Ben Rowe of Turner, ME captured his first career American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model Series victory Saturday night at White Mountain Motorsports Park, N Woodstock, NH in the White Mountain 100. Rowe’s victory ended a three year win streak at the Granite State quarter-mile by five-time and defending Tour champion Jean-Paul Cyr of Milton, VT. Cyr finished a close second. Mark Lamberton of Mooers Forks, NY was third in the unofficial finish. Joey Laquerre from E. Montpelier, VT recovered from an early incident to finish fourth while Ryan Nolin from Georgia, VT completed the top ten.

Rowe started the event, the third on the 2006 ACT Tour, on the outside of the front row and even though he led every lap, his path to victory was not an easy one. The White Mountain 100, which had been postponed one week due to weather, looked like it might again fall victim to Mother Nature. After all qualifying rounds had been contested, clouds moved in and a soaking rain blanketed the area for some 15-20 minutes. With the assistance of a group of the track’s weekly competitors, the race surface was prepped for the Tour’s 100-lapper.

During the early stages of the event, Rowe had to contend with pole-sitter, A.J. Begin from Merimac, MA. Begin, who posted his first ACT Tour win last year, dogged the leader through a couple of early caution periods brought out for minor incidents. Sophomore racer, 17 year-old Joey Polewarczyk Jr from Hudson, NH kept close to the veteran’s bumper with Shelburne, Vermont’s Jamie Fisher and defending race winner, Cyr in tow.

Late in the race, lapped traffic, and two caution periods brought the 30-car starting field to within reach of the top spot but Rowe proved his staying power by holding on to the lead. Perhaps the 31 year-old driver’s biggest obstacle to overcome was a town-wide power outage that bathed the track in total darkness. Fortunately for the competitors, the yellow had just flown and the field was in tow behind the Tour’s Dodge Magnum pace car. A red flag condition remained over the track for just over 27 minutes until the track’s lighting system recovered from the power interruption.

When the race resumed with 14 laps remaining, the competitors shuffled positions while Rowe comfortably cruised out front. As the field rounded the third and fourth turns for the final time, several cars came together as Rowe crossed the finish line. The ensuing melee and partially blocked track brought the fans to their feet and forced drivers to look for any available path to the checkers. Several drivers were able to improve their positions while some top runners were relegated to also run status.

Completing the top ten was ACT Tour Rookie of the Year, Scott Payea of Milton, VT, in sixth, Lancaster, NH’s Roger Brown, Jamie Fisher, Brent Dragon and Marc Curtis Jr from Worcester, MA.

The next stop for the ACT Tour competitors is Saturday (June 24) at Seekonk (MA) Speedway. Brent Dragon is the defending race winner. Post time is 6:00 pm.
The ACT Tour will make a second appearance at White Mountain Motorsports Park in August.