ACTion News 6/20/07

ACTion News – Wednesday, June 20, 2007
-by Justin St. Louis

After a whirlwind couple of weeks full of discussion, debate, and – finally – agreement, questions about the immediate future of the ACT Late Model Tour and Série ACT Castrol were answered on Monday.  Denis Lachance, promoter of Quebec’s Circuit Ste-Croix and Sanair Super Speedway, and American-Canadian Tour (ACT) President Tom Curley have agreed on the following changes:

The ACTion Super Series events at Circuit Ste-Croix on June 23/24 and Sanair Super Speedway on July 7/8 have been cancelled.  The Ste-Croix event on June 23/24, which was to be a 200-lap combination event for both ACT-sanctioned Late Model series, will now be a 100-lap, one-day, stand-alone race for the Série ACT Castrol on Sunday, June 24.  General admission adult ticket prices have been slashed dramatically to $25 (CAN funds), while pit pass prices have also been severely discounted to $25 with an ACT membership license, or $35 without.

Following the news on Monday, came the Tuesday announcement that Oxford Plains Speedway’s Bill Ryan has added the Time Warner Cable 100, a stand-alone event for the ACT Late Model Tour, at his Maine oval on Saturday, July 7.  The event will not be an ACTion Super Series race, but will award points toward the ACT Late Model Tour championship.

The Time Warner Cable 100 also gives race teams one extra shot at tuning up for the TD Banknorth 250 on Sunday, July 22, which is good for just about everybody.  After all, who wouldn’t want to get ready for a shot at $25,000?


WDEV Radio presents its annual special event for NAPA Tiger Sportsman this Thursday, with the WDEV 100.  Point leader Nick Sweet will try to take his first 100-lap Thunder Road win, but may have to hold off veteran Joey Laquerre, who brought young Sweet to traffic class in the Casella Waste Management Mother’s Day 100.  Other top runners Pete Ainsworth, Brendan Moodie, Matt White, and Chuck Beede are looking to beat them all.  It’s an early start time this week at 6:00 pm, rather than the usual 7:00.  Make sure you don’t miss the action!


If were at Thunder Road’s Ferguson Waterworks Thursday night opener last week, you saw a phenomenal show that lived up to the Thunder Road moniker “The Nation’s Site of Excitement.”  The Late Model division provided everything a race fan could ask for – amazing door-to-door racing for the lead, exciting passes, and even one wild wreck on the “Widowmaker” wall.  Fortunately, everyone involved walked away uninjured, although the cars were a little worse off.

After a series of breathtaking “outside-in” lane changes, Dennis Demers drove into the winner’s circle ahead of former track champions Dave Whitcomb, Cris Michaud, and Jamie Fisher, with point leader Dave Pembroke in tow.  Demers, at one point or another, battled with Rusty Berger, Marcel Gravel, Phil Scott, Whitcomb, Gary Caron, Fisher, Michaud, and even his own son, Trampas at the front of the pack.  A miscue between he and Scott sent cars flying into the wall on lap 41, ending a great run for Scott, Trampas Demers, and John Donahue.  Dennis and Fisher also spun to avoid the wreck.  For Dennis, it was the second spin of the race, as he survived a “360-and-gone” incident on lap 2 after receiving a nudge from Gravel.

Demers pulled his final lane change pass on lap 43 (of 50) to get by Whitcomb for the win.

“The most prestigious racing anywhere in New England is right here at Thunder Road,” said Dennis in victory lane.  “This is the hardest place to win at.  Dave Whitcomb and I have raced against each other for a long time, and we can race each other hard and still keep it respectful.  That means a lot.”

“Dennis ran me hard,” said Whitcomb, “but it was good racing.  I’m a little disappointed we couldn’t win for Ferguson Waterworks (who also sponsors Whitcomb’s car), but it was still a good night.”

“I just stood on the gas and hoped for the best,” said Michaud with a laugh.


A few rookies are beginning to shine in a big way at Thunder Road.  Chip Grenier has yet to finish outside the top 10 in a Thunder Road “weekly” Late Model feature this season.  Joel Hodgdon took a fine third-place finish in the NAPA Tiger Sportsman division on Ferguson Waterworks Night, and now leads Kyle Tatro, Shawn Sicard, and a boatload of others in the rookie standings.  Not to be outdone, Mike Ziter finished third in the Allen Lumber Street Stock feature, just a few spots ahead of Bobby Therrien and the steadily-improving Markus Farnham.  Therrien, already a feature winner this season, leads Ziter and Josh LaCourse in Street Stock freshman standings.


Did you know…?

-Chad Stewart has extended the Allen Lumber Street Stock division’s front-wheel drive win streak to six, dating back to last season.  In fact, the Barnet driver led a charge that saw the “pullers” come home in 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th.

-On a completely different side of the coin, the Power Shift Junkyard Warriors saw front-wheel drive cars finish in each of the top, oh… 21 positions.  In fact, only rear-wheel drive cars were in the Ferguson Waterworks feature, and they finished 21st (Scott Crandall) and 26th (Matt Kelly).

-We’re having a trivia contest at, and the winner each week will receive a TD Banknorth 250 t-shirt!  To win, go to the ACT website and click the email link to answer the questions posted each weekday.  The person that answers the most questions correctly from Monday to Friday is the winner.  In the event of ties, the person who gives the first correct answer of the week will be named the winner.  Justin Town of East Barre, VT was last week’s winner.