ACT
AMERICAN-CANADIAN TOUR PROFILE. MEET: AJ BEGIN
AJ Begin, driver of the #66 American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model is a hard nosed racer who is a contender for the win each weekend with the traveling organization. The Merrimac, Massachusetts driver is an experienced racer who has competed in Motocross, Street Stocks and Late Models at tracks such as Lee USA Speedway, Star Speedway and Hudson Speedway all located in New Hampshire. Begin has raced since 1988 and has found his niche, competing with the ACT Late Models. “I love racing with this Tour. Tom (Curley) really understands what it takes for teams to get the car to the track each week but also knows how to run a great show.”

When Begin isn’t traveling with the ACT Late Model’s he enjoys spending time with his wife (Lisa) and four children. “Our oldest moved out and we just took in a foster child, so we are up to four children in the house again, I just love having the kids around.” On top of a busy family life the Begin’s are renovating their home and 25-stall horse farm which they purchased in 2003. Begin stays busy working for Hillcrest Chevrolet as an ASE Certified Master Technician, where he is involved in all forms of automotive repair.

Unlike most racers, Begin remains positive about his racing hardships. “I’ve been racing for 18 years and have learned to do only what I can. We are a family team that doesn’t have a ton of money like some other teams; I do a lot of it out of my own pocket. When I’m racing I remind myself to stay patient because if I break something I’m going to be the guy fixing it later!”

Despite a string of bad luck which include a crash at Sanair Super Speedway in July and failing to qualify for the opening event at Thunder Road, Begin is currently 11th in the standings, only 145 points behind leader, multi-time champion, Jean-Paul Cyr. Due to his recent success at White Mountain Motorsports Park, Begin looks forward to the Tour’s second trip of the season to the North Woodstock, NH track. During the June event, he ran second most of the race to Ben Rowe. “I had (Jean-Paul) Cyr covered, which was awesome considering who it was. Although we were spun in the fourth turn on the final lap, it was a huge night for us. We had a car that could have won, so I am definitely anticipating a good race this Saturday (August 12th).”

Of the seven tracks the Tour visits, the 37 year-old driver has a soft spot for Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont. “I haven’t qualified there yet, but the fans have been so great to me.” On Begin’s first appearance at Thunder Road, his wife went into the grandstands to watch the heat races. When Begin was announced, she noticed fans were cheering for him. They continued rooting for the newcomer for the remainder of the day. “The fans had never seen me race before but they were cheering for me. That meant a whole lot to me and my crew. The fans just appreciate great racing and they are just as wild about racing as Red Sox fans are about baseball. I would love to race the Thursday night shows if it wasn’t so far and the funds permitted, I love that place, it’s awesome!”

He will have two more opportunities in 2006 to qualify at “The Nation’s Site of Excitement” as Begin Motorsports gears up for the final ACTion Super Series events: the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 on Saturday/Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd and the New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl on Saturday/Sunday, September 30th and October 1st. Each event will award the winner $10,000 dollars.

For more information on AJ Begin and Begin Motorsports visit www.ajbegin.com