Pit Notes: Hoar, MacDonald Top ACT Practice at Thompson
Eight-time American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Champion Brian Hoar and recent Bond Auto ACT Invitational winner Eddie MacDonald were the drivers to beat in ACT Late Model practice at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway on Friday, October 16. 35 teams from eight U.S. states registered for the World Series 100 on Saturday, October 17 with 27 participating in the two practice sessions.
Wiliston, VT’s Hoar set the fast time of the day in the second practice session with a lap of 21.051 seconds around the high-banked 5/8-mile oval. Rowley, MA’s MacDonald was close behind at 21.169 seconds. Hoar and MacDonald have both previously competed at Thompson with what is now known as the NASCAR K&N Pro East Series.
Au Sable Forks, NY’s Brandon Atkins led the first practice session at 21.263 seconds for third-fast overall. This was Atkins’ first trip to Thompson, and he remarked “I like this track” after the first session.
Defending ACT Tour Champion Joey Polewarczyk Jr., former ACT Rookie of the Year Jimmy Hebert, and defending Granite State Pro Stock Series Champion Dillon Moltz also ran laps in the sub-21.3 second range. ACT point leader Wayne Helliwell Jr. wasn’t far behind. Rick Gentes and Jeff Rocco were the fastest of the Thompson regulars who participated in ACT practice, but Rocco later suffered a hard crash in the Thompson Late Model weekly feature.
Two major incidents marred the day. Warwick, RI’s Mark Jenison caught the wall exiting turn 2 early in the first practice after bottoming out and shooting up the track. Jenison’s team was able to repair the damage and put in extensive track time in the second session.
Midway through the second session, Orange, NH’s Walter J. Hammond lost control entering turn one and backed into the wall, suffering significant left-side damage. The team will look to make repairs for tomorrow’s event.
Former Valenti Modified Racing Series Champion Rowan Pennink made his full-fendered debut in a car owned by Jeff Hartwell. Pennink struggled to find speed on Friday but will be one to watch tomorrow.
Qualifying for the ACT World Series 100 goes to post at 2:15pm on Saturday, October 17. The feature event is expected to begin between 5:30pm and 6:00pm and will be broadcast live worldwide on FansChoice.TV.