Contributed by: ACT Staff
ACTion News – Wednesday, August 15, 2007
-by Justin St. Louis
The American-Canadian Tour was held up for just under 29 minutes by perhaps the last true outlaw in New England on Saturday night at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway. In a convincing – although nearly too late – performance, Rowley, MA driver Eddie MacDonald took 32 hostages at the Time Warner Cable 100, and only released them after he was given the winner’s trophy.
We say “nearly too late” because MacDonald found himself waiting for an opportunity to make a move in the early laps. With no cautions to slow the pace, MacDonald’s rhythm could have cost him the race.
“It was nice to have no yellow flags, but I was taking it easy at the beginning thinking that there was going to be a yellow,” he said. “I looked up at the scoreboard once and it said lap 67, and I said ‘Wow, I better get on it.’ Luckily the lapped cars slowed the leaders down so I could catch them.”
Catch them indeed. Five laps after realizing how late it was, MacDonald moved past Scott Payea to take second place. A dozen laps later, he had chased down leader Roger Brown. On lap 90, he took over, and then held off Brown and multi-time Oxford king Ricky Rolfe for the win, his first ACT Late Model Tour competition.
In true outlaw fashion, the Time Warner Cable 100 was MacDonald’s first main event start of the season. He has spent his summer picking and choosing events all over the map, running occasionally on Saturday nights at Oxford Plains Speedway with his Late Model, or finding himself at NASCAR Busch East Series races in Beaver Falls, NY, Stafford Springs, CT, or wherever.
“I’m not a NASCAR guy, I’m not an Oxford guy,” MacDonald said when it was all over. “I’m just a racer.”
Patrick Laperle seems to be fully recovered from his early-season illness. If he’s not, he’s putting on a pretty good show to make you believe otherwise. Combining his starts in Série ACT Castrol and ACT Late Model Tour competition this season, Laperle has just a single finish outside the Top 10 in eleven starts, and even that one has an asterisk. The one blemish was his first start, as he was credited with 23rd (last) after his relief driver, cousin Jacques Laperle, crashed on the first lap after Patrick drove the pace lap.
Patrick Laperle earned his second consecutive Série ACT Castrol win Saturday night at Circuit Ste-Croix, extending his top-five finishing streak to five straight races north of the border. He will pull double duty this weekend, racing with the Castrol troops at Autodrome Chaudière on Friday night with his own #91 car (he finished second last time there), then hopping aboard the Maine-based Mike Lux/Jerry Hicks #24 at New Hampshire’s White Mountain Motorsports Park (Laperle won at WMMP in 2002) against the ACT Late Model Tour on Saturday.
Somebody get a fire extinguisher, and point it directly at Kip Stockwell. He’s on fire! Stockwell took his second-straight Late Model win at Thunder Road in last Thursday’s NAPA Auto Parts/Make-A-Wish event, his third overall since returning to his alma mater earlier this year. Stockwell held off a hard-charging, wide-open Shawn Fleury throughout the race, and outran eventual runner-up John Donahue after Fleury slapped the wall with two laps to go (he held on for third place).
The NAPA Tiger Sportsmen, on their sponsor’s night no less, had to be tamed after the opening eight laps of their 35-lap feature took over 20 minutes to complete. After a too many rounds of drivers teeing off on one another, Race Director Tom Curley red-flagged the race and sent everyone to the pits. Director of Competition Dean Gallison took over from there, and after his impromptu meeting with the drivers, the race was trimmed to 25 laps and completed at the end of the night. Rookie Kyle Tatro dominated the second portion to take his first career win. Jeff French, Shawn Sicard, and Rick Garand put a good, clean show for positions 2-3-4.
Timmy Campbell, driving a NAPA Auto Parts-sponsored Mustang, took his first Allen Lumber Street Stock win of the year in dominating fashion, but the race of the night belonged to the Power Shift Junkyard Warriors. Brett Pierce had a somewhat comfortable lead entering the last lap, but number-two point man David Whitcomb had other plans. Whitcomb quickly reeled Pierce in, but missed the win by no more than six inches at the line. It was Pierce’s first Warrior win.
The Vermont ACE Hardware Dealers present this Thursday’s racing program at Thunder Road. If you can believe it, there’s only one more Thursday show after this week, so get out there and savor the end of summer at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement!” Regular admission rates are in effect at $9 for adults, $3 for kids, and just $18 for a family ticket. Racing action begins at 6:30pm.
Did you know…?
-Jean-Paul Cyr’s fifth-place finish in the Time Warner Cable 100 was his 53rd career Top 5 in ACT Late Model Tour competition, his seventh of 2007. His personal best in a single season is ten Top 5s, coming in 2003. With five events remaining this year, Cyr could potentially raise that bar.
-Eddie MacDonald, Ricky Rolfe, and Travis Adams became the 19th, 20th, and 21st drivers to score a Top 5 finish on the ACT Late Model Tour this season in their 1-2-3 showing at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday night.
-Thunder Road’s winners list keeps growing. Adding up all four divisions since the 2007 season began, 36 different drivers have at least one feature win to their credit, and nearly half of them (17) were first-time winners in their division. Five rookie drivers have won a total of nine features in 2007. 15 drivers that have won this year have also won in another division.
It’s time to get ready for the end of the racing season, and that means that the big-dollar ACTion Super Series races are just around the corner. Advance tickets for Thunder Road’s 29th Bond Auto Labor Day Classic (September 1/2) went on sale at the 35 Bond Auto Parts locations at a reduced rate of just $20 (that’s a $5 savings!). You can pick up your advance sale tickets at any Bond Auto Parts store in Vermont, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts. And don’t forget about the Summer Sizzler 200 at the immaculate Kawartha Speedway in Fraserville, Ontario on September 15, and the 44th Vermont Milk Bowl at Thunder Road on September 29/30. Over $150,000 in awards will be on the line, and the best Late Model race teams in the United States and Canada will be on the track. Don’t miss the ACTion Super Series!
As always, check the websites at www.acttour.com, www.laserieactcastrol.com, and www.thunderroadspeedbowl.com!