42nd Spring Green 116 Heads to Airborne Park Speedway
Race began in 1974 at Catamount Stadium
The American Canadian Tour (ACT) will travel to Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY for the annual Spring Green Championship Stock Car race this Saturday night, May 14. The race began at Catamount Stadium in Milton, VT back in 1974 with 74 laps, and each year has added a lap. Upon the closing of Catamount in 1987, the race was moved to SANAIR Super Speedway in Ste Pie, Quebec for the 1988 edition. Robbie Crouch won his only Spring Green at SANAIR. 1989 was the only year there was no Spring Green race run. Returning in 1990, the race was moved to Airborne Speedway, which holds a record for most Spring Green events, with a total of twenty-two (22). The only other location of the event was three events held at Devil’s Bowl Speedway from its asphalt opening in 2012 thru 2014.
The Spring Green was an Open Competition for Late Models for the first 5 years when it was held at Catamount from 1974-1978. When the NASCAR North Tour was created in 1979, as the opening event of one of just a handful of touring series in the US and Canada at the time, the traditional season opener was the Spring Green at Catamount, until its closing in 1986.
A long history of first time winners has seen this become one of the marquee events on the different ACT tours over the years. Although many of the well-known stars of northern racing won the opener --- the Dragon brothers, Cabana, Dion, and Fadden among others-- what has made it most interesting is the number of “breakout winners” over the years. Canadian Claude Leclerc won his first race at the 1990 edition. Local Plattsburgh favorite Robin Wood won back-to-back events in 2005 and 2006 in the Flying Tiger Division. Jacob McGrath won the event at Airborne in 2002. Todd Stone of Middlebury, VT and Chris Fisher from Shelburne, VT, also captured Spring Green victories during the many years Airborne Speedway Park hosted the event. Scott Payea from Milton won the race in 2009 and is a favorite to repeat at the 2016 edition with the RPM Performance team from Georgia, VT.
Recent ACT Champions Brian Hoar, Wayne Helliwell, Jr. and Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. have dominated the Spring Green for the past six seasons.
There have also been different divisions that competed in the Spring Green at multiple tracks. Southern type high horsepower Late Models dominated in the early days at both Catamount and Airborne. They were followed by the NASCAR North 6 cylinders six shooters. ACT Pro Stocks took over for many years with what most remember as the ACT Crouch-Hanley era in the early 90’s. The current ACT Late Models took over the race with former ACT Champion Pete Fecteau winning the race at Airborne in 1996. There was a two-year period when the famous Flying Tigers of Thunder Road and Airborne inherited the event; Robin Wood from Plattsburgh won both the Tiger Spring Green events in 2005 and 2006. The ACT Late Models have competed in the event for the past 18 of 20 years.
There have been thirty-one (31) different winners over the forty-two-year history of the Spring Green. With the first 2016 ACT events held at Oxford Plains Speedway and Lee USA providing wins to two new full time competitors of the ACT, all signs point to the possibility of another break out performance by one of a number of outstanding young stars that make up the competitive 2016 field.
The Spring Green 116 is this Saturday, May 14, with a starting time of 5:00pm for ACT qualifying heats. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5.00 for kids ages 6-12 and $30 for a family (2 adults/2 kids).