Contributed by: ACT Staff
ACT Experiences Youth Movement
Young Racers Rule At Season Opener
2012 ACT Rookie of the Year Jimmy Hebert claimed an emotional victory in the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday, but his victory did more than cement his name in the history books of ACT. For an afternoon, it appeared to usher in a new regime of racers to the 27-year old sanctioning body.
Hebert’s victory stole headlines across the Northeast, but he was not the only driver that had a career day at the Lee USA Speedway opener. Five drivers in the top ten claimed career-high finishes on Sunday. North Haverhill’s Travis Fadden, grandson of the legendary Stub Fadden, finished second on Sunday after earning the pole, and conquered his previous best finish of 12th in just his fifth ACT start. Rowland Robinson, Jr.’s family run team carved through the field to finish fourth: six positions higher than his previous career best. Ben Lynch had his best finish of his ACT Career finishing in sixth, and ACT Rookie of the Year contender Travis Stearns earned his best with eighth. Between the five drivers, they have a combined 53 American Canadian Tour starts. Just two years ago, none of these drivers had ever competed in a full-time ACT season.
As champions like Brian Hoar and Jean-Paul Cyr established championship records, these drivers were working their way through the system in go-carts, Tigers, and local Late Model divisions. Now, they go head to head with the two men they watched combine for over 15 ACT Championships. The door has been left ajar for the young guns to challenge an experienced and passionate veteran class that has set its sites on the 2013 American Canadian Tour title. Jimmy Hebert may have led a talented group of racers through that door on Sunday with his New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 victory.
The American Canadian Tour will make its return to Barre’s Thunder Road for the Merchants Bank 150 on Sunday, April 28. Thunder Road has proven to be one of the toughest tracks on the Tour schedule, but it is a track at which Hebert won a Tiger Championship, and the track he calls home. Time will tell if this young group is ready for the next step.