Exciting changes have been announced for the 2009 American-Canadian Tour Late Model Championship stock car racing schedule. The 12-event calendar will put the Northeast’s premier Late Model touring series race teams to the test, bringing them to championship races at nine vastly different tracks in the United States and Canada, with an additional five “bonus” events at four tracks, including the division’s first superspeedway race at the 1-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The series begins its 18th season at the 3/8-mile Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH on Sunday, April 19, with the race distance increased from 100 laps in 2008 to 150 for 2009. The second event is the Merchants Bank 150 at the 1/4-mile Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl bullring in Barre, VT on Sunday, May 3. The Airborne Speedway half-mile in Plattsburgh, NY hosts the 35th Annual Spring Green 100 on Saturday, May 9, with Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway holding the first of its two 150-lap races on Sunday, May 17. The ACT Late Model Tour returns to Thunder Road on Sunday, May 24 for the 47th Annual Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic, a Twin 100 doubleheader with the open-wheel True Value Modified Racing Series.
The historic, 3/8-mile Waterford Speedbowl on the Connecticut shoreline will return to the ACT schedule on Saturday, June 13 for a 100-lap event, and the scenic White Mountain Motorsports Park 1/4-mile in North Woodstock, NH will hold its annual 150-lap race on Saturday, June 27. Ontario’s Kawartha Speedway, a state-of-the-art, 4/10-mile oval near the city of Peterborough, will host the Summer Sizzler 200 on Sunday, July 12.
ACT racing makes its much-anticipated return to the 1/3-mile Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, ME, just outside Portland, on Saturday, July 25. Also making a return to the ACT schedule is the 1/3-mile Twin State Speedway in Claremont, NH, on Friday, July 31. The ACT Late Model Tour last visited Beech Ridge in 1993, while Twin State last hosted the Tour in 2004.
Thunder Road will host the 31st running of the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 on Sunday, September 6, with the championship season drawing to a close at the Oxford Plains Speedway 3/8-mile on Sunday, October 11.
Five dates have been held open for a series of non-points events, beginning with the CARQUEST Vermont Governor’s Cup 150 at Thunder Road on Thursday, June 25, and followed by the 36th Annual TD Banknorth 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway, on Sunday, July 19 and the 2nd Annual Coors Light 200 “Showdown at Chaudière” at the high-banked Autodrome Chaudière in Vallée-Jonction, QC on Saturday, August 29. Each of these races will award the winner a guaranteed starting spot in the first-ever ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH. The ACT Invitational will be held on the weekend of Sept. 18-20 as part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Sylvania 300 weekend. The winners of each ACT Late Model Tour and Série ACT-Castrol event to the date of the ACT Invitational will also receive guaranteed starting berths at NHMS. The final “bonus” event is the 46th Annual Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl at Thunder Road on Sat./Sun., Sept. 26/27.
Many local Late Model competitors are expected at their home tracks to challenge the ACT Late Model Tour championship contenders, attempting to win a qualifying position for the NHMS event. Weekly Late Model competitors at nine Northeastern speedways compete under ACT-compliant rulebooks. Ricky Rolfe of Oxford Plains and Thunder Road’s John Donahue were each victorious in ACT events at their home tracks in 2008, while Waterford Speedbowl’s Bruce Thomas, Jr. led 50 laps and finished second in the Nutmeg State 100.
ACT Late Model Tour Champion Patrick Laperle of St-Denis-sur-Richelieu, QC will be honored at the 2008 ACT Banquet of Champions in South Burlington, VT on January 10, 2009. Details about the Banquet of Champions will be released soon. For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit www.acttour.com.
ACT Late Model Tour – 2009 Schedule
Event No. – Day/Date – Track – Location – Laps
1. Sun., Apr 19 – Lee USA Speedway – Lee, NH – 150
2. Sun., May 03 – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT – 150
3. Sat., May 09 – Airborne Speedway – Plattsburgh, NY – 100
4. Sun., May 17 – Oxford Plains Speedway – Oxford, ME – 150
5. Sun., May 24 – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT – 100
6. Sat., Jun 13 – Waterford Speedbowl – Waterford, CT – 100
*** Thu., Jun 25 – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT – 150
7. Sat., Jun 27 – White Mountain Motorsports Park – North Woodstock, NH – 150
8. Sun., Jul 12 – Kawartha Speedway – Fraserville, ON (Peterborough) – 200
*** Sun., Jul 19 – Oxford Plains Speedway – Oxford, ME – 250
9. Sat., Jul 25 – Beech Ridge Motor Speedway – Scarborough, ME (Portland) – 150
10. Fri., Jul 31 – Twin State Speedway – Claremont, NH – 100
*** Sat., Aug 29 – Autodrome Chaudière – Vallée-Jonction, QC – 200
11. Sun., Sep 06 – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT – 200
*** TBA, Sep 18-20 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon, NH – 50
*** Sat./Sun., Sep 26/27 – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT – 150
12. Sun., Oct 11 – Oxford Plains Speedway – Oxford, ME – 150
*** – denotes non-championship (non-points) events
Schedule subject to change
Sources: ACT PR