ACTion News 6/18/08

ACTion News – Wednesday, June 18, 2008
-by Justin St. Louis

The Série ACT Castrol was back in action at Autodrome Chaudière on Saturday night, and what a wild race it was.  At a track that looks and feels like a cross between Vermont’s Thunder Road and New Hampshire’s White Mountain Motorsports Park (and, thanks to the cows off Turn 3, sometimes smells like the Devil’s Bowl Speedway dirt track in southern VT), the Castrol drivers were, shall we say, a little trigger-happy.

Seventeen yellow flags may have slowed the action, but the actual racing itself was spectacular.  No less than six drivers were within an arm’s reach of the Coors Light 100 victory when the checkered flag fell, and the race-long, side-by-side battle of eventual 1-2 finishers Donald Theetge and Yvon Bédard was as good as you’ll see anywhere.

A tip of the hat goes to rookie drivers Patrick Hamel and Spencer MacPherson, who each showed the veterans that their presence is not to be taken lightly.  MacPherson ran as high as fifth before a flat tire relegated him to 14th place, and Hamel marched from 24th starting position, then recovered from a crash with Stéphane Descoste to earn sixth place.

The Série ACT Castrol returns to Autodrome Montmagny Speedway for the previously rained-out Montmagny 100, a two-segment Monza-style race, on Sunday, June 29.


The ACT Late Model Tour fires back up at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway this Saturday (June 21) with the Dunkin’ Donuts 150.  The race will serve as the final long-distance OPS tune-up for the 35th Annual TD Banknorth on July 20.  Post time for the 7th of 12 races on the 2008 ACT schedule is 6:30pm.

In case you’ve been in hiding the last seven years, the ACT events at Oxford have been nothing short of thrilling.  The hometown boys have learned how to whip up pretty well on the touring stars, and the all-time series is almost even in terms of victories.  Depending on how you classify Eddie MacDonald, the last ACT regular to win an actual ACT event at Oxford was Randy Potter, way back in April 2007.

This writer is hoping to see some great side-by-side action… and maybe score a couple free donuts up in the press box.  The jelly kind with the whipped cream thing on the top.


Congratulations to Thunder Road winners Trampas Demers, Craig Bushey, Brett Pierce, and Justin Gay!  The four drivers captured their first wins of 2008 on Ferguson Waterworks Night last Thursday.  Demers turned two months of frustration around in a big way by scoring his fifth career victory.  Before the win, his best finish (combining Thunder Road and American-Canadian Tour events) was just 14th.

Bushey was in the right place at the right time for the NAPA Tiger Sportsman event, as Brendan Moodie received a black flag for rough riding.  Moodie and leader Mike Ziter got into a scrape, Moodie got the boot, and Bushey scooted in to steal the show.

Pierce, an Allen Lumber Street Stock rookie, out-dueled Vern Woodard for the first 15 laps, then ran away to record his first win.  Gay easily walked away from Travis Hull to win the Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior main event.


This week’s “ACT Tracker” is chock full of results, and actually chock full of winners.  Ricky Rolfe, winner of the ACT Late Model Tour’s New England Dodge Dealers 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway, scored his second-straight 40-lap weekly event win.  Don’t look now, but Oxford is the next stop on the ACT schedule, and Rolfe is on fire.  “We'll have something for ‘em,” said Rolfe of the incoming ACT invaders. “It doesn't matter where we start next week.”  Consider the notice served.  Other ACT drivers in the field at Oxford included rookie Joey Doiron (8th), “Rocket” Roger Brown (9th), and Dale Verrill (11th).

Miles Chipman, who has made ACT-sanctioned appearances at Lee USA Speedway and Thunder Road this year, took his second weekly Lee victory of the year on Friday night.  Doiron finished 16th in that race, as well.

Tyler Cahoon, another ACT rookie, finished ninth at his home track, White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday night.  He was followed to the line by Rick Thompson, Jr. (12th), Mike Gosselin (17th), and Chris Bergeron (20th).

Tour drivers that ran the Ferguson Waterworks event at Thunder Road included winner Trampas Demers, Joe Becker (6th), John Donahue (7th), Phil Scott (8th), Cris Michaud (14th), and Jamie Fisher (15th).


Did you know…?

-Eddie MacDonald really is the swing man in the “ACT vs. OPS” debate.  Long thought of as an “outlaw” driver that races whatever, whenever, wherever, MacDonald ran a handful of events both with ACT and Oxford in 2007.  So was his win in the Time Warner Cable 100 last year a triumph for the Tour or for the home crowd?  We’ll let you decide.  Otherwise, the all-time series (at least since 2001) is tied at six wins for each side.  Ricky Rolfe (twice), Shawn Martin (twice), Ryan Moore, and Travis Adams have scored for the Oxford regulars, while Patrick Laperle, Scott Dragon, Dale Shaw, Jean-Paul Cyr, Ben Rowe, and Randy Potter have won while competing with ACT.

-If you want to get right down to it, ACT has three more wins at Oxford than the OPS guys.  Stacy Cahoon and Gary Caron scored in 1995 (twice for Caron that year) at the 3/8-mile oval.

-Other than John Donahue’s back-to-back Late Model victories at Thunder Road in May, there has not been a repeat winner yet.  First-time winners to this point have been Street Stockers Dave LaFleche and Brett Pierce, and Warriors Neal Foster, Fred Schroeder, and Justin Gay.

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