Defending ACT Late Model Champion, Jean-Paul Cyr from Milton, VT just might be sitting in the cat-bird seat as the Tour heads to Canada and the five-eighths mile Circuit Ste-Croix near Quebec City. The 40 year-old racer, who leads the Tour points following his win in the season opening Merchants Bank 150 on April 30, is one of the eight to ten active ACT drivers who’ve previously raced at the track. Additionally, he states he’s likely one of the few who really likes the speedplant, “It’s a difficult track,” he stated. “The corners are all different and going into them you carry a lot of speed. For me it tests my skills as a driver and adds to the excitement. There are two grooves and lots of opportunities to pass,” Cyr finished.

Another of the veteran ACT Tour competitors looking forward to the second of 12 races on the 2006 schedule is Brent Dragon. Dragon won the last Tour event held at the Ste-Croix oval in 2003. “The track fits my style,” the second-generation competitor remarked, “I like fast tracks that require a lot of brake. Sanair’s very similar. The race this Saturday will be a good barometer to see which of the younger, newer drivers can adapt their driving style to a track like Ste-Croix.”

Among the youngsters who will be making their first trek to Canada as an ACT Tour competitor is sophomore sensation, Scott Payea, who is second in points, 17 behind Cyr. Fortunately for the 2005 ACT Rookie of the Year, he has an experienced crew chief that should keep the 24 year-old on track. Hudson, New Hampshire’s Joey Polewarczyk, also a second year racer, has gotten off to a solid start in 2006. The youngster, who will turn 17 at the end of May, turned in a strong seventh place performance in the Thunder Road season opener.

Other first-timers to look for include Maine’s Ron Henry, Steve Reny and Mark Norris, as well as Joe Becker, Brett Wheeler, and Steve Fisher from Vermont. New Hampshire will be well represented by Roger Brown, Dan Colby, Bobby Baillargeon, AJ Begin and 17 year-old Mark Anzalone. From the Bay State comes AJ Begin and Rhode Island will send Ryan Vanasse, who also had an impressive performance in the opener. Walter Sutcliff and Dennis Botticello from Connecticut have also filed entries.

Not to be overlooked are the ACT Tour’s veteran racers, any of which could give Cyr and Dragon a run for their money. Leading the pack is New York’s Mark Lamberton a former Late Model Champion at Airborne Speedway, “I see the Circuit Ste-Croix as a little bigger version of Airborne,” he said. “It’s got a lot of similarities and quite frankly, I prefer the bigger tracks, there tends to be more room.”

Others to keep an eye on include Joey Laquerre, Dave Whitcomb, Dave Pembroke, Rich Lowrey, Fred LaGoy, Phil Scott, Ken Dufour and Jamie Fisher to name a few.

“I understand that a couple of the Series Castrol drivers might also attempt to qualify,” Dragon remarked, “If they do, it will be a good test to make sure that everything is set as we head to Sanair and the $10,000 to win ACTion Super Series opener in July. Claude Leclerc came to Thunder Road and it was great racing against him. He used to race against my father (Beaver Dragon), but it was my first time on the track with him. He’s got so much experience it’s great to race against someone like that. I hear he’s entered the race at Ste-Croix.”

Point leader Cyr summed up his thoughts on the 5/8ths mile oval, “One of the great things about that track is that it throws off great races and the fans there always give us a great reception.”
Post time for Saturday’s Ste-Croix 100 is 5:00 pm.