The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) is set to open its 26th season of ACT Late Model racing, and its 34th season of late model racing at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday, April 23 with the annual New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150, which was postponed due to weather from its originally scheduled early April date. As in years past, the 2017 opener will give teams and fans a preview of competitors to watch during the coming race season.
The fast 1/3 mile at Lee has always offered an exciting kick-off to the season, with the previous 14 ACT Late Model Tour events serving up 13 different winners, with the back-to-back wins of multi-time Series Champion Brian Hoar in 2011 and 2012 standing as the only repeat winner. In 2016, Scott Payea, driving for the familiar RPM team (which was part of the Brian Hoar successes), stood on top of the podium after a hiatus of several years from racing.
Looking to mirror RPM’s repeat successes in 2011 & 2012, Scott Payea is excited to return to Lee: “There’s always a special excitement to the first event of any race season, and I would love to bring home back-to-back victories at Lee for my car owner, Rick, and get my season started off on the right foot!”. A popular man in the pits, the soft spoken Payea holds nothing back behind the wheel, and after finishing in the runner-up spot in the 2016 ACT standings, is prepared to elevate the RPM team’s final standing just a bit. But, with the return of Waterford, CT’s Dillon Moltz in the #5CT, along with Barre, VT’s Jimmy Hebert (Williamstown, VT)and Scott Dragon (Milton, VT),there is no question the competition will be fierce. “Richard Green and our team are excited to get back on the track, we are looking forward to giving the ACT Tour a try, and Lee is a great place to kick off the season,” said an excited Dragon.
From north of the border, the Quebec Série ACT will be well represented, with the inclusion of 3 former Champions, one hard charger, and a rookie driver. All six will compete full time in the Quebec-based ACT group, and will include several US events in their 2017 schedule. Of the group, Alex Labbe,(St. Albert, QC) ACT’s 2014 ACT Serie Quebec Champion will be competing at Lee as he has since 2012. Just days after his second career Xfinity start at Texas Motor Speedway, he will again be behind the wheel of the familiar #48QC Larue Snowplow machine. Dany Trepanier (St-Edouard, QC) (2015 Serie ACT Champion) plans his first visit to Lee USA, joined by 2-time Serie ACT Champion Donald Theetge of Quebec City. Blainville, QC’s Jonathan Bouvrette and rookie Mathieu Kingsbury are also geared up for the April 23rd Governor’s Cup event. Rounding out the contingent from La Belle Province is fan favorite #11 QC Claude Leclerc, kicking off his 40th year of stock car racing.The New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway kicks off the 26th season of ACT Late Model racing on Sunday, April 23 at 2 pm.