Contributed by: ACT Staff
ACTion News – Wednesday, September 19, 2007
-by Justin St. Louis
The American-Canadian Tour’s Summer Sizzler 200 at Kawartha Speedway might have seen weather that did everything but sizzle (it was barely over 45 degrees!), but the action between the walls was white-hot. Patrick Laperle put together a dominating performance to take his second ACTion Super Series win of the season, following up his Autodrome St-Eustache triumph in July. In each case, the Quebec driver earned a healthy $6,000 check for the win.
Fuel was a concern for almost every driver in the race, but Laperle was one of just four drivers that did not pit.
“I didn’t care about that,” he laughed. “I just wanted to go fast!”
For the record, risk takers Laperle, runner-up Pete Vanderwyst, third-place Joey Polewarczyk, and sixth-place finisher Larry Jackson drove the only cars to go the entire 200-lap distance without stopping for gas and/or tires. Kinda makes you wonder how their luck was in the Kawartha Downs casino…
Laperle hopes that his luck continues at the 13th Annual St-Eustache 300 on Sunday, as he tries to wrap up his first career Série ACT Castrol championship. Laperle leads 2005 Castrol King Sylvain Lacombe by just 26 points entering the season finale. Série ACT Castrol qualifying begins at 1:40pm on Sunday at the suburban Montreal race track. For info, click www.laserieactcastrol.com or www.acttour.com.
Pete Vanderwyst of St. Thomas, ON was hired to fill the seat of the Roger Brown Trucking #99 Ford for the absent “Rocket” Roger Brown, the third place ACT point man entering the Summer Sizzler 200. Brown was unable to make the trip to Kawartha, and at the last minute – after the race car and crew had already arrived – Vanderwyst was called upon to take the controls. He did his job the right way, holding off a hard-charging Joey Polewarczyk to take runner-up honors in his first career ACT start.
“The ACT boys put on a good race, and it was a fun deal,” said Vanderwyst in victory lane. “Kudos to the team here, too, they gave me a hell of a little hot rod, and it was an awesome deal.”
While he may have been a newcomer to ACT, Vanderwyst is no stranger to a race track. He is a veteran of the former CASCAR series and the American Speed Association (ASA) Midwestern circuit, and has years of Late Model-type experience. While Rocket Roger dropped from third to sixth in driver standings, Vanderwyst’s solid run kept the team in third place in the owner’s standings. Since the ACT Late Model Tour point fund is distributed to team owners this season, “Big Rog” (Roger Brown, Sr., Rocket’s father and car owner) stays up in the hunt with leader Rick Paya (of the Jean-Paul Cyr #32 team) and Scott Payea’s family-based #89 organization.
A tip of the hat to the teams of Brian Hoar, Jamie Fisher, and Jamie Aube for solid runs at Kawartha Speedway. Five-time ACT Champion Hoar, who has had a dismal second half in 2007, was running solidly in fifth place when he lost the right-front tire on his Goss Dodge machine with eight laps remaining. He finished 19th officially.
Fisher completed just 2/3 of the first lap of his heat race when a scramble between Nick Sinopoli and Steve Munro sent Fisher into the Turn 3 wall, destroying the right-front corner of his S.D. Ireland Brothers car. After the entire crew swarmed over the car with all of their tools (welder included), Fisher muscled his bent and beaten car to an impressive 15th-place run in the Sizzler.
Veteran racer Jamie Aube, who has been struggling in his first season of ACT competition in 20 years, came back from a pair of pit stops to finish in 12th place – his best outing of the season.
Next up for the ACT Late Model Tour is the 44th Annual Chittenden Milk Bowl at Thunder Road in Barre, VT on the weekend of Sat./Sun., September 29/30. Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Qualifying Day is Saturday with ACT Late Model time trials and “Triple 50” heat races, plus qualifying events for Thunder Road’s NAPA Tiger Sportsman and Allen Lumber Street Stock divisions, and the season finale for the Power Shift Online Junkyard Warriors. Bunker Hodgdon of Hardwick, VT leads the point standings in that division. Main events for the Sportsman and Street classes accompany the Chittenden Milk Bowl’s three 50-lap segments and cow-kissing post-race festivities on Sunday, as well as the last-chance “B” Feature for the ACT Late Model Tour, which kicks the whole Sunday program off at 1:00 pm. Check out the ACT website or www.thunderroadspeedbowl.com for all the digs.
Did you know…?
-Perennial ACT Champion Jean-Paul Cyr finished 11th at Kawartha Speedway for his worst finish of the season and first result out of the top ten since last year’s Chittenden Milk Bowl. In the first ten races of the 2007 season, Cyr finished second twice; third five times; and fourth, fifth, and ninth once each. (Yes, he is still winless, unheard of for Cyr.) His average finish for the season is a tauntingly-low 4.364.
-Eric Chase of Milton, VT picked up his first Top 10 finish of the season at Kawartha Speedway in tenth place. The finish was the eighth Top 10 of Chase’s career, and his first since the 2005 Chittenden Milk Bowl (9th place). He has additional Top 10s to his credit at Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts (2003 and ’04), Airborne Speedway (twice in 2004), Canaan Fair Speedway in New Hampshire (2005), and his first, a tenth-place run at Thunder Road in 2001.
-How tough is ACT racing? After 11 events on the Tour this year, only five drivers have managed to start every race on the schedule. They are Marc Curtis, Jr., Jean-Paul Cyr, Brian Hoar, Scott Payea, and Randy Potter. On the northern side of the border, only a dozen drivers have made all 11 Série ACT Castrol feature starts.