1991 Champion – Junior Hanley

The 1991 season was the first of three consecutive seasons in which Junior Hanley earned the ACT Tour championship. It was Hanley’s first full

season with ACT and he set the record for most money earned in a single season with over $236,000 in winnings. 1991 saw just seven event winners; Hanley (7), Crouch (6), Dave Dion (3), Kevin Lepage (2), Ralph Nason, Bob Randall and Dan Beede, in its 21 events. Randall and Beede earned their first career wins. Future ACT Tour champion Brad Leighton earned the Rookie of the Year honors, while driving a June and Gardiner Leavitt owned ride. Below is a review of Junior Hanley’s first title season:

“To the amazement of many, Canada’s most famous stock car racing outlaw, Junior Hanley, made the commitment to run the entire ACT schedule in 1991. But his decision was not as surprising as one might think. With some $400,000 in season ending monies available, including a $50,000 bonus to the driver who could earn the most points during the seven month race season, it was, quite possibly, one of the more logical conclusions reached by the Campbellville, Ontario resident.
Perhaps the one thing that was shocking to the racing community about Hanley’s decision was his choice of car – a Ford Thunderbird. Never in the Series’ 13 year history, had a Ford won the Championship. It looked like the General Motors domination might be in for a challenge.
Hanley’s vast experience on the short tracks of the United States and Canada proved invaluable to the Nova Scotia native as he had not previously seen five of the venues on the ’91 schedule. He finished a respectable ninth after losing a tire while leading in the season opener at New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway, a one-third mile track he had never seen before.
After a rain out at Sanair, where Hanley proved to be proficient, the Series moved on the Maine’s Beech Ridge Motor Speedway for the first of a trio of events planned at the seacoast oval. He salvaged a 12th in the Coca Cola 100 after battling with 56 others just to earn a starting position in the main event. He dropped from fourth to sixth in the standings.




Ford Racing and the American Canadian Tour (ACT) recently announced an aggressive $35,000.00 contingency program in 2010 for those teams that have supported the Ford-powered S347JR ACT crate engine program.


ACT has announced the criteria for the program:


  • Ford teams must be registered and approved with ACT office
  • Competing teams must be 100% ACT legal
  • Butler MacMaster Engine seals must be present and not tampered with
  • Individual tracks must validate official finishes with ACT throughout the season
  • Any violation of the sealed Ford engine program will result in loss of all points and disqualification from the Ford contingency program for the remainder of the season
  • Any track adjustments to the Ford rules must be approved by ACT for continued involvement in the 2010 contingency program
Rules and criteria are subject to change in the interest of competition




The American Canadian Tour (ACT) will celebrate 25 years of Championship Stock Car Racing with one of its largest

number of pre-season full season entered teams. The balance of veteran champions and new teams joining the US touring division represents five New England states and two provinces of Canada. ACT statistician Nick Bigelow said, “I have reviewed past seasons and this looks like the most diverse and best count ACT has had in the past half dozen seasons.”


A fourteen race schedule will carry teams from the shores of Connecticut at the historic Waterford Speedbowl to new tracks located as far north as Quebec City, (the newly renovated 5/8th mile Riverside Speedway in Ste-Croix), and west to the newly paved 4/10th mile Albany Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY, just outside the New York capital city.


Veteran title chaser Brent Dragon from Milton, VT said, “This is a great schedule for those of us that like touring. New tracks are always interesting and with two new tracks on the schedule just undergoing renovations and paving (Albany-Saratoga and Riverside-Ste Croix), along with my favorite recently renovated half mile Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY, I hope this is the year I can finally win an ACT Championship.”

TIRE NOTICE  -  Goodyear tires have been ordered and expected arrival is March 15. First advance sale for practice and set up tires will be Thursday night March 18 at the tire barn. 

Waterford Speedbowl will have an open practice on Friday, March 26 and that there is a Late Model 50 Lap event opening Waterford for the season on Sunday, March 28.

Thunder Road Practice for All Divisions is Tues. April 13.
Pit gates open at 3pm, practice runs from 4pm to 7pm. Pit gate fee is $10.  Rain date will be Wednesday, April 14.


1990 – Robbie Crouch Returns

The fifth season of the American-Canadian Tour saw the return of the Tour’s most accomplished driver. Robbie Crouch returned after

running just part time in 1989. His 1990 championship was his fourth in the first five years of ACT racing. He also won championships in 1983 and 1984 on the NASCAR North Tour. With his four wins in 1990 he increased his career win total to 68, nearly three times more than any other driver at the time.

In the second season of the GM National Stock Car Series, consisting of ten events at seven different tracks across three Canadian provinces, Randy MacDonald edged out Crouch by 14 points for the title. For the second year in a row Dave Dion, running a limited schedule, won the ACT Showdown at Beech Ridge along with three other events in just 9 starts. Race winners included Crouch (4), 1989 Champion Russ Urlin (4), Dion (3), Dragon (3), Junior Hanley (2), Jean-Paul Cabana (2), Claude Leclerc, 1990 Rookie of the Year Steve Knowlton, MacDonald and Ralph Nason.




The American Canadian Tour (ACT) announced today that all racing in the 2010 season will be done with electronic scoring.

This will include weekly events at Thunder Road, both the ACT US and Castrol Tours, and the Bond Auto/WIX Tiger Sportsman Series.


“This is a real change from 50 years of how it has been done,” said Tom Curley, President of ACT and Managing Partner at Thunder Road. “I guess after 50 years it was inevitable that we needed to step up to the modern technology. I am sure Doc (Gordon Nielsen, Chief Scorer for Thunder Road, the former Catamount Stadium, and all the ACT Tours for over 35 years) would approve of this move at this time.”


With the high demands of three Tours and Thunder Road weekly, it has been increasingly difficult to find scorers. For some of the ACT senior scorers, as young as they are, having babies also necessitated this change.


Waterford Speedbowl Late Model division changes to Goodyear Tire in 2010

Waterford Speedbowl Management has announced its Late Model division will compete on Goodyear tires in 2010.  All competitors will be

required to compete on the designated Goodyear tire compound, beginning with the season opening Budweiser Blastoff event March 26-28.

The Goodyear model D2672 and D2882 tires will be introduced.  This change helps the Speedbowl become congruent with the ACT Late Model tire program in place across New England and on the ACT’s U.S and Canadian tours.  Goodyear tires will be available for purchase by Speedbowl Late Model teams at Budweiser Blastoff opening weekend and each week during the 2010 race season.  The tires can also be mounted at the track.  The Speedbowl’s Late Model division competes in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series as Division 2. 

“The folks at ACT have done their homework and have a good product with this tire” stated Speedbowl Race Director Tom Fox.  “Many of our competitors who have competed on these Goodyear tires in the past have liked their performance. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from competitors in favor of the switch”.


ACT Drivers’ Favorite Tracks


With the 2010 race season only a couple of months away, the ACT office has compiled an interesting survey of which tracks are the favorites of some veteran and new drivers, as well as several ACT staff members. (All stats are from ACT Late Model Tour or Série ACT Castrol events unless otherwise noted)




#89VT - Scott Payea, Milton, VT – Thunder Road – “Why wouldn’t it be? It’s a driver’s racetrack with two grooves and lots of

excitement. The atmosphere there is the best.”  The Ouellette Plumbing and Heating team, led by crew chief and team co-owner Chris Companion, has 12 top ten finishes in 16 tour starts, with an average finish of 6.6.  They also have two wins.


#41VT - Pete Potvin III, Graniteville, VT – Waterford Speedbowl – “It has good speed, great corners that aren’t too tight with great banking.”  The family run team, with Pete’s father as crew chief, has two starts at the ‘Bowl’ and have an average finish of 14th.


#21QC -  Jean-François Déry, Quebec City, QC – Autodrome Montmagny – “It’s good to me!”  The JF Dery team won the Red Bear 100 at Montmagny in 2009.  JF has an impressive 6 top tens in 7 starts with 4 top five finishes. His career average finish at Montmagny is a remarkable 5.7.


ACT Director of Competition -  Dean Gallison, Middlesex, VT – Kawartha Speedway – “It’s just an awesome race track with great racing, great pits, and a great pit road. What else would a good short track racer want?”


Meet Thunder Road Late Model Driver Chip Grenier

#9VT Grenier Motorsports Toyota Camry

Hometown: Graniteville, VT                                       

Date of Birth: October 26, 1977

Chip lives with his wife Larissa and their two cats. He works as a foundation mason during the summer and a racecar

fabricator during the winter.

2009 Season: Chip competed on the ACT Tour full-time for the first time during the 2009 season. He earned four top tens in his 12 starts and earned ninth place in the final point standings. He also finished tenth in the 47th Annual Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl. At the 2009 ACT Banquet of Champions he received the 2009 ACT Tour Sportsmanship Award. Chip could also be seen every Thursday night at Thunder Road as the crew chief for Rich Lowrey.

25 Years of ACT Racing


We continue the countdown to the 25th Anniversary Season of American Canadian Tour racing with a review of the

1989 season. The 1989 season saw a changing of the guards on the ACT Coors Tour. With defending champion Robbie Crouch running a limited schedule, seven of the twenty-one events, the door was wide open for a new driver to step into the limelight. London, Ontario’s Russ Urlin, in just his sophomore season on the Tour, took advantage of the opportunity. He dominated the 1989 season winning the Coors Tour Championship, the GM National Stock Car Series Championship and the STP Canadian Challenge Championship. Below is a section from the 1990 ACT Media Guide recapping his dominant season:

“Russ Urlin became the first Canadian to win the American-Canadian Tour championship, a feat he accomplished with three races remaining on the 1989 schedule. This was the earliest that a championship had ever been decided. The 37 year-old London, Ontario resident picked up where five-time champion, Robbie Crouch left off, in dominating the Series.

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