabernacle NJ’s  Mike McAleer as well as Phillipsburg, NJ’s Gary Butler have already filed an entry for the ‘Cabin Fever Challenge’ for New Egypt Speedway’s Race of Champions tour race. 
Mike McAleer suffered a season-ending injury last May at NES.  This year, he’s looking to put that all behind him.  “After how we ran in 2009, I was so excited about the 2010 season and then we were out just like that,” McAleer lamented.  Mike finished a career high 4th in points during the 2009 NES season finishing only behind Bobby Drayton, Billy Pauch, and track champion Rick Laubach.  2010 wasn’t anything like the previous year for the Craig Pondish owned C&S Equipment No. 6 team. 
“I felt so bad for the Craig and the guys on the team because we worked so hard and had so much success the year before, and to have it just end like that seven races into the season was really a bummer.  McAleer, who just turned 41 last month already has that look in his eyes and has big plans on going back to Atlantic City where New Egypt hosts its annual awards banquet at the end of the year.  “Right now we just want to win races.  As they say if you win races, the points will come, so that’s how we’re taking it in 2011.  Craig gives me everything I need to get the job done so there are no excuses for us this year.  I’m ready for racing to begin and what better way to start out the season with a chance at $10,000 at my home track.” 
Gary Butler also known as “The Phillipsburg Phantom” can relate to everything Mike McAleer was feeling last season.  Butler made the move up to modifieds prior to the beginning of the 2009 season.  Gary surprised everyone by capturing the $3,000 paycheck on opening day that year.  Later that season, Butler made a visit to the Accord Speedway where he flipped and injured his shoulder.  Butler’s season was done after such a promising start to his return in the Big Blocks. 
Once the 2010 season began, Butler was ready to get back in the swing of things.  An early May victory was just what the doctor had ordered to get AKA Motorsports driver back on the right track.  The 45-year old Butler has a ton of experience in his corner which is always an asset when it comes to short-track racing.  Butler has won races at Flemington, Nazareth, East Windsor, and of course NES.  He’s no stranger to victory lane and plans on being there this coming season.  “I’m ready.  Artie and the guys they’re ready too.  We definitely struggled a little bit last year, but I think we sorted out those problems and we’re all looking forward to a new season down at New Egypt.   We won this race two years ago so why not this year.  It’s going to be a lot tougher but we’re up for the challenge,” Butler noted.
Pit gates open at 9am for ‘Early Bird’ inspection on Saturday, March 26.  General Admission gates will open at 2pm with hot laps starting at 3pm and the first heat race slated for 4pm.  The 60-lap Modified race will also be a qualifier for the ‘Anthracite Assault 60’ which will be held at Big Diamond Raceway later in the year.  For more information please log onto

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