ACT
SWEET TAKES SANAIR
Nick Sweet of Barre was victorious in the American Canadian Tour (ACT) Tiger Sportsman Series race at Sanair Super Speedway on Sunday. The 21-year-old driver led every step in the 30 lap feature in his first trip to the St-Pie, Quebec tri-oval. Veteran driver Joey Laquerre of East Montpelier was runner-up to the youngster in his first return to the speedway since 1998. Chris Gendreau of N. Middlesex joined the pair in victory lane to celebrate his third place finish. Rounding out the top five was Bucko Branham of Plattsburgh, NY who started fourth, and Kyle Tatro of Hyde Park who began the race as the outside pole sitter.


Sweet set a blistering pace throughout early practice sessions and proved to be a top contender for the feature event. The sophomore driver burnt off his right rear tire following the initial tune in, and decided he needed to change his short track mindset. Sweet, who races weekly at Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, VT, currently leads the point standings at the mile oval. The 7/8ths mile tri-oval of Sanair is a lot different than Sweet is used to.

The number 50 crew of Sweet went to work and put the finishing touches on the obviously fast race car as the youngster declared his admiration of the Super Speedway, following his first trip around the track. Im giving 110 percent today, Sanair is a fast place, and Ive never raced at a track this large! The 2005 Rookie of the Year continued, I dont know exactly how to get through the second turn yet but Im sure Ill figure it out.

The kid certainly figured out the tricky turn two dog leg, as he held off the field of 18 cars to clinch his first Series victory of 2006. He made the trip to Quebec eighth in points and (unofficially) gained 105 points for his stand-out Sanair performance and launched himself to the fourth spot.

Sweet, the only repeat winner in 2005, will attempt to continue his dominance as the Sportsmen tackle the final three races of their season. The Tiger Sportsmen will make stops at White Mountain Motorsports Park in N. Wood Stock NH (August 26th), Circuit Ste-Croix in Ste-Croix, QC (September 9th) and the Fall Foliage 100 at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh NY (September 23rd and 24th).

The man making a hard charge to the front was Laquerre. The 63-year-old veteran took the initial green flag in the thirteenth position and on lap 12 (of 30), broke into the top five. Laquerre, who entered Sanair as the number two points man, made a move on Gendreau and took second place with just two laps remaining. His finish Sunday keeps him second in points (309) as current leader Chuck Beede (318) remains on top by just nine points (unofficially).

Laquerre was on double duty Sunday, as he also attempted to qualify for the ACT Tour Mega Classique for the Late Models. However, while leading the last chance B feature Laquerre lost his brakes and retired to the pit area. Laquerre and crew immediately turned their attention to the Sportsman car. Tiger Sportsman competitor, Justin Hart of Williamstown, stated that Laquerre was the man to watch for at the Super Speedway. Joeys car is going really well, as usual. He really knows how to set up a car and that shows, hes always hard to beat.

Rounding out the top 10 at Sanair Super Speedway was Chuck Beede of Graniteville, Jason Bonnett of St. Albans, Chip Grenier of Northfield, and 2005 ACT Sportsman Series champion, Robin Wood of Plattsburgh, NY.

The ACT Sportsman Series will continue their points battle at White Mountain Motorsports Park in N. Woodstock, NH for the fifth stop on the seven race schedule on Saturday, August 26th.


PHOTOS:
Image 1- Nick Sweet taking the checkered flag at Sanair Super Speedway.

Image 2- (From left to right) The top three at Sanair. Chris Gendreau (third), Nick Sweet (winner) Joey Laquerre (second).

Image 3- Sportsman Series points leader Chuck Beede (right) battling for position with 18 year old Kyle Tatro (left) and veteran Reno Gervais (middle).