The American Canadian Tour (ACT) announced today that the highly anticipated Ford Blue Oval Challenge winner’s share of the overall point fund has been increased from $3,000 up to $5,000 to win. A lucrative Ford contingency program was announced late last fall for the teams on both the ACT US and Castrol programs. Also, all Ford teams running at approved affiliate ACT tracks will be eligible to receive bonus money in the Blue Oval Challenge Cup portion of the overall program. Mike Delahanty, the Program Manager-Sportsman Circle Track Racing for the Ford Racing Technology Division of Ford Racing, announced last February the program for ACT Ford competitors. It is one of the richest contingency programs in the history of ACT with over $35,000 up for grabs among the region’s Ford crate teams.
“I know all the Ford teams that are associated with ACT are very appreciative of the support Ford Racing has given those teams that are supporting them,” said ACT President Tom Curley. “We have at least 10 teams that will be receiving points for this program in the 2010 season in both Tour racing and weekly racing. The jump from $3,000 to win the inaugural Blue Oval Challenge Cup to $5,000 certainly speaks to Ford’s commitment to short track racing in our region,” finished Curley.
Over the past couple of years, the Ford-powered S347JR was researched and developed by Ford racing with assistance from Butler & MacMaster Engines from Hallowell, ME. “We are excited to be part of the ACT Ford racing program,” said Dave MacMaster, the chief architect and the single individual most responsible for the 10-year success of the ACT GM type crate revolution, which has now become popular across the entire country. “When you look at the high caliber ACT teams that have taken on the Ford crates going into 2010, I think that is a very healthy sign for short track racing in our neck of the woods,” concluded MacMaster.
High profile teams like three-time Thunder Road Speedbowl Champion Cris Michaud from Williamstown, VT and fellow Vermonter, 50-year veteran Joey Laquerre from Barre, VT, will be joined by young superstar Joey Polewarczyk from Hudson, NH, and Lee USA defending track champion Wayne Helliwell, Jr. from Dracut MA. Also making the switch to Ford in 2010 are two former Maine champions, Glen Luce from Turner and noted car builder and nine-time Oxford Plains Champion Jeff Taylor from Norridgewock.
This Sunday the 12th Annual Merchants Bank 150 opens the ACT and Thunder Road 2010 seasons. The Ford teams will get their first chance to pick up a $500 dollar Ford bonus with a win, and they can make history as the first Ford ever to win an ACT Tour event— (Michaud won the first ever ACT Ford crate feature race at Thunder Road during the 2009 season). Posted awards total over $27,000 and over 60 teams from throughout the northeast and provinces of Ontario and Quebec are expected to attempt to qualify for thirty starting spots.
The winner will also be the first of the year to earn an invitation to compete at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the second ACT Invitational over the NASCAR Cup Chase weekend in September. Class day begins at 1:00 with post time scheduled for 1:30.