Chevy vs. Ford
Three years ago the American Canadian Tour (ACT) introduced a Ford crate engine option to their racing program. The goal was to give the Late Model teams some variety, and hopefully make the racing more exciting for the fans, many of whom are die hard Ford fans.
Many of the top teams in ACT elected to switch from the Chevrolet crate program, which had been the mainstay of ACT racing since it was developed in 1999. After a couple of years of ‘tweaking’ the rules, officials are hoping that the two major manufacturers’ engine programs have reached the ultimate goal of parity for which ACT racing is known. The goal of Late Model racing has always been to make it a ‘driver’s series’, not a cubic dollar series.
“When I was asked to test the original version of the Ford crate motor, I knew it would take some time to get things sorted out. There was no perfect science without actually competing with the engines in actual race conditions,” said Chris Michaud, the three-time Thunder Road Champion and original team elected to do the Ford testing.

ACT Merchants Bank 150 Opens Thunder Road
The 14th annual Merchants Bank 150 will open the 53rd season of stock car racing at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl (TR) in Barre, VT on Sunday, April 29, 2012.
There have been nine different winners since the inaugural event in 1999. Jean Paul Cyr, Milton, VT, a former ACT multi-time champion and 2010 ‘King of the Road’ at the Speedbowl leads the list of winners with three Merchant Bank 150 wins (2002, 2004, and 2006).
“I have come to really like the Merchants Bank openers at Thunder Road. I was on a pretty good run from 2002 through 2006, winning every other year. Scott (Payea), Milton, VT stopped that win streak in 2008 when he backed up his 2007 win. I’m feeling pretty good about how our team is finally getting back on track after a couple tough years, and stopping Scott and Nick Sweet from tying the Merchants Bank opening record of three wins is a pretty good motivator going into this year’s race,” said Cyr.

2012 ACT Season Opener
2012 Opening Day New Hampshire Governor’s Cup up next
In 1986 Beaver Dragon from Milton, VT won the opening event at the newly restored Lee USA New Hampshire speed plant.
“Red” and Judy MacDonald had just purchased the facility and called on the newly created American Canadian Tour (ACT) to open the track in the Spring of 1986. Later that season, the seven-time ACT Champion Robbie Crouch from Tampa, FL would win the first New Hampshire Governor’s Cup. Crouch backed that win up with a consecutive Governor’s Cup win in 1988.
Another ACT Champion, Russ Urlin, from London, Ontario won back-to-back at Lee in 1989 and 1990. Other notable winners at Lee during the ACT Pro Stock era were: Paul Richardson, Dave Dion, Kevin Lepage, and Ralph Nason.

Serie ACT Castrol
Veteran Claude Leclerc Files Série ACT Castrol Full Season Entry
American Canadian Tour veteran Claude Leclerc of Lanoraie, Quebec has filed a full season entry for the 2012 Série ACT Castrol season. Leclerc is coming off an 8th place effort on the series in 2011. It was his fifth straight top ten in the final standings.
Leclerc began competing on the former NASCAR North Tour during its inaugural 1979 season. He competed full-time in each of the Tour’s seven seasons through 1985, and finished in the top ten six times, including third in the 1981 standings. He continued to race full-time with the ACT Tour from its inception in 1986 through its final Pro Stock season in 1995. From 1979 through 1995, Leclerc had the most starts of any driver on the NASCAR North/ACT Tour with 397. He finished in the top ten in the standings in 13 of the 17 seasons, and earned six career wins.
“Claude and I started at just about the same time in this business nearly 35 years ago,” commented ACT President Tom Curley. “It is a remarkable record of racing achievement he has compiled over the years. I remember immediately after the NASCAR North days when Claude was one of three drivers, along with Jamie Aube and Dick McCabe, who drove to Burlington, VT and encouraged me to start the American Canadian Tour,” continued Curley. “When it was time to go to Dover Downs, DE, Milwaukee, WI, Nashville, TN, Thompson, CT or Nova Scotia, Claude was always the first to make the commitment. ACT is very proud to have Claude Leclerc still racing competitively with us going into the 2012 season. He is truly one of a kind and a good friend,” Curley concluded.

ACT Invitational
Bond Auto to Sponsor American-Canadian Tour Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
They provide the parts that create a winning ride and now they'll be there in victory lane no matter who wins the American-Canadian Tour race on Saturday, September 22. New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials announced today that Bond Auto, a New England based full service auto parts retail and wholesale store, will be the title sponsor for the ACT Invitational during the fall NASCAR weekend. 
The Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational will be part of "The Magic Mile's" short track Saturday Showdown during the SYLVANIA 300 weekend. The thrilling day features, NASCAR's K&N Pro Series East New Hampshire 100 and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100. Last year, it was Rowley, Mass. native Eddie MacDonald who raced his way from 25th to first in just a few laps, capturing the checkered flag. 
Bond Auto is no stranger to the motorsports industry. The Vermont company in the past has sponsored several drivers at Richard Petty Motorsports including Kasey Kahne and A.J. Allmendinger. 
"As a company that is aligned so closely with motorsports, we are always looking for the best way to support the racing scene so that everyone benefits", stated Mark Mast, Vice President of Marketing at Bond Auto. "By sponsoring divisions or a particular race, everyone from the fans to the drivers are affected."

First 2012 ACT Full Season Entry
ACT Veteran Randy Potter Files First Season Entry
Veteran American Canadian Tour (ACT) stock car racer Randy Potter of Groveton, NH filed the first full season entry for the 10-event 2012 ACT Tour. Potter and his Lancaster Auto Sales/Speedway Sports Park Chevrolet team were recently honored at the ACT Banquet of Champions for their 5th place finish in the 2011 standings.
“Our chances at the 2012 title right now are as good as anyone’s, but in order to pull it out of the clutches of RPM and Brian Hoar we are going to need luck, no mechanical or mental break downs and some really good finishes in all of the 10 races,” said Potter.
During the 2011 season, Potter had one of the most consistent years of his career. He finished with four podium finishes, including three straight at White Mountain Motorsports Park, Twin State Speedway and Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. He capped off the year with a second at Airborne Speedway in the season finale.

VT State Late Model Championship
Officials from Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, VT and Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT have announced a Vermont State Late Model Championship Series for the 2012 race season.
Four (4) long distance stock car events for Late Model race teams will determine the Vermont State Late Model Champion. The American Canadian Tour (ACT) type Late Model division is the most popular form of stock car racing in the northeastern US and eastern Canada, serving the needs of racers and fans at fifteen different race tracks and two regional touring divisions.
Thunder Road will present the historic 50th anniversary Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic and annual Vermont Governors Cup 150 as part of the Vermont State series. The new owners of Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT, Mike and Alayne Bruno, have joined over a dozen regional tracks by incorporating the ACT Late Model rules as a part of their NASCAR weekly racing program.
Mike Bruno, a former ACT Late Model competitor himself, said, “I know how competitive these cars can be and when Tom (Curley) and I talked about this idea, it just seemed like a good fit for our first year with Devil’s Bowl Speedway, and for the entire Late Model region”.

ACT Banquet of Champions
Brian Hoar and Patrick Laperle Crowned ACT Champions
Jimmy “Scruffy” Linardy Receives MacTavish Award
The American Canadian Tour (ACT) crowned Brian Hoar of Williston, VT and Patrick Laperle of St-Denis, Quebec as the ACT Tour and Série ACT Castrol stock car racing champions respectively, at the ACT Banquet of Champions on Saturday, January 21 at the Double Tree Inn in Burlington, VT. It was the first ever combined banquet for the sister championship stock car racing series. Both champions cashed a point fund check of $10,000.
Hoar earned his eighth career championship on the U.S.-based ACT Tour during another strong season in which he earned five wins in 12 events. With those five wins he solidified himself on top of the ACT Late Model career wins list with 33 and added wins at four new tracks including New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He also won the Showdown at Chaudiere in Vallee-Jct., Quebec and the 49th Annual People’s United Bank Milk Bowl at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road. Hoar and car owner Rick Paya earned their third straight ACT Tour title.
Laperle earned his second career title on the Quebec-based Série ACT Castrol. He finished the season with four wins in his 12 events, including his first ever win in the Quebec season finale St-Eustache 300 at Autodrome St-Eustache. Laperle and his crew chief brother, Eric, now have 13 career wins on the Série ACT Castrol. Patrick is also the 2008 ACT Tour (U.S.) Champion and three-time People’s United Bank Milk Bowl Champion.

ACT Websites
ACT Sites Reach Record 24 Million Hits in 2011
The family of American Canadian Tour websites, which supplies fans, teams and media with information on ACT Late Model from the Northeast and Eastern Canada, set a new record in 2011. ACT’s three sites,, and, received an all-time high for number of “hits” with a combined 24 million in 2011.
ACT’s main site,, which covers the ACT Late Model Tour, Série ACT Castrol and the Bond/WIX Tiger Tour received 18.2 million hits. The French scripted, which caters to Quebecers interested in the Série ACT Castrol, saw 919 thousand hits. The site of ACT’s home track,, covers news of Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, VT, and saw 4.95 million hits.
All three sites thrive on keeping fans, teams and media up to date on news, standings, results, schedules, rules, photos, history, statistics and more. They also supply links to teams, sponsors, tracks, and other racing sites.

Tech Memo
Date:             Wednesday, December 14, 2012
ACT and Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl have released the 2012 rules for two of the four divisions that the track will have competing in 2012.
“We have tried to keep our rule changes in the Streets and Tigers to a minimum for the coming season.  Actually, we have made virtually no rules changes for the Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman division, which fortunately has been the case for the past several seasons. The Allen Lumber Street Stock division has a few ‘clean up rules’, but for the most part will remain as it has been for many years with one exception. We are encouraging more foreign cars to enter the division,” said Dean Gallison, the Director of Competition for Thunder Road and the American Canadian Tour.
Tom Curley, Promoter of Thunder Road and President of the American Canadian Tour said, “We are taking a lot longer than usual to get our Late Model rules out for 2012. We have had a lot of discussions about how Late Model racing has evolved over the past decade. We have concluded that we need to try and get back to more of the core values and original business model that we started with this division back in the mid-nineties.