ACT Heavyweights Helliwell, Pole Head to Airborne for International
The third running of the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) International 500 on Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19 at Plattsburgh, NY's Airborne Park Speedway promises to be one of the most star-studded stock car racing events of the 2015 season. Numerous former Champions have entered either or both of the twin 200-lap, $10,000-to-win events for the ACT Late Models and Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Models at the 1/2-mile oval, including two former ACT Tour Champions locked in a battle royale for this season's title.
“It would definitely mean a lot to win this race,” Helliwell said. “At Airborne we won our first ACT Championship back in 2012, and then we won our second in 2013, but yet almost had it taken it away (by a late crash). So there's been a lot of highs and lows at that speedway. I think to follow that up with a win in the International, with the amount of people and the talent that's going to be there for this race, would be huge.”
Defending ACT Tour Champion and 2013 International winner Joey Polewarczyk Jr. sits just 17 points behind Helliwell in the current standings. Hudson, NH's “Joey Pole” is gunning for his third straight Airborne victory after winning this year's Spring Green 115 and the 2014 Fall Foliage 200.
Although the International is a non-points event for ACT, Pole believes the intensity of the ACT Tour point battle will still be on display.
“I think it carries over, especially if there's a lot of money on the line like in this race,” Pole said. “If you win it, it can make the year that much more manageable because you can fill the bank account. Plus (Wayne) wants to keep the momentum swinging in his direction; right now it is, because he won the last points event at White Mountain. We felt we had a good run finishing second, but winning just gives you a lot of momentum.”
While Pole will attempt to capture the $10,000 winner's prizes in both the ACT Late Model and PASS Super Late Model events, Helliwell has elected to focus on his ACT effort. Pole thinks his ACT success at Airborne will help him get his PASS mount running well, while Helliwell believes that concentrating on a single car will give him an edge over drivers running both events.
A strong field of talent will vie with Helliwell and Pole for the victory. The top drivers in ACT Tour points have all entered the event, including Maine veterans Jeff White and Travis Stearns, Merchants Bank 150 winner Brad Babb, recent Vermont Governor's Cup winner Nick Sweet, and 18-year-olds Emily Packard and Brandon Atkins.
Pole will be joined in his double-duty quest by 2014 International winner Patrick Laperle, eight-time ACT Tour Champion Brian Hoar, two-time Série ACT Champion Donald Theetge, and former ACT Rookie of the Year Bobby Therrien. Canadians such as defending Série ACT Champion Alex Labbé, 2013 Champion Jean-François Déry, and current point leader Dany Trépanier have also entered the event.
The ACT International 500 at Plattsburgh, NY's Airborne Park Speedway is Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19. The ACT Late Models and PASS Super Late Models will both run 200-lap, $10,000-to-win events and will be joined by Quebec's RevStar SpeedSTRs and Slingshots. Qualifying begins on Saturday, July 18 at 6:30pm and features go to post at 1:00pm on Sunday, July 19. General admission is $40 for a two-day ticket, $20 for Saturday only, and $35 for Sunday only.