ACT Awards Three Stars for People's United Bank 100 at Devil's Bowl
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 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 the 2015 season.
DEVIL'S BOWL SPEEDWAY
PEOPLE'S UNITED BANK 100
The People's United Bank 100 at Devil's Bowl Speedway on Saturday, June 6 saw one of the most diverse fields of the 2015 ACT Tour season so far. In addition to the top Tour regulars, the starting grid included weekly competitors from Devil's Bowl, Claremont Speedway in New Hampshire, and the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT, as well as several “outlaws” and part-time Tour competitors. Despite the relative infamiliarity between drivers, the ACT Tour staged one the cleanest events in recent memory. The 100-lap race went flag-to-flag without a caution, almost exactly one year after the last caution-free Tour race at Speedway 51 on June 7, 2014. In fact, the only incident of the day came in the final corner of heat 2!
But the lack of cautions didn't come closing to telling the story. Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Nick Sweet locked horns for the first 2/3 of the event, before eventual winner Joey Polewarczyk Jr. chased both of them down. Behind the lead trio, a number of other drivers had outstanding drives in their own right. Among those drivers, the following have been chosen for the Three Stars Award:
*Dillon Moltz, Waterford, CT – #5CT – “Thrillin' Dillon” Moltz is no stranger to the Late Model scene. He was groomed at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, CT as well as his hometown New London-Waterford Speedbowl, where he won the Late Model Championship in 2012. Moltz added another line to his racing resumé in 2014 by winning the Granite State Pro Stock Series title. This season, Moltz and his Mark Brackett–owned team are running a mix of Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model, ACT Late Model, and Granite State Pro Stock Series events.
The #5CT team made their first ACT start at Devil's Bowl with a car purchased from former Oxford Plains Speedway Champion Ricky Rolfe. It had been two years since Moltz climbed behind the wheel of a Late Model, but he quickly got back up to speed. Moltz started 12th and ran in the top-10 for nearly the entire event, putting on an outstanding battle in the second half with Brad Babb, Emily Packard, and Brian Hoar. Despite not getting a caution that would help him close up to the field, Moltz ended with an impressive 6th-place finish. The #5CT team receives a Star Award for hitting the ground running in their ACT debut and will be a team to watch at future events.
*Arthur Heino Jr., Newport, NH – #07ME – Arthur Heino Jr. has been transitioning to ACT-type Late Models the past two years after doing much of his formative racing in the Modified ranks. Heino, who is from the same town as ACT Tour contender Kyle Welch, is a former winner in pavement Modifieds at Monadnock Speedway and in dirt Modifieds at Legion Speedway. He now competes weekly in the Claremont Speedway Late Models, where he currently ranks second in points.
Heino made his ACT Tour debut at Devil's Bowl on Saturday in a Crazy Horse Racing car formerly driven by Maine racer Scott Luce. A 16th-place finish may not seem like a grand entrance to the touring ranks, but it marked quite the accomplishment for the #07ME team. Heino began the night by finishing third in his heat race, which earned him the 15th starting spot in the feature. He then ran a clean and respectful 100-lap event, earning valuable seat time while holding his own against the Tour and Devil's Bowl regulars. This Star Award goes go to a team still gaining experience in both Late Model and long-distance racing; if Saturday was any indication, then they may be on their way to bigger things.
*Josh Masterson, Bristol, VT – #11NY – Josh “Kid Rocket” Masteron took the Devil's Bowl Late Model world by storm in 2013, finishing second in points in his first year after moving up from the Mini Stocks. He scored another runner-up points finish in 2014 and already has a weekly feature win this season. Masterson also competes regularly whenever the ACT Tour visits his home track or travels to Plattsburgh, NY's Airborne Speedway. Recently, he led 23 laps in last month's Spring Green 115 at Airborne.
Saturday marked Masterson's best ACT Tour performance to date. Masterson noted before the event that, while his car was fast in weekly features, he was still working on finding the right combination for long-distance events. But may have found it on Saturday. Masterson never ranked worse than sixth in the field throughout the race, eventually bringing home a fourth-place result. The #11NY team had by far the best result of any of their fellow Devil's Bowl weekly teams, and was only a tick off from challenging the Helliwell/Sweet/Pole lead trio. The current Devil's Bowl point leaders receives a well-deserved Star Award for taking another important step forward with their program.
The ACT Tour has a week off before making their annual visit to White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, NH on Saturday, June 20. Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Joey Polewarczyk Jr. bring their tight championship battle to the ¼-mile oval to take on local standouts such as Tyler Cahoon and Travis Fadden. Post time is 5:00pm.