Contributed by: ACT Staff
Compiled by: G.A.Ronie, LV, Marrm, BL LLC ASSOCIATES
The following outlines some of the odds for the coming 2010 season, as compiled by a noted short track handicapping firm. The opinions and results are solely the responsibility of the compilation group. Any comments or remarks should be addressed to those responsible or just “deal with it”. Enjoy, and good luck to all race teams entering the new season. Does not include all entries, and apologies go out to those that did not receive proper recognition or were inadvertently omitted.
(Championship odds for 2010 based on international calculations)
(no particular season finishing order implied)
*********SOME FULL TIME CONTENDERS*********
ODDS TEAM NAME
3-2 37VT BRIAN HOAR - This six-time ACT Champion and his newly formed RPM Motorsports team took a while to get things together during 2009, but they hung in during the transition and by mid-season had positioned themselves to make a run for the title. With a dramatic win at Waterford, they finished the season with consistent top finishes. They are the ones to beat in 2010.
CAUTION: Likes to win and will risk it at times…could cost them a title.
BIGGEST ASSET: Have put together a ‘dream team’, with plenty of experience, and one of the best drivers in ACT history.
ODDS TEAM NAME
7-5 22VT JP CYR – By most standards the greatest driver in the history of ACT returns to the ACT Tour in 2010. It is impossible not to consider Cyr as a favorite to win his 8th title. With a new team, that might prove difficult, but then again, Cyr was pretty much written off in 2009 from winning the Thunder Road title with his new team and some very heavy competition, and he ended up winning the 50th “King of the Road” title! One interesting stat is that the great champions Cyr and Hoar have never raced against each other for the ACT titles they have each won (total of 13!). This should be a year like no other.
CAUTION: Joining the Gary/Kyle Caron team might be an initial team learning curve.
BIGGEST ASSET: Cyr is the most focused driver ever to race in ACT…whoever expects to win will have to deal with the ultimate ‘finisher’.
ODDS TEAM NAME
2-1 26VT JOHN DONAHUE – Finally reached his potential as a driver and the team came together with the help of veteran builder and racer Dale Shaw. Kendall Roberts and his National Guard Team were rewarded with major victories and an incredible final half of the season. Fast and competitive, Donahue vaulted into being a threat and the effort has now made him an accomplished veteran driver to be dealt with. If any front-runner stumbles, the 26 Team will be there to take advantage. They also could lead the championship hunt from start to finish.
CAUTION: Patience and temper have sometimes been an issue in the Late Models.
BIGGEST ASSET: Donahue gained maximum confidence in 2009; Donahue was one of the all time greatest Tiger Sportsman drivers. He knows how to win races…that may be all he needs to get his ACT Late Model championship in 2010.
ODDS TEAM NAME
2-1 97NH JOEY POLEWARCZYK (Pole) – Joey Pole has been a ‘poster boy’ for four years on how to be a successful racer in the most competitive market in the Northeast. Several veteran ACT champions have mentored Pole, and he proved he has the ‘right stuff’ to be Champion. Skilled in all forms of Late Model racing, (ACT Late Models, Super Late Models, NASCAR K&N Pro Series cars), now a veteran team led by Big Joe is primed to win the title. Joey Pole has driving and set up skills beyond his years, and appears focused to challenge for the ACT title. Don’t be surprised to see him win some of the region’s biggest races in 2010, including the Oxford 250 and the ACT II Invitational at NHMS.
CAUTION: Has been prone to have a mid-season slump over the past few years…will need to correct that if he plans to compete for title.
BIGGEST ASSET: Attitude is one of Pole’s greatest assets. He is focused, smart, and races with great confidence. He has gained the respect of his elders--that is vitally necessary to win titles.
ODDS TEAM NAME
3-1 55VT BRENT DRAGON – The most veteran driver on the ACT. Dragon wins races every year. Dragon is rarely out of the top five in standings at any time in the season. Dragon has fininished second to Cyr more than any other competitor in Tour final standings. He has one of the most professional attitudes and approaches to racing. In many previous seasons he has gotten off to a slow start and had to ‘catch up’ throughout what is a relatively short race season. The expanded 14 race 2010 Tour season, and large number of long tracks in 2010, will play into this veteran’s championship plans. If he is leading at the halfway mark, nobody will catch him.
CAUTION: Avoid the early slump. Get off to successful early start.
BIGGEST ASSET: Dragon is one of the most consistent finishers, once he gets past the early events. Always, one of the most prepared teams on the tour. Races at Airborne, Riverside and Waterford give him an edge.
ODDS TEAM NAME
7-6 89VT SCOTT PAYEA – How do you not put this team in the mix to once again challenge for the 2010 title? Payea has been a contender for the past four seasons. Veteran members of his team, led by Chris Companion, all but assure that he will be in the hunt all season. Look for minimum two wins, frequent top threes, and either leading the points or within reasonable striking distance to win the tour when October finale at Waterford rolls around.
CAUTION: Has to play his game and not get conservative or sit on his lead.
BIGGEST ASSET: Incredible capacity to bounce from adversity and regain positive momentum. One of the best drivers and teams under pressure when it arrives.
ODDS TEAM NAME
3-1 02NH RANDY POTTER – Probably one of the most fun teams to be around until the green falls, and then it is serious business for the Potter team. Was leading or challenging to win late in three different 2009 events. Seems Potter can race equally well on any size track and that should give him a leg up on many other contenders for the 2010 title.
CAUTION: Usually has very strong start to season. Needs to find that year- long consistency and the title can be his.
BIGGEST ASSET: Unbelievable loyalty from his veteran team of many years. Old school racers with talented crew chief in Pete Knights, and a very tough but respectful driver.
ODDS TEAM NAME
4-1 18VT JAMIE FISHER – When he is good – he is very very good! Had signs of returning to old championship form at times during the 2009 season. Probably the most exciting racer when he is on his game. A racer’s racer and long overdue to win the ACT title after years of supporting both Thunder Road and the Tour. This team can win, as evidenced by his Thunder Road ‘King of the Road’ title. At 4-1 favorite he may not win it, but if he doesn’t he can certainly be a ‘spoiler’ during the season-long title run.
CAUTION: Needs to be consistent finisher at all tracks and avoid two or three bad finishes that hurt his chances. High-risk taker.
BIGGEST ASSET: Loves to race and when given a good car can drive it to the front. He also is one of the best at driving a “less than perfect” car and that could play well in the championship hunt.
ODDS TEAM NAME
4-1 7ME GLEN LUCE – The veteran from Maine has now been around the Tour for two full seasons and he just may be ready to make a statement in 2010. His team’s ability to find much support within the ACT fraternity has earned him an edge heading into the season. It appears that a new car and new Ford engine program might be just what Luce and crew chief Brian Craig need to contend for the title. Finishing top ten is no longer acceptable. Expect a solid top five finish, and if early success is in the cards, the 7ME team could be in contention for the title. This team needs to get the momentum they carried out of the 2008 season back.
CAUTION: Team needs to recover from disappointing 2009 season, run for wins while continuing to be aware of risk-reward in races where the wins are not in the cards.
BIGGEST ASSET: Knows how to win races. Has gained lots of respect from other contending teams.
ODDS TEAM NAME
6-1 51ME RICKY ROLFE – Another Maine veteran and Oxford track Champion in both the Pro Stock and Late Model ranks enters his second season with a full season of touring under his belt. This short track specialist driving for Brackett Mechanical should be positioned to improve dramatically. Rolfe had a solid race going on the ‘neutral’ track, Waterford, and looked to be ready to break out until the rains came last June. Look for Rolfe to win a race or two and dramatically improve in the overall standings in 2010. Never easy for a team that is joining forces the first year. This team should be much improved having gone through the 2009 season together.
CAUTION: Consistency seemed to be what prevented this team from getting enough momentum to get on any kind of roll in 2009. A quick start in the first several races could prove to be the catalyst to bring this team into championship form.
BIGGEST ASSET: Veteran racer with lots of skill. Team that is very committed and has winner’s attitude among its owners and members…should prove to be invaluable if there is any kind of run in this team’s future.
ODDS TEAM NAME
5-1 40VT ERIC CHASE – Chase is a seasoned campaigner with one of the most veteran crew chiefs on the Tour. A one-of-a kind brand new car from Leavitt Chassis in 2010 may be the turning point for this veteran. Most long-time observers of the ACT have watched Chase improve from his early years, but for some reason he seems to have been ‘stuck’ for the past few seasons. The 40VT team has the experience to be a top five team in 2010. If the new car is as good as it may possibly be, that might be just enough to get Chase a win or two along the way. This driver is easily one of the most well-liked and respected racers on the Tour, and perhaps has the overall most positive attitude on the Tour.
CAUTION: Can be very inconsistent and needs to work on solid finishes in spite of what obstacles each race throws at him. Needs to gain total confidence to reach his full potential.
BIGGEST ASSET: Crew Chief Rick Gonyon experience, and Chase has dedicated commitment to having fun and being competitive.
ODDS TEAM NAME
4-1 15VT JOEY LAQUERRE – Still one of the toughest and most successful racers after 50 years of driving everything that is available on short tracks throughout New England and Canada. Historically not a big fan of point racing, but the Seth Leavitt-led effort, with a new car and new Ford power plant might change all that in 2010. Laquerre is a fierce competitor and uses his 50 years of experience very effectively in preparation, on track situations and that leads to maximizing results. Could be the biggest surprise of 2010 and don’t be surprised to see him win at any track, big or small.
CAUTION: Team can consist of just Joey and Pam on occasion, if in championship contention, this team will have to have some added help and remain consistent.
BIGGEST ASSET: Certainly has the most experience of any driver he will compete against. Loves to race and has support from Pam, most times his only crew. Has added dimension of Maine native Seth Leavitt, who has just recently found himself as one of the premiere builders and chassis men in the Northeast.
ODDS TEAM NAME
9-1 41VT PETE POTVIN – The 41VT family team is one of the most dedicated teams on tour. Consistent improvement each year has brought this team to some solid finishes. Look for Potvin to have a break out season. Very capable of running for points using his long point- chasing experience at White Mountain Motorsports Park as his basis. Great opportunity for a top ten finish in a very competitive field this season and with total consistency could contend for a top five at the end of season.
CAUTION: Generally has some excellent races, but needs to find consistency week in and week out.
BIGGEST ASSET: Has enough experience to run well at all tour tracks. Has proved he can run competitively with bigger teams over the past several seasons. Could be a major surprise in 2010.
ODDS TEAM NAME
8-1 42MA JEFF ZUIDIMA – Not a familiar name to most ACT Tour watchers, with limited number of starts in 2009. This veteran multi-time Champion at the Thompson Speedway is the real deal. A used converted Pro Stock did not do the trick for this veteran team from Massachusetts in 2009. With partner Dave Maynard, the Zuidima team has re-grouped and combined resources for a full commitment to the ACT in 2010. A new car and tons of experience might make this the biggest upset team of the season. Don’t be surprised to see this team win some races and be competitive in most. Ranked as potentially the biggest surprise of the 2010 season. Need to get a quick start to get some confidence.
CAUTION: Will have to be concerned about the smaller finesse tracks, should be fine on the long tracks. Will need to get used to long distance tour events versus the weekly sprint racing he is used to.
BIGGEST ASSET: Won enough championships at Thompson Speedway so that he knows how to run for points. Is a veteran with lots of experience. Another ‘old school’ racer with excellent credentials.
ODDS TEAM NAME
7-1 78NH QUINNEY WELCH – Welch is a ‘podium spoiler’! This independent team can find its way to the podium at any track the Tour visits. A favorite and steady front-runner at the White Mountain Motorsports Park, if funding can be found and the 78NH team runs the full schedule; this team could be a solid top five at the end of the season. Has a unique ability to run patiently in long distance events in spite of his excellent success in weekly sprint racing in recent years. If the team can avoid DNQ’s and serious wrecks, they could win a race or two and are sure to be serious contenders for solid finishes each week.
.CAUTION: Need to make sure car is maintained weekly to avoid unnecessary DNQ’s and DNF’s.
BIGGEST ASSET: Competition does not scare this team and they love to race. Has a knack to find very fast set ups, even at tracks they have not visited.
ODDS TEAM NAME
8-1 05VT CRAIG BUSHEY – A ‘flat out racer’ from the old school of racing. A true hard charger and fearless competitor who ranks as one of ACT’s best Tiger drivers and excellent chassis man. A multi- time champion in the Sportsman division at both Thunder Road and Airborne Speedway should help this team in their full time tour effort. Bushey could very well be another surprise in 2010. Limited touring experience might hinder the early going, but by mid-way in the season, this competitor might turn some heads. His advantage should come at Airborne and Thunder Road, but Bushey can surprise at any track at any time. If you like excitement, keep your eye on the 05VT in 2010.
CAUTION: Has to harness aggressiveness in early going of the long distance events. Will need to study competition at every event to know how to race them.
BIGGEST ASSET: Enthusiastic owner, skilled driver and chassis man, loves to race. These ingredients might make veteran contenders take early notice of the 05VT team.
ODDS TEAM NAME
7-1 38VT TYLER CAHOON – Two full years of tour racing gives the Cahoon team an edge going into the 2010 season. A very competitive weekly racer, winning a Late Model title at the White Mountain Motorsport Park, there is no shortage of enthusiasm with this team. Finding consistency is going to be necessary to break into a steady top ten team. Certain tracks favor this team and they can be very competitive, need to work on the others. Highlight of the tour for this team to date was the test day at NHMS when Tyler and his veteran dad, Stacy, ran together all by themselves for over 15 minutes during the final practice session at NHMS last August. Might just get to do it again in 2010.
CAUTION: Needs to get out of mid-pack early to avoid others mistakes. Find early consistency in finishes and build on that.
BIGGEST ASSET: Brother Patrick is crew chief and very dedicated. Enthusiasm is always present with this team…great attitude is biggest asset.
ODDS TEAM NAME
9-1 03ME TRAVIS ADAMS – The multi-time Oxford Plains Speedway Champion is taking his talents on the road in 2010. Adams was nearly unbeatable for years at Oxford in his family-owned and run team. Always competitive in the ACT events at Oxford, Adams will need to get some early success on the Tour to challenge for a title, but will probably show championship form after the half-way turning point when tracks get visited for a second time. Look for improved efforts at Oxford because of the early experience the team will have running longer distance events, and predictions are that Adams just might be a serious contender during the 2010 season. He certainly knows how to chase points.
CAUTION: Lots to learn quickly with this challenge the 03ME team has taken on. Needs to be patient and be willing to ask for help from veteran ACT teams.
BIGGEST ASSET: Very skilled and respectful driver. Lots of family and friends support, and very willing to take on a challenge. Trials and successes at 2009 NHMS should help this team get off to a positive start.
ODDS TEAM NAME
5-1 16NY MARK LAMBERTON – The popular New York driver was a mainstay and one of the ACT’s most popular and competitive drivers for many years. He rejoins the Tour in 2010 with the potent Rick Green team. The RIG team has and will continue to field cars for Joey Becker at various Tour events with a serious run for the title at Thunder Road. That leaves Lamberton with the team car to run the full 2010 Tour. Lamberton was nearly unbeatable at Airborne Speedway in the decade of the 90’s and became a solid top racer on the Tour in the early part of this decade. Look for this team to get out of the starting gate early and expect them to contend for wins.
CAUTION: May be a little rusty, but this veteran should be at full song by the time the team gets to his home track, Airborne Speedway in mid-May.
BIGGEST ASSET: One of ACT’s great owners comes back with this highly skilled and popular driver. Already has enormous respect from most veteran teams on the tour. Is a respectful driver, but still very competitive.
ODDS TEAM NAME
8-1 77NH MARK HAYWARD – This New Hampshire veteran joined the Tour in 2009 and was impressive in early season runs. Now that the team has seen most of the touring tracks, look for the Hayward team to improve the 2010 season. A potential top ten season is in the cards for this team. Don’t discount a win at home track, Twin State. Will need to have some consistency to break into top ten, but should be able to get that done in the coming season. Was very successful in qualifying in 2009 and should be able to improve his long race consistency in the coming season.
CAUTION: Needs to get off to early start for some team confidence and results should be an overall solid season.
BIGGEST ASSET: Veteran with lots of experience, and good support from team should help this very good racer enjoy a break out season.
ODDS TEAM NAME
5-1 15ON DEREK LYNCH – A 25-year veteran of short track racing, Lynch began his career as a rookie with ACT in 1986 on the old COORS Pro Stock Tour. Mentored by his Ontario Championship father, legendary Jr. Hanley, and former multi-time Champion Robbie Crouch, Lynch capped off his early career with a win in the Oxford 250 in 1994. Lynch moved on to race in NASCAR North for the potent O’Connor team out of Augusta, ME. After a trip south to work as a fabricator at the Darrell Waltrip race shops in Charlotte, he moved back to Ontario and took over management of the Kawartha Speedway. Recently he has raced for the past few seasons on the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series coast-to-coast in Canada. Lynch has the experience to take a serious run at the ACT title with his season-long commitment in 2010. Watch out around mid-season when the Tour starts to revisit tracks. Lynch should be well positioned for a strong finish and contender for the title.
CAUTION: Will need to get used to the ‘momentum’ style of driving the Late Models present to new drivers.
BIGGEST ASSET: Has a veteran team behind him. Has 25 years of successful racing and the respect of many veteran ACT teams. If has early success, the 15ON will certainly be a contender in the points battle.
ODDS TEAM NAME
15-1 4NH CHRIS RIENDEAU – This young star entered two events in 2009, and although he was literally knocked out of a qualified spot at White Mountain in a disappointing effort, the young team handled that disappointment in a positive way. His second race was at home track Twin State, and again the youngster was very impressive in the large field. His solid 15th place finish was enough to make him an early favorite for ROTY honors in the upcoming season.
CAUTION: As with all rookies on the Tour, adjusting to the long distance races and getting qualified for events will be the early challenge.
BIGGEST ASSET: Riendeau showed a lot of patience and excellent attitude in his only outings in 2009--both important ingredients. If he continues, he will certainly find some success in his rookie season.
ODDS TEAM NAME
15-1 4ME BRADLEY BABB– Another young racer with family pedigree should make the ROTY battle one of the best in ACT recent history. His father, Bobby Babb, who had lots of experience in the 90’s racing the old ACT Pro Stock Tour, will lead Babb. Bradley has a solid foundation with his recent successful racing at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Babb will be driving for veteran car owner Sallie Bolduc and turned many heads at the Oxford Plains Speedway in his only appearance in 2009. His greatest challenge will be to get through the first round of new tracks and find the necessary consistency that is needed to be successful. He certainly appeared to have a good start on that at Oxford back in October.
CAUTION: The challenge will be to qualify in the early events. The early competition will see large fields of teams entered and most young teams will have a need to get some early seat time to build confidence.
BIGGEST ASSET: Support from car owner, veteran crew chief Bobby Babb, and very good experience he brings from his racing efforts at Beech Ridge.
ODDS TEAM NAME
15-1 72VT DAVID PAYA– Gained a lot of experience during several runs in 2009. Has lots of knowledge to draw from with brother Rick Paya one of the most successful owners and crew chiefs ever. Has very good equipment and may give the younger rookies a run if he can complete the rigorous 2010 schedule.
CAUTION: Will need to find some consistency and probably some additional help to compete with the double #4’s for the ROTY title.
BIGGEST ASSET: His past experience as crew chief gives him some important knowledge on set ups and that will help his 2010 effort.
55NH BRAD LEIGHTON – Leighton is one of the premiere racers during the past two decades in New England racing. His opening day win at Lee USA and win at the Kawartha Speedway in Canada in 2009 on a limited schedule only serves to alert the ACT teams that Leighton is always a force to be reckoned with. Owner Pete Duto is one of the pioneers of ACT racing and the cars he puts on the track are immaculately prepared. Leighton is planning a 5 or 6-race schedule in the Duto car for the 2010 season. While others chase points, Leighton will be chasing wins.
CAUTION: Always one of the most aggressive racers throughout his career, he will need to show some patience with all the new teams that are coming on board in 2010.
BIGGEST ASSET: No pressure. Look at his veteran record in every form of racing he has done--there is no need to have a shortage of confidence. He wins wherever he races.
80QC DONALD THEETGE – Originally signed up for the full US Tour in 2010 because his team members voted to come back to the US for the second time in the past three seasons. Theetge now has a sponsor commitment to defend his ACT Série Castrol Championship from a year ago, so that means some part time racing in the US. This veteran is a long track specialist, is the winningest driver on the Castrol Series, and will be especially tough at the longer tracks he periodically appears at in the US during the 2010 season.
CAUTION: This respectful driver sometimes becomes too conservative in the US races, which is not the case when racing in Canada.
BIGGEST ASSET: Great support team. This team has been together winning races for years and is well respected by US teams. If he is out front late in a race, he is probably going to win. Airborne and Oxford are two of his favorites.
60ME TIM BRACKETT – May not go out on Tour but will be a serious threat to win at the two Oxford events and certainly the Oxford 250. Since returning to Oxford Late Models on a weekly basis, not only was he an instant winner and challenged for track championship, but also showed that the best of ACT Late Model teams were just another challenge to be met. Watch for Brackett to win a long distance race at Oxford in 2010.
CAUTION: Will need to be aware of which teams he needs to keep an eye on late in the Oxford events. Some of the greatest charges on the Tour in recent years have come late in the recent Oxford races.
BIGGEST ASSET: Veteran skills, lots of experience at Oxford, and solid support from one of the best new young Late Model chassis people in the business, TJ Brackett, Tim’s son. The question is will TJ and Seth Leavitt share the knowledge as TJ is rumored to be racing a Late Model at OPS this coming year…he could also win an OPS Tour event!
10NH BEN ROWE – Perhaps the most successful racer to come out of the Northeast in the last decade. A formidable Super Late Model (Pro Stock) racer, a multi-time Pro All Star Series Champion, Rowe came on the scene four years ago and won two major ACT races almost immediately, while driving the Avery race team #10. His part time schedule in 2010 and the past few years of experience should make Rowe a serious threat to win some races and he could certainly have an effect on the outcome of the championship chase in 2010.
CAUTION: Transition from Pro Stocks is difficult only because it requires vastly different style of driver reaction and the cars race so differently. Rowe has ultimate respect from teams at ACT and that makes the challenge a lot easier.
BIGGEST ASSET: Highly competitive. Great attitude. Very patient and very respectful racer.
6VT CRIS MICHAUD – Michaud is one of the best combo racers in ACT. A three-time Champion at Thunder Road, Michaud is almost always competitive in the half dozen Tour races he enters each season. A winner at Lee USA, always a threat at Thunder Road, and at this time the leader of the Ford Blue Oval team, Michaud can be the ultimate spoiler taking wins away from the regulars.
CAUTION: Just has to get his new crew chief, Troy Wheeler, on the same page. Should not be a problem.
BIGGEST ASSET: Always smooth and respectful. Veteran Tour teams like racing against Michaud.
14VT PHIL SCOTT– The Senator, and soon to be Lt. Governor of Vermont, has the most impressive Late Model history at Thunder Road with three Championships, Milk Bowl wins, and most wins. Although his campaign schedule will prevent him from touring this summer, he may be the ultimate ‘spoiler’ at the Thunder Road Tour events this season.
CAUTION: Campaign may take away some focus which has been a Scott trademark. Willing to take calculated risks that work most of the time, but on other occasions can cost him.
BIGGEST ASSET: Dedicated crew led by Pete Duto, intense competitor, very comfortable on every inch of the difficult Thunder Road track.
88VT NICK SWEET– Sweet may be the best kept secret in Late Model racing in the region. The ultimate family team, with a bunch of buddies to help, Sweet came through the ACT system…enduro, 4-cyl champion, Tiger Champion, and Late Model ROTY at Thunder Road and the Tour. What a pedigree! Podium finishes at Oxford 250, and noticeable contender in every event he enters. Can win anywhere and probably will. Sponsor commitments kept him at Thunder Road last year and again this season…probably a good thing, or he would go out at around 3-1 to win the Tour title in 2010. Will give Tour teams plenty to contend with in the appearances he makes. Most, including the winner Eddie MacDonald, felt he was going to win in his first attempt at the NHMS at the ACT Invitational in Sept. ---- he did finish 2nd!
CAUTION: Not many cautions here. He may be the most complete young racer to come along in many years.
BIGGEST ASSET: Shayne Sweet, Nick’s father, is meticulous in preparation of the car. The team members are lifelong friends and associates, as are most of the legions of fans Sweet has accumulated in a short time. The rest is an uncanny ability to adapt to each track he visits, and a remarkable ability to take care of his equipment on the racetrack.
44VT DAVE PEMBROKE– One of the most consistent racers in ACT. A perennial point chaser and potential champion at Thunder Road. Pembroke has won about everything at what is known as the ‘toughest short track around’. King of the Road, all major TR events. Will certainly be someone to contend with at TR Tour events.
CAUTION: Not much to worry about with Pembroke. Doesn’t make many mistakes driving during events. Sometimes in his career will spend too much time getting a ‘bad car’ to work. That tenacity also works in his favor as a racer.
BIGGEST ASSET: Another solid family team who use their limited resources to maximum advantage. Smooth and very consistent as a racer, also very respectful of other racers, takes good care of equipment.
17MA EDDIE MACDONALD– Currently one of the most successful and versatile racers in the Northeast. MacDonald will definitely have an impact on the 2010 season. The ‘outlaw’ has a psychological affect on most ACT teams when he shows up. It is ironic that his family track, Lee USA, is really not his ‘home track’, rather New Hampshire Motor Speedway is where he enjoys his greatest success. Patented charges on the outside rail make him a favorite at Oxford any time he shows up and that will play mind games with the 2010 championship campaign for the regular contenders at least on a few occasions.
CAUTION: Not many caution signs up on this driver. If there is one possible area, it might be the transition from other disciplines to the Late Model style momentum cars, but that has not been a big problem in past years. Teams are getting better and preparation can’t be neglected by the #17MA team.
BIGGEST ASSET: Solid racer with great attitude. Never seems to get off his game or at least it never shows. Enjoys racing the Late Models and obviously loves the competition….those are all winning combinations which is why the 17MA ‘outlaw’ is always a threat to win when he shows up at an ACT event.
91QC PATRICK LAPERLE– Unknown if Laperle intends to race with ACT in 2010 following the controversial finish to the 2009 Championship run on the Castrol Series. If the team decides to compete on either side of the border, they are always a threat to win every time at any track.
CAUTION: Very aggressive. Questionable decisions at times.
BIGGEST ASSET: Very aggressive also his biggest asset. Solid team behind him.
48QC KARL ALLARD– One of the all-time best and most respected racers to come out of Quebec. Very competitive with one of the best teams in the Northeast. Wins races in Quebec and as a veteran is primed to win on select events in the US.
CAUTION: Sometimes a little too conservative, but rarely makes mistakes.
BIGGEST ASSET: One of the most respected drivers on either side of the border. Allard is a world-class snowmobile-racing champion (living in Ste Felicien, QC in the Lac St Jean region, he has plenty of months of huge snow to give him an edge)…Allard brings a big time competitive attitude from that discipline to his stock car racing program.
27MA WAYNE HELLIWELL, JR. – The Lee USA 2009 Champion is a member of the Ford Blue Oval team in Late Model racing. A seasoned veteran team led by his father, former champion Wayne, Sr. and car owner, Ford advocate Bruce Bernhardt, this is a team that can win whenever they show up. In the true fashion of another Ford team, the Dion Bros. from years past, this team likes to run outlaw races just for the wins. This team can be a big spoiler for ACT Late Model teams looking to win the championship.
CAUTION: Touring experience is limited. Long distance racing may take some getting used to in a heavy field of Tour Late Models. Will be focused on weekly defense of his Lee championship.
BIGGEST ASSET: Gifted and smooth racer with good head and race sense. A very experienced team to guide his efforts.
94ME SHAWN MARTIN – Martin is one of the rising stars at the Oxford Plains Speedway. No longer a young new racer, even at his age it is time for Martin to go to the next level. Look for that in 2010. Martin plans to do some touring and his focus and off-season efforts indicate that he is poised for a competitive season with a new Race Basics car and re-energized team. Martin can be a legitimate winner at a variety of tracks and has enough touring experience to make things difficult for the full timers. Could be a big surprise in those events he competes in during the new season.
CAUTION: Needs to stay with what works. Martin is a thinker and sometimes that gets him in trouble.
BIGGEST ASSET: Excellent and very respectful driver with solid and loyal team behind him.
9VT CHIP GRENIER – One of the nicest guys in the business. Works on a low budget, which is somewhat of a hindrance, but has plenty of skill as driver and has ‘shop help’ (part of the Duto gang at Fast One Motorsports). Grenier had a respectable season in 2009, but needed to find more consistency in his finishes. Could be a solid top five contender if he runs the entire season and can find that consistency.
CAUTION: Needs to pick some spots to find some controlled aggressive behavior. That will provide some needed confidence that he is a potential top five contender.
BIGGEST ASSET: Dedicated and steady racer. Has gotten the respect of all the teams he races, previously at Thunder Road and now on the Tour.
77MA JIMBO “Scruffy” LINARDY – May not be a contender for the title, but worthy of mention because he is symbolic of why everyone should be racing short track. He loves the sport, the action, and the atmosphere. An ardent ACT supporter for years, ‘Scruffy’ has traveled to most tracks so he has the experience. Getting qualified is the biggest challenge, and then confidence that he can compete in the long distance events will set an important standard for future teams to believe in the touring concept. The 77MA team brings many unnoticed positive elements to the overall philosophy of ACT racing. Many would do themselves a lot of good to take notice.
CAUTION: Drive within parameters of what the car and driver are capable of. Get some luck on qualifying draws!
BIGGEST ASSET: Best attitudes by entire team of any team on the ACT. Dedicated and hard workers and most important, an ardent Red Sox fan.
*****WEEKLY TRACK POTENTIAL SPOILERS*****
Thunder Road --- Dave Whitcomb
White Mountain--- Stacey Cahoon
Lee USA ---- Bryan Kruczek
Oxford Plains --- (See above)
Seekonk --- Ryan Vanasse
Gerry DeGasparre, Jr.
Twin State --- Guy Caron
Waterford --- Bruce Thomas
Capital City --- Sean Kennedy
Kawartha --- Brandon Watson
Enjoy the opening of the 2010 ACT championship season at Lee USA on Sunday, April 18, 2010. Many of those listed above will be attending the beginning of the 14 race run for the championship that will begin the 25th year of ACT racing at Lee. Best of luck to all race teams mentioned and those that were not.