DILLON MOLTZ WINS 31ST NH GOVERNOR'S CUP
A stout 29-car field kicked off the 2017 American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model Stock Car Championship schedule Sunday at Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire. The race, originally scheduled for April 9th, had been postponed due to weather.
The 31st running of the Annual New Hampshire Governor’s Cup, a 150-lap race, was won by Waterford, CT driver Dillon Moltz. He was joined on the podium by a pair of Quebec drivers: Alex Labbé of Victoriaville and Jonathan Bouvrette of Blainville. The defending race winner, Scott Payea (Colchester, VT) and 2017 ACT Rookie contender Jason Corliss (Barre, VT), rounded out the top-5.
Earlier in the day qualifying heat races were won by Josh Masterson, Rowland Robinson Jr., and Dillon Moltz, while consi winners were Bobby Therrien and Alex Labbé.
Williamstown, VT’s Jimmy Hebert and Jonathan Bouvrette lined up on the front row for the 150-lap event, with Hebert edging Bouvrette at the start for the first 11 circuits. Bouvrette charged back and claimed the top spot on lap 12, leading the field until eventual winner Moltz assumed the top spot on lap 56. Despite two restarts at lap 98 for minor incidents, Moltz set a blistering pace that would leave only 8 competitors on the lead lap at the end of the 150-lap event.
Through the field, several two and three car battles resulted in needle-threading exchanges around lapped competitors including a duel between Bouvrette and fellow countryman Alex Labbé. With 15 laps to go, Labbé overcame Bouvrette and the two crossed the stripe second and third, respectively..
For the final 50 laps, Vermonters Scott Payea and Jason Corliss battled with Quebec’s Donald Theetge, Eventually, Payea, who started 17th, used a lapped car to pin and overtake both of them. Still with a very fast car, he started to chase down eventual third place finisher Jonathan Bouvrette., but ran out of time and finished fourth.
With two laps to go, Corliss regained fifth place from Donald Theetge, who finished an impressive sixth place, after starting deep in the field in the 21st starting position, the veteran Theege’s best finish at the Lee speedplant.
The top-10 was rounded out by Spencer Morse, Eddie MacDonald, Rich Dubeau and Bobby Therrien, with 26 of 29 cars running when the checkered flag flew.
With his win, Moltz becomes the 14th different winner of the classic in an ACT Late Model.
Earlier in the day, during the pre-race pit meeting with ACT officials, crews and drivers, the Série ACT Tom Curley Cup was presented to Claude Leclerc (Lanoraie, QC) who was kicking off his 40th stock car racing season with the Lee event. Leclerc is the third recipient of the award, presented annually to those who have an impact on stock car racing in Quebec.