Contributed by: ACT Staff
Airborne Spring Green 115 Three Stars Awarded
The American Racer Three Star program is designed to recognize three teams in no particular order of performance that had outstanding races at American-Canadian Tour (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.
AIRBORNE PARK SPEEDWAY
SPRING GREEN 115
The tradition of the Spring Green, which began in 1974 at Catamount Stadium in Milton, VT, has moved around over the years from track to track. It has been run at Plattsburgh, NY’s Airborne Park Speedway on 21 occasions, the most of any track. The list of winners is a history book of Late Model racing in the northeast (see below). The 41st edition of the race took place at Airborne last Sunday, arguably one of the favorite tracks the ACT Late Models appear at each year. A perfect day for racing and a spirited battle between friendly rivals Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. of Hudson, NH and St-Denis, QC’s Patrick Laperle kept fans from both sides of the border happy for the entire event. The other seven-team battle that raged for the second half of the event was also an example of great short track racing.
**[Just some of the names to have won the Spring Green over the years from Northern NASCAR, NASCAR North, the ACT Pro Stock Tour, the Tiger Sportsman Tour, and the ACT Late Model Tour: Dragon (3), Dion, Cabana, Mike Barry, Leclair, Kourafas, Fadden, Leclerc, Hanley, Lepage, Hoar, Nason, Scott, Cyr, Helliwell, Polewarczyk, Jr.]**
*Brandon Atkins, Au Sable Forks, NY – 4NY—The 2014 ACT Rookie of the Year was one of the fastest cars during practice in preparation for the Spring Green. Coming off a strong effort at the Merchants Bank 150 at Thunder Road two weeks ago, the talented high school graduate was at his family-owned track. “My favorite track is actually Devil’s Bowl and I can’t wait to get back there next month for the ACT race,” Atkins said.
His skill is showing early at both the ¼-mile bullrings like Thunder Road and bigger tracks such as the Airborne ½-mile. Some early heavy traffic found the 4NY involved in a caution in the “Calamity Corner” that was turns 3 and 4, and Atkins was sent to the rear. But the youngster showed impressive resilience and the ability to overcome adversity. Brandon fought back and salvaged a solid 11th-place finish from what was looking like a disappointing day. His recovery keeps him positioned in eighth place in the ACT Championship point standings going into the opening event at the new Speedway 51 in Groveton, NH, on Saturday, May 30, where the 4NY team spent much of last year’s race in the top two positions. For his positive attitude and the team’s “never give up” motto, Brandon Atkins earns a Star of the Race Award for the Spring Green 115.
*Brad Babb, Windham, ME - 15NH—Another former ACT Rookie of the Year, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway track champion, and solid top-five championship contender in ACT for the 2015 campaign was a victim of the yellow sequence between laps 42 and 44 (the only three yellows of the event). The Joey Laquerre–owned entry for the Babb family racing team was having a solid early run until they were involved in the multi-car melee between turns 3 and 4. The accordion mess separated a host of competitive cars from the front runners and changed their strategy of saving tires and patience. Brad had won the last ACT race at Thunder Road and looked like he would be a contender to challenge for the Spring Green until that incident. He fought his way back to the mid-pack battle and spent the majority of time in the outside lane to claim a respectable finish and remain in the top-five in points. For the excellent recovery from some bad luck, Babb and his team are awarded a much deserved Star of the Race Award.
*Rich Dubeau, Plainfield, NH - 30NH—Once again this rookie contender surprised many in attendance with his full day of progress. As has been the case at every race during the young season, new tracks, different configurations, and different sizes have been the challenges this rookie team has faced. Their attitude and ability to adapt to the various challenges presented has been one of the most impressive offerings of the early season. Practice left the 30NH low on the speed charts, and they appeared tentative at best in their heat race. By consolation time the team, and apparently the driver, adjusted and earned a solid starting spot in the middle of the feature. A very impressive run on the outside lane throughout the event and running as part of the dynamic mid-pack race will serve to season this capable newcomer. For the continued improvement throughout the race, this rookie team finds in 10th place in the point standings after completing nearly a third of the championship run. The Rich Dubeau team is certainly deserving of another Star of the Race Award and seems headed for one of the most competitive rookie runs in recent memory.
The ACT Late Model Tour will be back in action for the Generation Next 151 at Speedway 51 in Groveton, NH on Saturday, May 30. Post time for the track’s season opener is 5:30pm.