Waterbury, VT – The 2015 American-Canadian Tour (ACT) schedule is shaping up to be one of the biggest in recent memory. The U.S. Tour will hold 13 point-counting events and three special events at 12 different tracks throughout the northeastern United States and Canada, featuring a variety of long-standing events, new tracks, and new alliances.
Four new races will grace the 2015 season, beginning with a 150-lap event at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, ME on Saturday, April 18 as part of a doubleheader with the Pro All Star Series (PASS). The race will be the first for ACT at Oxford since 2012, followed by a second 150-lap ACT event at the track on Saturday, June 27. ACT will also make its inaugural visit to the Thompson Speedway in Thompson, CT on Saturday, October 16, and Sunday, October 17 for a 100-lap race as part of the annual World Series of Speedway Racing. The Tour will return to Autodrome Chaudière in Valleé-Jct., QC on Saturday, September 12 for a 200-lap event, which will be both a PASS doubleheader and a combination race with Série ACT. The Chaudière event is one of three U.S./Canada combos on the calendar, joining the Spring Green 115 on Saturday, May 16 and the Fall Foliage 200 on Saturday, October 3, both at Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY. This also marks the return of the Spring Green to Airborne after being held at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT in recent years.
The non-point special events will be ones to watch as well. The ACT International at Airborne on Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19 will now see both the ACT Late Models and the PASS Super Late Models run 200 laps each. PASS will also visit Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, VT on Sunday, May 24 as part of the Memorial Day Classic. ACT will return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH on Saturday, September 26th for the 7th annual NHMS Bond Auto Invitational, and to Thunder Road on Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11 for the 53rd Milk Bowl.
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Waterbury, VT – A joint announcement between the American Canadian Tour (ACT) and the Pro ALL Stars Series (PASS) last November came as great news throughout the short track industry, particularly in the Northeast. Principals Tom Curley (ACT) and Tom Mayberry (PASS) decided that, after a decade of competing against each other in the region, it was time to re-energize the region’s full-fendered stock car racing competitors and their fans. They formed a working alliance for the 2015 season.
In a stunning program, they announced an aggressive three-track format, which will host double features for both popular touring divisions at the same race events on three separate occasions throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2015. The opening event will be twin 150 lap events for the ACT teams and PASS teams at the Oxford Plains Speedway (OPS) in Oxford, ME on Saturday, April 18. It is expected that a number of teams will pull double duty and compete in both events.
The summer event will take place at the ACT International 500 weekend on July 18/19 at the Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY. Twin 200 lap events for both the PASS teams and ACT teams will make up a two-day event. All qualifying will be done on Saturday night for Sunday’s feature events. There will be purse and prize money of more than $100,000.00 up for grabs. The event will include both the US and Quebec ACT teams and will be both a PASS North and PASS National point-counting event. The weekend will also feature the ACT Pro Cam Truck Series in a point-counting event. The Rev Star asphalt Sprint cars will also be featured on Saturday qualifying night.
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Waterbury, VT – The American Canadian Tour (ACT) announced the appointment of Michael Stridsberg of Berlin, VT as the new Media Director for both the US touring Series and Thunder Road International Speedbowl. He will replace Nick Bigelow who has handled numerous duties for the two organizations since his graduation from college in 2009. Bigelow studied engineering, and has taken a position with New England Wire Technologies in Lisbon, NH, a developer of wire products.
“Nick has provided ACT and Thunder Road with an outstanding foundation in modernizing our media department, web sites, and handicapping system. His passion was statistics, and he leaves with all ACT records in good order. He handled the majority of the track day duties as head scorer for our companies. His conscientious efforts will be missed,” said Tom Curley, President of the American Canadian Tour, Ltd.
Stridsberg and his family have been around the race business for many years. He has worked the Thunder Road race day pits for the past few years, is familiar with handicapping, and has been a correspondent for Vermont Motorsports Magazine, helping to chronicle various stories and results from races throughout the region. He also will take on the new duty of electronic scoring for both ACT and Thunder Road events.
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New Smyrna Beach, FL – Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, MA claimed his second win in two nights of ACT competition at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, FL on Monday, August 16. MacDonald followed up his Sunday night win with another trip to victory lane in the first leg of the American Racer Challenge Cup. His second win, however, didn’t come so easy.
Unlike Sunday night, MacDonald didn’t earn the pole, lead every lap or even appear to have the fastest car of the race. He started in the third position and challenged pole sitter Patrick Laperle and outside pole Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. early in the event. Laperle led the way through the first 26 caution free laps, while Polewarczyk struggled and faded back with a tire going flat. Polewarczyk finally spun on lap 26 bringing out the first caution of the event.
That caution setup a six lap battle between Laperle and MacDonald in which they would swap the lead five times with MacDonald settling into the lead on lap 32. Aaron Fellows followed MacDonald by Laperle to take the second spot and quickly set his sights on MacDonald’s rear bumper. Fellows worked the inside lane until finally making the move he needed to take over the point.
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While Eddie Mac’s hometown of Rowley, Mass. is battling blizzards and freezing temperatures, “The Outlaw” heated up the half mile oval at New Smyrna Speedway to win the ACT 100. Twenty six cars took the green flag to kick off three nights of American Canadian Tour races as part of the World Series of Asphalt Racing at the legendary track. Eddie Mac and the MacDonald Motorsports team led the caution free event from green flag to checker flag run in less than thirty four minutes.
“This is really exciting to come down here and get the win,” said Eddie Mac. “The car was fast from the first practice on and we knew we had something for the competition. Everyone worked hard on the car this winter to get it ready to be part of this and all the effort paid off. Rollie and I used a set-up from another track and it worked to perfection. I am so proud and thankful of all the people involved to make this happen. ”
The #17ma Hancock Electric Late Model posted the fastest times in both practices (19.773 sec. and 19.361 sec.). The Freddy Peterson owned Chevy started ninth in the first of three qualifying heats and scored a +7 rating after finishing the heat in second place, good enough to start on the pole for the race. The heats were run before the K&N Pro Series East race with the ACT 100 taking the green flag immediately afterward.
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New Smyrna Beach, FL – “Outlaw” Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, MA led flag-to-flag in the caution free American Canadian Tour 100 at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, FL on Sunday, February 15. MacDonald earned the pole position after racing from 9th to 2nd in his heat race to give him a +7 in ACT’s unique plus/minus handicap system.
MacDonald led the 26 car field to the green and held off defending Série ACT Champion Alex Labbe through the early stages of the event. He set a blistering pace, but couldn’t shake Labbe, Travis Stearns and Wayne Helliwell, Jr. during the first half of the race.
Another Quebecer in Patrick Laperle challenged MacDonald through the second half of the race. Laperle marched from his 14th starting position to take over the second spot just past the halfway mark. He made it to MacDonald’s back bumper, but couldn’t make a move for the lead. He chased MacDonald through heavy lapped traffic and appeared to be in position to make a challenge on several occasions, but couldn’t get it done.
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Travis Jurcik of Chaplin, CT will move to the Late Models this season. He will compete at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park regularly and a limited schedule on the American Canadian Tour in the No. 51CT car.
“If everything goes well I’ll head down south and run at Myrtle Beach Speedway, along with a few races in the Limited Sportsman,” Jurcik said. He plans to race the Limited Sportsman at Thompson, Waterford and possibly Lee USA for Oktoberfest.
Jurcik’s goals include the Thompson and NASCAR state Rookie of the Year honors. Sarazin General Contractors is his primary sponsor. The crew includes his seven-year-old brother, parents and uncle. “We are always looking for more crew, and especially for this year seeing that we’ll be traveling a lot more.”
Jurcik hopes to work with the Kyle Busch Foundation and setup a fundraising booth at each race. The NASCAR star’s foundation was established in 2006 “to empowering those in need to overcome hardship by providing essential tools (financial, material and experiential) to allow them to live their best lives possible,” according to the foundation’s website.
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Waterbury, VT – The bitter cold and snow during the winter of 2014-15 will be just a memory for the twenty-nine (29) ACT teams beginning this week as they caravan down the East Coast to the New Smyrna Speedway (NSS) at New Smyrna Beach in Florida.
The “World Series of Asphalt Short Track Racing” at New Smyrna Speedway, as it has been billed for decades, has served as a mid-winter break for many northern US and Canadian teams over the years. Just about every division of racing has competed at NSS over the week between the opening of activities at the Daytona International Speedway and the conclusion at week’s end, the Daytona 500.
“I remember being in a banquet hall, I believe at the Whitehall Hotel on the beach, when Richie Evans won one of his many NASCAR titles. During those years (1979) all divisions of NASCAR, from what is now Cup to the Modified Division, were at one banquet in February in Daytona. As soon as Evans received his Championship trophy and ring, he was out of the room heading for New Smyrna! Over the years, the best have all raced the World Series at New Smyrna. From the great Jr. Hanley from Ontario, to the best of the Modified and Late Model racers around both the US and Canada, they have all raced at NSS. If you were a top asphalt team, you probably tried New Smyrna Speedway during your career. I am really happy ACT teams and their fans can have this experience,” said Tom Curley, President of the American Canadian Tour.
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St. Petersburg, Florida – When Brad Babb begins the 1,415 mile journey from his Windham, Maine home to New Smyrna Beach, Florida, it’s going to tick a lot of first-time boxes for the young driver.
The third generation racer is coming south to compete in the American Racer Challenge; a three night (February15th-17th) Series of one-hundred lap events that will see the top twenty-nine racers from across the Northeastern Unites States and Canada racing for the checkered flag.
“There’s going to be a lot of new happening during this trip,” explained Brad Babb. “Getting as much track and seat time will be critical.”
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The American Canadian Tour opener at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida will feature three nights of racing as part of the World Series of Asphalt Racing with Eddie MacDonald ready to participate in the inaugural American Racer Challenge Cup. The Cup Challenge is slated to take the green flag for two 100 lap events on Monday, February 16 and Tuesday, February 17. The ACT cars will also be in action on Sunday, February 15 as a stand-alone 100 lap event made possible when a racing series cancelled their participation.
“We are ready and excited to race at New Smyrna Speedway in February,” said Eddie Mac. “Last time we were there (2011), we didn’t finish too well (seventh overall) but we have the new car that won a couple of times last year so we are looking to greatly improve that finish. This car won the ACT opener at Lee in the Governor’s Cup and the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road plus a couple of other solid finishes last season.”
Upwards of thirty cars have entered the event and will be racing for the $35,000 purse. The overall winner will be crowned based on the two best combined finishes. Individual winners will be recognized each night. The special stand-alone race on Sunday will be run after the season opener for the K&N Pro Series East race with 26 cars entered.
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Waterbury, VT – 2014 American Canadian Tour (ACT) Champions Alex Labbe, (21 years old), of St-Albert, Quebec and Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. (Pole), (25 years old), from Hudson, New Hampshire, have both been celebrated by their peers for their championship runs last season. They now lead twenty-nine (29) teams from eight (8) different states and the province of Quebec to the New Smyrna Speedway World Series of Asphalt Racing on Sunday-Tues, February 15-17, 2014.
Quebec leads the list with seven (7) teams, featuring, Labbe, former ACT Champions Patrick Laperle and Donald Theetge. Also making the trip will be Jean-Pierre Ouimet, Martin Latulippe, Daniel Descoste, and Brandon White.
New Hampshire and Massachusetts will each send five teams on the mid-winter southern trip. ACT US Champion Joey Pole is the defending champion of ACT’s first trip to New Smyrna in 2011 and will lead the New Hampshire contingent.
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Waterbury, VT – The American Canadian Tour roster for the events at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Florida on Sunday through Tuesday, February 15-17 features several drivers from Barre’s Thunder Road International Speedbowl. East Montpelier’s Emily Packard, Montpelier’s Josh Demers and Milton’s Eric Chase will all make the journey south in just under a month.
Veteran Thunder Road Late Model competitor Chase is the only one of the three with experience at the fast half-mile. Back in 2008, Chase claimed a feature win at New Smyrna in the opening event of the “World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.” He was also competed in the first time ACT visited New Smyrna Speedway in February of 2011.
Packard is coming off of her second full season of Late Model competition at Thunder Road and her first full season on the ACT Tour. Her success on the Tour, highlighted by her 4th place finish in the final standings shows her talent in the long distance events and her abundance of experience at the Devil’s Bowl and Airborne half-miles should help her with the learning curve at New Smyrna.
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The Laperle Brothers race team from Montreal, Quebec have entered the ACT American Racer Challenge Cup to be contested at the New Smyrna Speedway (NSS) in New Smyrna Beach, Florida on Monday and Tuesday, February 16-17, 2015. That brings the ACT field for the winter showdown at the World Series of Racing to a total of twenty-eight (28) entrants from throughout New England and Quebec.
“Well I guess you could think of this as somewhat of a ‘game-changer’. Eric Laperle has been an accomplished crew chief for his brother Patrick ever since they flipped the coin to see which twin would drive their first race at Airborne Speedway back in 1998. Patrick became the driver and Eric began learning his craft as crew chief. The Laperle team will certainly bring some energy to the event next month,” said ACT President Tom Curley.
The Laperle team has won eighteen (18) ACT major events. They sit third in all-time wins. Patrick Laperle is a three-time Série ACT (Quebec) Champion, he also won the ACT US title in 2008. He is a three-time winner of the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road.
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Waterbury, VT – American Canadian Tour staff, officials and teams honored their 2014 ACT Champion Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. from Hudson, NH with the Banquet of Champions at the Doubletree Inn in South Burlington, VT on Saturday, January 15, 2015. The 25-year-old Polewarczyk captured his first career ACT title in his 9th season with the series and pocketed the $10,000 point fund check. He was also honored with the prestigious Don MacTavish Award for his dedication and contribution to stock car racing in the Northeast. Competitors and teams who finished in the top 15 in the 2014 final standings were all recognized, along with several special awards.
Polewarczyk and his father and car owner Joe Polewarczyk, Sr. began competing on the American Canadian Tour in 2006. Considered the youngster of the series, Polewarczyk and his father quickly progressed over the years into big race winners, consistent favorites, and finally veteran Champions. In 2014, they put together arguably the best Championship Season in ACT Late Model history.
The 2014 ACT Champion was also honored with the Don MacTavish Award, which recognizes individuals for their contributions to stock car racing in the Northeast. Polewarczyk is not only a Champion and respectful driver on the track, but his positive attitude and leadership is felt throughout the pit area at any track he visits.
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Ryan Morgan of Mystic, CT will join the Sunoco Modified ranks at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Danny Cates’ 2008 Troyer with a T/A engine. He expects to enter a couple of races at Stafford Motor Speedway pending sponsorship and “how we do at Thompson.” John Morgan’s No. 0 is registered at Stafford with sponsorship from McGill Chevrolet in Pawcatuck, CT.
The Stafford races will be for understanding the car and the track. Morgan’s only experience there came in a 2012 PASS Modified race, where he finished tenth.
“We decided to try something different this year,” Morgan said. … “We plan to rebuild it and make it us, but go through it all and make sure it’s ready for the Icebreaker, and shake it down the first couple of practices, so hopefully I’ll be able to adapt to the open wheels pretty quickly.”
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Rocco’s First ACT Event Will Be at New Smyrna Speedway
Waterbury, VT – Keith Rocco from Meriden, CT is a 2010 NASCAR National Champion, has three (3) NASCAR SK Modified championships at the Waterford Speedbowl, two (2) ACT type Late Model Championships at the Speedbowl, and too numerous feature event wins in the heart of Modified country, Connecticut, to list. His next challenge is to head to the New Smyrna World Series of Asphalt Racing and enter the American Canadian Tour (ACT) American Racer Challenge Series on Monday and Tuesday, February 16-17, 2015.
“My Late Model car owner, Scott Fern (Wilbraham, MA) is a big fan of ACT Late Model racing. That is how I got started in the fender type cars a few years ago. We have had a pretty busy modified schedule chasing NASCAR points for the past few years, although we tried to get to a couple ACT shows, but weather and other issues kind of put that on the back burner. This mid-winter trip to Florida and the American Racer Challenge Cup is going to be a great break. We are looking forward to our first ACT event,” said Rocco.
Rocco has won some races in the Modified division at New Smyrna over the years, but he will face a new challenge with veteran tour drivers from both the ACT US and ACT Quebec organizations. Both 2014 defending champions, Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. (Pole), Hudson, NH and Alex Labbe, St-Albert, QC have experience at New Smyrna Speedway. There will be plenty of competition from the growing list of drivers who have entered. Former ACT Champions Wayne Helliwell, Jr., Dover, NH and Donald Theetge from Quebec City will join Pole and Labbe. Between them they have six (6) ACT Championships.
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Waterbury, VT –In 2011, Ray Parent from Tiverton, Rhode Island, decided to start his full-time American Canadian Tour (ACT) career at the inaugural event to be held at the New Smyrna Speedway (NSS) during the World Series of Asphalt Racing in February of that year. Parent had raced primarily at the famous D.A. Venditti “Cement Palace”, Seekonk Speedway, a typical ¼-mile bullring that New England racing is known for.
Parent had been successful racing in what was known as a Pro Stock (Super Late Model) racecar for years in the southern New England market. The ACT Late Model program, with its innovative cost-conscience crate motors, sealed Koni shock absorbers, and 8” restricted tire usage program, had booked a winter race at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida during the February race activities in the Daytona Beach area. Parent decided it was time for a change with his Amtrol sponsored race team.
“I knew this was a completely different racing move for me, but I had always had a goal to run somewhere during the traditional February Speedweeks in the Daytona Beach area. I had been to watch racing at the New Smyrna Speedway for many years and thought this might be my opportunity to take my race program in a different direction. I had a great time, but I also found out that there was a huge difference in driving a momentum type Late Model racecar versus a higher horsepower Pro Stock or Super Late Model. It was pretty humbling, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made in my racing career,” said Parent.
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New Smyrna Speedway to Host Second ACT Race
Waterbury, VT –The entry list for the American Racer Challenge event to be held at the New Smyrna Speedway (NSS) during the 2015 World Series of Asphalt Racing in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, on Monday and Tuesday, February 16 and 17, is filled with ACT Champions from both the ACT US and Quebec tours.
Defending New Smyrna Challenge Champion, and 2014 American Canadian Tour (ACT) Champion, Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. (Pole) from Hudson, New Hampshire won the first event held at New Smyrna in 2011. “I can’t think of a better way to start the new season off than to win again at New Smyrna. I really like the race track, and we had a blast there a few years ago. Our goal is to use this as a springboard for defending our Championship on the Tour (ACT) this year,” said Pole.
Additionally, newly crowned Serie ACT Quebec Champion, Alex Labbe, from Ste. Albert, QC has entered the two-day racing event. Labbe will pull double duty as he will also compete in the Pro Late Model division throughout the week of racing at NSS. Two-time Serie ACT Champion, Donald Theetge, Quebec City, will join fellow Quebec racers, Jonathan Bouvrette and Jean-Pierre Ouimet, Montreal, and Martin Latullippe from Vallee-Jonction to fill out the entry list from Canada.
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The American Canadian Tour Late Models will visit 11 different tracks throughout New England, New York and Quebec during the 13 event 2015 season. Officials have announced the schedule, which will kick off on Sunday, April 12 at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH and crown a champion on Saturday, October 17 at Thompson Speedway in Thompson, CT.
The ACT Late Models visit two new tracks in 2015. ACT will run their first ever point counting events at Autodrome Chaudière in Vallee-Jct., QC as a doubleheader with PASS in September and the Late Models will visit Thompson for the first time ever to conclude the season in October.
ACT will also return to Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, ME for two events after a several year hiatus. The April Oxford event will be the inaugural ACT/PASS doubleheader event, while the June event will be a standalone ACT race. Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY will be the only other venue to host two events in 2015. The schedule is highlighted by trips to Thunder Road in Barre, VT, Speedway 51 (formerly Riverside Speedway in Groveton, NH), Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT, White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, NH, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, ME and Circuit Riverside Speedway in St-Croix, QC.
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2015 ACT Champion to be Crowned
Waterbury, VT –Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) in Connecticut and the American Canadian Tour (ACT), based in Waterbury, VT have agreed that the 2015 ACT Championship Late Model stock car season will crown the ACT Champion at the famed Thompson World Series event on Saturday, October 17, 2015. ACT will join over 15 other divisions at TSMP in a year-end celebration for both fendered and open wheeled race cars.
Vice President and General Manager of ACT, Darla Hartt said, “We are delighted that Thompson has invited ACT to the dance! NASCAR Modifieds, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’s own Modified and Late Model divisions, the Valenti Modified Racing Series, Mini Stocks, really, just about every kind of asphalt stock car division in New England is at Thompson’s World Series. We are excited to show fans at TSMP an ACT Late Model 100 lap championship race.”
The event is expected to draw teams and fans from all six New England states, New York and the Province of Quebec. The entry calls for thirty (30) starters. The super-fast 5/8ths mile oval at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park should fit the style of the ACT Late Model teams. The ACT Quebec Series races primarily on half-mile tracks, and US ACT teams have had lots of “long track” experience with numerous events at the Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY and the Devil’s Bowl Speedway half-mile in West Haven, VT. The ACT annual visit to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway during the NASCAR Cup weekend in September has proven to be very competitive and exciting racing for fans. The local weekly Late Model teams that use the ACT rules at TSMP, Waterford and Seekonk are expected to join the ACT regulars.
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The Pine Tree State is where it all started for the North East Mini Stock Tour back in 2008 with a vision by founder Bob Guptill to have a group of the best Mini Stock drivers in the region traveling to the best facilities for a yearly series. Entering the tours seventh season only a handful of races have been held in Maine, Guptill’s home state, but there will be two Maine events in 2015!
“Having races in Maine has always been great to expose the best of Northern New England with the best coming out of New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Bringing the tour to Oxford in 2015 on some of the biggest weekends is just incredible. We are honored to be part of ACT’s return to Oxford and on the Legendary 250 weekend!” said NEMST Promoter Bob Guptill. NEMST’s Maine events have always held great car counts and fierce competition dating back to the early days of the touring series. Names like Greenleaf, Trombley, Audet, Mason, and Collins have always been right on the heels of the Cayers, Wells, Baxters, and Kings. Putting both of these events on will truly show us the best competitors in New England.
On Saturday June 27 the NEMST will make its first visit to Oxford Plains Speedway to join in with the ACT Tour for their first standalone event at the track since being purchased by PASS president Tom Mayberry. For the second visit of the season the NEMST will visit during Oxford’s biggest week, the Oxford 250 Weekend, to put on a 50 lap main event on Saturday night preceding the 42nd Annual 250 lap Pro Stock National Event.
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Barre, VT – 2014 American Canadian Tour Late Model Champion Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. of Hudson, NH claimed his fourth career Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Pole Award as he set the fast time of the day with a 13.114 second lap at Barre’s Thunder Road on Saturday, October 11. Starting on the outside pole will be 2014 Serie ACT Champion Alex Labbe of St-Albert, QC when the first segment of the 52nd Annual People’s United Bank Milk Bowl rolls offtomorrow, Sunday, October 12.
The “Outlaw” Eddie MacDonald qualified to the first segment as the third fastest time in the time trials. 2014 Thunder Road “King of the Road” Derrick O’Donnell, Cody Blake and seven-time ACT Champion Jean-Paul Cyr each won one of the three Late Model Triple 50 qualifiers following time trial and qualify to positions 4-7 in the first segment.
A total of 47 ACT Late Models were on hand to take a shot at qualifying for one of 30 starting positions in the 52nd Annual People’s United Bank Milk Bowl. The first 26 positions in the first segment has been set by the top three time trial times, the top five qualifiers in the Triple 50s and the next eight fast times not already qualified. The final four spots will be up for grabs in tomorrow’s Last Chance B-Feature which will roll out at 12:15pm ahead of opening ceremonies at 12:30pm.
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Barre, VT – Nearly 40 American Canadian Tour Late Model teams were on hand for the full day of practice at Barre’s Thunder Road in preparation for the 52nd Annual People’s United Bank Milk Bowl on Friday, October 10. Teams were dialing in their cars for tomorrow’s (Saturday, October 11) Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Qualifying Day.
Hinesburg’s Bobby Therrien ran the quickest lap of the day with a 13.157. Others spending time near the top of the speed charts included defending Milk Bowl Champion Nick Sweet, back-to-back “King of the Road” Derrick O’Donnell, Travis Stearns, Matt White, 2010 Milk Bowl Champion Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Jason Corliss, Shawn Fleury, 2009 Milk Bowl Champion John Donahue, two-time Milk Bowl Champion Phil Scott, Trampas Demers, Cody Blake, Brad Babb and Eric Badore.
A strong contingent of Quebec teams was led by last year’s pole sitter and 2014 Serie ACT Champion Alex Labbe and three-time Milk Bowl Champion Patrick Laperle. Another Milk Bowl Champion in Eric Williams made a surprise appearance and will run this year’s Milk Bowl after several years away from Late Model racing. The “Outlaw” Eddie MacDonald was also on hand and will take a shot at the pole in tomorrow’s time trial qualifying.
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Plattsburgh, NY – Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. of Hudson, NH capped off his 2014 American Canadian Tour title with a win in the season finale Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY on Saturday, September 27. Polewarczyk used the high lane to get around Quebec’s Patrick Laperle on the final restart with just over 20 laps remaining in the event to take the lead and become the only repeat winner on the 2014 American Canadian Tour and claim his first career championship.
Polewarczyk took the green flag from the eighth starting position and quickly worked his way for the front as the 37 car field ran under green for the first 67 laps. Kyle Welch and Bobby Therrien both took turns leading until Wayne Helliwell, Jr. claimed the top spot on lap 25. That setup a battle between Helliwell and Polewarczyk for the next 95 laps.
The second caution of the 200 lap event flew on lap 120 for a mandatory fuel pit stop. After the race returned to green, it was the Laperle and Polewarczyk show for the final 80 laps. The duo swapped the lead a total of 6 times over the remainder of the event. The fifth and final caution flag flew with just over 20 laps left and Polewarczyk took advantage in the high lane on the restart. Laperle tried everything he could through the final laps and was right on his bumper at the finish, but Polewarczyk held him off to take the win.
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Ray Parent headed into the 6th Annual BOND Auto ACT Invitational looking for repeat success of his 2012 victory on American Canadian Tour’s biggest stage. Unfortunately Parent was left to literally hang on to an 18th place finish.
Random draw started the Amtrol Ford Fusion from the 24th position; in the races early stages Parent had made his way inside the top-15 before trouble started. Heading into turn-3 around lap-12 Parent shot up the track and fell outside of the top-30. A battle with the transmission inside the car ensued as it had come out of gear and would not stay in.
“You use the gearing to slow you down so much in the corner, when it came out [of gear] I way over shot the turn and thought the engine blew up,” stated Parent. “It took me a bit to realize what happened… There was no warning or any type of problem beforehand.”
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Loudon, NH – Two-time American Canadian Tour Champion Wayne Helliwell, Jr. claimed the win in the 6th annual Bond Auto ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH on Saturday, September 20. The race was called complete on lap 44 due to darkness.
“Unbelievable!” said Helliwell in the post-race press conference. “To be honest, I always have high hopes. We had a good car after practice. I’ve been under the weather the last couple weeks and it’s great to come back like this. Unbelievable!” he continued.
The 43 car field provided three and four wide action for the majority of the scheduled 50 lap event before being called on lap 44. Helliwell marched from his 16th starting position to take the lead on lap 16 from Turner, ME’s Glen Luce, who led the first 15 laps. Helliwell had to hold off Montreal, QC’s Patrick Laperle through the final four cautions of the event.
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Loudon, NH – For the second consecutive year, Auburn, Maine’s Travis Stearns will lead the 43-car Bond ACT Invitational field to green at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH on Saturday, September 20. East Montpelier, Vermont’s Emily Packard will start to his outside in the front row of the star-studded field. Glen Luce of Turner, Maine, Larry Gelinas of Buxton, Maine and Brandon Atkins of Au Sable Forks, New York will all start in the top five.
The American Canadian Tour Late Models completed their morning practice session with only a few issues on Saturday. Eight-time ACT Champion Brian Hoar of Williston, Vermont suffered a broken rocker arm in his motor and only completed four laps of practice. Guy Caron of Lempster, New Hampshire broke a transmission but still managed a top ten time in practice. Both teams have made the necessary repairs and will be ready for the green flag this afternoon.
The province of Quebec leads the way in the speed charts with Martin Latulippe of Vallee-Jonction and Patrick Laperle of Montreal setting the two fast times of the session. Luce, Tom Carey, Jr. of New Salem, Massachusetts, and 2014 Serie ACT Champion Alex Labbe of Quebec City, Quebec completed the top five fast times. New Hampshire drivers Aaron Fellows and Wayne Helliwell, Jr. were next, followed by Chip Grenier of Graniteville, Vermont, pole sitter Stearns and Caron.
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Waterbury, VT – The nation’s leading short track racing internet supplier, Speed51.com, owned and operated by NASCAR television broadcaster Bob Dillner from Charlotte, North Carolina, has entered into an agreement with Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, VT to have the 52nd annual People’s United Bank Milk Bowl broadcast on the 51 TV pay-per-view schedule of events. The famous event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 4-5, 2014.
The unique Milk Bowl, established in 1962, received national recognition from National Speed Sport News, considered the leader in racing journalism, in 2004. The award for the “Best Short Track” event of the year was voted on by the nation’s promoters.
Billed as the “toughest short track race in America” by Thunder Road founder and former CBS television motorsports anchor, Ken Squier, the three segment event is unique with the inversion of the final two 50 lap segments, and a combined scoring system using finishes in all three segments. Low score wins the first place $10,000.00.
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Waterbury, VT – The starting field for the 6th annual Bond Auto ACT Invitational at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 20 has been established. A field of 43 teams will compete in the 50-mile event that pays a minimum of seventy-five hundred dollars ($7,500) to win and one thousand dollars ($1,000) for 43rd. Teams have been chosen from throughout the Northeastern United States and the Province of Quebec, Canada to take part in one of the American Canadian Tour’s (ACT) most anticipated events of each year.
Previous Bond Auto ACT Invitationals have been won by some of the most notable names throughout the short tracks of the Northeast. Eddie MacDonald from Rowley, MA has three (3) Invitational wins; Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. (Pole) from Hudson, NH, and Ray Parent from Tiverton, RI each has won an Invitational. Using the unique ACT handicap system, every Invitational winner has come from a starting position no better than 19th-28th to take the wins.
Past Champions of ACT who have yet to win an Invitational at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway will join the previous winners on Saturday, September 20. Nick Sweet from Barre, VT is a two-time Thunder Road “King of the Road” Champion. Sweet won the Vermont State Late Model championship in 2013. He is likely to win a second title this season. He finished second in the Invitational in 2009 and 2011 to three-time winner Eddie MacDonald.
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Waterbury, VT – The American Canadian Tour (ACT) will next appear at the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. The Hudson, New Hampshire native, Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. (Pole) has to be considered a favorite to win the race. In the 2014 ACT Championship standings Pole has a comfortable 56 point lead over second place racer Jimmy Hebert, from Williamstown, VT. He is also winless so far during the 2014 campaign.
Pole has compiled an impressive record during the first half of the 2014 season. In the ACT races to date, the 97NH team has three second place finishes, two third place finishes and two fourth place finishes. He also led the Pro All Star Super Late Model event at Beech Ridge and contended for wins in the Star and White Mountain events he entered this year, and recently won the Lee USA Granite State Pro Stock race. Pole won the 150 lap Beech Ridge event in 2010; he was runner up to Eddie MacDonald from Rowley, MA in 2013.
“I guess you could say we are a little frustrated that we have not won an ACT race yet this year, but our goal was to win the ACT Championship and we have worked hard to position ourselves as we head to the home stretch. I like the 1/3rd mile at Beech Ridge, it is kind of a neutral track for ACT, and nobody really has a lot of laps there so we kind of all start out on a clean page. I really want a win, so hopefully we will get lucky and take care of that next week (August 9th),” said Pole.
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