2009 Banquet of Champions

Hoar, Cyr and NHMS Honored at ACT/Thunder Road Banquet of Champions

American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model stock car Champion Brian Hoar of Williston was

2009 ACT Tour Champion Brian Hoar and team

honored for his sixth career ACT Late Model Tour Championship on Saturday, January 16 at the Sheraton-Burlington Hotel and Conference Center in South Burlington, VT. Hoar currently holds the record for the most career wins in ACT Late Model Tour history with 25, including back-to-back wins at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway and Waterford Speedbowl in 2009.  These wins, plus 11 top tens in 13 starts, helped Hoar edge out runner-up Scott Payea. Hoar was joined by over 500 teams, fans and officials as he celebrated his first championship with new car owner Rick Paya. Paya also has previous ACT Tour championships as a crew chief and car owner with Jean-Paul Cyr.

General Manager of NHMS Jerry Gappens accepts MacTavish Award from ACT President Tom Curley

The 41st Annual MacTavish Award was given to New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) for their contribution to Northeast stock car racing. The prestigious MacTavish Award is named for legendary New England racer Don MacTavish who was killed in 1969 while racing at Daytona International Speedway. In 2009, NHMS hosted the first annual ACT Invitational, which invited 36 of the best Late Model competitors from around the region. It was the showcase event for ACT Late Model competition during the 2009 season.

Thunder Road International Speedbowl crowned Milton’s Jean-Paul Cyr as the 2009 50th Anniversary Season “King of the Road.” The seven-time ACT Late Model Tour Champion took a break from the touring scene in 2009 and set his sights on the 50th Anniversary Season title. He joined forces with car owner Joey Laquerre and crew chief Jeff Laquerre. Cyr used his Times Argus Mid-Season Championship win to beat “Senator” Phil Scott for the championship.

The NAPA Tiger Sportsman title went to Williamstown’s Jimmy Hebert in just his third season. Hebert also scored the first feature win of his career in 2009. The 2009 Tiger Sportsman Tri-State Series Championship was won by Morrisonville, New York’s Shawn Duquette. Duquette tied Jason Bonnett for the title, but used his two victories to win the tie breaker. Veteran Gary Mullen of Tunbridge took the top Allen Lumber Street Stock honors. Donnie Yates of North Montpelier won the Power Shift Junkyard Warriors title.

Over $85,000 plus trophies were awarded to the top teams in all divisions of Thunder Road and the ACT Tours for their efforts during the 2009 season.

The second annual ACT Crew Chief of the Year Award went to John Doiron. Doiron was the crew chief for his son, Joey, who won the ACT Rookie of the Year Award for 2009. John was recognized for his hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and attitude on the ACT Tour and the continual improvement of the Berwick, Maine Doiron race team.

A new award was created this year in memory of Pete Hartt, who covered the American-Canadian Tour and Thunder Road during his time with WDEV Radio and as the sports editor for the Times Argus. The Pete Hartt Memorial Media Award was presented to WCAX sports anchor Seth Leavitt for his support of regional stock car racing.

Troy Germain, “The Voice of ACT” from St. Johnsbury received the Ken Squier Award. Germain was presented the award for his hard work and dedication as the ACT Tour and Thunder Road announcer.

The Gordon R. Nielsen Rookie Achievement Award went to Hyde Park’s Tucker Williams. Williams is the 2009 Allen Lumber Street Stock Rookie of the Year and led the division with four wins. His first career feature win came on opening day of 2009 in his first feature start. Other rookies that qualified for the award were from the ACT Tour, Joey Doiron of Berwick, Maine along with Thunder Road Late Models, Dylan Smith from Randolph and NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Erik Steel of Barre.

Sportsmanship and Most Improved driver awards were presented for all divisions based on driver and official voting. ACT Late Model Tour winners were Chip Grenier of Graniteville for the Sportsmanship Award and Graniteville’s John Donahue for Most Improved. Thunder Road Late Model awards went to Brooks Clark from Fayston for Sportsman and Cambridge’s Craig Bushey for Most Improved. The Thunder Road Sportsman awards were presented to Wolcott’s Brendan Moodie for Sportsmanship and Bradford’s Derrick O’Donnell for Most Improved.

The Ed Carroll Memorial Award for Sportsmanship in the Street Stocks was awarded to Craftsbury’s Mike Martin. The Junkyard Warrior Sportsmanship Award was given to Cabot’s Ken Christman.

The 2010 ACT Late Model Tour season will kick off on Sunday, April 18 at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH. Thunder Road will open its gates for the first time on Sunday, May 2 for the 12th annual Merchants Bank 150.