Contributed by: ACT Staff
The American Racer Three Star program is designed to recognize three teams in no particular order of performance that had outstanding races at ACT U.S. Tour events. There are no specific criteria for deciding who might receive the award of a free American Racer Tire (value $125.00), but a special effort by a team, exceptional race, just plain old hard luck, or any other accepted reason to give the award is used to decide the award recipients.
The three stars are chosen by ACT officials and will receive certificates for use of a free American Racer tire at a race of their choosing during 2015.
Lee USA Speedway - NH GOVERNOR’S CUP 150
The annual running of the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 was described by veteran ACT fans as an old time “barn-burner” of a race – an old-fashioned tug of war with hard racing throughout the field. Leaders battled from start to finish; veterans beat each other up; and while some new teams were smooth as silk, other new teams also beat each other up! Finding three stars was not hard as the following all delivered outstanding performances. Because the criteria for the Three Star program does not allow the top three finishers to be chosen for the awards, it should be mentioned that all three were stars in their own right. ACT Champion Wayne Helliwell Jr. scored the victory, Brad Babb had the drive of the day in second, and Eddie MacDonald was brilliant as usual. However, their top-three finishes disqualified them from the Star Awards.
*Matt Anderson, Franklin, NH - 49NH—Matt Anderson and his team are a small independent group in just their second year of touring. The team finished 17th after staring 26th. At first glance, perhaps those criteria might not seem to qualify for a Star of the Race Award. But after a year of following the tour, the 49NH team finished the full 150-lap battle at Lee. This was a genuine step in the right direction for their program. The positive attitude and desire to continue improving his program gives Matt and his team all the ingredients for a Star Award. Lee was a tough race, and the 49NH’s finish was a testament to a short track racer who understands where his team currently is and to a team who works on their program with dedication and a great attitude. Congratulations on the Three Star Award to the Watt-sponsored team; it will be interesting to see what their next step forward will be.
*Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, NH - 97NH—Defending ACT Champion “Joey Pole” knew exactly what he had to do to challenge for the win on Sunday. Pole saved his car when other contenders decided that weather might play into the finish and started their charge, and the team positioned themselves for a final sprint to the front. After a steady drive – and a little help from numerous cautions after halfway – the Hudson, NH team started their second half run. Joey pushed the button and was underneath the third-place car when contact took him to the infield grass. His tenacious charge from the rear of the field with 33 laps remaining to finish ninth was a masterful drive, and certainly defines what a team has to do to win titles. It might have been a disastrous day for defending his 2014 championship; instead he managed to salvage positions and points. Lee was not a throwaway event in the long grind that makes up the 2015 ACT title run for the Polewarczyk crowd; they gave up the point lead by just nine markers to race winner Wayne Helliwell Jr. Tenacity was on Joey Pole’s side, and for his recovery after a terrific strategy and run, a Three Star Award is awarded to the 97NH team.
*Larry Gelinas, Buxton, ME - 91CT—Larry Gelinas drives for the Jeff Hartwell team based in Connecticut and is a seasoned veteran of New England racing. A former winner of the Oxford 250, Gelinas drives just about any and all rides that are offered to him along with his own Super Late Model. In his second year of touring with ACT, both Gelinas and the Hartwell team appear to be rising to the top. After a year of getting used to the ACT rules package, visiting a variety of tracks for the first time, and becoming comfortable with many teams they had no knowledge about, 2015 has them looking like a veteran team that may make a run. Starting 20th on the NH Governor’s Cup grid, the 91CT raced to a solid sixth-place finish. The steady drive to the front was the best of the day and showcased the experience that Gelinas has from his many turns around the Lee oval. The Connecticut team with the Maine driver is awarded a Three Star Award for their impressive ride.
Polewarczyk, Anderson, Helliwell, Babb, and the rest of the ACT Tour will be back in action this Sunday, May 3 at 1:00pm for the Merchants Bank 150 at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road. Admission is $25 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. The annual Thunder Road Car Show will be held on Saturday, May 2 from 9:00am-12:00pm on Barre’s Main Street, followed by the stock car parade to the track featuring the Catamount Pipe Band and an open practice for all division. This practice is free and open to the public.