Contributed by: ACT Staff
-by Justin St. Louis
Bow, NH - Veteran stock car driver and two-time TD Banknorth Oxford 250 Champion Jamie Aube of Bow, NH has announced that he will return to American-Canadian Tour (ACT) competition for the 2007 season. Aube, whose stock car roots were planted at the former Catamount Stadium in Milton, VT and sister track Thunder Road Int'l Speebowl in Barre, has purchsed the entire team of Strafford, NH driver Mike Collins and will make a bid for the ACT championship for the first time in 20 years.
"I'm back and I'm excited," said an enthusiastic Aube. "The original plan was to buy a car for the 250 at Oxford in July, but then we saw that the race was in line with ACT rules for 2007. My partner, Warren Emery, and I looked things over, I had a long talk with [ACT President] Tom Curley, and we decided that we're going to race the whole schedule. The cars are a lot different than what I've been used to and there's going to be a learning curve, but the rules package on the ACT Late Model Tour has made racing affordable and fun, and I like that."
The North Ferrisburg, VT native joins a long and established list of returning ACT veterans, including long-time on-track rival Robbie Crouch. During his final full season of ACT competition in 1987, Aube earned three victories, a staggering 15 top-five finishes in 20 starts, and closed out the season a tight second to Crouch in the battle for the championship. Learning that Crouch would also return to ACT in 2007 pushed Aube to make his decision. "We started talking about coming back before the news broke that Robbie would race this year, but hearing that he was coming out of retirement really got me going," Aube explained. "He's an awesome race car driver, and we had some really great races together. I'm looking forward to seeing him out there."
After making a name for himself in the Grand American division at Catamount and Thunder Road in the mid 1970s, Aube turned his attention to the traveling ACT Pro Stock Tour in 1979. Following four solid building seasons, he took his first career win in the prestigious Spring Green at Catamount in 1983. Three victories punctuated the 1986 season, and prepared Aube for the 1987 campaign that defined his ACT career.
During the 1987 season, Aube drew national attention and carried the ACT banner in the TD Banknorth 250 at Oxford Plains (ME) Speedway, taking the victory against a star-studded field of NASCAR drivers. Aube joined the Busch East Series (known as Busch North at the time) the following year, and caputred the series' championship in his first full year of competition there. He repeated his title-winning efforts in 1989 and 1990 as well, taking a second TD Banknorth 250 win along the way in 1989.
Following his championship years, Aube continued to race full-time on the circuit until 2003 when he made eleven starts in the Craftsman Truck Series, finishing 31st in overall standings. He rejoined Busch East in 2004, earning four top-tens and finishing 15th overall before serving as crew chief for NASCAR West Series driver Andrew Myers of Newport, California in 2005. The combination clicked, and Aube guided the youngster to wins at Phoenix (AZ) Int'l Raceway and Irwindale (CA) Speedway in 2006.
In addition to renewing his friendly rivarly with Crouch in 2007, Aube will square off for the first time against reigning six-time ACT Late Model Tour Champion Jean-Paul Cyr, perennial challenger Brent Dragon, and young guns Roger Brown and Scott Payea. Also returning to the ACT ranks with Aube will be Busch East veteran and five-time ACT Champion Brian Hoar. Aube knows that the competition will be tougher this season than ever before. "There are so many great drivers and teams on this Tour right now, I fully expect to go home unqualified from a race or two," said Aube. "It's possible that there won't be a single car that makes every race this year."
Aube said he is most looking forward to racing at places like Thunder Road and Sanair Super Speedway in Quebec. "People either love Thunder Road or they hate it, and I love it. I've had some great races there, and I'm finding out that I still have a huge following of fans there. Judging from the friends and family I've talked to in Vermont, there's a lot of enthusiasm about me coming back, even from the younger fans that haven't seen me race that much. It's the same way in Canada, too. I am a little overwhelmed to think that I made that much of an impact on people, and I'm excited to get back and say hello to all of my old friends. I've raced all over this country and I've had a great career. I'm racing ACT to have fun and win races, and that's what this series is all about."