ACT
Merchants Bank 150
Nick Sweet Takes Second Merchants Bank 150 in a Row
 
Barre, VT’s Nick Sweet claimed his second straight Merchants Bank 150 win at Thunder Road International Speedbowl on Sunday, May 1. The defending track champion came from his 8th starting position to take the lead from Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. on lap 91. Sweet would work his way through lap traffic with ease and never relinquished the lead for the remainder of the event.
 
Graniteville’s John Donahue led from the outside pole for the first four laps before Polewarczyk took over from the fourth place starting spot. Polewarczyk survived the only restart of the event after a lap 9 caution for a spin. He then took control of the event and lapped the majority of the field before Sweet reeled him in and took the lead.
 
Polewarczyk held on for second, Donahue claimed third, St-Denis, QC’s Patrick Laperle and seven-time ACT Tour Champion Brian Hoar completed the top five. London, Ontario’s Jonathan Urlin came all the way from the 21st starting position to take sixth, Groveton, NH’s Randy Potter rebounded from an early spin to take seventh, Ben Ashline, Quinny Welch, and Mark Lamberton rounded out the top ten.
 
The event only saw one caution on lap 9 and completed the race on a 141 lap green flag run. It was completed in just 39 minutes and 24 seconds.

Merchants Bank Weekend
Thunder Road Car Show and Practice
Merchants Bank Weekend
·       102 cars lined Main Street of downtown Barre for the annual Thunder Road car show on Saturday, April 30.
·       Seven-time and defending champion Brian Hoar and his Rick Paya Motorsports team claimed the title in the 2011 pit stop contest.
·       47 ACT Late Model Tour cars attended practice at Thunder Road following the annual car show parade up Quarry Hill.
·       The fast times of the day were in the 13.2’s and 13.3’s. Much like the Lee USA Speedway practice a couple of weeks ago, a wide range of cars managed to hit that range at some point during the day. In no particular order Randy Potter, Jimmy Hebert, Scott Luce, Matt White, Brian Hoar, Cody Blake, Phil Scott, Nick Sweet, John Donahue, Quinny Welch, Dave Pembroke, Cris Michaud, Joey Laquerre, Jean-Paul Cyr, Brent Dragon, Jamie Fisher, Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. all managed to hit that range.
·       There were no major accidents during the day’s practice and all the teams are expected to be back for tomorrow’s running of the 13th Annual Merchants Bank 150.
·       Class day festivities begin at 1:00pm with the first ACT Late Model Tour heat race set to roll at 1:30pm. The Bond Auto Tiger Sportsmen, Allen Lumber Street Stocks and Junkyard Warriors will make for a full card of racing.

Merchants Bank 150
THUNDER ROAD REGULARS DEFEND TURF IN
MERCHANTS BANK 150
 
 
The 13th annual Merchants Bank 150 will open the new season at Thunder Road International Speedbowl on Sunday, May 1, 2011. There is no track on the American Canadian Tour (ACT) schedule that presents a bigger challenge to the ACT regular touring teams than Thunder Road and its regular teams. As many as eight (8) former Thunder Road “King of the Road” champions are expected to be at the opening event.
 
Defending ACT Champion and 2011 point leader coming out of the opening event at Lee USA Speedway, Brian Hoar said, “I have had some pretty good success over the years at Thunder Road, I even won the King of the Road title in 1999, but that seems like a long, long time ago.”
 

 “When you have to compete against the kind of talent we have on the Tour this year with guys like Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. (Pole), John Donahue, Randy Potter, Brent Dragon, Joey Laquerre and a whole lot of others, and then you add in Thunder Road champions like Nick Sweet (defending Champion), two three-time champions: Phil Scott and Cris Michaud, guys like Fisher, Pembroke and Whitcomb, just to name a few, it really is mindboggling. I love the competition, and this is about as good as it gets in short track racing,” concluded an excited Hoar.


ACT Contingencies
Bassett, Five-Star, Racing Electronics and Race Basics Continue ACT Contingency Programs in 2011
The American Canadian Tour will continue contingency programs from Bassett Race Wheels, Five-Star Race Car Bodies, Racing Electronics and Race Basics Chassis for the 2011 season. These four companies provide product certificates for each event on the ACT Late Model Tour and the Série Castrol Edge, as well as contribute to the yearly point funds.
Five-Star Race Car Bodies of Twin Lakes, Wisconsin has been working with ACT the longest of the four companies. They started their program with ACT in 1991 and they’ve signed on through the 2013 season. Along with certificates for body parts for each ACT event they also raffle off a certificate for a full body at the annual Banquet of Champions held each January.
Concord, North Carolina’s Racing Electronics has been a part of the ACT contingency program since 1992. Not only do they supply certificates at each ACT event, they are also the official radio supplier for the ACT Tour, Série Castrol Edge, and Thunder Road. They supply many of the ACT Late Model teams with their radio needs and attend several events each season with technical support
Bassett Race Wheels of Burlington, Wisconsin has signed on for their 13th season with ACT. For over 40 years the company has been building the strongest, lightest, and truest steel racing wheels. Drivers finishing in the runner-up position at each event in 2011 will receive certificates for Bassett wheels.

Merchants Bank 150
AUBE AND BRUNO RETURN TO THUNDER ROAD
 
Veteran racers Jamie Aube from Bow, NH and Mike Bruno from Rutland, VT have announced that they will both be returning to their racing roots, Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont for the 2011 season.
 
“This is great news for Thunder Road fans and competitors,” said Tom Curley, promoter at Thunder Road for the past 32 seasons. “This is like having part of the family returning home. Jamie started his career at Catamount Stadium in Milton, VT and at Thunder Road. He was a main-stay on the old NASCAR NORTH Tour we started back in 1979. Mike left his many years of racing with his dad on dirt tracks, and began his first ever asphalt race at Thunder Road in 1995.”
 
Aube was 7th all-time with 237 starts on the former American Canadian Tour (ACT) Pro Stock Tour, where he finished second (2nd) in point standings in 1987. He also won seven (7) major events on the former ACT series. Aube went on to become a 3-time NASCAR Busch North (now K&N Pro Series East) Champion, compiling 9 Busch North wins along the way. He has won the TD Bank 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway two times, in 1987 and 1989.

ACT Tour
ACT Issues Post Race Penalty Following Lee Event
The American Canadian Tour issued a post race penalty following post race inspection after the Lee USA Speedway season opener. Apparent runner-up Brad Babb of Windham, ME was penalized seven positions to drop him to ninth as the last car on the lead lap. The #4ME car was found to have a single unregistered tire on the car.
American-Canadian Tour
NH Governor’s Cup 150
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Unofficial Results
Finish (Start) Driver, Hometown, Laps
1. (18) Brian Hoar, Williston, VT, 150 Laps
2. (25) John Donahue, Graniteville, VT, 150 Laps
3. (16) Fulton Mountain, Barrington, NH, 150 Laps
4. (8) Wayne Helliwell, Jr., Dover, NH, 150 Laps
5. (1) Scott Dragon, Colchester, VT, 150 Laps
6. (2) Randy Potter, Groveton, NH, 150 Laps
7. (23) Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, ME, 150 Laps
8. (5) Karl Allard, Quebec, QC, 150 Laps
9. (30) Brad Babb, Windham, ME, 150 Laps
10. (22) Mark Lamberton, Mooers Forks, NY, 149 Laps
11. (4) Brent Dragon, Milton, VT, 149 Laps
12. (24) Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, VT, 149 Laps
13. (20) Rick Thompson, Jay, VT, 149 Laps
14. (3) Shawn Martin, Turner, ME, 148 Laps
15. (28) Dennis Spencer, Jr., Oxford, ME, 148 Laps
16. (15) Mike Bruno, Rutland, VT, 148 Laps
17. (12) Travis Stearns, Auburn, ME, 148 Laps
18. (27) Ray Parent, Tiverton, RI, 146 Laps
19. (19) Joey Laquerre, E. Montpelier, VT, 143 Laps
20. (11) Jimmy Cormier, Princeville, QC, 115 Laps
21. (14) Pat Floyd, Chester, NH, 101 Laps
22. (13) Chip Grenier, Graniteville, VT, 99 Laps
23. (10) Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton, VT, 76 Laps
24. (6) Craig Bushey, Fairfax, VT, 46 Laps
25. (26) Donald Theetge, Quebec, QC, 46 Laps
26. (17) Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, NH, 46 Laps
27. (7) Ricky Rolfe, Albany Twp., ME, 44 Laps
28. (9) Aaron Fellows, Croydon, NH, 40 Laps
29. (29) #Dave Farrington, Jr., Jay, ME, 9 Laps
30. (21) Bobby Baillargeon, Kingston, NH, 3 Laps
 
Time of Race: 1:16:19
 Margin of Victory: .319 sec.
Cautions: 7 (laps 3, 9, 18, 28, 44, 46, 115)
Leaders: Scott Dragon, 1-18; Randy Potter, 19; Dragon, 20-116; Brian Hoar, 117-150
Heat Winners: Jimmy Cormier, Pat Floyd, Brian Hoar, Travis Stearns

ACT Season Opener at Lee USA Speedway
Brian Hoar Begins Campaign for 8th ACT Title With a Win in the Season Opener at Lee USA Speedway

 

Seven-time American Canadian Tour Champion Brian Hoar of Williston, VT used patience to win the season opening NH Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH, his 29th career ACT win. Hoar began the race in the 18th starting position after winning his heat race but earning a 0 in the ACT Plus/Minus handicap system. The veteran moved through the field and ran just outside the top five while saving his tires and his car for a late race run to the front and the win.

 

Colchester, VT’s Scott Dragon started on the pole and led all but 1 of the first 116 laps while battling with Groveton, NH’s Randy Potter and St-Felicien, QC’s Karl Allard early in the race. Multi-time Lee USA Speedway Champion Wayne Helliwell, Jr. was also in the mix running as high as second.

 

Hoar and Graniteville’s John Donahue seemingly came from nowhere after the final caution on lap 115 to make a run to the front. Hoar took the win while Donahue inherited the runner-up position after apparent second place finisher Brad Babb, a sophomore driver from Windham, ME, was penalized to the last car on the lead lap (9th) for using an unregistered tire.

Lee USA Speedway Pit Notes
Pit Notes From Practice at Lee USA Speedway
Saturday, April 16
The American Canadian Tour Late Models saw a diverse group of teams at the top of the speed charts during the first practice sessions of the 2011 season. 13 different teams turned laps within 2 tenths of each other as the fastest teams of the day. In no particular order: Mike Bruno, Quinny Welch, Shawn Martin, Aaron Fellows, Donald Theetge, Brian Hoar, Dennis Spencer, Jr., Randy Potter, Wayne Helliwell, Jr., Jeff Labrecque, Jr., Miles Chipman, Jean-Paul Cyr and Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. were among the group. Several other teams were within another tenth or two of this group.
 
All teams made it out of the day without major damage. The only incidents were minor.
 
Graniteville’s John Donahue struggled with a miss in the motor for the majority of the day, but got it fixed in the last practice.

ACT Season Opener
ACT Looks for 9th Different Winner at Lee Opener
The American Canadian Tour will look for its ninth different Lee USA Speedway winner in this Sunday’s (April 17) 2011 New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 season opener. No driver has been able to repeat in the eight events held at the 3/8ths mile speedway since 2003.
Three of the previous eight winners will attempt to change that fact on Sunday, as seven-time ACT Champion Jean-Paul Cyr of Milton, VT (2005), ACT’s hottest driver at the end of 2010 Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. from Hudson, NH (2008) and defending NH Governor’s Cup winner Miles Chipman from Epping, NH (2010) have all filed entries. But that leaves over 40 other drivers aiming at their first career ACT win at Lee.
Seven-time and defending ACT Tour Champion Brian Hoar (Williston, VT) is among them. He has only had two career starts at Lee but has finished inside the top ten both times with a 9th in 2009 and a 3rd last season. A win Sunday would make Lee his 12th different track with an ACT victory.
Two veteran ACT competitors will attempt to break into victory lane and earn their first career top fives at the speedway. Milton, VT’s Brent Dragon and Shelburne, VT’s Jamie Fisher are the only two drivers to start all eight events at Lee, but neither has cracked the top five.

ACT Season Opener
LEE GOVERNOR’S CUP BRINGS OUT THE BEST OF ACT TEAMS
 
Everybody likes opening days in any sport. The American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model teams are no different. It doesn’t matter if you are running for points or not, new teams and veteran teams all look forward to opening a new race season.
 
The list of entrants for the ACT opening event at the Lee USA Speedway New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 is long and impressive. Upwards of fifteen new teams will experience their first opening day race with ACT in 2011. The returning corps of veteran championship teams is deep and come from a diverse section of northern weekly and touring facilities.
 
“Things have certainly changed since we all started this Late Model thing back in the mid-nineties. It was really an off-shoot of Thunder Road and Airborne teams with an occasional ‘outsider’ joining us in the beginning,” said 7-time ACT Champion Brian Hoar from Williston, VT. “Today, we have teams from nearly every state in New England and a couple provinces of Canada, many of whom have won various championships in their careers. What is really neat is the quality of the new teams that seem to join us each year. Seeing so many new faces at this past February’s New Smyrna Speedway races was an indication that there is a lot of interest in ACT Late Model racing. It is an exciting thing to be a part of,” concluded Hoar.