The rain postponement at the Lee USA Speedway has opened the door for the first race of the 2010 American Canadian Tour (ACT) season to be held next weekend (April 25) at the Albany Saratoga Speedway located in Malta, New York. The recently paved 4/10-mile speed plant will be the ultimate ‘neutral’ track for the ACT teams. The track changed to asphalt for the 2010 season, after over 35 years as a dirt race track. This will be the first appearance ever for ACT Late Model race teams.
“This should be pretty interesting. There are only a couple of teams that have been to Albany-Saratoga testing this Spring, so just about nobody has any real edge going into the first race of the season,” said ACT Director of Competition, Dean Gallison. “With the new asphalt, the experience of these teams as far as set up goes will be more critical than ever. It should be a great show”, concluded Gallison.
Over 30 teams are expected to open the ACT season at the historic Malta facility, owned and managed by the Champlain Valley Racing Association, (CVRA), along with sister track, Devil’s Bowl in Fair Haven, VT, which is also being transformed from the ½ mile dirt to asphalt for the upcoming season.
Defending and six-time ACT Tour Champion Brian Hoar and the RPM race team out of Georgia, VT is an early favorite, but the list of contenders to challenge Hoar is long. Seven-time Champion Jean-Paul Cyr and veteran Brent Dragon, both from Milton, VT, will bring lots of experience into the opening 100 lap event.
“This is really neat to be going to Malta (Albany Saratoga),” said Dragon. “I have heard lots about the races there in the ‘60’s from my dad (Harmon “Beaver” Dragon) and uncle, (Bobby Dragon). They say it was one of the places that everybody from New England and New York used to head for on Friday nights in the old days. It will be fun to take them back there next week.”
Others who have entered include Ford drivers Joey Polewarczyk from Hudson, NH and John Donahue from Graniteville, VT, both early picks to challenge for the 2010 title. The Ford versus Chevy rivalry has come back to the northeast with the development of a compatible Ford engine to compete with the GM power plants. Teams from all New England states and the provinces of Quebec and Ontario are expected to begin the long championship campaign next weekend at Albany-Saratoga.
The winner of the Albany-Saratoga Speedway 100 lap event will be the first to qualify for the second edition of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway ACT Invitational to be held on Saturday, September 18 during the NASCAR Cup Chase weekend, a goal every driver in the field will have going into each race this season. There will be a test and tune session for ACT teams at Albany-Saratoga on Saturday afternoon, April 24th. On Sunday, April 25th, a full card of qualifying will be capped off with the 100-lap main event. Gates open on Sunday at 11:00 and post time is 1:00. Admission is only $18.00 for adults and kids are free.
Sources: ACT PRa