After failing to place in Saturday ACT Champion’s Challenge at the Ultimate Racing Experience at the University Mall (S. Burlington, VT), reigning and six-time title holder, Jean-Paul Cyr was looking for vindication in Sunday’s second round. Unlike Saturday’s competition, in which he battled five-time ACT champion Brian Hoar, Cyr was to take on fellow six-time champ, Robbie Crouch of Tampa, FL as well as other competitors. Crouch is returning to the driver’s seat following a retirement of some 10 years.

Joining the duo in the first round of competition were second generation racer, Brent Dragon (father Beaver is the 1979 and 1980 ACT Champion), and a pair of former Thunder Road Late Model Rookies of the Year, Rusty Berger and Ryan Nolin. Dragon set the bar high and ran away with the victory.

In the second race, Owen Wimble, Kevin Campbell and Jamie Fisher took on the six-time champions. Wimble, a veteran racer, will be returning to Thunder Road’s Late Model ranks for the first time in several seasons. Campbell is a NAPA Tiger Sportsman competitor while Fisher is a former “King of the Road” in the Late Model division.

Crouch and Wimble both ended up flipping their simulated race cars in their simulated race on the 2.5 mile Daytona Int’l Speedway although both recovered to finish the race. Cyr found the groove and received redemption as he ran away with the victory.

The third round saw a new slate of competitors including Brooks Clark, Jason Bonnett, Dave Wilcox, David Greenslit and Derrick O’Donnell. Clark and Wilcox are Late Model drivers while Bonnett and O’Donnell run in the NAPA Tiger Sportsman class. Greenslit is an Allen Lumber Street Stock driver.

(PHOTO: Sunday's ACT Champion's Challenge competitors included: (front row, left to right) Jamie Fisher, Jean-Paul Cyr, Robbie Crouch, Ryan Nolin, Owen Wimble and Brooks Clark. (back row, left to right) Rusty Berger, Dave Wilcox, Jason Bonnett, David Greenslit and Derrick O'Donnell).

Before the event was complete Clark would find himself barrel-rolling his racer as would Wilcox. Wilcox has hooked up with another car and lost his advantage while going for the lead with Greenslit who ended up taking out front-runner Bonnett. Sixteen year-old O’Donnell survived the melee and went on to win.

The final race of Sunday’s Challenge saw Crouch and Cyr back behind the wheel with Berger, Fisher and Rick Paya, Cyr’s car owner and crew chief. Cyr, who has never raced against Crouch just might have set the tone for their race season by sending Crouch into a simulated barrel roll after the two collided while dueling for the same piece of asphalt!

With one lap to go, Fisher looked like he was on his way to an easy victory but Berger reeled him in on the final circuit and as he attempted to gain the lead sent Fisher spinning into oblivion. As he exited his simulated race car Berger was soundly booed by the large crowd that had gathered to watch the Challenge events.

The ACT Tour’s actual competition starts on Saturday, April 28 at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway.