Chuck Beede of Graniteville, VT came out of retirement in 2005 to participate in the American Canadian Tour (ACT) Sportsman Series. For the second year in a row the veteran driver is involved in a close point battle, except this season he’s leading the way. The 49 year-old racer has a nine point advantage entering the last event setting the stage for a dramatic finale. The Sportsmen Series will conclude its five race card on Sunday, September 24th. The highly-competitive has yet to see a repeat winner this season and will end their summer long championship battle in Plattsburgh, NY at the 31st annual Fall Foliage 100.

Beede, retired from driving to focus on the racing careers of his daughters who participated at Barre’s Thunder Road Speedbowl in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks and then the NAPA Tiger Sportsman. When ACT announced the Sportsman Series, Beede jumped at the opportunity to compete. Joey Laquerre of East Montpelier was also excited when he heard the news of the Sportsman Series. Already a competitor on the ACT Tour, he quickly built a Sportsman car in addition to his Late Model. The pair of veterans returned to the class where they had previously claimed championships at Thunder Road in the early eighties. The 1985 King of the Road leads 63 year-old Laquerre by nine points (318-309). Just thirty points separate the top five leaving little room for error at the annual Fall Foliage 100.

Beede and Laquerre have finished no worse than tenth in any races this season including stops at Airborne, a pair of trips to Thunder Road, and Sanair Super Speedway in St-Pie Quebec. The seasoned racers have finished within a few positions of each other at every event keeping the point battle close. "Regardless of how the final race goes, I've had a great season," comment Beede, "I'd like to win the title but Joey (Laquerre) and Jason Bonnett are tough racers so we'll just see where we end up."

New York native and defending ACT Sportsmen Series Champion, Robin Wood is currently sixth in the standings with 287 points, trailing Beede by 31. The Plattsburgh resident made ACT racing history earlier this year by becoming the first driver to successfully defend a win in the Adirondack Auto Spring Green 100. Legendary Canadian racer, Junior Hanley was the first to post back-to-back wins in 1992 and 1993. The hometown hero will be a threat for the victory at the Fall Foliage 100 as he has posted multiple wins and competes at as many weekly events as possible at the half-mile speedplant. “Winning the Spring Green was a great way to start the season, and I’m looking forward to the Fall Foliage event, the competition will be tough as always, it should be a great race.”

Wood gives hope to any driver sitting within striking distance of leader Beede. Last year the 34 year-old driver entered the final event of the season fourth in the point standings, six behind Doug Murphy. A poor handling race car for Murphy allowed Wood, a second generation racer to score enough points to overtake the point lead and clinch the title. Although more points separate him from the lead going into the final event, Wood will attempt to parallel the results of 2005 and successfully defend his title.

The Fall Foliage 100 is slated for Sunday, September 24th. The main gate opens at 11:00 am. Adults are $15.00, children (ages 6-12) are only five dollars and a family of four (two adults/two children) is just $35.00. Post time for the final race is 1:00 pm.

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Photo 1- Chuck Beede
Photo 2- Joey Laquerre
Photo 3- Robin Wood
Photo 4- Side-by-side action at the Adirondack Auto Spring Green 100 at Airborne Speedway earlier in the season