Labbe Leads Canadian Contingent into Airborne Spring GreenThe American-Canadian Tour (ACT) U.S. Late Model Tour and the Quebec-based Série ACT head to Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY this Saturday, May 16 for the Spring Green 115. The combination event is the 2015 season opener for the Canadian series, and a full contingent of Quebec competitors is expected to make the trek across the border.
Defending Série ACT Champion Alex Labbe of St-Albert, QC leads the Canadian charge into the fast ½-mile oval. The 2013 Fall Foliage 200 Airborne winner got an early start to 2015 by finishing fourth in the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway on April 26.
“We’re going to try to defend our title this year, and I’m pretty confident,” the 22-year-old said. “There’s going to be a lot of good cars, and a lot of tough guys that are going to come back. It’s going to be really interesting, but I’m sure we can defend it.”
The event marks the return of the Spring Green to Airborne after being run at West Haven, VT’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway the past four years. It’s also the first of four combination events this season between ACT’s U.S. and Quebec Tours.
“It’s a fun thing,” Labbe said of the events. “I’m sure we’re going to have more cars, and Airborne is a nice track to race with a lot of cars. There’s a lot of places to pass and it gives a great show.”
The 115-lap event is a prelude to the 3rd Annual ACT International on July 18 and 19, which will bring together the ACT Late Models and the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Models for a pair of 200-lap, $10,000-to-win races. In addition, it’s the first event for the Triple Crown, which posts more than $10,000 for the top-performing Série ACT 100%ers in the three ACT-sanctioned events at Airborne.
Labbe is not the only Quebecer who will be a threat. Jonathan Bouvrette just missed a victory in last Spring’s 100-lap Airborne event, losing to Ray Parent in a photo finish. 2013 Série ACT Champion Jean-François Déry finished fifth in both previous ACT Internationals. Two-time Série ACT Champion Donald Theetge, along with multi-time winners Patrick Cliche and Dany Trepanier, should also be competitive.
The ACT U.S. Tour will counter with their own talented group led by New Hampshire veterans Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Joey Polewarczyk Jr. Two-time Tour Champion Helliwell leads the point standings, with defending ACT Champion “Joey Pole” 19 markers behind. Both drivers are past winners of the Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne.
Veteran Jeff White has also impressed in his second full season on the ACT Tour and is currently tied for third in points with Brad Babb. White finished eighth in last spring’s Airborne event in his second trip to the speedway, then improved to fifth in the Fall Foliage 200.
“I like (Airborne),” White said. “It’s a driver’s track. You can run different lanes, and it’s just a lot of fun.
“I grew up racing at one track (Oxford) all my life, so I think it’s fun to go to all these different places,” he added. “We just keep working with our notes that we take every time we go. I like mixing it up.”
Young drivers such as Babb, Emily Packard, and Travis Stearns have impressed early in the season and will factor into the final outcome. Meanwhile, Jimmy Hebert will try to rebound from a wreck at Lee USA Speedway and a disappointing showing at Thunder Road. Kyle Welch is also looking for redemption after losing multiple top-10 finishes to late-race malfunctions.The 41st Annual Spring Green 115 for the ACT Tour and Série ACT will be held on Saturday, May 16 at Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY. Airborne’s weekly Modifieds, Renegades, and Mini-Mods will also be on tap. A previously scheduled appearance by the ACT Série ProCam Super Trucks has been cancelled. Post time is 5:00pm.