Milton, VT's Jean-Paul Cyr carried the checkers, his fourth of the season, in Sunday's $10,000 to win RE/MAX Alliance National 150 - the second race of the $200,000, three-race ACTion Super Series. The veteran competitor's victory, like the one he took in the Sept 4 Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 at Thunder Road (Barre, VT), came by virtue of pit strategy. In the Labor Day race Cyr didn't pit for tires. At Lee he stopped early and took on two. Different approach, same result.
"After we changed tires we just sat there and made (the other drivers) think they were faster," he said in his post race interview. "We were sandbagging it a little bit and then we just pushed the button."
Cyr made the pass for the lead on a lap 116 restart, overtaking race leader Cris Michaud of Williamstown, VT on the outside. Michaud had led every lap until that point.
A caution with three laps remaining in the 150 lap race brought the field together once more. Cyr relegated Lancaster, NH's hard-driving "Rocket" Roger Brown to bridesmaid once more. The 28 year-old racer finished second to D.J. Kennington in the 2004 edition of the race. Michaud, winner of the ACT Tour's May season opener at the 3/8ths mile oval ended up third. Eric Williams of Hyde Park, VT was fourth and Mark Lamberton of Mooers Forks, NY was fifth.
Based on their performances in the heat races, which started the qualifying process for the 64 competitors, Cyr started the 150 lapper on the pole with Michaud alongside. From the drop of the green Michaud jumped out to the lead with Cyr close behind. The race ran caution free with Michaud setting the pace until a yellow closed up the field on lap 52. Cyr, who had fallen to fourth, pitted for the tires at that point while Michaud elected to remain on the track
On the restart New Market, NH's Bryan Kruczek was Michaud's new dancing partner on the outside, but again, Michaud was too strong. The middle third of the event was high in attrition and allowed several competitors to pit. Patrick Laperle of St. Denis, QUE, winner two weeks ago in the Fall Foliage 150 at New York's Airborne Raceway, benefited and was able to move to second from his 28th place starting spot in the 36 car field. Incredibly, Laperle got in to the main event at Lee USA by winning the "Last Chance B feature after having trouble in his heat race. Nevertheless, Laperle's success came as no surprise for he said before the race; his car was "perfect." He was involved in a late race caution which took him out of contention for the win.
Cyr was able to slice through the field, overtaking Laperle for second as the race entered its final 50 laps. From there Cyr was in control for the remainder of the event.
Completing the top ten finishers were Chad Wheeler in sixth, Laperle, Rich Lowrey, Jamie Fisher and rookie Scott Payea.
In addition to the winner's purse, Cyr claims a $5000 "Double Dip" bonus for winning two of the three ACTion Super Series races. The multi-time and defending ACT Tour Champion sets himself up for a $20,000 stipend if he can win next Sunday's 42nd annual New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl at Barre, Vermont's Thunder Road. Post time is 1:00 on Sunday, Oct. 2.