Contributed by: ACT Staff
ACT Teams Ready to Head to New Smyrna Speedway
The bitter cold and snow during the winter of 2014-15 will be just a memory for the twenty-nine (29) ACT teams beginning this week as they caravan down the East Coast to the New Smyrna Speedway (NSS) at New Smyrna Beach in Florida.
The “World Series of Asphalt Short Track Racing” at New Smyrna Speedway, as it has been billed for decades, has served as a mid-winter break for many northern US and Canadian teams over the years. Just about every division of racing has competed at NSS over the week between the opening of activities at the Daytona International Speedway and the conclusion at week’s end, the Daytona 500.
“I remember being in a banquet hall, I believe at the Whitehall Hotel on the beach, when Richie Evans won one of his many NASCAR titles. During those years (1979) all divisions of NASCAR, from what is now Cup to the Modified Division, were at one banquet in February in Daytona. As soon as Evans received his Championship trophy and ring, he was out of the room heading for New Smyrna! Over the years, the best have all raced the World Series at New Smyrna. From the great Jr. Hanley from Ontario, to the best of the Modified and Late Model racers around both the US and Canada, they have all raced at NSS. If you were a top asphalt team, you probably tried New Smyrna Speedway during your career. I am really happy ACT teams and their fans can have this experience,” said Tom Curley, President of the American Canadian Tour.
The early favorites to win the American Racer Challenge Cup include defending Champions from ACT US and ACT Quebec, twenty-five year old Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, NH and twenty-one year old Alex Labbe, Ste. Albert, QC. They will be challenged by US veterans Wayne Helliwell, Jr., Dover, NH; Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, MA; Ray Parent, Tiverton, RI; and former ACT Quebec Champions Donald Theetge, Quebec City, and Patrick Laperle, St-Denis, QC.
“Forget about any favorites in this race. I think the level of talent heading to New Smyrna is as deep and tough as any race I have been in over the past decade. When you include Jimmy Hebert, Emily Packard, Brad Babb, Luke Hinkley, and Aaron Fellows-- really the list goes on and on. Then there are guys like Keith Rocco and Tom Carey that are joining us. Eric Chase has won a race there. Travis (Stearns) and Rowland Robinson are ACT regulars. The neutral track at NSS is going to make this one of the best three days of racing I can think of. We are packed and ready and anxious to see everybody in Florida,” said ACT Champion Polewarczyk, Jr.
The ACT teams from eight states and the Province of Quebec will compete in a three-day race program beginning Sunday night, February 15, with a 100-lap event in conjunction with the opening of the 2015 season for the NASCAR K&N Series. They will present a 150-lap race. Monday and Tuesday, February 16 and 17 ACT will present a two-night American Racer Challenge Cup series. ACT teams will race individual 100-lap races and a combined overall American Racer Challenge winner will then be crowned on Tuesday.